Homesteading is trying to live independently and being self-sufficient where you can…
It is about growing, failing, and learning while enjoying the results of the hard work you have contributed. It is a rewarding way of life, that sometimes can be a hard one. That is why I have learned it is just as important to take care of yourself as well as the garden, cows, or chickens.
There are many different natural DIY self-care remedies on my website including: Whipped Body Butter Recipe, Coffee Sugar Scrub Recipe, or Honey Mint Lip Balm Recipe. But recently I have found that one of the simplest self-care home remedies is soaking with homemade herbal bath salts.
I’m not one for fussy recipes, including for my skincare and self-care routines. So this easy DIY bath salt recipe is extremely versatile, you can change the ingredients based on what ailments you are trying to soothe or what you have on hand. Feel free to double or triple the recipe so you can give some extra jars away as gifts to family and friends.
What are Homemade Herbal Bath Salts?
Homemade bath salts were originally made to mimic natural mineral baths and hot springs. They have been used to soothe aches and pains, for relaxation, skin exfoliation, and mood enhancement. They are a mixture of Epsom salts, sea salts, clays, different herbs, and essential oils. The combination or recipe used depends on what condition you are trying to treat while you soak.
Common Salts and Herbs Used in Homemade Bath Salts
There are many different types of salt and not all are your average table salt. They each come from different places, have different health benefits, and are used for different things. The salts that are commonly used to make homemade bath salts are:
- Epsom Salt – This is a bitter-tasting salt that comes from a mine in England, because of its bad taste this salt is used for its soothing and exfoliation properties.
- Dead Sea Salt – As its name suggests it comes from the dead sea. It is known for being rich in minerals and very healthy for the skin. It is said to be the best salt to use for soaking because it is great for exfoliating, moisturizing, and detoxifying.
- Himalayan Salts – This pink-hued salt is mined from the Himalayan Mountains. It has a ton of different minerals making it great for skin in a soak and healthy to use as table salt.
Salt is the main ingredient when you are making homemade bath salts, but herbs are a great addition that can also provide many different benefits. Some common herbs that can be found in homemade bath salt combinations include:
- Chamomile – is a calming herb that is used to relieve stress and anxiety. When it is added to bath salts it also helps with muscle soreness and skin irritations.
- Eucalyptus -is used in bath salts to help clear the sinuses and is also known to relieve joint pain and sore muscles.
- Lavender – is a very well-known herb that is used for many different healing remedies. When it is added to a bath salt recipe it can help with relaxation, reduce stress, and calm headaches.
- Rosemary – This culinary herb can also be used in a DIY bath salt recipe to help ease muscle pain. It is also used to help those with oily skin as it has a mild drying effect.
- Comfrey – is used in many recipes (like this Comfrey Salve) because it is known to heal many different skin ailments When it is an addition to bath salts it can help heal skin abrasions, and sunburns, also soothe insect bites.
- Yarrow – is a great herb to add to bath salts when you have cold and flu symptoms. It also helps reduce fevers and relieve swelling.
- Thyme – this is a simple herb that can be found in most kitchens to add flavor. When added to your bath it also can be used to heal skin abrasions and has great cleansing properties.
- Calendula– is a great healing herb that is used in many recipes. It can be used in your bath to help heal skin abrasions, sunburns, eczema, and diaper rash.
- Peppermint – this is a very versatile herb that helps with many different ailments. It can be used to help relieve cold and flu symptoms, relax muscles and relieve pain.
- Sage – is another culinary herb that can be added to your bath salt recipe. It can be used for its cleansing and antiseptic properties.
To learn more about the health benefits of various herbs, make sure you check out good quality sources (either online or books). One of my favorites is Amy Fewell’s book The Homesteader’s Herbal Companion.
How to Make Homemade Herbal Bath Salts
Herbal bath salts are usually a combination of different salts, herbs, clays, and essential oils. This recipe is for a basic bath salt combination where you choose the herbs and essential oils based on what you wish the end results to be.
Equipment Needed to Make DIY Bath Salts
- Spoon for Mixing
- Measuring Cups
- Medium Mixing Bowl
- Pint Sized Mason Jar ( or another container for storage)
Ingredients to Make Homemade Herbal Bath Salts
- 1 Cup Epsom Salt
- ½ Cup Himalayan or Dead Sea salt
- ¼ Cup Baking Soda
- ¼ Cup Dried Herbs
- 10-20 Drops Essential Oil(s) (optional)*
*Note on essential oils: make sure you look up safety info on your selected essential oils before adding them to your bath salts. Essential oils are strong and you want to be sure to add only skin-safe essential oils to your bath.
Instructions on How to Make Herbal Bath Salts
- In a bowl, add Epsom salt, your choice of Himalayan or Dead Sea Salt, and baking soda. Mix them well.
- Once the salt and baking soda are combined add your dry herbs and mix again.
Finally, add the (optional) desired amount of essential oils.
- When all the ingredients have been combined, transfer your homemade herbal bath salts to your pint jar.
To use your homemade bath salt recipe, fill your tub with warm water and add a few tablespoons of your herbal salt mixture. When the salt appears to be mostly dissolved, start your relaxing soak.
If you don’t like bathing with loose herbs (it can be a hassle to clean up), you can also fill a good-quality muslin bag/sachet with your ingredients and toss it into your bath.
NOTE: We only use doTERRA oils on our homestead (and I use them for EVERYTHING). They’re potent, they’re pure, and they’re sourced ethically and sustainably. What more could you want?
Ways to Use Bath Salts without a Bathtub
Many modern bathrooms don’t have a tub to soak in, and if this is the case for you, don’t worry; you can still enjoy homemade herbal bath salts without a tub.
- Hand and Foot Soak
Fill a small tub or bucket with warm water then dissolve 4 tablespoons of your herbal bath salt mixture. Place your hands or feet in the water and soak away.
- Shower Scrub
Use your homemade bath salts as they are or mix them with liquid soap, then rub them into your skin until they are partially dissolved. As you rinse, the steam should contain evaporated particles for additional health properties.
- Make a Compress
This can help with specific areas with bruising or pain. Fill a bowl with warm water, add a scoop of the Homemade herbal bath salts and mix until dissolved. Soak a cloth in the water solution then place it on the affected area.
- Add Bath Salts to Your Hand Soap
Mix a scoop of bath salt with your everyday hand soap. This will add a little something extra to help protect and exfoliate your hands.
Do You Make Homemade Herbal Bath Salts?
Bath salts are a simple way to take a moment and relax when everything starts to get a bit hectic. To continue self-care after your salt soak or scrub, I recommend using a natural body butter (I love my whipped body butter recipe) or lotion. I personally love the all-natural products produced by Toups & Co., you can learn more about their natural products here!
More About DIY Products:
- How to Make Tallow Body Butter
- How to Make Soy Candles
- Honey Mint Lip Balm Recipe
- Homemade Pumpkin Soap Recipe
Paula Phillips says
Where do you buy your salts? They’ve gotten expensive!
Cris - Prairie Homestead Team says
Jill gets her salt from Redmonds in a large bulk container. You could also look at Azure Standard. Check out Jill’s post here for bulk food links and suggestions: https://www.theprairiehomestead.com/2021/10/how-to-store-and-use-bulk-pantry-goods.html
What is the shelf life ?
Cris - Prairie Homestead Team says
Approx. 6 months, though there really isn’t much to “go bad” in the recipe. If stored in a dark and cool location, it can last longer.