Natural Ingredients to Add to Your Bath to Improve Mental and Physical Health

Taking a hot bath is one of the simplest self care practices. An easy activity to do just for yourself, not only can a warm bath help you sleep, but you can add ingredients to your bath to improve your health and wellbeing too. Here's what to add to your bath for improved health.


For us busy mums, taking a bath may be the one time in the day we get to ourselves. Lying back in the warm water, daydreaming or with a good book, can be both a relaxing and a healing experience for body and mind.

There are many natural products you can add to your bath to improve your health, such as:

Green Tea

Although green tea has long been recognized as a healthy drink, most people don't realise that adding a few green tea bags (5-10) to their bathwater is also a great way to maximize physical and mental well-being. Green tea cleanses, detoxes and calms, and has anti-ageing properties.

The minerals contained in green tea will detoxify your skin and boost your body's supply of antioxidants. The soft scent that green tea carries will also soothe your mind and help you relax after a stressful day with the kids. Chamomile tea in your bath (drinking and bathing) will also help you relax before bed.


Oats / Oatmeal

Oats are amazing for your skin, especially in the winter or if you suffer from eczema. They are also amazing for when kids have chickenpox.  Oats can treat skin suffering from rashes or sunburn, or simply dry or itchy skin. American friends tell me it can even work on poison ivy.

To use, add a large handful to a muslin bag and tie it underneath your taps as the water runs into the bath. Alternatively, soak 1-2 cups of oats in hot water and honey for 5 minutes, then add them in a muslin bag to your bath (nobody wants to be sitting in warm porridge).



Ginger Root

If you are suffering from a cold, add a tablespoon of freshly chopped ginger to your bath to relieve chest and nasal congestion and soothe sore muscles. It's great for headaches too and if you want to detox

Just beware the ginger will make you sweat so drink plenty of cool water during and after your bath to keep your body hydrated. You should also do a test on your skin before adding to your bath as some people's skin can be sensitive to ginger.


Epsom Salts

Epsom salts are amazing at relieving aches and muscular pains, and relieving tension and inflammation. They can be combined with pretty much anything else, so apply a liberal handful (1-2 cups) to the water. Stay in the bath for at least 12 minutes to maximise absorption and add essential oils and coconut oil to make your bath even better. (See below)

Not actually 'salts' at all, this natural compound is a combination of magnesium and sulfate. Your skin absorbs them in the bath helping to restore the body's magnesium levels which are often depleted through stress. The magnesium in the salts will also help make your skin softer and smoother, and help you sleep.

See: How to Make Homemade Bath Salts



Coconut Oil

One of the best all-round health treatments, add a tablespoonful of coconut oil to your bath to help soften skin. Coconut oil has antibacterial, anti-parasitic, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties making it useful in a multitude of ways. See these top 5 uses for coconut oil.

Coconut oil also contains high levels of vitamin E, the main ingredient in many anti-ageing moisturisers and other products. Combine a half cup of coconut oil with a half cup of sugar to make a simple DIY scrub. You can also coconut milk in place of dairy milk in your bath to soften skin.


Lavender

The perfect essential oil to help you calm down after a stressful day of mama plate spinning. Just one whiff will help your body to instantly relax. Lavender educes stress, muscle soreness and inflammation and is safe throughout pregnancy.

Lavender also works to calm, soothe and detoxify the skin so its perfect for acne or irritated and itchy skin. Put lavender in your bath after childbirth to help tears and stretched skin heal.

Add a handful of dried lavender in a muslin bag to the water, or 6-8 drops of pure essential oil. This can be combined with Epsom salts (see above) or a capful of milk.



Baking Soda

Not just a baking or even a fantastic cleaning ingredient, baking soda restores pH balance and neutralises skin acidity making it perfect for calming, relieving and soothing irritated skin. Perfect for adding to your bath after a run or hard workout, baking soda also helps to detoxify the body.

Make bath bombs using baking soda, or simply add 4-5 tablespoons to your bath water.


Olive Oil

Did you know olive oil used to be sold in pharmacies in the UK, not food shops? Add 5 tablespoons to running water to help maintain skin's collagen giving an anti-ageing effect and helping to soften skin.

Olive oil inside and out will help to strengthen your immune system as it is rich in vitamins E and K.


Lemon or Orange

Grab some slices of fresh lemons or oranges to add to your bath. Citrus fruits help to refresh and revive tired skin, tightening pores and leaving skin glowing.

Lemon is also great for softening dry elbows, just pop your elbow into a squeezed lemon half. Use the juice to whiten nails or lighten age spots.


Essential Oils

You can add other essential oils to your bath water for different effects. Lavender, as mentioned above, relaxes while rosemary improves circulation and helps lift your spirits. It can even help relieve PMS symptoms.

Essential oils and herbs have been used for thousands of years and all have different uses. It's best to consult a comprehensive guide to essential oils if possible, but as a rough guide 5-8 drops of pure oil is best.

Try eucalyptus for muscle and joint pain, or when you have a cold. Ylang ylang is great for thosse suffering from depression, and the citrus oils like lemon, bergamot and orange have antioxidant properties and give energy or lift your mood.

See: The Best Essential Oils for Household Cleaning



Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is another all-natural product you can add to your bath that offers a wide range of health benefits.

It is full nutrients and will help to combat fungal growth or other persistent skin issues, making it an excellent bath-time addition for people suffering from eczema, athlete's foot, or dermatitis.


Roses

Beloved of women throughout time, make like Cleopatra and add rose petals, rosewater or rose essential oil to your bath. Antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and moisturising indulgent rose will nurture and soothe your skin.

Rose is also refreshing and can help keep redness and acne at bay. You can make a simple rose milk bath by combining a half cup of Epsom salts, one and a half cups of powdered milk, 4-6 drops of rose essential oil and a large handful of fresh or dried rose petals. A real princess bath!



A bath is a great way to wind down after a busy or stressful day, why not make it an all-round self care experience by adding some extra touches.

Add a couple of natural ingredients to the water for health then light some candles and meditate on the flame for a few minutes. Or simply reflect on your day, a deliciously scented warm bath is the perfect environment for clearing your head.

Your bath can also become part of a soothing night-time routine to combat stress and anxiety. Instead of mindlessly watching TV in the evening, write your journal or gratitude list while the bath is running.


Then follow your pampering bath with some meditation or yoga to wind down all of which will help you to sleep more soundly by reducing your stress and anxiety levels.

Whatever you choose to put in your bath, the most important thing is to relax, switch off and enjoy some well-deserved me time. I hope these home remedies can help you do just that.

More ideas:


This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on one of these links and make a purchase, I may receive a commission for referring you. This in no way affects the price you pay. I only suggest resources and items I believe in and highly recommend. You can read my full disclosure statement on our Work with Me page.