There are probably a few ailments in life that can’t be fixed with a long soak in a warm bath, but I’d venture a guess that most of them, at least the day-to-day minor ones, can be.
I used to buy those little envelopes of pre-mixed bath salts for things like insomnia or muscle aches, but if you have a few staple ingredients—such as Epsom salt (or pretty pink Himalayan salt) and essential oils—at home, it’s infinitely easier (and cheaper) to make your own.
Plus, soaking in a bath is by far the best way to maximize your alone time if you have needy kids, a partner, and/or pets in the house. (Bonus!) So stock up on salts, shut the door, run the water, and soak up all of that home-remedy goodness.
7 Best Bath Remedies
Detox: Ginger + Baking Soda
Some freshly grated ginger added to a hot bath will get you sweating [source], but don’t worry—that means it’s doing its work. The sweat will help your body flush out toxins and unclog your pores.
Try it along with Epsom salt, cleansing and alkalizing baking soda, and mustard seed (a traditional Ayurvedic remedy) in this Ginger Detox bath. Simply adding apple cider vinegar to a warm bath works wonders, too.
Insomnia: Chamomile + Lavender
Nothing works better to calm you down before bed than a big mug of chamomile tea, and the same logic applies to the bath. Lavender [source] and chamomile [source] are both well known for their soothing, sleep-inducing properties.
To mix up an ultra-relaxing soak, add some dried lavender flowers and a few chamomile tea bags into your bath, and let them steep. It’s a great bath to take directly before bed for a full night’s rest.
Muscle aches: Epsom Salt + Hot Water
The combination of straight-up Epsom salt and hot water is one of the best ways to relieve muscle cramping and soreness. The magnesium in the salt works to relieve painful muscle spasms and cramping while you soak.
In addition, the heat promotes better blood flow and circulation to the area, helping the body to eliminate any lactic acid waste buildup.
When you have PMS, a bath sounds like an even better idea than usual. (Maybe because you don’t have to talk to anyone?)
Lavender can ease headaches [source] and lighten your mood, acting also as a mild analgesic for cramps [source]. Add 40 drops of lavender essential oil to these easy cornstarch- and baking soda-based aromatherapy bath bombs, and keep them on hand when you need to chill.
Just add your favorite music, podcast, or audiobook. And maybe think about some chocolate or wine—up to you.
Respiratory problems: Peppermint + Eucalyptus
The one time I caught the flu (like, the flu flu) and was feverish and quarantined at home for a week, baths and Netflix were the only things that kept me sane and feeling, well, human. While the situation isn’t usually so dire when you have allergies, a cold, or a sinus infection, a bath can still work wonders to refresh you, clear up congestion, ease an achy body, and regulate body temperature.
Sunburn: Cucumber + Oatmeal
When you get that familiar stinging sensation from being out in the sun too long, nothing sounds better than submerging your whole body in cool water. To soothe skin and help restore its moisture, puree 1 large cucumber in a blender (or finely chop it) and strain through cheesecloth into a tub of cool or warm water, depending on your preference. Add 2 cups of Epsom salt and 3 to 4 peppermint tea bags if you like.
Stress and Anxiety: Lavender + Rose
Lavender to the rescue again! This wonderful little purple flower is said to make you feel relaxed and alert at the same time [source] when you toss in a few dried lavender buds or drops of lavender essential oil.
For a different floral stress-busting bath add-in, rose essential oil is a must [source]. Pure rose oil or rose absolute can be expensive, but you don’t need much to get its soothing scent and anti-stress benefits.
This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Gina Jansheski, a licensed, board-certified physician who has been practicing for more than 20 years. Learn more about Hello Glow’s medical reviewers here. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.74