In my last blog Taking Water to Another Level, we looked at ways of making water purer and more hydrating to drink. But water can also be used therapeutically to bathe in, and, of course, water births have recently become popular to help soothe the pain of childbirth.
Baineotherapy is the medical term for therapeutic bathing, from the Latin word balneum, which means bath. Baths and spas have been used medicinally for thousands of years to treat everything from skin disorders to depression. The Romans discovered mineral springs in various part of Europe that are still used today. As a rule of thumb, hot baths tend to be relaxing and cool baths anti-inflammatory.
The German spa tradition developed from healing spring waters which are high in minerals, particularly sulphur. European doctors also use mud, seaweed and moss in baths but they are not so well-known in the UK.
Baths for skin disorders
Water should be cool to soothe inflammation.
Colloidal, ground oatmeal (e.g. Aveena) is great for soothing itchy skin.
Anti-septic but beware of the purple colour.
In cool water, soda bic is good for cooling sunburn and other hot skin conditions such as chicken pox. It also helps buffer the effects of EMFs. Dissolve 4 cups in warm water for each soak.
This is good for eczema.
Baths for Emotional Problems
These should be warm to hot and you can add specific essential oils or flower essences, depending upon how you are feeling.
Warming Winter Baths
If you are suffering from a blocked nose, you may like to try a eucalyptus steam inhalation, or even add a few drops to your bath.
If you have poor circulation, you could add ginger to your bath.
And if you are feeling brave, you could have a cold shower which stimulates the circulation, keeping you warm afterwards. Start with warm water gradually turn the temperature down as you get used to it.
I recommend a cool shower in the morning to stimulate, and a warming bath in the evening to help you relax before bed.
Sitz baths are often recommended after childbirth to speed up wound healing Add calendular tincture to a washing up bowl and sit for 10 minutes.
Adding clay to your bath will help draw toxins out through the skin. Clay helps stimulate the lymphatic system and boosts detoxification through the skin. It also helps reduce the post digestive burden on organs and supports the immune system. Calcium bentonite, pascalite, zeolite or French Green Clay are all good. This is what you do:
- Half fill the bath with very hot water
- Sprinkle the clay evenly over the surface to avoid clumping
- Allow to settle for 10 – 20 minutes
- Add enough hot water so you are able to submerge yourself and soak for 15 minutes to start with, but increasing the amount of time until you can comfortably soak for two hours.
- Drain the bath, leaving the clay residue which you wipe up with kitchen towels to avoid clogging up the plumbing!
Rich in minerals, especially iodine, seaweed baths are good for the adrenals and thyroid and help support healthy hormone balance and metabolism.
- Add 4oz/115g dried seaweed (kelp and dulse are good) to a large tea ball or muslin bag
- Submerge in 8 cups boiling water
- Cover and simmer for half an hour
- Remove from heat and pour into bath
- Add hot water and soak until gelatinous film from the seaweed dissolves from your skin.
Magnesium sulphate baths are excellent at boosting magnesium and sulphur levels in the body and helping with detoxification. Both magnesium and sulphate tend to be low in people with copper imbalances. Sulphur is found in eggs, onions and garlic but is poorly absorbed from the diet. Epsom salts baths provide sulphur which can more easily be absorbed through the skin. Epsom salts support the sulphation pathway in the liver, assisting with Phase 2 detoxification. Sulphate is essential for binding with cholesterol, which can rise if unbound. (It is only unbound cholesterol that is associated with cardiovascular disease.)
Add 250 – 500g Epsom Salts to your bath and build up soaking time starting with 10 minutes. Dry naturally, leaving the salts on your skin. If you are sweaty, have a cool shower to wash away any toxins contained in the perspiration.
Dead Sea Salts are high in sodium, magnesium, potassium, chloride and bromide which can have a therapeutic effect on skin and joint problems. They can also help soothe the pain of arthritis. Dead Sea Salts also contain what are known as Ormus minerals, discovered by David Radius Hudson in 1980. Ormus minerals do not fit into the Periodic Table and are typically metals in a hidden form which, when oxidised, become minerals. (Best sources of Ormus minerals are sea salts, sea vegetables, organic superfoods and herbs and fresh spring water.) So, again, don’t rub off on to a towel – just wrap up and dry naturally.
Hudson found Ormus elements in living organisms at ten times the levels of all trace minerals combined. Good levels of Ormus minerals have been thought by some scientists to be needed to realise our genetic potential. They have a high affinity for hydrogen, spring water, salts, lava, fats, oils, polysaccharides and silicon bearing plants (Bamboo, horsetail and nettle). Based on Hudson’s research it has been theorised that they are beneficial for the nervous system. When applied to the skin (as in a bath) Ormus can help displace ‘bad’ or biounavailable calcium, strengthen connective tissue and may help in re-mineralising teeth and bones.
- Make sure you don’t negate all the benefits by soaking in tap water. Fit a shower filter to your bath tap.
- Don’t bath on a full stomach – best times are first thing in the morning, especially if you are combining your bath with an enema – and in the evening before bed.
- Take a hydrating drink with you such as the ionising cocktail (see below)
- You don’t have to stick one therapeutic bath. For example, you could mix Dead Sea and Epsom salts, or add clay to a salt bath.
- Make sure that bath time is your special space with no interruptions. Take in a meditation tape, music or book to read.
Basic Ionic Mix
500mls pure, filtered water
1tbs Phytoplanton Powder
1tbs Hawaiian Spirulina
Generous handful Celtic Sea Salt
Whisk all ingredients up in a high-speed blender or shake in a jar. Store in fridge in airtight container.
Add 1 – 2tsp to a glass of 50% water/50% coconut water. If you don’t tolerate coconut water, substitute with pomegranate or apple juice – but this doesn’t contain the electrolytes of coconut water.
Ionic Cocktail Recipe
- 50% Raw Coconut Water/ 50% pure water.
- 1 – 2 tbs Basic Ionic Mix
Add the Basic Ionic Mix to diluted raw coconut water.
In my next blog, I will reveal the results of laboratory testing of our local tap water.