(Health Secrets Newsletter) Mineral and herbal baths have been used for thousands of years to relieve everything from sore muscles and joints to arthritis and much more. Today, millions of people continue flocking to bath sites and facilities throughout the world. However you need not travel any further than the bathroom to enjoy a healing and relaxing bath. All it takes is hot water and a few healthy ingredients.
The salt and mineral rich Dead Sea is one of the world’s earliest spas. The Roman King of Judea Herod the Great and Egypt’s Queen Cleopatra both enjoyed the healthy benefits of the Dead Sea. Multiple studies have shown that the sea’s mineral essentials are effective for psoriasis, acne, and rheumatism.
Nearly every city in the ancient Roman Empire had at least one bath, which served as centers for rejuvenation and socializing. The hot springs in Baden-Baden, Germany, were well known to the Romans, and its waters still bring relief for rheumatism, gout, paralysis, neuralgia, and skin diseases. Britain’s Queen Victoria was an annual visitor during her reign.
Other civilizations which have long embraced healing baths include China, India and Native America. Archaeologists in India’s ancient Indus Valley Civilization unearthed a large pool-like structure with steps at both ends. In 1541, Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto was the first European to see the Valley of the Vapors, which is the area known today as Hot Springs, Arkansas.
The rich and famous regularly traveled by private rail car more than 100 years ago to Mount Clemens, Michigan, referred to as America’s Bath City. It offered luxury resort hotels with heated baths, which were widely known to relieve arthritis and rheumatism pain, as well as skin problems such as eczema. Thousands of polio patients were also drawn to those waters. Legend had it that people came to the city in wheelchairs and left walking under their own power. Among regular visitors to Mount Clemens baths were Henry Ford, William Randolph Hearst, Mae West, Babe Ruth, and European royalty.
Today, you need not travel to a health resort or even a local spa to enjoy the many benefits of hot mineral and herbal baths. All you need is a bath tub, hot water (generally speaking, the hotter the water the better so long as the water is not scalding) and healthy minerals and herbs either singly or in combination. Some of the most popular ingredients are:
Sea salts, especially ancient sea salts, are loaded with minerals and trace minerals.
Epsom salt relaxes sore muscles and joints and contains magnesium, an essential mineral most of us are deficient in.
Lavender and other essential oils, such as rose and juniper, fight depression and relieve tension and stress.
Baking soda helps neutralize chlorine and is good for muscles and skin.
Citric acid bonds with minerals and, combined with baking soda, makes the mineral bath effervescent.
Witch hazel is antiseptic and good for bruises and skin conditions.
Vinegar is wonderful for the skin and has numerous healing benefits.
Additionally, a number of popular Chinese ingredients are used in healing baths including:
*Water lily pads (stress)
*Oriental wild yam (stress, female problems)
*Du Zhong (knees, joints)
*Osmanthus (stress, depression)
*He Shou Wu (blood, energy, arthritis)
*Flos Lonicerae (blood cooling, heat and toxins removal, skin disease)
*Plantain (skin diseases)
*Radix ginseng (stress)
*Keep hydrated and boost your bath benefits with an iced glass of healthy tea and/or fresh juice at your side.
*Hot baths are very relaxing. If you have a large tub, avoid falling asleep. A spa pillow may provide some insurance.
*Where applicable, use water filters designed to remove chlorine and/or fluoride for the healthiest baths.