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5 Tips To Create The Perfect Detox Bath For Stress Relief

Already familiar with the joys of taking a hot bath after a long day? You can make your relaxing tub time even better by making it a detox bath. It's all about adding a few extra (easy!) steps to your regular soak, which can help draw out the bad from your body and infuse the good. And with the right additions, you can focus on total relaxation and relieving the extra stress from your life. Stress and anxiety can come from many facets of our lives, and some common causes of stress are outside toxins.


Open Space Healing recommends starting with 12 to 20 minutes if you've never taken a detox bath. If you feel okay after your trial bath, you can try increasing the amount of time you are in the tub, eventually working up to 40-60 minutes. You can also gradually increase the frequency, indulging in a detox bath up to three times per week. 

Before you start your bath, drink a big glass of water to help you stay hydrated during the detox process. As you begin to fill your bathtub, add 1 cup of baking soda before adding your detox ingredients if you don't have filtered water from the faucet. According to Camille Styles, it can clarify the water of non-helpful chemicals like chlorine. It can also help absorb the minerals you'll be adding. With a few more tips, you're on your way to stress-free, total relaxation.


1. Make the water very warm or a little bit hot

While you don't want to burn or cause yourself to faint, you want your bath water to be hot enough to get the best detox experience. The Joint Chiropractic notes that when the water is hot enough, the pores in your skin will open up, allowing toxins and dirt to release from the skin. 


You'll probably sweat a bit if the water is hot, too, which is a good thing. Cardiologist Dr. Joel Kahn, of MBG Health, relays that within those salty drops of sweat are toxins released from within the body. Just ensure you're not overheating yourself; if you're feeling too hot, add a bit of cold water to adjust the water temperature.

Health Hub reports that a hot bath also affects the parasympathetic nervous system that is in charge of relaxing your body. They note that you may find your stress levels floating away as your nervous system adapts to your body warming up to the hot water. 

2. Use Epsom salt in your bath

Epsom salt is the key ingredient in any detox bath, which has been touted for years as having magical healing qualities. It's not actually magic, though; it's magnesium sulfate. Epsom salt is comprised of two essential minerals


According to Women's Health, magnesium plays a part in more than 300 reactions that occur within the body, and a lack of the mineral can be connected to higher stress levels. Sulfate, made up of sulfur and oxygen, aids in numerous bodily functions, according to Holistic Primary Care, and helps detoxify the body.

It's no wonder, then, that a hot bath with Epsom salt as the main ingredient can do a body good. It can also do your mental health some good, too. The Epsom Salt Council shares that salt baths can increase your serotonin levels, which may make you feel happier and calmer. You may also find your stress levels going down, especially after the bath helps you relax enough to get a good night's sleep.


3. Add stress-relieving extras

Along with Epsom salt, you can make a few other additions to your bath that will aid in anxiety and stress relief, like essential oils. Lavender, in either its dried flower form or via a diluted essential oil, is especially helpful. According to a note in a clinical trial reported by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, lavender is known for its soothing qualities and can even help reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and insomnia.


Other botanicals known for their anxiety and stress-relief qualities are chamomile, bergamot, ylang-ylang, sweet basil, and orange blossom. The right scent can also help reduce stress levels, with lemon, rose petals, and eucalyptus at the top of the list, depending on your preference.

You can add individual ingredients or try a pre-mixed variety, like Goop's The Martini Emotional Detox Bath Soak, which contains Epsom salt, chia-seed oil, passionflower, valerian root, myrrh, and more.

4. Try a bath tea

If the idea of adding extra items to your tub gives you cleaning nightmares (you're trying to relieve stress — not add to it by having to unclog your sensitive drain), try a bath tea. Like the sachet you drop in your mug, a bath or tub tea includes all the ingredients that can help relieve stress, but in a tidy package.


Most bath teas contain green tea, Epsom salt, oats, and various botanicals. For example, Dr. Teal's Bath Teas contain those three items as their base. The brand's Soothing Lavender blend also adds lavender flower and lavender oil, jasmine flower, rose petals, eucalyptus oil, and chrysanthemum flower. The Calming Green mix adds jasmine flowers, rose petals, chrysanthemum flowers, chamomile, grapefruit extract, lemon peel oil, orange peel oil, and camellia extract.

The Outdoor Apothecary recommends hanging a bath tea bag over the nozzle as you fill the tub, allowing the hot water to run over the ingredients until your bath is halfway filled. You can put the bag in the water and leave it while you soak.


5. Take care after your bath

Once you're fully relaxed, stress-free, and all detoxed (the water is starting to go cold, and your fingers are a bit pruny), it's time to get out of the tub. Do it slowly, recommends Camille Styles. She notes that you might feel light-headed, but it won't last long. If needed, you can even do a short rinse with cool water to alleviate the side effects more quickly.


Hydration is also essential. In addition to drinking water before (and even during!) your bath, it's necessary to drink even more afterward. Not only do you need to replenish the moisture you've sweated out, but you'll want to continue to flush the toxins from your system that have been released during the bath. Medical News Today also suggests taking it easy for at least one hour after your detox bath, as you'll probably feel tired or drowsy. You can also do your soak shortly before bedtime.

While a detox bath is an excellent alternative for stress relief, The Stewart Center advises caution, noting that people who are pregnant or have diabetes, a heart condition, or high blood pressure may not be the best candidates for a detox bath. You should consult with your doctor prior to trying one.