Detox Baths: Which Ones are Best and for What Ailments

by Sarah Detoxification, Natural RemediesComments: 141

relaxing detox baths

One casualty of the hurry, hurry modern lifestyle is the regular practice of highly beneficial and therapeutic detoxification baths.

A quick shower in the morning or after working out has gained favor over a more leisurely soak with bathing ingredients carefully chosen to support internal cleansing, overall health and even to remedy specific ailments or injuries.

I first became familiar with the benefits of cleansing baths during my travels in Asia just before I launched into my corporate career after college.

The Japanese in particular greatly value cleansing, detox baths, so much so that public baths remain popular even today.  The Japanese favor using water as hot as a person can possibly stand with a special type of cloth used to exfoliate and thereby encourage detoxification via the body’s largest organ – the skin.

According to nutritional pioneer Dr. Hazel Parcells, 65% of body cleansing is achieved via the skin!

In America, bathing is viewed more for relaxation than detoxification as a general rule. The focus on bathing enjoyment can be observed at bed and bath stores where a plethora of artificially scented, hormone disrupting bubble bath concoctions are creatively displayed and are best sellers year round.

I would venture to suggest that health cannot easily be maintained over the long term without the regular incorporation of detox baths.  If traditional cultures valued therapeutic cleansing baths back when our world was pristine with clean water, air, and unprocessed, additive free food, one can only imagine how important a gentle and regular detoxification bathing protocol is today given our toxic soup world with chemicals and other biologically disrupting agents nearly everywhere!

If the body is clogged up with toxins from the physiological stress of modern living and the chemical assault from every direction, it cannot properly utilize the nutrient dense food that is consumed.

How Detox Baths Work

The reason water as hot as can be tolerated is typically used is because this initially draws toxins to the surface of the skin, as described by Dr. Hazel Parcells in her book The Pioneer Nutritionist  Dr. Hazel Parcells in Her Own Words. Then, as the water gradually cools down, the toxins are pulled into the water via the principle of osmosis – the weak energy from the cooling water draws from the strong energy from the body heated up initially by the very hot water.

If the wisdom of cleansing baths appeals to you, below is a primer on four different types of therapeutic baths. Generally speaking, a cleansing bath 2-3 times per week with only one per day maximum works well for most people to keep elimination channels open and gently encourage the detoxification process on a regular basis.

Baking Soda Detox Baths

Dissolve 4 cups of aluminum free baking soda (source) in a regular size tubful of water as hot as you can tolerate. Use more as needed if your tub is oversized. Stay in the bath until the water has cooled which will take approximately 45 minutes. Do not rinse after the bath – simply towel dry.

This bath is beneficial for exposure to irradiated food, swollen glands, sore throat or soreness of the gums and mouth. It is also beneficial for those with digestive impairment such as the inability to hold food in the stomach comfortably.

Epsom Salt Bath for Detoxing

Dissolve 2 cups of epsom salts (source) in a regular sized bath. Use more as needed if your tub is oversized. The temperature should be comfortably warm but not overly hot. Soak for at least 12 minutes and up to 20-30 minutes. Rinse and towel dry.

The scientific name for epsom salt is magnesium sulfate. Magnesium and sulfur are both critical nutrients but surprisingly can be poorly absorbed from our food. Soaking in epsom salts overcomes this problem as these minerals both absorb readily via the skin.

According to the Epsom Salt Industry Council, a simple soak is beneficial to heart and circulatory health, can lower blood pressure, helps ease muscle pain and eliminates harmful substances from the body. It also improves nerve function by encouraging proper regulation of electrolytes.

Soak in epsom salts 2-3 times weekly for general health maintenance or to alleviate the discomfort of bruising and sprains. An epsom salts soak also encourages detoxification of drugs remaining in the body after surgery.

This article details the benefits of an epsom salt bath. A fun way to use epsom salts therapeutically is to make bath bombs.

Sea Salt and Baking Soda Detox Baths

Dissolve one pound of sea salt or rock salt (source) and one pound of baking soda (source) to a regular sized tub of water (more if the tub is large) as hot as you can stand it. Stay in the bath until the water has cooled which will be about 45 minutes. If the bath is too hot, you can add some cold water if this is the only way you can manage to stay in for at least 30 minutes. Don’t ever add more hot water after entering the bath, however.

Do not rinse or shower but simply towel dry after the bath is complete. This bath will likely make you tired so do it in the evening before bed if possible.

This bath is therapeutic for any exposure to environmental radiation, x-rays, plane flights or airport screenings by TSA.

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) Detox Baths

Add 2 cups of pure apple cider vinegar (source) to a regular sized tub of water as hot as tolerated. Use more as needed if your tub is oversized. Stay in the vinegar bath until the water has cooled which will be about 45 minutes. Towel dry and don’t shower for at least 8 hours.

This bath is a great overall detoxifier and for muscle aches and pains brought on by physical exertion. It is also helpful and the best detox bath choice for those with candida issues that affect the skin as it returns the skin to an optimal, slightly acidic ph which is a difficult environment for candida to thrive.

An ACV bath draws excess uric acid out of the body. Uric acid is created when the body breaks down substances called purines in certain foods and drinks. Most uric acid is eliminated via the kidneys in the urine, but some folks such as those with gout can have issues with excess levels. An ACV cleansing bath can provide welcome relief for those with joint problems, arthritis, gout, bursitis, or tendonitis. It also is very helpful for those with excessive body odor problems.


Be sure to only do one bathing formula per day. Do not mix ingredients from different bath recipes. If you are pregnant, consult with your healthcare practitioner before commencing any detox bath routine.

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

More Information on Healthy Ways to Detox

Hydrogen Peroxide Bath for Healing Skin Infections

7 Ways to Avoid Detox Symptoms on a Cleanse

Top 4 Cleansing Myths to Watch Out For

Coffee Enema: Unmatched Detoxification for Health and Recovery

Natural Deworming Methods that are Safe and Effective

Using a Fever Bath to Hasten Healing

Seaweed Wrap: Minerals In, Heavy Metals Out

How to Gently Detox in Preparation for Pregnancy

Detoxification Using a Castor Oil Pack

How to Do a Hair Detox and Enjoy Healthy Locks Naturally

Rebounding: A Great Way to Gently Detox

Juicing 101: Why Do It, Which Juicers are Best, Recipes to Try


The Pioneer Nutritionist  Dr. Hazel Parcells in Her Own Words

Health Benefits of Epsom Salt Baths

Apple Cider Vinegar Bath for Arthritis

A Detoxification Bath from Dr. Hazel Parcells

Picture Credit

Comments (141)

  • Indigo

    Hey Sarah. I know this post is a bit older, but hopefully you still receive the notification. I’d really like to know why it is recommended to not mix ingredients from other detox baths… why can’t I mix baking soda , epsom and sea salt for example? thanks :)

    July 29th, 2015 6:46 am Reply
    • Jennifer

      Hello! So I just saw this post and noticed that it wasn’t made too long ago. I found a detox recipe that is 1/3 sea salt, 1/3 baking soda, and 1/3 epsom salt. Various sites say different things I gues.

      September 5th, 2015 3:34 pm Reply
  • debra

    Fms, cfs, mcs 22yrs & so severe I had to live in a car for more than 5 yrs. due to inability to handle building materials. I am still in THE most severe pain and very allergic but sleeping inside. This place hasn’t been pesticided or painted or new floors for 30 yrs. So 20 yrs ago nothing about nutrition, toxicity, lack of serotonin was blamed. My several hair analysis, organics acids test & liver profile all show pretty much the same thing. Toxicity is a big problem. Without adrenals & liver working well I cant get the stuff out & Ive tried everything. 3rd yr of nutritional balancing. OK so baths. I drink filtered water. This is not my unit to put filters on the shower/bath. However, I did buy a brita for the bath taps but I don’t think its good enough. If I cant drink the water its not clean. I don’t want to have a detox bath if Im putting chlorine & fluoride into myself. comments?

    The last thing for me to try was lens neurofeedback & I felt it was the last straw. I am totally alone, excruciatingly bored & the pain is SO intense never mind the several almost anaphalactic reactions a day. I went for 3 mths & in my fibro fog did not realise they were not doing the lens. Finally found someone to do the lens. After 5 sessions she tells me my brain is certainly dysfunctional but it looks like there is some underlying cause.

    I know of many but the only thing Ive made a dent in is the asthma is not as bad. & Im not sleeping outside as a single woman.

    I feel quite suicidal. I have to start from scratch. Now with no money left & no support.

    June 14th, 2015 12:43 am Reply
    • Francesca

      I have fibro also and have been where you have been. Don’t lose hope! First of all, stressing will make your fibro 100 times worse so take the bath and chill! Your body needs deep relaxation AKA meditation to heal from this or any other chronic illness, so the risks outweigh the benefits. Also, if you draw the water as hot as possible, and let it cool down a little first, some of the chlorine will absorb into the water, but seriously, we are bombarded by chemicals everywhere, so don’t pick and choose certain ones to stress more over. Just avoid as many as you can. Doctors are pretty much the enemy when it comes to healing fibro. They prescribe medication which will make you much more toxic and sick. The same symptoms of fibro are the same symptoms of fluoride poisoning, mercury poisoning and meds like Lyrica. I can promise you if you switch to spring water you will notice a huge difference in the fibro. Filtered or purified water just isn’t good enough. It still has fluoride in it. Get food stamps or whatever you can do to help yourself and eat organic whole foods. anything packaged pretty much will have chemicals. I could keep going on but I don’t know if you will even read this or care, but just know, there are other sick people out there like me who are discovering how to heal from this and know the pain and loneliness you are talking about and can help you.

      July 4th, 2015 9:02 pm Reply
    • gigi

      Have you tried iron? Iron is critical for detoxification. It is also linked to CFS. Have ferritin levels checked first.

      August 31st, 2015 7:34 am Reply
    • Grace

      You should get genetic testing to check for a MTHFR mutation if you haven’t already. It can cause all of your symptoms. I have a double mutation and have had chemical sensitivities and chronic gives all my life until recently. A combo of antihistamines, discovering I’m allergic to wheat and soy (among other things) and proper supplementation has really changed my life. Google MTHFR for more info!

      November 2nd, 2015 12:07 am Reply
      • Grace

        *chronic hives

        November 2nd, 2015 12:08 am Reply
      • suzanne

        It took me thirty years. Genetic testing was key for me. I have MTHFR mutations(funny, the coincidental appearance of the abbreviation for this horrid mutation, it certainly is a ‘mother f…r’). It’s similar to PKU. Essentially, my body does not process the amino acid tyrosine, which is a vital precursor for the production of serotonin, norepinephrine, and other important substances that contribute to mental and general health. Since the revelation of my genetic condition, I’ve been on a regimen of active folate, tyrosine, and have lowered my intake of animal protein. For me it’s been life-changing. Epsom salts bathing has been one of those very helpful tools giving that added boost to any residual, environmental irritants that add to toxic build-up in my body. Best wishes for your health and well-being.

        April 4th, 2016 7:21 am Reply
    • Dishire

      Please try bentonite in your bath, it will absord the chlorine and fluoride, not you. I am so very sorry to hear about your health, I empathize as I have suffered many years with fibro, CFS and post traumatic stress. I cope the best with prayer, meditation, exercise and clean living but it’s a struggle alot of the time. You’ve been through so much but you’ve survived’re a survivor, you’re strong! I’ll be praying for you Debra, take care 💜

      April 22nd, 2016 4:17 pm Reply
  • peter

    For all those out there who use Bicarbonate of Soda. Do not worry about buying aluminium free Bicarbonate of Soda, as all Bicarbonate of Soda is aluminium free. it is the baking powder that has it in but not all products. i do prefer Bob’s Red Mill taken internally because it is mined directly from the ground in their natural sodium bicarbonate state. There are no chemical reactions, nothing added or fiddled with. It’s just pure sodium bicarbonate, the way the earth made it.

    On the other hand, Arm & Hammer baking soda uses a chemical reaction process through which trona ore is mined, then heated until it turns into soda ash. Then the soda ash is treated with carbon dioxide, and baking soda pours forth through the glorious brilliance of science.

    So look for aluminum-free baking powder the next time you are at the store, but don’t worry about the baking soda. You can buy the big bags of the cheap stuff–no problem.

    June 5th, 2015 9:27 am Reply
  • Lazy Man

    There is nothing like 15min in a hot tub to clear your body and your mind! It’s so relaxing and always feel good afterwards!
    I only used hot tubs in relaxing weekends away but with more and more cheap inflatable hot tubs available on the market, I’m considering getting one for the summer.
    This website lists quite a few. Would anyone have any recommendations as to which is most suitable to get?
    The Miami seems good but I wonder if it’s a bit too big:

    June 4th, 2015 10:14 am Reply
  • Daniel @Andsalts

    I think a very hot bath has kind of the same effect on blood pressure. I have high blood pressure and love my epsom salts baths. I think the contraindication comes from if you are on antihypertensive meds; the two combined may drop your blood pressure too low.

    April 25th, 2015 4:54 am Reply
  • Martin Oktman

    Bath are mostly detox for your mind :) I love soaking in hot water… relaxing both body and mind :)

    April 19th, 2015 1:04 pm Reply
  • Aliza Johnson

    How long should I wait after eating my supper to do this?? Would two hours be good?

    February 26th, 2015 9:04 pm Reply
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  • Oma Do

    It is not just in particular Japan…South Koreans also use public bath houses for soaking in herbal waters…3 mini pools…HOT….warm and then cool…scrubbing stations etc….

    October 12th, 2014 9:03 pm Reply
  • Patrick

    Why should we not mix different ingredients?

    I sometimes mix epsom salt with infused horsetail (silica)…


    September 24th, 2014 10:20 pm Reply
  • Vanessa Marie Zahid via Facebook

    Can you do this for young children? Ages 1 1/2-3?

    September 24th, 2014 10:08 pm Reply
  • Debbie Robert-Moraal via Facebook

    This is ONE of the MAIN external things I do to keep my psoriasis under control. Dead Sea Salt bath (from saltworks) followed by a quick rinse in the shower and then I use unrefined virgin olive oil on my skin.

    September 24th, 2014 11:13 am Reply
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  • Bethani LaCoursiere via Facebook

    Deb Johnson

    April 24th, 2014 10:19 pm Reply
  • Rach Arc via Facebook

    Summer Carmel

    April 24th, 2014 5:38 pm Reply
  • Jessica Faivre via Facebook

    Maryann Mallette Feiden

    April 24th, 2014 3:23 pm Reply
  • Amber Mehta via Facebook

    Suzy Langley & Priya Mehta – you may like this article !

    April 24th, 2014 11:59 am Reply
  • Debbie Michelle Pacheco via Facebook


    April 24th, 2014 11:31 am Reply
  • Valerie Capozzi Drobenak via Facebook

    Can you take one of these baths while pregnant? I’ve been searching but haven’t found any conclusive answer!

    April 24th, 2014 10:55 am Reply
    • julie

      II swear by them durung pregnancy! Especially epsom salt when I get nausea! I learned that is a sign of magnesium deficency so epsom salt did wonders! !!

      October 8th, 2014 11:56 pm Reply
  • April Russell Rodriguez via Facebook

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    April 24th, 2014 10:53 am Reply
  • Val Uria via Facebook

    Thanks, son had numerous X-ray’s last week, is it too late to detox?

    April 24th, 2014 10:49 am Reply
  • Bekka Codere via Facebook


    April 24th, 2014 10:45 am Reply
  • Paul Hardiman via Facebook

    Also, magnesium chloride (magnesium oil), especially if eating off the reservation.

    April 24th, 2014 10:38 am Reply
  • Christina Toledo Jerzyk via Facebook


    April 24th, 2014 10:37 am Reply
  • Holly Davis Harrod via Facebook

    Where do you buy baking soda and epsom/sea salt in the bulk amount required for these baths?

    April 22nd, 2014 8:57 pm Reply
    • Kylie

      Costco. And you don’t have to worry about sourcing “aluminum-free” baking soda because it is already naturally aluminum free.

      April 22nd, 2015 7:29 pm Reply
  • Scott Chaverri via Facebook

    How exactly can you ‘detox’ from radiation? It’s not a toxin that stays in your system – it passes through you and causes damage on the way. It doesn’t stick around waiting to be detoxed.

    April 22nd, 2014 1:05 pm Reply
  • Sara Molck via Facebook

    I loved reading her book and have implemented some of her protocol recommendations. The detox bath chapter was really interesting.

    April 22nd, 2014 10:20 am Reply
  • Debbie Jacko via Facebook

    Thank you for this info.

    April 22nd, 2014 10:00 am Reply
  • Lisha Larocque via Facebook

    Lee Chaffee

    April 22nd, 2014 7:12 am Reply
  • Nora Berger via Facebook

    Susanna Faygenbaum not that you’ve flown, but u like these things :)

    April 22nd, 2014 6:30 am Reply
  • Keslie Maher Slifka via Facebook


    April 22nd, 2014 3:51 am Reply
  • Maria Szucsova via Facebook

    What if you have a really bad quality water (West London, UK), please? What would be the alternative? Foot bath with Brita filtered water? Water filter for the whole house is not an option as we don’t own the flat…

    April 22nd, 2014 3:45 am Reply
  • Françoise de Rougemont via Facebook

    In America everything is bigger… What is the average volume of your bathtub ?

    April 22nd, 2014 3:17 am Reply
  • Wanda Boone Daniels via Facebook

    My bathtub is too small (or I’m too tall) but I soak in natural sea salts at the beach when the water is warm.

    April 22nd, 2014 3:17 am Reply
  • Reeda Hoss via Facebook

    The only reason that I don’t do bath anymore that our body will absorb loads if chemicals when soaked in warm water.

    And, FYI, baking soda is aluminum free in general. The baking powder that contains aluminum.. NOT baking soda!
    Buying aluminum- free baking powder like buying fat-free water!

    April 22nd, 2014 1:29 am Reply
  • Natalie Trusler via Facebook

    Oliver Trusler

    April 22nd, 2014 12:03 am Reply
  • Arlene Guzman via Facebook

    Roberto Guzman

    April 21st, 2014 11:57 pm Reply
  • Feanne Hontiveros Mauricio via Facebook

    Any alternative for those of us who don’t have bathtubs? :(

    April 21st, 2014 11:46 pm Reply
  • Kimberly Dobecka Holt via Facebook

    We were just talking about this, Pamela ! This is a great source for different baths!

    April 21st, 2014 10:49 pm Reply
  • Vicki Knight via Facebook

    That is good info.

    April 21st, 2014 10:40 pm Reply
  • France Fisher via Facebook

    Fladischer Doris

    April 21st, 2014 10:34 pm Reply
  • Katie Larkin Knolle via Facebook

    Kristie Kite Chesshir I just saw your post about this!

    April 21st, 2014 10:31 pm Reply
  • Patina Hill via Facebook

    What about for nursing moms?

    April 21st, 2014 10:05 pm Reply
  • Jennifer Collins via Facebook

    would versions of these baths be safe for a 2 year old? obviously not with hot water and I’m assuming lowers amounts of the added substance?

    April 21st, 2014 10:04 pm Reply
    • Molly

      I use epsom salt baths for my boys (1 and 2) for relaxing and for lowering fevers! Works great! I only put in 1 cup since the tub isn’t full and let them play for 15 min or so then wash them like normal. Epsom salt is amazing and has many uses :)

      April 22nd, 2014 1:24 pm Reply
  • Ruhi Deabreu via Facebook

    Angelina Barakat

    April 21st, 2014 9:57 pm Reply
  • Ubiquiti

    Hi! I could have sworn I’ve been to your blog before but after going
    through some of the posts I realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m certainly delighted I came across it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back regularly!

    April 15th, 2014 11:41 pm Reply
  • Ashley

    Could I give my one year old a detox bath? Would I use the same strength indicated. My poor baby has had a total of eight x-rays already and I am deeply concerned about the effects of radiation. We only have access to an allopathic pediatrician so I have no one to ask these questions…

    April 3rd, 2014 11:27 pm Reply
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  • Bonnie

    I just came across this post today and have a question. I love taking a long hot bath and often use lots of baking soda or Epsom salts. I notice though, that I get very flushed and feel exhausted after the bath. I’m wondering if this could be a detox symptom. Does anyone else experience this?

    February 26th, 2014 1:18 pm Reply
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  • Billy Woods

    My chiropractor recommends 20-40 pounds of Epsom salt in the hottest water tolerable for 45 minutes. Not sure why so much except because of how toxic people are.

    January 4th, 2014 10:01 pm Reply
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  • Jan Gordon

    I just read a bath detox that says you SHOULD shower off with cool water to close your pores, before applying oils or skin lotions, so that it doesn’t get into your pores and undo what you have just done. What do you think about that?

    December 28th, 2013 4:11 pm Reply
  • Mai Rase

    I always love special bath in a Tub and Hot tubs does not need any introduction now as almost everyone know about it and also desire to have one in their bathrooms. Hot tubs are the best way to relax your body and mind. The warm water and the bubbles in the hot tubs that massage your body is truly a treat for you. A long day work and the tiredness after that can be overcome only with a good peaceful ambience and a good body massage. Hot tubs are the best way to soothe your mind. It is not only a great stress reliever but it is also very beneficial for health. It helps in getting rid of numerous health problems like blood pressure, heart problems, muscle pain, arthritis pain and a lot more. It is truly the most comfortable way of treating your body for any ailment or disease. Thanks for your interesting information.

    December 2nd, 2013 6:44 pm Reply
  • Abby

    I tried giving my 19 year old detox baths but her legs and feet become very painful. She never has had pain in these areas until I gave her the detox baths. I even lowered the temp. thinking that it was to hot but it made very little difference. So strange and I would have loved to have this avenue for detox. Anybody have any ideas why this is happening let me know?

    December 2nd, 2013 12:02 am Reply
  • Sarah Z

    Sarah, thank you so much for this post. I am looking for any and every safe way I can detox my 3 older kids since they live a completely conventional life half of the time when they go with their Dad. Junk food, vaccines, prescription drugs, etc. I am particularly worried about my 5 year old because she has had 4 x-rays in the last month for her broken wrist. Are these baths safe to do for children?

    November 23rd, 2013 8:21 pm Reply
    • Eileen

      Yes, these are completely safe for children. My children have been taking detox baths for years, since they were 6.

      November 23rd, 2013 8:29 pm Reply
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  • Sarah C

    I have a very easily irritated urethra and end up with a UTI when I take a bath or swim in a chlorinated pool. Salt water pools & ocean water are fine though. Would any of these baths cause that kind of irritation? I hate the try & see approach as it is very painful. Thanks!

    September 6th, 2013 1:36 pm Reply
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  • Suzi

    Can you do detox baths if you are nursing a baby?

    September 3rd, 2013 12:54 am Reply
  • Grace

    German Naturopaths were amongst the first to highlight the healing benefits of bathing and hydrotherapy. Louis Kuhne, for example, devised different bath techniques to heal his patients using only water. He also prescribed sun baths and a vegetarian diet… I have been using Kuhne’s bath technique for many years now and have enjoyed great results. For more on this technique I recommend the following

    August 28th, 2013 3:42 pm Reply
  • Andresa S

    I heard a talk that Carolyn Dean gave earlier this year (she wrote the book, The Miracle of Magnesium) where she mentioned that adding Bentonite clay to the bath water eliminates the chlorine. She didn’t say how much to use; just that you don’t need very much. If I remember correctly, she also said that it removes it almost immediately – or that’s the impression I got.

    August 26th, 2013 4:33 pm Reply
  • Mary

    I love using equal parts Dead Sea Salt and Epson Salt. My skin is better, I feel better, my pain is radically reduced and I sleep far better.

    August 26th, 2013 1:19 pm Reply
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  • suzie

    it would seem smart to make sure you are de-chlorinating your bath water or else you are just taking in all those chemicals in the process… thanks for this info here.

    August 24th, 2013 6:50 pm Reply
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  • Michele

    Any advice on Redmond clay detox baths?

    August 23rd, 2013 5:35 am Reply
  • M Birds

    Question: what about the tub itself? Is bathing in an acrylic (i.e. polymer) tub a negative factor at all? Certain polymers become less stable when exposed to high temps, so I’m wondering if an acrylic tub is okay for detox bath? Traditional materials for a tub would have been wood, metal or ceramic, so I wonder if these are a healthier option?

    August 23rd, 2013 4:17 am Reply
  • Christine

    For ACV baths, should the ACV be filtered or unfiltered?

    For the epsom salt baths, will adding essential oils overload the detox pathways?

    August 22nd, 2013 3:08 pm Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Either type of ACV is fine … I would leave out the essential oils for the epsom salts bath.

      August 22nd, 2013 3:34 pm Reply
  • Tai

    What clorox bleach bath?

    August 22nd, 2013 8:53 am Reply
  • Gayla

    DR. Campbell-McBride also recommends kelp baths. Do you know what kelp is used to detox?

    August 22nd, 2013 12:33 am Reply
  • Morwalk

    I would just like to add a couple more contraindications that I know about. If you have a weak heart, you should not take a really hot bath. If you have Chrohn’s you should not take an Epsom salt bath. There are probably other contraindications. These are just the ones I know.

    August 21st, 2013 1:19 pm Reply
  • Juliya

    Thank you for article. I am overwhelmed though by the water purification methods. I just visited the Radiant Life website and have no way of affording these huge purification systems (even if I convinced my husband of the need to purify). I can get the bath ball they sell….but am concerned of the water we are drinking and showering with. What are my alternatives? Is there a filter I can attach on my kitchen sink that will benefit? We currently get water from the spring for drinking, and even that I am not sure of safety…

    August 21st, 2013 12:57 am Reply
    • Farrah

      We were buying spring water by the gallon for drinking because of the chlorine, fluoride and other stuff lurking in municipal water these days. At about a dollar per gallon, that adds up albeit slowly- about $10- 12/ week. Finally we bought a berkey. We bought one that filters 6 gallons at a time. It cost about $400 with extra fluoride filters and shipping. It was tough to breakdown and spend that in one chunk, but we were paying more than that on water in a year. I highly recommend it.

      August 28th, 2013 7:48 am Reply
  • Megan

    When pregnant I can’t live without epsom salt baths nearly every day. I always get RLS restless leg syndrome in pregnancy and the Epsom salts eliminates the RLS so I can get that much needed sleep. My midwife is the one who first told me about it. Oral magnesium has way too much laxative effect because it takes so much of it to do the job during pregnancy.

    August 21st, 2013 12:18 am Reply
  • Rosewater57

    Dear Sarah this post is so timely as I recently experienced my first detox foot bath which apparently utilises the reverse osmosis process. The water afterwards was truly disgusting! I am now using food grade magnesium chloride at home in regular baths/footbaths. I believe this is better absorbed than epsom salts. Have you any opinions on the detox foot bath units which use salt water and an electrical array to remove toxins?

    August 20th, 2013 7:34 pm Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      I’m sure those are fine, but the best thing about a full body bath is that you are getting so much more skin into the water so you are really getting much more detoxification going on than just having your feet in the footbath. It is a good practice also to just slow down, and have some quiet time in the bath. Folks with footbaths tend to use them in front of the TV or the computer and this is not conducive to the restful therapy that detox baths are supposed to be.

      August 20th, 2013 7:59 pm Reply
  • Dr. John Foley

    Excellent article Sarah! It’s really great to see your emphasis on not mixing ingredients from different recipes. This is so important. You’re absolutely correct that doing so will overstimulate the detoxification pathways. I have found this to be a common occurrence over the years. Interestingly, I’ve discovered that many of my chronically ill patients can’t handle ACV baths for this same reason. ACV appears be “too effective” for some people and may mobilize toxins faster than the body can process and eliminate them. Muscle Response and Resonance Testing reveals that the majority do really well with Epsom salts – gentle and less of a detox reaction, especially for those who are already balanced and on a cleansing program. Many Blessings!

    August 20th, 2013 7:14 pm Reply
  • Brenda M. Morris

    This was a great article! I have one more option for the detox bath: H202 (hydrogen
    peroxide)–but only the food grade type. Commercial hydrogen peroxide is loaded
    with bad chemicals that one would not want the body to absorb.

    My husband and I regularly take a long soak with one cup of food grade, 35%
    H202 added to a bathtub full of hot water.

    One note: Don’t take a bath later than 5:00 p.m. It is so invigorating that it
    will keep you awake at night.

    All the best.

    August 20th, 2013 5:46 pm Reply
  • Melissa

    My Grandfather (88 years old) had an epsom salt bath tonight in an attempt to ease his shoulder pain. The bath was not overly hot and yet he was sweating like mad during the bath and 20 mins later was unable to actually get out of the bath – suddenly feeling extremely weak. His body temp then soared, he drenched the sheets with perspiration and he had really quite bad palpitations, followed by an irregular heart rhythm.

    Can anyone offer an explaination for this? Or point me in the direction of where to find one? I really would be most grateful.

    My mother and I have never had a problem with epsom salt baths and always found them to be very therapeutic.

    August 20th, 2013 5:25 pm Reply
  • Merlyn

    Hi Sarah, Thank you for the heads up in this post. Can you recommend a website that have a good chlorine water filter for detox bath.

    Thank you in advance.

    August 20th, 2013 3:07 pm Reply
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  • Beth

    This post reminded me of the positively scalding baths I encountered while living in Japan in the mid 80s. I couldn’t fathom putting my toe in let alone my whole body! :-) I realized that the Japanese become accustomed to HOT baths from a very young age, and I had to build up my tolerance. I’m sure I caused some quiet consternation after adding some cool water to one or two baths at a ryokan.

    August 20th, 2013 12:06 pm Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Yes, I went to a public bath myself while in Japan and the hotness of the water was shocking!

      August 20th, 2013 1:21 pm Reply
  • Lora

    What backing soda you use and where you buy it (in large quantities)?

    August 20th, 2013 11:54 am Reply
    • Lora

      Oh, I meant “baking soda”…

      August 20th, 2013 11:55 am Reply
  • Kathy

    What about breastfeeding? Are bath soaks ok?

    August 20th, 2013 11:50 am Reply
  • Pat in TX

    This is a subject near and dear to my heart! I have long used baths both for cleansing the bod and the mind. They were a true source of relaxation and refreshment during the 18 years I was frequently pregnant especially! Since a fire in our home several years ago, I have been unable to use the bathtub; it just has not been a remodeling priority for my husband. Needless to say I am sharing this article with him, large chunks of it via text!!

    August 20th, 2013 11:36 am Reply
  • Natalie

    You mention to be careful if you’re pregnant, but what about nursing? I’ve heard that detoxing can release toxins into your babies milk, would bathing cause any problems?

    August 20th, 2013 11:36 am Reply
    • Desiree

      You should not get hot while pregnant. And milk is a form of sweat so I would not detox while nursing.

      February 26th, 2014 5:25 pm Reply
  • Danielle

    Hi Sarah –

    My question is regarding your c;losing section “contradictions” and the recommendation to not mix ingredients. I’ve heard of recipes that combine sea salt, epsom, baking soda and ACV!!

    I was wondering why the recommendation to keep formulas seperate. Thank you for the post!

    August 20th, 2013 11:34 am Reply
    • Danielle

      oops nevermind! I didnt see your previous response to another commenter :)

      August 20th, 2013 11:36 am Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Another thing .. note that epsom salt baths should not be as hot as tolerated just comfortably warm. The others are supposed to be as hot as possible. Mixing epsom salts with the other ingredients is going to reduce the effectivenes of the detoxification process as the water cools from very hot to lukewarm over the 45 minute soaking period.

      August 20th, 2013 1:27 pm Reply
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  • Larissa

    Can you use these detox baths for children as young as 2 and 4? I only fill the bathtub 4 – 6 inches when I bathe them. Is this enough water? Would you decrease the amount of the ingredients you put in the bath? Is it okay if they drink some of the water?

    August 20th, 2013 11:12 am Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      I do epsom salts or baking soda baths for my children all the time and have for years.

      August 20th, 2013 11:24 am Reply
      • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

        Depending on the quality of your bath water, it may or may not be fine to drink a bit. Note that epsom salts have a laxative effect when taken internally. Remember also that toxins are being pulled into the water so getting a mouthful at least toward the end of the bath is probably not a good idea.

        August 20th, 2013 11:28 am Reply
  • Coley

    Are these still beneficial if I don’t have a water filter? I love my detox baths but worry they may be doing more harm than good!

    August 20th, 2013 11:10 am Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      The baths would still be beneficial even with treated city water. Get a bath filter or whole house filter as soon as you can to boost effectiveness of the regimen.

      August 20th, 2013 11:24 am Reply
      • Liesl

        I put a teaspoon of sodium ascorbate (vit c) powder into my bath as it is supposed to neutralize the chlorine. I hope this is the case.

        August 20th, 2013 8:22 pm Reply
        • Beth

          Those bath ball filters look pretty interesting. They just hang under the bathtub spigot. You may want to check it out.

          August 20th, 2013 10:45 pm Reply
  • Amber@BareNaturalMommy

    Great to know! I love baking soda, I find there are so many good uses for baking soda. Been putting that in my daughters bath for months. Thanks for the information!

    August 20th, 2013 10:54 am Reply
  • Rebekah

    One of the biggest “itch” factors in taking a bath or shower is the chlorine in the water. I highly recommend a chlorine shower filter and bath ball. Label the box w/the date you start using them and put it w/your bathroom supplies, this way you can know when to get a new ball or replace the filter insert. With that said, detox baths are so wonderful and very healing.

    August 20th, 2013 10:42 am Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Great tip! Yes, you really need pure water for the detox bath to be optimally effective. We have a well, so chlorine is not an issue for our particular situation.

      August 20th, 2013 11:23 am Reply
      • Beth

        We were able to install a shower filter on the handheld hose nozzle of our claw-foot tub.

        I haven’t heard of the bath balls but will have to look that up!

        August 20th, 2013 11:57 am Reply
      • Cynthia

        Would you recommend that detox baths should be skipped altogether if the water is chlorinated? Or maybe just take them less frequently? We buy spring water for drinking, but don’t have a water filter for our bath water. I recently started GAPS for autoimmune thyroid disorder and food allergies. I’d really be interested in your judgment call on this. Thanks!

        August 20th, 2013 2:01 pm Reply
        • Cynthia

          Oh! I just saw your comments on this topic as I scrolled down the remaining comments:-)

          August 20th, 2013 2:03 pm Reply
  • Diana

    How can we know that epsom salts are 100% pure? What are the trusted sources?

    August 20th, 2013 10:41 am Reply
  • Sally

    This is great – thanks so much for sharing. My daughter has medical problems and doesn’t clear toxins well so her doc has recommended Epsoms and Baking soda baths as part of her regular regime. It really makes a difference for her in physical and behavioral health. mBut I didn’t know about the other two – good information.

    August 20th, 2013 10:41 am Reply
  • Chelsea N.

    I agree with Eileen about the confusion regarding not mixing items. I have also been recommended to mix ACV and epsom salts for muscle soreness by my fitness instructor and have not had any issues. Is there a specific reason you included that? Or just as a general precaution for people?


    August 20th, 2013 10:39 am Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      The caution not to mix is from Dr. Parcells’s book (sourced above). She does not give a reason for this … my guess is that it could overstimulate the detoxification pathways. If one is very toxic, this could result in illness perhaps. I personally choose not to mix detox bath ingredients.

      August 20th, 2013 11:22 am Reply
      • Beth

        I believe Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride also recommends in her GAPS book to not mix the ingredients but alternate them.

        August 20th, 2013 11:54 am Reply
        • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

          Thank you Beth! Now that you mention that, I do remember her saying this very thing at a Conference. She did emphasize not mixing ingredients.

          August 20th, 2013 8:02 pm Reply
  • Eileen

    I love your recipes, but am confused about your comment to not mix them. I use ACV and epsom salt together in a bath all the time and haven’t had any problems. Occasionally even throwing in some baking soda in there.

    August 20th, 2013 10:18 am Reply
    • Linda

      I was just about to ask the same question, Eileen. I use baking soda, epsom salt and ginger in my detox bath. I too would like to know the reason the ingredients should not be mixed.

      August 20th, 2013 10:56 am Reply
  • Sarah

    My youngest had moderate eczema a year ago. A bath every 10 days would cause horrible flare ups and itching that would just begin to recover at about 5 days. I would cringe on bath day. I began adding epsom salts to the bath. What joy bath time became! We went to using a bath every other day to help control the itch!!! I am not a scientist but I could not ignore the obvious improvements that the epsom salts brought about for my little one. She is MUCH better now but epsom salts are now a regular purchase and mainstay in this household!

    August 20th, 2013 9:53 am Reply
    • Beth

      That’s great to know how this helped your son. My eczema healed when I started making homemade raw milk kefir. Detoxification practices are so important, and incorporating one or more into our daily lives is so beneficial.

      August 20th, 2013 12:00 pm Reply
      • Beth

        Your daughter, that is.

        August 20th, 2013 12:01 pm Reply

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