Today, millions of people continue to flock to bath sites and bath facilities throughout the world. However, one need not travel any further than their bathroom to enjoy a healing and relaxing bath. All it takes is a running a hot bath and a few healthy ingredients.
The Dead Sea is one of the world’s saltiest bodies of water and one of the world’s earliest spas. Herod the Great, the Roman king of Judea and Egypt’s Queen Cleopatra both enjoyed the healthful 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 of public bathing and socializing. The hot springs in Baden-Baden, Germany, were well known to the Romans and the waters there are known to bring relief for cases of rheumatism, gout, paralysis, neuralgia, and skin diseases. Britain’s Queen Victoria was an annual visitor during her reign.
Other civilizations which have embraced healing baths for centuries include China, India and Native America. Archaeologists in India’s ancient India’s 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”, and area known today as Hot Springs, Arkansas.
In the United States, the rich and famous regularly traveled by private rail car more than 100 years ago to Mount Clemens, Michigan. “America’s Bath City” 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 the waters and legend had it that people came to the city in wheelchairs and left walking under their own power. Among those who regularly paid visits 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 bathtub, hot water (generally speaking, the hotter the water the better so long as the water is not scalding) and healthy minerals, herbs, etc., either singly or in combination.
Some of the best ingredient for a healing and relaxing bath are:
Sea salts, especially ancient sea salts, are loaded with minerals and trace minerals.
Epsom salts relax sore muscles and joints and contain magnesium, an essential mineral which most of us are deficient in.
Lavender and other essential oils, such as rose oil and juniper oil, provide aromatherapy benefits such as fighting depression and relieving tension and stress.
Baking soda helps neutralize chlorine and is good for muscles and skin.
Citric acid bonds with minerals and, when 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 relief)
- Oriental wild yam (stress, female problems)
- Eucommiae Cortex (Duzhong) (knees, joints)
- Osmanthus (stress, depression)
- Radix Polygoni Multiflori (Heshouwu) (blood, energy, arthritis)
- Flos Lonicerae (blood, toxins, skin disease)
- Radix ginseng
Additional Therapeutic-bathing Tips
- Keep hydrated and boost your bath benefits by keeping an iced glass of healthy tea and/or juice at your side.
- Do not fall asleep! Spa pillows may help prevent your head from sliding underwater, but the best plan is to stay awake.
- For the healthiest baths, use water filters designed to remove chlorine and fluoride, where applicable.
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