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The Herbal Soak: How to Make Your Own Mustard Bath

Decorative glass bottle with cork top and hemp rope and bow. White bowl of salt mixture with spoon in it.

When the evenings grow chilly and all your friends seem to have the sniffles, a warming mustard bath is just the herbal experience you need! It might seem strange to replace bubble bath mix with mustard seed powder, but mustard bath salts have been used since ancient times to stimulate skin circulation and rejuvenate tired muscles. I also find it very relaxing and helpful during those “under-the-weather” days. With a wonderful, invigorating aroma, this recipe includes many time-tested bathing favorites, like Epsom salt, sea salt, baking soda, and essential oils.

Herbal Benefits of Mustard

In traditional Ayurvedic medicine, mustard seeds have long been used as a heating spice, bringing warming and stimulating energy to the body. For example, during months of cold weather, mustard seed oil might be used as massage oil for people who feel particularly affected by a chilly environment. Roasted mustard seeds are also often added to food for flavor and to aid with digestive fire.

White spoon with mustard powder in it and whole mustard seeds artistically  spilled on table

Mustard seed powder is also often used by herbalists to make topical herbal preparations like poultices. In such recipes (like the one in this book by herbalist James Green), mustard seed powder is mixed with other ingredients so that the heat from the mustard doesn’t irritate the skin, but instead creates a warming and stimulating effect. Whether you’re using mustard seed in a poultice or in a bath mix, it’s best to pay attention to how your individual skin feels, and don’t leave the mustard mixture on your skin for more than the recommended time.

Ingredients for bath salts on rustic table with sprigs of lavender

Although you can buy premade mustard bath salts, aromatic bath salts, and other herbal bath mixes, it’s very easy (and often more cost effective) to make your own. Plus, you’ll be able to customize it based on your own ingredient preferences! This wonderful recipe was created by Irene, one of our in-house experts on natural body care and herbal preparations. 

Homemade Mustard Bath Recipe

Makes about 2 cups of bath salt blend for 4 to 8 baths.

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined.
  2. Pour mixture into a dry airtight bottle or jar for storage.
  3. Add approximately 1/4 to 1/2 cup of mix to running warm bathwater.
  4. Soak for 15 to 20 minutes, or less if you have sensitive skin.
  5. After bathing, shower to rinse off, and rinse out the tub.
  6. Enjoy a restful sleep!

Pro Tips:

  • Some people find it helpful to dry brush before bathing. If you’ve never dry brushed before, it involves brushing skin with a dry, exfoliating brush in order to begin stimulating the skin.
  • Bath salts will last for approximately 6 months if stored in a dry container.
  • For sensitive skin, reduce the amounts of the mustard seed powder and essential oils.
  • We recommend not using these bath salts for bathing small children.

 

Looking for more? 

Explore The Art of Bathing

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Pin for warming mustard bath soak for tired muscles.

Topics: Natural Body Care, Recipes, Herbal Gift Ideas

Ek Ongkar

Written by Ek Ongkar on October 12, 2018

Ek Ongkar Khalsa was born and raised in Eugene, Oregon, but she’s no stranger to the ancient Indian wellness philosophy of Ayurveda. She’s had the pleasure of attending many health seminars by world renowned Ayurvedic physician, Dr. Partap Chauhan from Jiva Ayurveda. While spending three weeks in India at a Jiva clinic, she attended classes on traditional herbal remedies, ayurvedic lifestyle, and even got to enjoy traditional Ayurvedic treatments along with traditional Ayurvedic Indian cuisine. Ek Ongkar holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from San Diego State University. In addition to working as a Marketing Strategist at Mountain Rose Herbs, you can often find her sipping chai, taking long walks on local woodland trails, and doing origami.