I might be a little late in the game but I thought that it would be nice to do some sort of “My Favorite Things” type of blog for the holidays. It was actually fun to sit down and list things that I love. The draw back was that the list was LONG so narrowing it down wasn’t so fun. I was amazed to see a healthy combination of components that can be made by hand along with some that weren’t hurtful to any budget and even some that the hardest to buy for would be pleased with. At least that was my interpretation of the list but you be the judge and let me know at the end of the series. Each blog will hopefully be brief and include a recipe (if handmade), potential benefits (if any) and why I love it!
First up on the list are my lavender bath salts. These are so necessary for my achy muscles, creaky joints and at times my sanity (especially when my husband goes on a 6-month government sponsored trip, haha). Every time I use them, the phrase “Calgon, take me away” comes to mind. Some of you are probably thinking “WTF” (what the fudge ;-) ) but for those that know, I love you! This recipe is simple; it only requires three ingredients and a Mason jar. I will say that you can use a clean recycled glass jar but I would avoid plastic for a multitude of reasons but mostly because I don’t like plastic or having essential oils in contact with it for any stretch of time.
The three ingredients in my recipe are: Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate), pink Himalayan salt and lavender oil.
Epsom salt is a mineral compound high in magnesium and sulfates. Despite the name, Epsom salt contains absolutely no sodium chloride (table salt). Epsom salt has been shown to help with relaxation (magnesium is often depleted when stressed), achy muscles, pain, swelling, detoxification, and even immunity against germs (causes vasodilation which increases WBC count). Epsom salt is readily available in drug stores but make sure that you don’t buy any that have already been fragranced. Much of the pre-fragranced Epsom salt is made with icky and counterproductive (especially if you are bathing to improve your health) artificial fragrances!
Pink Himalayan salt is one of my most favorite creations of all time. I cook with it, make soap with it, bask in the light of my salt lamps, and even bathe with it. Himalayan salt is awesome for your largest and porous organ, your skin. Some say it is the most pure form of salt on the planet. It is mineral/element rich and many sources claim that it contains 84 of those naturally occurring good guys. Himalayan salt is said to help in a variety of areas including: detoxification, inflammation and pain reduction, circulation improvement (makes for prettier skin), and with skin aliments like bug bites, eczema, acne and psoriasis. I know that this wondrous salt re-centers and re-charges me. Many believe, myself included, that the uplift of spirits is due to the fact that this salt produces ozone just like the known natural mental boosting sources of ozone such as, waterfalls, oceans, and thunderstorms. Keep in mind that this pretty pink salt is more expensive than regular table salt. Himalayan salt can be found in many places but I will say that I find the larger bags I need in stores like TJMaxx and Ross and online at Amazon. I once found a 10-pound bag at a steal price in Tuesday Morning so don’t be afraid to shop around.
The final component of this bathing concoction is lavender essential oil. Lavender is in the mint family and the essential oil is steam distilled from the flowering part of the plant. Lavender is fairly innocuous and found in many body products. It is said to be calming (I can attest to this as it was one of the few things that helped with my kiddos when bedtimes were difficult) and helps with a variety of skin aliments such as: old lady lines (because of its antioxidants), blemishes, scarring, eczema, and psoriasis. Lavender can be found in many health food stores but is most easily acquired on Amazon. Make sure you are purchasing a reputable brand like Now or Aura Cacia. Hopefully this won’t start a debate but remember, just because one brand is more expensive doesn’t necessarily mean that it is better.
***Side note…Don’t be fooled by lavender “fragranced” or “scented” products. Make sure that what you are getting is the real deal, otherwise you will be purchasing ick and won’t be getting any of the previously mentioned benefits.***
Ok, on to the recipe and I promise brevity. I scaled it to make one 16-ounce Mason jar. Obviously, you can scale up to make multiple jars or one large jar (1-cup equals 8-fluid ounces). The glass milk bottles also make for a pretty presentation but a funnel is necessary to prevent salty messes ;-)
1 cup Himalayan salt
1 cup Epsom salt
10-20 drops of lavender essential oil
Mix both salts in a glass or stainless steel bowl.
Add lavender oil and stir until well mixed.
Depending on the lucky vessel, a funnel may be necessary to prevent messes (I so learned this the HARD way).
Store your finished product until really to bath your troubles away. With a glass of wine or a good book ready, add ½ to 1 cup to warm running bath water and enjoy your soak!
Please note that there are so many essential oil variations that you can use! When I am feeling particularly meditative, a few drops of Frankincense get added along with the lavender. When the dregs of winter make me yearn for some soul shine I do a 50-50 mix of lavender and grapefruit. Get creative!
This would make an excellent teacher gift especially when combine with my lavender heavy bars like “Lush Lavender”, “Pore Miner” or “Midnight Bather”.
Do you plan on making this or a variation of some sort? I would love to hear your input! Happy bathing my soapy friends!