One of the few “self-care” rituals I participate in on a regular basis is the art of taking baths. I call it an art because done right it can be! They can be colorful, bubbly, warming, cooling, soothing, cold-fighting and definitely relaxing. Each one can be a different experience depending on what ingredients you put in including essential oils, powders, moisturizing oils and even vinegars. This week I am going to bring you my latest favorite creation – a DIY Mustard Bath to relax achy muscles, fight colds + flu and soothe dry itchy skin.
The History of Bathing
BUT FIRST – how about a little history lesson? What makes baths so wonderful and who started them? Well, people have been bathing to get clean since the beginning of time, but the Romans and Greeks made bathing fashionable. It was a place to socialize, eat and do business. They were so popular (and huge) that up to 6,000 bathers could fit into one of these baths at once. As pleasant as that sounds, I’m sure glad we take baths alone now.
The Turkish took a slightly different spin on theirs and made them ornate affairs, with tapestries and fixtures of gold and silver. They also reportedly liked them HOT. Shockingly – or not – diseases were widespread at these baths so the popularity of public baths cooled down.
Bathing in general fizzles out in the 16th century as dirt became a symbol of spiritual purity (this must have been before cleanliness is close to godliness!) and people also believed that dirt was a protection against germs.
Thankfully, people are all about bathing again but in more sanitary, and private, ways. But while we may have come a long way in turning baths from public unsanitary affairs to private rituals, unfortunately we haven’t made much progress making them chemical-free.
Companies have filled bath bombs and bubbles baths with chemicals such as harmful fragrances, agents that cause irritation and preservatives. That’s why I’m a huge fan of making my own bath products such as these super easy and fizzy bath bombs.
But lately, I’ve been getting into making my own bath powders because they are even quicker to whip up. So consider your history lesson finished because it’s time to get to the DIY.
DIY Mustard Bath
What makes it so great?
Well, it’s made with ingredients like mustard poweder. Yes, mustard powder. Thankfully, it does not smell like mustard the condiment. When dissolved in a bath, mustard powder helps you sweat, creating a detox. It is particularly helpful for colds and flus. It also has a warming component – perfect for sore or tired muscles.
Other ingredients include epsom salts, my favorite ingredient to put in baths. Wow, where do I begin with Epsom salts? It is not a salt at all but magnesium and a quick Google search will tell you how much our body lacks magnesium. People that suffer from migraines can particularly gain from using Epsom salts in their bath as it combats headaches and migraines. Oh, and if you’re looking for another use for them, I love to throw epsom salts in my shampoo for a deep clean.
The other powder is baking soda which has been known to help detox the body and soften skin. It can also relieve itchy dry skin, and treat foot odor. Taken internally, baking soda cancer, flu, and diabetes. So load up on that stuff!
The other ingredients I like to throw in are essential oils. Feel free to put in what you like best, but since the mustard is warming I like to add eucalyptus essential oil to create a cooling affect which is quite luxurious in contrast to the hot water and mustard. I might also throw in peppermint oil to clear the sinuses (which eucalyptus does as well) and lavender to promote relaxation and better sleep.
DIY Mustard Bath Ingredients:
- 1 1/2 cups Epsom salt
- 1 cup baking soda
- 1 cup mustard powder
- 10 drops eucalyptus essential oil
- 10 drops lavender essential oil
- 10 drops peppermint essential oil
1.) Mix all the dry ingredients together. Add in essential oils
2.) Soak for 20-30 minutes. (Might I recommend you take this time to list off everything you are grateful for? It will perk you up even more.
4.) Go to sleep! Or at least watch a good movie.
I hope you enjoy this DIY mustard bath as much as I do. Happy bathing!