|A mineral bath may combine the following: water at a warm temperature, dissolved gasses, minerals and mud. You can visit spas that promote such pools, or make your own mineral bath. Read further to find out all about mineral baths.|
The Study of Mineral Baths
Did you know that scientists actually study mineral baths? Who knew? The field of study is called Balneology or Balneotherapy, which actually means “treatment of disease by bathing”. This field also includes the study of hot springs and spa therapy.
Granted, this line of study is more popular in Japan, which boasts of many mineral bath experiences, and most of Europe. Let’s hope it catches on in the US! I’ll start; LOL.
This study involves examining the effects of bathing to relieve certain diseases, pains, and skin conditions. Illnesses that have been studied are ones that are related to chronic inflammation, namely rheumatoid arthritis. Chronic pain has been studied as well. And skin conditions such as eczema have been examined.
What Does Science Say About Mineral Baths?
We don’t even need to quote science to know that a warm bath can ease body aches and relax muscles. Add to that the body feeling lighter as the water holds you up. These results alone make for a calmer and less inflamed body.
A study from Oxford Health Department of Rheumatology found statistical proof that there are “significant beneficial effects” from spa therapy. It should be noted that the statistical evidence is small. And this report doesn’t state what kind of spa therapy was used. Nevertheless, that is encouraging.
Much has been promoted about the benefits of Epsom Salt for pain relief. However, from my research, there isn’t really scientific evidence for this. My article Can Epsom Salt Relieve Pain? But Not In A Way That You Think discusses this further.
From the Epsom Salt article you understand that our body can’t really absorb minerals through the skin, specifically magnesium. But some solutions can help skin conditions. A spring high in sulfur can help with the skin condition of psoriasis.
Minerals and Their Benefits
There is not enough scientific proof that any mineral soaks actually benefit your health. The skin acts to protect the rest of your body by stopping elements from entering your bloodstream.
That said, there may be some benefit from mineral baths. The following are the common minerals you will experience from a mineral bath.
- Calcium – A chemical that assists in strong bones, it can also leave your skin feeling more hydrated and soft.
- Sulfate – In natural springs this is the chemical that smells like rotten eggs. It is one of the chemicals in Epsom Salts. It is promoted to enhance skin health and reduce joint pain.
- Magnesium – This is the other component of Epsom Salts. Claims to regulate blood pressure and blood glucose.
- Lithium – Some spas provide this gas to promote effervescence and an enhanced mood
- Zinc – Benefits skin health and can actually treat some skin conditions
There are many other chemicals and additives for a mineral bath. Ask your spa staff what their pools contain. Ask them the benefits. So many spas that I researched make several claims, but I’m just not sure the science backs them up.
I’ve also researched relaxing bath products in this post: What To Put In Your Bath For a Relaxing Experience. Check it out for more information.
Why Would You Want to Take a Mineral Bath?
Let’s agree that you want to bathe to get clean. Also, you may want to destress, calm down and relax. Maybe you need some quiet time alone. Well a bath can do that for you.
But a mineral bath can add to the experience. What a great deal! You can treat your skin while you relax. Or relieve some pain by adding a mineral. Or calm the aching in your joints.
You really have nothing to lose but a few dollars by investing in some minerals to find out if a mineral bath will be helpful to your needs. Or visiting a spa that boasts mineral pools. And maybe get a massage? Now we’re talking!
Are There Any Harmful Side Effects To Mineral Baths?
There are some precautions you should take when soaking in a mineral bath. They are:
- If you have heart issues, don’t soak too long or at too high a temperature. May cause dizziness.
- Some natural springs may contain microorganisms that can affect your skin. Do your research before you soak in them.
- Sulfur gasses may cause respiratory distress.
- If you have allergies to fragrances or chemicals, mineral baths might not be for you.
Can I Make a Mineral Bath At Home?
Yes you can! What you put in your bath will depend on your needs. Of course the first item you need is a bathtub! Next of course, hot water. Don’t get it too hot, but hot enough to be enjoyable. Recommendations range between 90° to 105°. So basically, a little above or below body temperature.
Then you can add fragrances, minerals and salts, depending on your goal. What sort of experience are you going for? Choices might include:
- Relaxation: Lavender fragrance
- Skin Treatments: Oatmeal
- Body Inflammation or Pain: Salts, to increase buoyancy and relieve weight on bones and joints
- Milk: Enhance skin health and bone health
- Apple Cider Vinegar: May help skin irritations
Most of these easy additions are not really minerals. But depending on products you might purchase, you will find minerals added.
It is not recommended that you shower after a mineral soak so that the chemicals can continue to treat your skin. But that is totally up to you.
Mineral soak products abound. I think I will have to research them and compare them in another article.
I happen to love Dr. Teal’s products. This link will take you to my Walmart affiliate link for Dr. Teal’s Pure Epsom Salt Soaking Solution. If you purchase through this link, I receive a referral fee. But they have many versions of the soak, so check them out.
I have researched these subjects in depth. I am not a medical professional, and don’t recommend you ignore advice from your physician. If you are concerned about soaking in a mineral bath, talk to your doctor first. Mineral baths are not an alternative to medical treatment, but they are natural and may give you some relief from your issues.
What Do You Think?
Did I answer your questions about mineral baths? If not, ask it in the comments. And if you have something interesting to add to this article, please do so, also in the comments.