Some gardening jobs leave you gritty, sore, and untouchable. At moments like these, there’s nothing quite like a nice bath to soothe prickly skin and invigorate aching muscles. A nice hot tub is wonderful on its own but add some skin softeners and a touch of aroma and you’ve got heaven in a bathtub.
You can make your own herbal bath salts with a mixture of Epsom salts and baking soda plus herbs from your garden. Epsom salts is a natural mineral that helps fight inflammation bacterial growth. It’s great for soaking scraped skin or sore body parts. Baking soda is equally beneficial to the skin. Like bath soap, it’s slightly alkaline, which helps it to loosen dry skin, heal windburn, and soothe insect bites. It’s easy as pie to combine these minerals with the scent of herbs for a great bath mix. The main ingredients can be bought on your next trip for groceries. Here the recipe:
- 8 cups (3 lbs.) Epsom salts
- 1 cup baking soda
- 4-6 cups fresh-picked scented leaves and flowers
In a plastic storage container (such as a sweater or shoe container) , combine Epsom salts with baking soda and stir. Add fresh scented leaves and flowers from your garden. Make sure the herbs and flowers don’t have external moisture that would wet the baking soda and cause it to cake. Cover your mixture tightly and allow to sit for two weeks in a warm spot. The essential oils from the herbs will infuse the salt mixture with their scent. Use a sieve to remove the leaves and flowers.
For the herbs, you can combine any with a scent you enjoy. Mint and rosemary are a good combination for a stimulating aroma. Mix lemon balm, chamomile, and lemon verbena if you want a soothing soak. Use scented geranium leaves, lavender buds, and rose petals for a Victorian bath. Or create your own combination with these:
- Relaxing – basil, catnip, chamomile, lavender, valerian
- Reviving – hyssop, lemon balm, peppermint, rosemary, sage, thyme
- Relieves aches and pains – fennel, calendula flowers, sage, yarrow
If you plan to pour the bath salt directly in your bath water, store it in an airtight container. You can also put 1/2 cup portions in muslin or calico cloth bags and seal them in a large plastic bag. With a little decorative ribbon, these make great holiday gifts.
To learn more about Epsom salts for beauty visit http://www.epsomsaltcouncil.org/beauty/.