What is your favorite way to end your day? Do you go for a run, watch a movie or soak in the tub?
If soaking in a tub does it for you, have you discovered the wonders of a Himalayan salt bath?
A Himalayan salt bath provides essential minerals and nutrients while at the same time removing harmful toxins from your skin and tissues. A 20-minute soak can promote healing by simultaneously detoxifying the body and exfoliating the skin.
Adding Himalayan salts to your warm tub water has so many benefits, and they are simple to use.
Read on to find out what these benefits are and why Himalayan bath salts could help you feel like you’ve had a relaxing day soaking up the sea air at the beach!
Himalayan Salt Bath: Basic Recipe
Any salt is great for adding to your bath water as a detoxing agent but pure, organic finely ground Himalayan pink salt is the best. (If you use the coarse pink Himalayan salt crystals, you should drain the tub using a TubRing or mesh drain cover so that you don’t harm the pipes.)
- Himalayan salt – I love SaltWorks Ancient Ocean Himalayan Pink Salt. The name evokes a sense of seaside well-being while the salt is ethically sourced and Kosher certified. You’ll use 5 cups of salt for an average-sized bathtub. (Or 1/8th cup per gallon of tub water.)
- Very warm or hot water – the water should be warm enough to make to you perspire
- Switch on the warm water tap over the tub
- Pour the Himalayan salt into the running water. Make sure the salt dissolves completely, especially on the bottom of the tub – you might need to stir up the water a bit.
And that’s all there is to it!
What Is Himalayan Salt?
Himalayan salt has been hailed as a modern miracle because of its enormous health benefits. This type of salt is healthier than table salt, even though the two are chemically similar.
I actually visited a sauna made entirely out of pink Himalayan salt. It was at Spa Castle in Texas. (Read my full review of Spa Castle, Texas.) Check out the video above to see the Himalayan salt sauna. Pretty cool!
Himalayan salt contains up to 98% sodium chloride, with the remaining 2% made up of 84 trace minerals that may provide health benefits. However, table salt has similar benefits.
Interestingly, the salt’s calcium, potassium, iron, and magnesium can change its color and give it a different tint– it can be white, pink, or even orange.
Unfortunately, we cannot live without salt. Humans need sodium chloride to support a variety of functions, including:
- Relaxing and contracting muscles
- Preventing low blood pressure and associated conditions
- Benefits healthy nervous system impulses
- Preventing dehydration while maintaining proper fluid balance
But not all salt is the same.
Most table salt is heavily refined and chemically cleaned with added anti-caking agents to prevent clumping – yuck!
Himalayan salt is more natural and is one of the purest salts available.
Himalayan Salt Bath: Additional Ingredients
Add these Ingredients to your basic mixture to customize your blend and reap the benefits – essential oils should not be simply dropped into the water as they can irritate your skin.
Always mix your essential oils into a carrier oil like coconut, jojoba, olive, or rosehip, before adding the oils to the bathwater. Carrier oils are used to evenly disperse the essential oils through the water and carry them to your skin.
Oils will make your bath slippery, so be careful getting in and out of the tub!
Find out how to safely use essential oils in the tub, the benefits of using them, and the best oils to use in this article: Essential Oils In The Bath: How To Do It Right.
|Essential oils||Promote relaxation|
|Add 6-8 drops of essential oils, e.g., rose, eucalyptus, or lavender, to carrier oil|
|Carrier oils||Nourish and soften skin||Mix essential oils into 1-2 Tablespoons of carrier oil before adding to bathwater.|
|Apple Cider Vinegar||Aids with hydration|
Relieves skin conditions
Kills bacteria on the skin
|Add ⅓ -1 cup to the warm tub water|
|Coconut oil||Exfoliates dry skin||Add salt to coconut oil to make a paste and rub over the skin|
|Epsom salts||May aid absorption of beneficial minerals though the skin||Dissolve 1-2 cups in warm tub water|
|Baking powder||Promotes detoxification||Add ½ cup to the warm tub water|
|Bentonite clay||Draws out toxins and replaces lost minerals||Mix a paste using 1 cup of clay and 2 cups of warm water and then add to bath|
For ideas on what bath salts to use in your tub and how to use them, read my article Do Bath Salts Expire? I discuss a few different ingredients and how to tell when they are past their expiry date.
If you’d like to combine Bentonite clay with your Himalayan salt bath, be sure to read my in-depth post on how to take a clay bath.
Note: If you add clay to your bath, you’ll need to cover the drain with a TubRing or mesh drain cover before letting out the water. This will prevent clumps of clay from clogging your pipes.
My Favorite Himalayan Salt Bath Recipe
- 5 cups finely ground Himalayan salt
- ½ cup baking soda
- 5 cups hot water
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 8 drops essential oil – I like rose essential oil with this bath
- 2 Tbsp carrier oil – I like fractionated coconut oil
- In a large bowl, mix baking soda and salt.
- Add water and mix about 2 minutes to dissolve most of the dry ingredients. (The rest will dissolve in the tub water.)
- Add apple cider vinegar to the water and mix.
- In a small bowl, combine essential oil and carrier oil.
- Pour under the spout as the tub fills with very warm (almost hot) water.
How to Take a Himalayan Salt Bath in 8 Steps
Before you sink into the warm waters of your tub filled with your wonderful blend of Himalayan salt and your favorite soothing blend of ingredients, there are a few things you can do to make the experience so much more enjoyable:
1. Create the Mood
Create a serene atmosphere. Dim the lights, light a few scented candles (make sure they complement the scents in your tub), and turn on your favorite music.
The idea of the Himalayan salt bath is to rid your body of harmful toxins, so make sure that your body is clean and chemical-free before you enter the tub.
Wash away all shampoo, perfume, and body lotion traces with warm water under the shower. The warm water will start to open your pores in preparation for the detox and hydration process.
Drink lots of water before you bathe to prevent dehydration. Keep a glass or a jug of water next to the tub to drink while you soak – this will also help flush toxins out of your system. Add slices of lemon, and a few mints leave to your drinking water.
4. Make a Himalayan Bath Salt Recipe
Use the amount of salt recommended on your package. Then make sure you add your favorite ingredients, such as oils, apple cider vinegar, or Bentonite clay.
Always have the salt mixture ready for pouring before you run the water into the tub. This way you can pour it under the spout as the tub fills and disperse the ingredients.
5. Close the Bathroom Door
Close the bathroom door before you start running the warm water into the tub. The room should be nice and steamy – great for the ambiance and the healing powers of the salt solution.
Hint: For an extra steamy bath, roll up a towel and place it along the floor against the bathroom door to prevent a draft. (You can do the same if you have windows.)
6. Prepare the Bath
Fill the tub up with warm water. The water should be hot enough to make you sweat without being too uncomfortable. Even if you don’t like to sweat, just remind yourself that sweating is the best way to eliminate toxins from your body. Then feel the burn!
7. Add the Himalayan Bath Salts to the Bath Water
Once the water is running, slowly pour the Himalayan bath salt mixture into the water under the spout. Agitate the water with your hand to mix the salts in, then climb into your wonderful soaking tub.
8. Enjoy Your Salt Bath
Soak in the wonders of this ancient healing remedy! Know that your body is expelling toxins and helping to restore and refresh you.
4 Things To Do After a Himalayan Salt Bath
You have spent a glorious 20 minutes relaxing and soothing your cares away! Your skin feels rejuvenated, and your mind is at peace with the world!
Read What to Expect After a Detox Bath to find out what you can expect to feel and what you should do if you experience any side effects.
To preserve the mood for a little while longer, try this:
1. Pat Dry
Pat yourself dry with a soft, fluffy towel – don’t rub as you will wipe the salt off your skin.
Your skin will feel soft and smooth so use a good moisturizer to maintain the effect and seal in the moisture.
Drink a glass of water, preferably containing electrolytes, to replenish.
4. Rest After a Salt Bath
You could feel exhausted, lightheaded, and nauseous after a detox bath, and your body could continue to sweat for a while. Rest for as long as you can.
How Often Should You Bathe in Himalayan Salt?
Although extremely relaxing and calming, a Himalayan salt bath can be an intense and dehydrating experience.
Take it from me. I once passed out in the college library after a night spent in a salt bath. You can read about the whole sordid affair in my post Can a Float Pod Make You Happier?
Don’t spend more than 20 minutes in the tub to get the most out of your detox session. Longer than 20 minutes could leave you feeling lightheaded and dizzy when you exit the tub.
Salt can draw the moisture out of your skin, so soaking in Himalayan bath salts can cause you to dehydrate.
Consult a doctor before taking a detox bath if you:
- Are pregnant
- Have a skin condition such as psoriasis or dermatitis
- Cope with a serious medical condition like diabetes or heart disease
- Take medications for a chronic illness
Sometimes, rather than take a full-on detoxing salt bath, you might opt to add a pinch of Himalayan pink salt to every bath.
5 Himalayan Salt Bath Benefits
There are so many benefits to bathing in a Himalayan salt bath. The Himalayan salt:
1. Provides Minerals
Our bodies need many essential minerals and nutrients. Soaking in a Himalayan salt bath allows you to absorb these very necessary minerals and nutrients.
2. Removes Toxins
A soaking salt bath will open up the pores of your skin to release chemicals. Ahh!
As harmful toxins exit your skin and tissues, you’ll feel oh-so-nourished and refreshed. That’s because the Himalayan bath salts act as a detoxifying and exfoliating agent.
3. Relieves Stress
Salt has a negative ion charge. Breathing in negative ions leads to the excretion of endorphin-boosting serotonin, causing you to relax, and giving you a sense of well-being and calm.
In fact, in your Himalayan salt bath, you’ll experience the same calming effect you may experience while laying on the sand next to the saltwater at the beach.
4. Heals the Body
Soaking in a Himalayan salt bath allows your body to recharge, leaving you feeling energized. Not only is a salt bath good for the soul, but it can promote healing to the rest of the body in various ways, including:
- Reducing inflammation and pain relief.
- Improving circulation.
- Aiding in chronic pain relief.
- Preventing and soothing cramped muscles.
- Softening skin.
- Promoting restful sleep.
Two interesting clinical studies have been conducted by The University of Graz in Austria and Fenestra Research Labs in Las Vegas, Nevada, to determine the body’s reaction to generic sea salt vs. Himalayan Crystal salt.
Both of the studies reported significant positive results in circulatory, organ, nervous system, connective tissue, and respiratory functions. The patients reported better concentration levels, weight loss, better sleep quality, and noticeable nail and hair growth! (Source)
5. Clears Congestion
One benefit is worth a special call-out!
Warm water combined with Himalayan salt work together to provide a vapor that you will breathe in while submerged in the tub.
These vapors will open the airways if you’re suffering from allergies or a cold. (If you’re congested, be sure to read my post 10 Hot Baths to Help a Cold.)
And by the way, the best time to detox is at night, just before bedtime. Climbing into a cozy bed after the tub will allow you to continue to relax and drift off into a peaceful sleep.
A Quick History of Himalayan Salt
Himalayan salt is a rock salt from the Punjab region of Pakistan. These salt crystals are naturally found deep within the Himalayan mountains in conditions that have kept them free from contaminants.
This mineral salt is also known as “Pink Halite” or Himalayan Crystal Salt and is why we often refer to Himalayan salt as “Pink Himalayan salt.”
The “Father of Medicine,” Hippocrates, was one of the first people to notice the healing properties of salt around the 2nd and 3rd centuries BCE. He noticed that the salt used to preserve fish worked to smooth out the fisherman’s hands and reduce the cracks from the rough skin!
Salt therapy was introduced and has, over the years, been used to treat many ailments:
- Inhaling crushed salt crystals in boiling water helps respiratory diseases like asthma – now known as halotherapy.
- Bathing in salt is used to treat tension, muscle, and joint problems and to disinfect the skin.
Read my post on how baths improve mental health. This article explores how hydrotherapy was used in asylums in the 1800s. Seriously fascinating!
Himalayan Salt vs. Epsom Salt
Epsom salt is not actually a salt, but rather a mineral found in water containing sulfate and magnesium.
Himalayan salt and Epsom salts are not interchangeable. While their healing benefits are very similar, and you can use either one to rejuvenate your body, they are two different things.
Himalayan salts are good for ingesting in small amounts, but Epsom salts could cause severe diarrhea, dehydration, and discomfort, so never drink Epsom salts!
To find out more about the healing powers of Epsom salt detox baths, read How To Make an Epsom Salt Bath With Essential Oils – the benefits will definitely impress you!
Other Uses of Himalayan Salt
Most people use Himalayan salt as table salt for seasoning food or adding to cooked food for flavor. Beyond food, here are some other ways to rejuvenate with Himalayan salt:
Instant relief for tired and aching feet! Helpful for the softening of calloused and cracked heels.
- 1/8 cup of Himalayan salt per gallon of warm water
- Fill up a large tub or bucket with warm water.
- Slowly pour the Himalayan salts into the water and stir.
- Relax on a chair with your feet in the tub.
- 1 cup of Himalayan salts
- ¼ cup olive oil
- A few drops of essential oils
- Mix all ingredients together
- Rub the mixture onto your wet skin – knees, elbows, feet, using small circular motions
Himalayan Salt Bath: Truly Wonderful!
If you love to soak in the tub while relaxing, there can be no better way to relax and unwind than adding a cup of organic Himalayan bath salts to your tub.
Himalayan bath salts can provide you with peace of mind while replenishing your body’s alkaline levels.
A good soak a few times a week will leave your skin healthy and glowing and can help relieve headaches and stuffy sinuses. Time to add this bath recipe to your repertoire!
And for another great skin-softening soak consider taking a bath in chocolate. Yes, chcocolate! Get chocolate bath recipes and learn about the fantastic chocolate bath benefits.