There is nothing better at the end of a hard working day in the garden, to scoop a few handfuls of this Rosemary & Lavender Magnesium Bath Soak into the tub and relax!
(Actually, I’m usually so filthy that I have a quick scrub down in the shower first!)
As I’m sure you know, working in the garden is often more than just physical exertion.
I often end up with scrapes, bites, and despite my best efforts, a touch of sunburn.
Which means the bath not only soothes my tired muscles, it helps to heal the battering.
I love bath salts, but I like to be generous with them in my bath.
I’m talking a handful or two of bath salts, to really feel like I’m getting all that salty, herby, therapeutic goodness.
A few scant tablespoons of pricey bath salts doesn’t satisfy me at all.
I’m also a bit fussy and like my bath salts really fine textured, so they disperse quickly in my warm bathwater.
I don’t like big, chunky, floaty bits in my bath. Oh, and I don’t want any artificial colours that will turn me into a Smurf.
Fortunately for me and you, bath salts are easy to make, exactly the way you like them and are great value.
Epsom salt is made up of hydrated magnesium sulphate (magnesium and sulphur).
As a gardener, you may already be aware of how Epsom salts help improve flower blooming and enhances a plant’s green colour, encouraging healthy, bushy plant growth.
Epsom salt baths have traditionally been used to relax and restore tired muscles, and this was attributed to the absorption of the magnesium and sulphur through the skin to relax muscles and improve joint health.
I found many internet articles stating that magnesium salts are readily absorbed through the skin in a process called transdermal application. There are plenty of products about, from plain magnesium oil (which is just magnesium chloride dissolved in water and used as a topical spray) to pricy magnesium creams that claim transdermal application is beneficial because “bioavailability of magnesium supplements can be diminished by their contact with stomach acids and digestive enzymes”.
This simply is not the case. There is plenty of evidence to support the fact that magnesium is readily absorbed via oral ingestion. However, there is a lack of peer-reviewed research that supports a significant or therapeutic level of magnesium absorption from the skin via transdermal application.
Fortunately, I also found no evidence that soaking in an Epsom salt bath is harmful either! You can buy Epsom salts in the medicinal aisle at the supermarket.
Rosemary has been adored for thousands of years for its invigorating scent and delicious flavour. I love it because it thrives in my dry, sandy garden, attracting beneficial insects with its beautiful blue flowers. Rosemary is easily propagated, just take a woody cutting and keep in a vase of clean water, it will root quickly.
Rosemary’s traditional reputation is as a beneficial hair tonic and dye. Rosemary is also wonderful to use on the skin. A 2017 study demonstrated that regular use of rosemary oil resulted in a significant improvement in skin hydration and elasticity.
Several studies have also investigated Rosemary’s relaxing reputation and its effect on our cognitive function. A notable Japanese study indicated that smelling lavender and rosemary increases free radical scavenging activity and decreases cortisol levels in saliva.
As indicated in the study I mentioned above, Lavender is calming and soothing. I grow a few different varieties of lavender in my garden. It remains one of my favourite scents and once established, will reward you with many blooms for many years.
So while I would love to have my house drenched in the scent of lavender, there is some evidence that exposure to lavender and tea tree oil causes breast growth in prepubescent boys. However, the sample, in this case, is very small (just three boys) and certainly, more scientific study is required. If you are concerned, minimize lavenders’ use around your young blokes!
One 2016 study indicated lavender boosts the synthesis of collagen and heals skin tissues by increasing blood circulation. Lavender is also beneficial for minor skin irritations, razor bumps, and sunburn.
Relaxing Rosemary & Lavender Magnesium Bath Soak
My garden is never without Rosemary or Lavender so I always have plenty of these salts on hand! They also make a thoughtful gift for a keen gardener.
- 3/4 cup of lavender flowers (fresh or dried)
- 1/4 cup of Rosemary leaves (fresh is better, reduce to 1/8 cup or two teaspoons if dried)
- 1/2 cup of baking soda
- 1 and 1/2 cups of Epsom salts
- 12 drops of Lavender and/or Rosemary Essential oil
Place all ingredients into blender and process until a very fine powder.
You may wish to sieve the blend into a bowl and re-process the chunkier bits.
Scoop into a tightly sealed jar. Add a few handfuls of Rosemary and Lavender Magnesium Bath Soak to a warm (not hot) running bath. Swirl to dissolve before getting in your bath.
Relax and enjoy!
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Information on the traditional uses and properties of herbs are provided here are for educational use only, and is not intended as medical advice. If you have any serious health concerns, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering herbs.