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Monday, 22 November 2010

The Mustard Bath

Among the Victorian guaranteed cures for many ailments was the mustard bath. It worked in a similar way to epsom salts by producing heat and sweat which helps to detoxify the body. Certainly if you are feeling cold and unwell a warm bath can be most welcome, the water need not be too hot, since the mustard draws the blood to the surface of the skin generating heat as it does so.

If a little eucalyptus essential oil is added it will also act as a decongestant for natural relief from that bunged up feeling. For some the mustard can be a touch irritating so if you have particularly sensitive skin I would avoid it. I also would not recommend it be used for children.

Mustard Bath Recipe

8 ounces Epsom Salts or common kitchen salt3 ounces Mustard Seed crushed to powder
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger infused in a small cup of warm water for 20 minutes.
5 drops of eucalyptus essential oil

Pound the mustard seed until reduced to a powder. Combine the mustard seed powder with the mineral salts and stir well. Add the eucalyptus essential oil to the warm water with the ginger and then mix in the dried ingredients.

Draw a warm bath and add the mustard mixture and stir well. Soak for a minimum of 15 minutes.
In general the heat from this type of bath will very quickly destroy any health benefits from essential oils but you may still find that the addition of something like eucalyptus or peppermint will help clear the nasal passages (albeit briefly) or simply use something that you enjoy to try and make the experience a little more pleasant.

After your bath it is essential to wrap up warm and take a hot drink with you to bed - and perhaps even a hot water bottle. you are supposed to feel very warm and even better if you are sweating. More often than not it is the raised temperature that kills off all the germs. As always.. if you are not otherwise in very good health do check with a qualified health practitioner before using the mustard bath recipe. If you are suffering with a really bad cold you have several options to help clear it out of your system quickly. A steam bath or Sauna is worth a try or you could give an Epsom Salts Bath a go. That's an easy recipe which I shall give you in the next post.

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