|What is a Detox Bath? Simply defined, it is bathing in warm water with some natural ingredients added that will remove toxins from your body. Those ingredients are usually Epsom Salts, ginger or essential oils. Read on to find out everything you need to know to decide if a detox bath is for you.
What Are Toxins?
The common wisdom is that we have toxins in our body. But what are toxins? Science classifies toxins as substances that plants and animals create that may be poisonous to humans. Think snake venom for example.
But most of us don’t have to worry about these toxins. And here’s the problem; we aren’t at as much risk as some would have you believe. Our bodies do a great job of getting rid of stuff that isn’t good for us.
So what toxins are we talking about? Well some chemicals, air pollution, and cigarette smoke. I would personally include alcohol. But again, our body, or mainly the kidneys, do a great job of cleaning out these substances. So most of us don’t really need a detox of any kind, including a detox bath.
But if you still are interested in trying a detox bath, then let’s explore the topic.
Why You Should Take A Detox Bath
Popular opinion tells you that you should take a detox bath to rid your body of (surprise, surprise) toxins. And by far, the most popular product to accomplish that is using Epsom Salts in your bath.
The claim is that the Epsom salts will absorb into your body and then draw out the toxins. However, this is simply not how the body works, and therefore the claim is not scientifically provable!
Therefore, we should conclude that a detox bath isn’t really a thing, and that you can’t prove it works. However, just taking a warm, relaxing bath has so many benefits, I would still encourage you to try some of the recommendations here. Just know that you probably aren’t detoxing anything.
Here’s another author stating the same thing; No, You Can’t ‘Detox’ from an Epsom Salt Bath.
How To Take A Detox Bath
Research shows there are three main products that are used in the bath to detox your body. They are Epsom Salts, ginger and essential oils. Let’s discuss them.
These salts aren’t actually salt, but a granulated form of magnesium sulfate. The most popular claim the manufacturers make is that adding them to the bath helps relax tight muscles and heal sore joints.
But there is no science behind these claims. Most research suggests that the salts provide a placebo effect at best. The salts can affect your skin, and have been mentioned in relation to calming irritated or inflamed skin. You can even ingest Epsom salts. But as far as any detox effects, there just isn’t any proof.
I wrote a related article about the salts on my pain site. See it here: Can Epsom Salt Relieve Pain?
Ginger is known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and has been indicated in reducing nausea as well as treatment for cold symptoms. Therefore, the popular practice is to add ginger to your bath water to experience the anti-inflammatory effects through your skin.
The claim would follow that it removes toxins because of its magnesium properties and antioxidant abilities. However, once again there is no science for this belief.
And there can be adverse side effects to adding ginger to your bath. The top two side effects are skin irritation and raising your body temperature. So if you are intent on taking a ginger bath, I advise you to do a skin test at the very least to see if you react. Better yet, consult your doctor.
I am not recommending ginger be added to your bath, because there is no science to support the claims and there may be negative side effects.
Essential oils are compounds extracted from plants. Through various methods the essence of the plant is extracted and results in the manufacture of an oil. Popular among the oils used for detox are rosemary, lavender, lemongrass, pine and juniper berry.
I reviewed an article that made the claim that there is proof that these oils work, but the article didn’t cite any scientific source, so I guess anyone can say anything on the web and not worry about providing real evidence.
Bottom line, some of the fragrances, like lavender can provide a calming effect, but as far as detoxing the body, there is no proof!
So What Benefits You Can Expect From A Detox Bath?
The only benefits you will gain from a “detox bath” are the basic benefits of a bath. You will feel relaxed, you will get clean, and depending on any products you use, you may moisturize your skin. But you will not detox your body!
As with any bath experience, you should follow these guidelines.
Remember To Hydrate
A hot or warm bath may cause you to sweat, and therefore you need to replace that moisture loss. Water is your best friend to rehydrate. Or a calming tea is the next best thing. Drink before or during your bath, if you are so inclined.
Don’t Do It If You Are Pregnant, Or Have Kidney Problems
Remember your kidneys are the organ that is truly detoxing your body, and using the above products may affect them.
Children Should Not Take A Detoxifying Bath
Don’t Do A Detox Bath Everyday
In fact, it isn’t necessary to even bathe everyday. Here is my article about how often you should bathe; How Many Baths Per Week Are Too Many? How Often Should I Bathe? From that article you can see bathing two to three times a week is fine for most of us.
You Should Switch Up Your Product Uses.
Don’t use a product every night, especially one that would dry out your skin. Change them around. And it’s okay to just bathe in plain old water!
Just Be Careful!
Slipping while getting into and out of the tub or shower is a frequent cause of accidents. For those of us who are seniors, this can be very disastrous. And if we add slippery products like oils, the risk is increased. Use towels to dry off your hands so you can grip the sides. Better yet, install a grab bar.
Take it slowly and be sure to step onto a non skid mat. Have your towel close by so you don’t walk on a slippery floor while you are wet.
From my research, it is apparent that there is no science that backs up the wildly popular claims that a detox bath has healthy benefits. A simple hot bath can accomplish the same thing. So I won’t be offering any products that are basically useless.
What do you think? Disagree? Great! Leave a comment. Or if you have a question please ask it here. I wonder if I have created some controversy by making these claims?
What is a Detox Bath? Simply defined, it is bathing in warm water with some natural ingredients added that will remove toxins from your body. Those ingredients are usually Epsom Salts, ginger or essential oils. Read on to find out everything you need to know to decide if a detox bath is for you.