Healthy, Homemade Gifts: Bath Salts


By: , SparkPeople Blogger

After a long, tough workout, an equally long, hot bath is just what I crave. If I'm feeling particularly sore, I add Epsom salts, which help reduce inflammation. You can buy expensive aromatherapy bath salts at department stores, but I don't like to shell out cash for something I can make at home.

Epsom salts cost less than $3 for a 5 pound bag at the drug store, and essential oils, though pricey, are used sparingly in these recipes. As a bonus, you can control the quality of the ingredients if you make bath salts at home.

This gift is great for anyone who needs to learn to take time to relax or for someone who has already mastered that skill. (My sister, a stressed-out graduate student, is getting some homemade bath salts for Christmas this year.)

6 cups Epsom salts
2 cups table salt
4 cups baking soda
Large glass jars with lids
Essential oils (peppermint, lavender, eucalyptus, etc.)

Mix salts and baking soda together in a large bowl, then add essential oils until the scent of the salts reaches the desired strength. Mix well with a spoon, then place salts in glass jars. (Bonus: Print a custom label for your fancy bath salts.)

Some suggested recipes:
Relaxation: chamomile and lavender; grapefruit, jasmine and ylang-ylang; lavender and mint
Bedtime: chamomile, sage and bergamot; vanilla and lavender
Invigorating: grapefruit and ginger, rosemary and bergamot, peppermint and lemon, basil and grapefruit

Find more aromatherapy recipes here.

What is your favorite scent combination? I love the combinations of lavender and vanilla (when I can't sleep) and lavender and mint.

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  • 130
    I plan to try the scents tonight to help me seems like I can remain asleep after 3:30-4 a.m. Thanks for the idea! - 3/4/2015   2:31:27 PM
  • 129
    Hi.... saw a Spark article on this a while ago -- decided to play with it. Thought I'd share my recipe and results -- I use essential oils of lavender and peppermint with olive oil and ordinary salt! to make a scrub that softens amazingly -- I have tough feet that were cracking because I go barefoot a LOT -- this really helped. If I may, essential oils are much better than scented oils that are not pure-- and also spendy, but they last a long time, too... I studied massage and aromatherapy a bit, and there are definitely combinations that have different effects... peppermint, for example, is a stimulant, and clary sage is actually an herbal remedy that I've observed has effects that you may - or may not - want. To choose your oil, do a little snooping on aromatherapy web sites -- for inspiration about what combinations are recommended for what. If nothing else, it will save you buying something you might not have a use for. As for me, I love my lavender and peppermint mix :) Anyway, this is fun... the caveats folks have mentioned here are worth thinking about. Have fun and treat yourselves well and with love. - 1/17/2009   12:41:17 AM
    Thanks for the recipes! I'm a sucker for bath salts and essential oils. - 1/6/2009   6:25:43 PM
    Epsom Salts is Magnesium Sulfate that is mixed in water, such as a bath. It is used for sprains, bruises, or relief to tired, sore muscles. - 12/26/2008   5:13:45 PM
    Sounds wonderful, but it's too late for this Christmas. I had read it earlier. A question, what are EPSON salts? I'm from Spain, and haven't heard of them. Maybe they sell them on the net? - 12/24/2008   9:50:18 AM
    Wow I'm going to try this...thanks - 12/24/2008   8:51:20 AM
  • 124
    Sounds like good gifts ideas and might start making them for next Christmas, birthdays and anniversary gifts. Thank you for sharing these ideas. - 12/23/2008   10:58:09 PM
  • SERINA59
    Thank you for sharing - 12/12/2008   6:06:32 PM
    Great idea! One word of caution: people who are allergic to ragweed may be allergic to chamomile.

    Cantaloupe, bananas, "and other foods, in particular watermelon and honeydew, as well as a few plants like chrysanthemums and sunflowers, cross-react with ragweed and in some people can intensify the allergic response to the inhaled pollen. They may also cause some discomforts of their own, like tingling of the lips, tongue and palate and itching and swelling of the mouth and throat.

    Dr. Leonard Bielory, director of the Allergy and Asthma Research Center at the New Jersey Medical School in Newark, noted that three of four people with allergies were allergic to ragweed and, of those, 20 percent to 30 percent had a cross-reaction with chamomile."
    - 12/10/2008   11:33:20 AM
  • 121
    cute idea!! - 12/10/2008   9:50:34 AM
  • CHAZ2148
    Just a word of warning that some people may find pertinent: people with high blood pressure, heart disease or diabetes should consult their doctors before soaking in bath salts.

    Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) cause severe drying of the skin which makes the skin more fragile and that is something diabetics want to avoid.

    Magnesium may cause blood sugar levels to drop. It reduces insulin-stimulated glucose uptake and serum lipid concentrations in type 1 diabetes.

    I learned this while searching online for recipes for homemade bath salts. To be on the safe side, I would suggest that ANYONE with a serious medical condition should check with their doctor first. - 12/10/2008   5:31:29 AM
  • 119
    Thanks for the great idea. I am always looking for inexpensive gift ideas. Can't wait to try this one out. - 12/10/2008   12:38:55 AM
  • 118
    Lavender and Rosemary are my very favorite! - 12/9/2008   7:52:57 PM
  • 117
    Would be great Hannukah gifts, MOTHER'S DAY GIFTS (I'm a Mom, I'd LOVE the Lavendar, or maybe the Rosemary & Mint like Aveda uses in some of their lines), birthdays, bridal showers, whatever - don't just think it's all about Christmas!! ;-) No need to stress out over it, just bookmark it for later on to work on during the slooooow days of winter when we're snowed in and broke! ;-) I'm bookmarking this one!! Thanks! - 12/9/2008   7:38:22 PM
  • 116
    This is an excellent Christmas gift idea, thanks, especially when put in a pretty, reusable jar. Now I'm looking forward to a good bath. - 12/9/2008   5:49:37 PM
    I love lavender. Thanks for next years gift ideas for family and friends. Great for the kids to help make and give to there moms. - 12/9/2008   5:30:57 PM
    I love lavender. Thanks for next years gift ideas for family and friends. Great for the kids to help make and give to there moms. - 12/9/2008   5:30:56 PM
  • 113
    You should try mixing eucalyptus and spearmint oil for bedtimes and relaxation. I've been using that mix as a pillow mist for years and will definitely try it as a bathsalt!!! - 12/9/2008   4:12:59 PM
  • 112
    What a wonderful gift idea! I love bath salts and will try making some of these for myself and as gifts. - 12/8/2008   11:14:15 PM
  • 111
    thanks for the inspiration to make these. I too have made them before and had some essential oils on hand so I just had to get the various salts. YoYolady4 asked where to get essential oils, you can buy them in health food stores, or herbal stores if you have them in your area. Whole foods would have them, and in our area we have a coop and they sell essential oils.

    I made it up quickly and now I have alot of gifts to give, just need to make a label and put a ribbon on them. One thing I esp like is that the recipe is truly healing due to the various salts.

    Em - 12/8/2008   7:11:48 PM
  • 110
    What a great idea for a gift! I have one recipe for a bath oil I should dig out. If I find it I'll post it up. - 12/8/2008   6:21:12 PM
  • 109
    What an awesome idea... especially with Christmas coming! Thank you for sharing! - 12/8/2008   5:21:44 PM
  • 108
    Thanks for the recipe! I can sure this one for Christmas presents !! I am making bath wraps for Christmas presents, this will go good! Brunettwoman - 12/8/2008   4:06:14 PM
  • 107
    This is a great project -- made them today with my 3 year old for his teachers! He did well mixing everything and was really proud of his role in making presents.
    -Amy - 12/8/2008   3:03:20 PM
    I have been wanting to start making these for gifts and so forth.

    Thanks - 12/8/2008   1:59:41 PM
  • 105
    Lavendar is wonderful for instilling calm and promoting sleep. As a grandmother of four (and even for myself), I sprtiz the air or sprinkle just a drop on the pillow case. I find it works to settle them down especially when they were over-excited or overly tired.

    What a great way to pamper yourself and give the gift of kindness to others.
    Thank you. I'll add the ingredients to this week's shopping list. - 12/8/2008   12:03:23 PM
  • 104
    I think my teenage daughter would love to make this and give it to her friends for Christmas. I think we'll be heading to the store this weekend for the ingredients to make it! - 12/8/2008   11:01:02 AM
  • 103
    Wow...I never realized it was that easy to make. - 12/8/2008   10:26:39 AM
    I think this a wonderful idea for my girlfriends. It'll make a terrific stocking stuffing. - 12/8/2008   10:13:14 AM
  • 101
    What a GREAT easy idea. This is something I would love for myself as well.
    I have a girls holiday party in two days and this will be perfect.
    Thanks so much!!! - 12/8/2008   8:15:47 AM
  • 100
    I make my own sugar scrubs. I use regular sugar and purchase the oils from a local craft store. I made a lavendar scrub and gave it to my next door neighbor and she loved it, even her bf used it.

    Cindy - 12/8/2008   2:23:54 AM
  • 99
    This is something I can afford to use for gifts for my granddaughter's and other female relatives...not too sure about the guys...but maybe I can figure something out. - 12/8/2008   2:12:22 AM
  • 98
    great ideas
    thanks. - 12/8/2008   12:27:18 AM
  • 97
    I buy the reg plain salts...what kind of oils do you buy, where do u buy them? etc.. someone please help.. thanks soo much!! Best Wishes to all for the holidays!! YoYO - 12/7/2008   10:55:52 PM
  • 96
    In these difficult economic times, this is a thoughtful and creative gift idea, but still affordable. What a fantastic gift that I'm sure my mother and sister will get many hours of pleasure from. Not to mention myself. Thanks so much for sharing. - 12/7/2008   9:38:59 PM
    Thank you for this! I love making homemade gifts such as cookie mixes and such, but never thought of bath salts! Have a wonderful holiday! - 12/7/2008   8:32:00 PM
  • 94
    i used yoiur recipe and added dried rosemary, which I hand ground, I blended it with the salts and some lavender and chamomille, it smells wonderful. Thanks for a great idea for personal gifting. - 12/7/2008   7:58:43 PM
    I'm looking for just this type of give. Thanks. - 12/7/2008   5:14:04 PM
  • 92
    Fantastic idea Thank you, I am going to have my niece and nephew make this for their mom and grandma. We can decorate the jar with there own artwork!! - 12/7/2008   4:41:03 PM
  • LISALU910
    It sounds like a great project - I love bath salts! I didn't see any mention of coloring, though. Are there safe colorings which could be added? The salts just look more appealing if they are tinted, I think.

    Someone mentioned not using essential oil direction on your skin. Gosh, I have been doing that for years and years. Rather than perfume, I rub a tiny drop of my favorite essential oil at the base of my throat....I get raves about the fragrance everywhere I go! I have never seen any ill effects from doing that. - 12/7/2008   1:51:39 PM
    This sounds like a lot of fun. The recipe calls to add the essential oils until desired strength is reached. For someone who has never done this. About how much is that? drops, ounces? - 12/7/2008   10:44:20 AM
  • 89
    I love, love, love the lavender and vanilla scent! Infact I have found candles in that scent and I will burn them in my bedroom before bed and the room smells great and I have a nice warm feeling to fall asleep to! - 12/7/2008   10:28:52 AM
  • SNIETO08
    great idea, I was taking baths with just epsom salt and that was helping with aches and pains but this is a much better way, I love the chammoile and lavendar smell for sleep, just like from bath and body works. - 12/7/2008   9:55:17 AM
  • MRDA40
    What a fun recipe. I love bath salts. Gonna have to try this one for sure! - 12/7/2008   9:52:44 AM
  • 86
    Gives us something to think about I love baths and I use epsom salts now I will scent them. If you make these you also know exactly what is in them. - 12/7/2008   9:35:11 AM
    My daughter has a big old fashioned bathtub in her apartment & loves to soak....she would love these bath salts.....probably wont get them for Christmas this year due to time restraints but I can see her getting some home made by mom bath salts in her near future. I also like to leave thank you gifts to other flight attendants who go above & beyond so I'll be making some to use for those. Thanks for the recipe :) - 12/7/2008   8:44:28 AM
  • 84
    Thanks, I love bath salts. - 12/7/2008   7:52:52 AM
  • 83
    love this. - 12/7/2008   7:35:23 AM
  • ANNEN1
    This sounds like a very appea;ing project. Thanks for sharing.
    --Anne - 12/7/2008   6:30:07 AM
  • 81
    Makes me want to take baths again. - 12/7/2008   2:01:00 AM

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