How to make your own herbal bath salts….and other homemade products
I collect recipes. Useful recipes for soaps, lotions, creams, and cleaning products. I have too many to count and I’m sure there are more to collect. These recipes often give me the inspiration to create my own variations and I love seeing what creative things I can come up with. So it goes with the new book, 101 Easy Homemade Products for Skin, Health & Home by Jan Berry. There are 100+ recipes to give you the inspiration to create your own herbal treasures.
I decided to tackle herbal bath salts for my first project from the book. Easily put together, this refreshing soak incorporates a variety of fresh herbs from your garden and there really is no wrong combination. Jan suggests choosing several strong aromatics as the base. I chose chocolate mint and spearmint for mine because I have an abundance of mint in my garden.
Find 101 Easy Homemade Products for Your Skin, Health & Home at Amazon
More about the book 101 Easy Homemade Products
First, the pictures are beautiful! Ms. Berry really has an eye for capturing the fresh essence of handmade soaps, lotions, and creams. They jump off the page and say “make me!”
The beginning chapter has a handy reference for using specific herbs, which I love. Want to know what to do with your basil harvest? Try Basil & Rose Kombucha Toner, Basil & Lime Lip Balm, or Basil Sore Throat Spray. Planting sunflowers this year? They have skin-soothing, anti-inflammatory properties and can be incorporated into Sunflower Salve, Sunflower Lotion Bars, or a Sunflower Hot Oil Treatment for your hair.
Next comes a discussion on oils and cosmetic butters. This in-depth section will help you know which oil to choose (or substitute) for any recipe.
There really is something for every DIY herb enthusiast. Chapter headings include:
- Getting started making natural homemade products
- Nontoxic herbal skin care
- Naturally soothing salves & balms
- Exotic body butter & lotion bars
- Easy, all-natural creams & lotions
- Garden fresh bath soaks & salts
- Beautiful bath melts & scrubs
- DIY lip care
- Luscious hair care
- Simple homemade soaps
- Herbal home remedies
- Non-toxic solutions for the home
- All-natural pet care
The Recipes in 101 Easy Homemade Products are easy to follow and extremely varied in scope. Thanks to the herb information at the front of the book, I was completely comfortable thinking about substitutions to modify these recipes for the ingredients I have on hand. If you are looking for a thorough and beautiful book to learn about making homemade beauty products and non-toxic cleaners, this is it! It has become a trusted addition to my herbal recipe collection and one I will reach for again and again.
How to make Mint, Calendula & Plantain Herbal Bath Salts
For this project, I used the herbs on hand in my garden, however, any combination of herbs will work. Mint is cooling and pain-relieving, calendula is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial, and plantain cools and soothes skin irritations. This combination of herbal bath salts will not only calm but soothe skin. You will need:
- 1 part chopped fresh leaves
- 1 part Epsom salts
- 2 tablespoons baking soda per cup of salt
- a few drops of eucalyptus and peppermint essential oil
- a glass storage container
- muslin bag or handkerchief (optional but recommended) to contain the herbs in the bath
Gather the ingredients from around your yard. Many herbs are suitable for herbal bath salts. I’ve used mint, calendula, and plantain as my base. They are all good for skin repair. I also added lavender, lemon verbena, and rosemary in smaller portions. You will need equal portions of herbs and Epsom salts. I started with around 1 cup of fresh herbs.
To prepare, wash your herbs to remove any garden dirt and pat them dry. I actually put mine in a muslin towel and did a little spin dry. A salad spinner would work too. This will help the mixture dry faster. Next, remove the leaves from any woody stems.
Add the fresh herbs and Epsom salts to a food processor. Gently pulse until the herbs ar chopped and it is well mixed. Add the baking soda and pulse again. If you don’t have a food processor, finely chop the herbs and stir them into the salts.
Spread the herbs and salts out on a piece of wax paper for 1 to 2 days. The salt will quickly dry the herbs. After about 6 hours I used a spatula to stir the mix and spread it out again. My herbal bath salts were dry after 24 hours.
Add a few drops of essential oil and transfer the salts to a jar for storage.
I love these herbal bath salts and the scent is heavenly! Use half a cup of salts for each soothing bath soak. It will soothe your skin and ease sore muscles after a day of work or gardening. What could be better than that?
About the author: Jan Berry is the writer and photographer of the blog The Nerdy Farm Wife, where she shares creative ways to turn herbs, flowers and other garden plants into pretty things that are fun and practical. She writes regularly for HobbyFarms.com and Natural Herbal Living magazine. Her projects have been featured on NaturalLliving Mama, Empress of Dirt, Lovely Greens, BuzzFeed, Money Saving Mom, the Bulk Herb Store and more. She lives on a farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with her husband, two children and a menagerie of farm animals. You can find her at The Nerdy Farm Wife.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. There are affiliate links in this post. Thanks for supporting PreparednessMama in this way!