ritual bath for self loving babes
I use this bath mixture on a regular basis due to its numerous implications for women's health. In addition to this, it simply feels incredibly therapeutic, relaxing, and lush. In this article we'll discuss the skin and its role in absorption, the benefits of this bath, as well as the recipe + directions for usage.
o u r s k i n
Our skin is the largest organ in our entire body. As our largest organ, our skin fulfills many important bodily functions. Also known as our integumentary system, our skin contributes to homeostasis by regulating our body temperature, providing sensory information about our environment, synthesizing vitamin D, and is our body's first line of defense against injury and infection.
What is often overlooked, is our skins 6th function- to excrete and absorb substances. Our skin is a highly porous membrane that readily absorbs nutrients and excretes waste products. It is as much a tissue of absorption as it is a tissue of elimination. This property allows us to utilize our skin as a route of direct absorption. This absorptive property of our skin is also why we should never put on our skin what we would not eat (for the most part).
After knowing a little bit more about the skin, the benefits of this bath soak are easier to understand.
b a k i n g s o d a
Baking Soda, otherwise known as sodium bicarbonate is present in our oceans, soil, and body. The essence of baking soda's healing + detoxifying properties are due to it's alkaline nature. As an alkaline substance (the opposite of an acidic one), baking soda helps balance pH by counterbalancing acidic environments.
Oxygenates our tissues - Acidic environments are often associated with low oxygen levels. As a pH counter balancer, baking soda assists in bringing oxygen to low oxygen conditions. This holds true in the soil, the ocean, and within our own bodies !
Anti-inflammatory - Baking soda's bicarbonate ions neutralize the conditions necessary for inflammation. Inflammation is infamous for being involved in the pathophysiology of many diseases, conditions, pain, and injuries. Inflammation thrives in acidic environments. By counterbalancing low pH environments, baking soda directly combats inflammation. Although inflammation is an essential bodily process, it often goes beyond its benefits (often due to diet and lifestyle) and causes harm within the body.
Yeast Infection Prevention + Protection - Microorganisms also thrive in acidic environments. This includes the pathogenic ones (ones that cause disease). A common microorganism that women battle is called “candida albicans”. When overgrown this is commonly referred to as a yeast infection. Candida albicans is normally present in all healthy bodies. However, when it overgrows (due to various imbalances) it can become pathogenic and is then termed a "yeast infection".
Yeast thrive in the acidic environment of the vagina. We can use baking soda to decrease and counteract this acidity. By decreasing the acidity of the vagina you can prevent and help fight off yeast overgrowth.
If you have a current yeast infection, baking soda will also decrease inflammation and thus have a soothing effect on the often irritated and swollen labia that accompanies yeast infections.
e p s o m s a l t
Magnesium is one of the seven macrominerals essential in our diet. It is also a cofactor in over 350 enzymatic life-sustaining reactions! Macrominerals are minerals that need to be consumed in relatively large amounts (versus trace minerals) on a regular basis. As a macromineral it’s essential that we consume magnesium on a regular basis in order to prevent deficiency. In fact, most people are deficient in magnesium, so long story short, this bath will help !
Decrease Cramps / Pain Relief - Magnesium can greatly help prevent & reduce cramps by relaxing our muscles. Muscle spasms and cramps can often be due to magnesium deficiency and by absorbing it through this bath we directly combat and prevent this from happening. This becomes especially important during our moon time when we bleed and the several days leading up to it.
Reduction of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) - Magnesium can help reduce symptoms associated with PMS such as bloating, anxiety, insomnia, weight gain, and breast tenderness. Therefore it will be especially helpful to take these baths regularly during the premenstrual phase (luteal phase) of our cycle.
Decreases Stress / Anxiety - Magnesium helps maintain the normal functioning of our nervous system. Stress and anxiety are often symptoms of an under resourced nervous system. By replenishing our body’s magnesium levels, we can help restore our often overworked nervous system. This bath can help prevent and decrease symptoms of anxiety and stress.
Bathing in epsom salt is a safe and effective way to incorporate more magnesium into our diet. By bathing in magnesium salts, we can increase magnesium levels in the body by way of direct absorption through our skin. By bathing in this 2-3 times a week, we can decrease our chances of becoming deficient of this essential mineral.
Eliminates Toxins from the Body- The sulfates in epsom salt help our body remove toxins and heavy metals. Because of the porousness of our skin, epsom salts also help draw out these harmful substances though a process known as reverse osmosis. In this process the sulfates help draw salt from out our cells. As the salts osmotically leave our cells, toxins follow and leave the body.
t h e b a t h
r e c i p e
2 cups Epsom Salt
1/8 cup Baking Soda
d i r e c t i o n s
I prefer to premix my salts + baking soda in a large bowl and then transfer the mixture into a jar. That way I don’t have to mix it every time a bathe. I store the epsom salt + baking soda in a glass jar alongside my tub for easy use. You can also store the Epsom salt and baking soda in two separate jars near the tub. Mixing the salts & having an easy access container next to the tub keeps me in a ritual space as a draw each bath. As someone who is prone to moving mechanically + fast when I’m preparing something or cleaning, I find that doing the prep with other household duties helps me stay relaxed and in ritual when I do decide to bathe. Each time a bathe, I will add about 1 ½ - 3 cups depending on what my body’s asking for.
Add 2 cups to a Bath
Soak for at least 12 minutes
Repeat 1-3 times per week
Increase use when nearing / during menstruation or
as needed for pain, cramps, stress, or anxiety
Set an intention for your bath. If you follow your menstrual cycle, what day are you on? If you follow the moon cycle, what phase is the moon currently in?
l u n a r l i s t e n i n g +
w o m b w i s d o m
Consider allowing these archetypal energies to serve as guidance. Are you calling something in or letting something go? Are you cleansing yourself or manifesting something into being? If it’s a new moon or you’re menstruating consider letting something go or calling something new in. If its a full moon or you’re ovulating allow yourself to feel gratitude for what currently is. Let yourself be showered with your own abundance. This is also a good time for the light of our awareness to be turned inward. What insights or epiphanies are currently present awaiting our attention.