For thousands of years, salt baths have been highly prized medicinal therapies. The therapeutic properties of salt baths and seawater were discovered by Hippocrates (460-370 BC). He witnessed their effects that were healing on the injured hands of fisherman – quelling both infection and pain.
In Ancient Greece was recommended the resorts for healing diseases on the skin to be built at seaside. The salt baths were proclaimed by Paracelsus, the revered 16th century doctor and alchemist, to be ‘better than all the health spas arising out of nature’.
Salt baths and their curing powers are very appreciated nowadays due to the benefits for the health that are numerous and documented well. And when choosing a salt to immerse in, the variety of Himalayan salt that is pure pink is the best choice!
Below are the benefits that can be expected when having a bath in Himalayan pink salt bath:
- Relax & De-Stress
Soothing warm baths are one of life’s little pleasures. They help melt away the day’s worries and pressures, allowing you to have peace and turn off your thoughts. They’re also the perfect excuse to enjoy a glass of wine, or finish off that novel you started months ago!
Research backs up the stress relieving effects of bathing. In fact, enjoying a mineral bath is a type of therapy – known as balneotherapy. And what is full of minerals? Himalayan pink salt of course!
Dr. Michael R. Irwin, director of UCLA’s Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and the Mindful Awareness Research Center says that just thirty minutes of relaxation can greatly affect how you’re going to deal with the rest of your day. Irwin says the benefits to stillness in the moment when bathing, are huge– relaxation that is profound is encouraged, the body’s physiology is reset, the stress hormones are regulated, the concentration is improved and the tension reduced.
- Get Mineralized
Because Himalayan pink salt is very abundant with minerals, immersing in water and salt is helpful to instill your skin and body with minerals.
Dermal absorption, is a process in which water’s minerals are absorbed by the skin – in many cases much better than if the minerals were consumed!
Containing numerous minerals that are important for our health – including calcium, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium and zinc – Himalayan pink salt is one of the best things to soak in.
- Detoxify Your Body
Every day we are exposed to countless toxins – from our food, our air, our water and our personal care and household products.
It’s estimated that we come into contact with anywhere between 700,000 and 2.1 million different toxic chemicals a day!
A 2012 study, carried out at the University of California, indicates that the average person is regularly being exposed to toxins with levels that are cancerous such as dioxins, arsenic, and DDE. Almost at 100% of the tested children the levels of cancer benchmark for the mentioned chemicals were in excess.
When we bathe in a Himalayan pink salt solution, we help to pull some of these toxins out of our skin through a process called reverse osmosis.
- Ease the Pains & Aches
The ones that suffer from problems with arthritis that is painful, pulled or sore muscles, joints that are stiffed or a various pains or aches will feel the great benefit when using the Himalayan pink salt water bath.
In 2012, scientists found that regularly bathing in this saline solution can help reduce the inflammation, and therefore the pain, associated with arthritis and similar conditions.
About years before that, researchers from Israel discovered that people that suffer from muscle pain gain increased mobility and relief by immersing in salt baths. This information is something you should be aware of!
Some essential oil of rosemary could be also added to the bathwater. The scientific advisory board of German Commission E has approved this to help in treating both arthritis and muscle pain.
And unlike conventional drugs for these ailments, there are no unpleasant side-effects!
- Sleep Like a Baby
If you’re one of the 60 million Americans who suffer from occasional or long-term sleep problems, you should give Himalayan pink salt baths a go.
Because of their proven stress relieving and inflammation fighting abilities, a Himalayan Pink Salt Bath can help you relax and wind-down before bedtime.
And a 1997 study conducted by New York Hospital Cornell Medical Center highlights even more reasons to take a Himalayan pink salt bath before bed. Because body temperature naturally drops at night – beginning two hours before sleep – a soak in a hot tub causes body temperature to rise. This leads to a rapid cool-down period immediately afterwards which serves to relax you and prepare your body for sleep.
Add lavender essential oil to the tub for even more sleep-promoting power.
- Cleans the Skin Deeply
Hippocrates noticed that the hands of one fishermen that were damaged didn’t become infected after he exposure them to salt water. Salt has antibacterial and antiseptic properties making it a useful therapy for those with eczema, acne or psoriasis.
The mineral content of a Himalayan pink salt bath can help maintain the protective barrier of the skin, and at the same time allowing it to stay hydrated. That has been evidenced with the experience that the skin won’t be pruned or wrinkled after a dipping with salt. This is especially good news for those who avoid baths due to flaky or tight skin!
- Stimulate Circulation
Have you ever experienced a ‘dead leg’, numbness of the limbs, a feeling of coldness in your extremities or one of these other warning signs of poor circulation?
If so, a warm Himalayan pink salt bath could be just what you need. It will cause your arteries and veins to expand, which gives more space for blood to flow. Although it is only temporary, if is used in combination with some other ideas for boosting the circulation, it could very helpful for you.
It’s also a useful trick for those who want to get rid of their cellulite – another problem which is caused by poor blood circulation.
(A doctor should be consulted if you want to take some sort of balneotherapy in case you have problems with circulation or with the heart).
- Clear Your Sinuses & Experience Respiratory Relief
In both balneotherapy and thalassotherapy, inhaling steam from salt water is an established treatment for acute and chronic respiratory problems.
So if you have problems with sinus infections, a blocked nose, chesty cough or allergies, take a bath in salt water that is warm and sit back and enjoy the healing vapors. For added relief, a few drops of eucalyptus oil will act as a powerful decongestant, and even help control a cough.
- Beat Bloating
While Epsom salt baths seem to get all the credit for helping combat water retention and stop bloating, Himalayan pink salt baths is just as effective.
These salts work by drawing water (along with toxins) out of the body resulting in a temporarily slimmer waist and reduced thigh size. A quick ten-minute Himalayan pink salt bath before participating in a very important occasion or event is all that is necessary to see that the inches will come off… Countless celebrities like Dr. Oz recommend it!
- Soothe Bites & Blisters
With antiseptic, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory characteristics, it is not a surprise that a Himalayan salt bath is helpful for soothing itchy or painful blisters and bites of insect. Research has also documented relief from poison ivy and poison oak.
The next time a rogue mosquito gets the better of you, or your feet are blistered from new shoes, take a quick dip and experience near-immediate relief.
How to Have a Himalayan Pink Salt Bath
Now that you’re sold on the benefits of this therapeutic bath, here’s how to do it right!
Firstly, to get the full benefits of this natural crystal salt, it’s vital that the bath has the right ratio of salt to water. According to Dr. Mercola ‘the concentration of the salt has to be at least approximately 1% or the same as the fluids of the body so that the ratio of osmotic exchange can be activated’. This equates is 1.28 ounces of salt per gallon of water.
Secondly, the temperature matters too! Many people take baths that are hot, rather than warm, but that’s not going to give the best results. When taking a saltwater bath, aim to get the temperature as close to body temperature as you can. That’s approximately 37° Celsius or 97° Fahrenheit. Mercola explains that the bath will remain at a constant temperature as the biophysical composition of the salt is so strong that it causes the molecules to move in a constant rhythm!
A 20 to 30-minute bath is all you need to realize many of the benefits listed above (although if you’re just looking to reduce bloating, ten minutes will do). When you get out of the tub, just dry off with a towel – there’s no need to rinse the salt solution from your skin.
It’s recommended you rest for at least 30 minutes after bathing – which is why a bath before bedtime is such a good idea. For added hydration and relaxation, make sure to sip on a glass of water or herbal tea.
Using Essential Oils
Although some purists of salt bath say that additives and oils should not be added in the tub others claim that therapeutic boost can be experienced if some essential oil used.
If you’d like to add a few drops of oil to your Himalayan pink salt bath – or to your essential oil diffuser, choose your oil based on what you’re trying to achieve. The below list is a good guide to get you started:
- Relaxation & Stress Relief – lavender, angelica, jasmine or any of these anti-anxiety oils
- Soothe Aches & Pains – peppermint, rosemary, thyme, clove
- Sleep Aid – lavender, chamomile, cedar wood or any of these oils for sleep
- Skin Health – tea tree, geranium, rose
- Circulation – lemon, orange, grapefruit
- Respiratory Relief – eucalyptus, thyme, rosemary
A Word of Caution
While salt baths have some very beneficial effects, they can place extra pressure on the circulatory system. Those who suffer from weak or poor heart circulation should always consult their doctor first.
Likewise, those with diabetes, low or high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney or liver disease, adrenal exhaustion, recent illness, pregnancy, nervous system deficiencies and severe fatigue should all seek advice on salt water bathing.
Finally, if you feel dizzy, sick or otherwise unwell when taking your bath, slowly get out and rest until you recover. Sipping on a cool glass of water should also help.