Bathing is an ancient practice of self-care. From Thailand to India to Russia to across the expanse of time, culture, history and the entire globe, the art of the bath has been practiced for health benefits. Not only does a good warm bath aid in relaxation and stress reduction, but it can also have profound somatic healing and medicinal benefits.

What are some of the benefits and uses of the medicinal bath? There are many, but here are a few:

  • Reducing somatic symptoms & reducing pain.
  • Trauma
  • Stress reduction & mindfulness
  • Depression & anxiety
  • Balancing and grounding

Remember that our skin is our largest organ and the largest one we absorb things and expel things through. Drawing yourself a bath with specific herbs, minerals and medicinal natural elements can bring about healing for many ailments and/or facilitate the healing process.

Stress being the leading cause of ALL illness, it is the thing that breaks down our immune system the fastest and creates gaps in our wellness or balance. Stress decreases the ability to properly digest and absorb nutrients which can lead to deficiencies and to weight gain, fight off infection and disease and regulate our systems (mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual). Chronic stress also leads to mental and emotional imbalances and somatic symptoms of all types.

So a relaxing medicinal bath has the capacity to boost your immune function, emotional capacity, and somatic healing significantly when practiced regularly. I say ‘practiced’ because for me the art of the bath, especially medicinal baths are a central part of my somatic healing, self-care, and wellness practices.

Ok, what exactly is a medicinal bath and how do you incorporate it into your somatic healing, wellness, and self-care practice… let’s dive into what medical baths are, how to do them and even a few delicious recipes!

Medicinal means ‘tending or used to cure disease or relieve pain’ and I am also using it in reference as substances or plants having healing properties. Being that our skin is our largest organ for absorbing and expelling we can draw in many medicinal properties through the medicinal bathing experience… and yes, it is an experience! Just like homeopathic, natural medicine and other holistic or alternative treatments, the medicinal bath has many, many different recipes to support different needs your body and mind may have.

With my medicinal bath recipes, I draw from my many years as an Integrative Wellness & Life Coach, studies of natural medicine, Ayurveda, tribal healing, and through my doctorial training and PhD in Integrative & Natural Medicine. I use herbs, minerals, vitamins, raw plants and flowers, crystals, and stones as well as essential oils.

The three favorite more simple and basic medical bath recipes that I have created and used over time are:

  • The Renewal Bath
  • The Detox Bath
  • The Stress Reduction Bath

Before we dive into these three recipes, I want to share more about creating ‘your space’ and setting the atmosphere for medicinal baths. Your environment should be calm, peaceful and promote wellness. You may be able to create such an environment within your own home, or if you do not have a bathtub you can opt to go to a spa for a medicinal bath.

Here are the basics to an environment that promotes the optimal healing benefits of a medicinal bath:

  • Calm music
  • Low light
  • Candles
  • Essential oils
  • Plants

Now for the recipes…

Medicinal Bath Recipes

The Renewal Bath

¼ cup Arnica oil

5-10 drops Eucalyptus oil

Frankincense oil

10-15 drops Myrrh oil

1 cup Colloidal oatmeal

Fresh rose petals (red or pink are preferred, or you may use rose water)

1 Hematite stone

1 capsule of vitamin B complex

4 small Amethyst stones

3-5 drops of cinnamon oil

3-5 drops of Grapefruit oil

1 cup Epsom salts


The Detox Bath

1.2 cup Bentonite clay

½ cup Red Moroccan clay

2 small Shungite stones (known to reduce EMF’s and other toxins)

4 tablespoons of Manuka honey

4 small Amethyst stones

5-10 drops of Bergamot oil

Ginger (you can juice some ginger root, use ginger tea bags, or ginger essential oil – use only a small amount)

1 cup Epsom salts


The Stress Reduction Bath

Magnesium (add about ¼ cup of liquid magnesium)

Lavender oil (10-15 drops)

1 capsule of L-Lysine (to boost the immune system)

4 small Rose Quartz crystals (or one larger one)

2 small Fluorite stone

2 small jade stones

4 small Amethyst stones

Chamomile (you may use either the fresh flowers or 4 chamomile tea bags)

5-10 drops of Bergamot oil

1 cup Epsom salts

For a powerful addition to your medicinal bath rituals add:

  • Dry brushing prior to your medicinal bath.
  • An Abhyanga self-massage. This is a type of Ayurvedic massage that’s done with warm oil. You can easily find free videos online (or mine) with simple instructions of how to do the massage technique. But simply put, the warm oil is applied on the entire body, from the scalp to the bottoms of your feet and massaged in upwards circular motions.