A bath can be so much more than just a method for keeping clean. For centuries, bathing has been used to soothe sore muscles, relieve tension and luxuriate in aromas released by various additives. Look to your pantry for natural ingredients to create easy, affordable and healthy DIY bath additives that can be used in handicapped bathtubs or even your jetted tub.
Colloidal oatmeal is not the same oatmeal you enjoy for breakfast. These are finely ground all-natural oats that can be added to bathwater as a way to soothe skin irritations such as psoriasis, eczema and even chicken pox and shingles. Add about two cups of colloidal oatmeal to lukewarm bathwater, although be careful with how much you use – too high a concentration can clog the drain. Soaking in too hot of water will only irritate the skin. Soak for about 15 to 20 minutes and remember to pat dry instead of rubbing to minimize further irritation.
Fresh ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that may help with pain relief. The easiest way to add ginger to your bath is to place a few tablespoons, freshly chopped, into a cheesecloth bag and then place the bag into your bathwater. This will work easily in deep bathtubs or any soaker tub style as well as tubs with therapeutic jets.
Epsom salts are easy to find at any grocery store in the beauty and personal care aisles. Epsom salts are a tried and true bath additive. They are magnesium-rich and when added to bathwater can help as a muscle relaxer. Follow the directions on the box for adding the salts to your bathwater, taking care to dissolve the salts completely to avoid damage to the tub.
Green tea not only tastes delicious but it offers many health benefits. The University of Maryland Medical Center states, “Green tea is made from unfermented leaves and reportedly contains the highest concentration of powerful antioxidants called polyphenols.” While drinking green tea is the most common way to enjoy its health benefits, you also can add green tea bags to bathwater as a soothing DIY additive. The green tea can help ease sunburn pain, draw toxins from pores and even help reduce oily skin as it has astringent properties. Add about eight to 10 green tea bags to your bath and enjoy. In case a light green line appears around the water line after you drain the tub, simply rinse or wipe the tub with a washcloth.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar can be used as an all-natural cleaner around the home and it’s also ideal to use to bring out your hair’s natural shine without chemicals. It can be used as an astringent for your face and is a simple but effective additive to the bath. Add one cup to bathwater to help relax sore muscles and to also soothe red and irritated skin. It’s a great detoxifier and even has anti-fungal properties. It can be used in combination with Epsom salts as well. Use carefully – too high a concentration can etch the tub due to the vinegar’s acidity.