d-i-y aromatherapy baths + bath salts (cheap)


Tara Mann

We couldn’t live without the occasional hot bath to cool-out our over-worked selves. Instead of buying expensive, wonderfully-packaged bath salts, “spa crystals” and oils, we came up with a simple formula for doctoring baths that involves no effort at all, is cheap, and allows us to calibrate really pure fragrances to our mood.

We just dump a couple of cups or so of epsom salts into a hot tub; then we add a few drops of an essential oil distilled from flowers, herbs or other botanicals like lavender or rose geranium: voila, instant aromatherapy.

Epsom salts are an old-fashioned, tried-and-true remedy for stressful living, sore muscles, detoxifying (great at the first sign of a cold). You can buy them in 4-pound cartons at just about any drugstore or supermarket, for three or four dollars. Because they’re heavy to lug home, we often have a few delivered with our groceries, and store them in the closet, as is. (If you can’t stand the homely box, decant into a pretty canister).

Tara Mann

We keep a small arsenal of essential oils on hand to dispense according to our mood or need: lavender or rose geranium, our all-purpose favorites…citronella nardus to ward off an threatening cold…eucalyptus for sweating out a fever or cough. We’ve also experimented with the subtle, herbal aromas of rosewood (a little like orange flower water), clary sage or bergamot (the scent of Earl Grey Tea)…to name a few; there’s a world of essential oils. Sometimes we use several kinds to make an impromptu custom blend. We buy them at the health food store or online.

If you can’t find epsom salts in your neighborhood or are just feeling like a lazy dog, you can order them from Amazon here.

5 Responses to d-i-y aromatherapy baths + bath salts (cheap)

  1. belmontmedina 08.09.2010 at 8:54am #

    A few drops of eucalyptus oil in with your rinse cycle will cut down on dust mites in your linens as well- great for allergy sufferers!

  2. Harriet 08.09.2010 at 9:15am #

    I know what I’m doing after schelpping around the city today. Something to look forward to!

  3. namemaria robledo 08.09.2010 at 3:47pm #

    any prefered brands or shops for these oils?
    Best when really potent right?

  4. Sally 08.09.2010 at 9:02pm #

    The most readily available and reliable is probably Aura Cacia, which you can get at most health food stores and Whole Foods. I have bought lovely oils online from Gritman. They have lots of great information on their website. Here is what they have to say about buying essential oils:

    “If you go into a store and all the oils are priced at $4.95, most likely they are fragrances and/or adulterated synthetically and not essential oils. Also, to help ensure that you are getting high quality oil; it is important that the bottle clearly states the botanical name (genus species). Common names can be misleading. Several different plants can have the same common name.

    The country of origin is also important. The same variety of plant grown in a different country can smell differently. Take for example, Lemongrass from South American and Lemongrass from India. The Indian Lemongrass has a milder smell and is not has irritating to the skin as the Lemongrass from South America.

    If it comes in a clear bottle, is inexpensive, with a powerful scent, and has a fruit name (apple, banana, cherry, coconut, grape, watermelon) or a floral name (lily of the valley, hyacinth, sweet pea, wisteria, honeysuckle) then it is safe to say they are fragrances. Those are dead give always that it is not an essential oil, but a fragrance (synthetic) cooked in a lab. True essential oils are always in a dark bottle with varying degrees of prices. A bottle (10ml) of true steam distilled rose oil is over $100. Then some oils can be inexpensive, like peppermint at $5. Essential oils come in a variety of scents. They can be very pleasant to smell, as well as medicinal, and there are some that do not smell good at all.”

  5. jody lotito-levine 08.09.2010 at 9:05pm #

    i prefer Young Living Oils. our family have been long time users of epsom salt…love the idea of the glass cannister…thank you!

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