The practice of bathing for physical health benefits is wonderful in its simplicity to achieve at home, but a few practicalities should be considered to ensure that your bathing environment is safe and clean before you start in on the fun of adding in medicinal ingredients and products. In this day and age, the simple practice of bathing can actually be fraught with unseen toxin exposures in our bath products, bathroom environment, and even our bathing water. Our simple guide will offer you insight on the basics of a healing bath and take away the guesswork of whether or not your bath is healthy and healing.
Healthy Products For A Healing Bath Soak
The skin is the largest organ in our body, and when you soak your whole body in a bath, that whole vast surface area to be affected by whatever’s in your bathwater. Some substances are not as easily absorbed, affecting the skin topically, while others are able to penetrate the skin and enter the bloodstream. Considering this, it's very important to make sure that our bath is a clean and healthy environment so that we are not actually harming ourselves while attempting to create a healing experience.
There are so many deliciously pretty bath products out there to choose from, but think twice about what what you choose to put on your skin. So many bath and body products contain harmful chemicals that have various alarming effects on the human body such as being neurodisruptive, causing birth defects or cancer, or playing a part in unpleasant conditions such as acne and eczema. Here is a list of common ingredients to avoid in your bath products - be they shampoo, soaps, conditioners, body washes, bath soaks, or anything else that will come in contact with your skin:
- Poly(ethylene oxide)
- Polyethelene Glycol (PEG)
- Hydroxy diphenyl ether
Healthy Water For A Healing Bath Soak
Our skin’s impressive ability to absorb its exposures into the body is a wonderful thing when it comes to the healing naturals you choose to add to your water, but it is important to consider also what is in your bath soak that you do not want to absorb. Start with the most basic element of the bath - water. Many of our water systems are contaminated with heavy metals, chemical fertilizers, fluoride, and other toxic substances, so it’s worth purchasing a filter for your bath spout to ensure that you are helping and not hindering your health while bathing.
If you’re curious how safe your water is for soaking in (or drinking, for that matter), check your area’s water quality with this handy tool at Berkey filters:
If you need a filter, there are a number of options on the market that are not too expensive and last a long time. You can just attach them to your existing faucet and forget about them.
Think About Your Lungs, Too!
Many people love to use candles or incense to make their bathtime more soothing and spa-like. This is another area where a little knowledge goes a long way in creating a truly medicinal experience and avoiding toxin exposure through breathing. When buying candles or incense (or any other scented product, for that matter), avoid anything that contains synthetic fragrance. This can be labelled as fragrance or “parfum” on ingredients lists. These chemical fragrances contain pthalates, which are endocrine disrupters known to cause hormone imbalances and breast cancer among many other health issues. They also contain carcinogens, which cause cancer. Opt instead for products scented with real plants and essential oils, which smell lovely and don't provide you with headaches, cancer, and other disturbing consequences. My favorite chemical-free incense is Dream Lion Incense. It’s not scary, and it smells divine.
Make sure your bathroom and the tile around your bath area is mold-free. This is good for your day-to-day life too - mold poisoning is common and avoiding exposure is important, especially in a damp and steamy environment like a bathroom.
Finally, consider your bathtub itself. Most bathtubs are safe - but occasionally you might run into a strange situation like I had in an apartment I lived in once, in which the entire bathroom had been spray-painted white to give it an updated look - including the bathtub itself. I kissed my dreams of bath soaking goodbye until I moved to a new location - no one should soak in hot, heated spray-paint water!
Now that you have these few basics in place, you’re ready to explore the exciting world of medicinal baths, knowing you have a safe, blank slate to work with.