sea salt bath

Some people have a lot of faith in the benefits of a sea salt bath, even when there’s not a lot of science to back it up. The lack of testing paired with how much the holistic community swears by these sea salt baths has peaked an interest in them. Sea salt is available in different places all over the world. Each kind of salt has different properties because of where they’re from. There’s even a salt people use in their baths that doesn’t even come from the sea.

Sea salt baths have little research behind them, and because of that, there’s not a lot the scientific community can say. But the holistic community adores sea salt baths and have taken to them regardless of the lack of data. However, some people are a little more unsure of the potential benefits they may hold. How many different kinds of sea salts are there? What is a sea salt bath anyway? What do people think they can do? Are there legitimate health benefits from sea salt baths? The answers to these questions may surprise you.

What is A Sea Salt Bath?

himalayan salt

You end up creating a sea salt bath when you draw a bath with sea salt or add it in before you get into the bath. Many people in the holistic community use these baths to help them with a variety of ailments. 

A few scientific studies, such as this one from the University of Kiel's Department of Dermatology in Germany, support the use of sea salt baths. They're not well studied though, and most information is word of mouth from people trying to sell you sea salt for a sea salt bath.

Note that a sea salt bath is very different from a bath salt bath. Bath salts are usually a combination of sea salt and Epsom salt, which we'll go over later. Commercialized bath salts do have some benefits, but they're not actually sea salt baths. There may be potential benefits in the sea salt baths available to you. What health benefits could you get just by taking a bath with salt?

Health Benefits of A Sea Salt Bath

People all over the world hold expectations ranging from pain relief to healing skin conditions. Are there really any serious benefits of a bath in sea salt though? Or is it all just silliness that has turned a blind eye to science? With over 80 percent of people outside the U.S. using holistic methods (such as botanicals) worldwide on a regular basis, you could say a sea salt bath is a valid method of pain relief. Some people also believe they might help skin problems, which has very little scientific evidence to back it up. What little evidence there is though favors the various benefits sea salt may have.

Some sea salt baths were found to aid in skin barrier function and reduce inflammation in specific dry skin issues. This is due to the magnesium in the salt which, according to the study, reduced the irritation of the skin significantly and encouraged hydration. This means that a sea salt bath has the potential to aid in a variety of skin problems. Some salts are thought to encourage relaxation and relieve anxiety, but there isn't any solid evidence for these potential benefits. There may not be a lot of evidence to support sea salt baths, but undeniably, some results are promising. However, a variety of different kinds of sea salts each are thought to do different things.

Different Kinds of Sea Salt

Each variety is thought to have different properties that are specific to them. This is due to the harvesting processes they go through. Some have an abundance of minerals, and some have associations with pain relief.

Unfortunately, not many scientific studies exist either for or against sea salt baths for any particular ailment. Some extensive studies have concluded that the baths may help skin issues. Until the experiment is repeatable, it cannot be set in stone scientifically. The wide variety of salts make it difficult to pin down what each salt can actually do. It also makes it difficult to test and study the results.

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Derived from salt beds that were deposited from ancient oceans 250 million years ago, these pink salts were covered in the elements, keeping them safe from pollution, though the natural impurities stayed in the salt. Those impurities made the salt turn pink. This salt has 84 different minerals inside of it, but all 84 of those minerals don't help you. In fact, only 15 different minerals have any potential at all in human biological processes. A few more might be beneficial to us, but their uses aren't clear. The usable minerals of the 84 different kinds are few and far between.

People like its coloration, which draws them to this salt as well as the promises of "purity" because of the lack of external pollution sources. Unfortunately, a lot of minerals in this salt that people just don't need that can be harmful. These pollutants include lead and promethium, which is an artificial, or manmade, isotope. Some people swear that this salt is incredible.

Overall though, it seems like this one may have a lot of marketing pomp. There isn't a lot of evidence that would suggest that there is much to be excited about.

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This salt is added to baths by thousands of people, but it is not technically a sea salt. People are putting Epsom salt in their baths and assuming that it's just like Dead Sea salt, that it comes from a sea. They don't look further to see what sea it may come from, or they would know it doesn't come from the sea at all. Its crafted with magnesium sulfate, which can help reduce pain. Many experts tend to argue that a bath is a much less efficient method than the other available methods.

Some people even suggest that it won't work and that the bath doesn't actually help at all. Studies throughout the world suggest Epsom salt baths do help increase magnesium concentrations in the blood. Overall though, Epsom salt is still useful to a wide variety of people in the holistic community who swear by it.

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Dead Sea salt is another sea salt that has quite a lot of magnesium in it. This makes it another sea salt that has potential. It acts like Epsom salt, but more studies behind it suggest it may do some good. Studies from Germany also shed light on the benefits of a Dead Sea salt bath. These studies were repeated over and over again to prove they have merit to the scientific community.

The magnesium in the salt is what encourages pain relief and a reduction in inflammation, which can be relaxing as well. Dead Sea salt is the most common sea salt in the holistic community, and the easiest salt to get that is actually from the sea. A plethora of people in the holistic community are absolutely delighted by their results. This helped people with psoriasis. Researchers continue studying Dead Sea salt to see if it may lend any more potential benefits.

Other Salts

salt that formed along the shore

A wide variety of other salts exist to use for a sea salt bath. You should always take your ability to get them into account, and the potential that each may hold. For example, a mix of Sel Gris and Brittany Salt leads to a gray bath salt. This salt has some potential, considering that a lot of different minerals in the concoction.

Other combinations such as Mediterranean, Crystal, and Fine sea salts all have different uses and are the most common salts available on the market. Studied regularly all over the world, these salts actually have scientific evidence for or against them. It's also incredibly difficult to put all the different kinds of salts through rigorous testing, considering there are so many of them. It takes a significant amount of time to test any product for human safety as well. This makes compiling a collection of compelling evidence difficult, especially with the lack of interest toward sea salt baths in the scientific community.

Since there's such a lack of evidence in miscellaneous salts, the only people you hear talking about them are the people that swear by it. Unfortunately, a lot of those people just want to sell their products to you instead of actually caring about you or your health. With so many available sea salts, are there any kinds of risks associated with using them?

Do Salts Have Risks?

hand holding salt

If you don't have any skin conditions and want to try a sea salt bath, you should be totally fine, but you may want to talk to your doctor just to be on the safe side. Just sprinkle a little salt into your bath and settle in. Just know there isn't much evidence to support anything positive. Some of these salts they can cause some serious internal side effects if you eat them. Some act like laxatives and a magnesium overdose can lead to a coma and eventual death. So consuming salts intended for baths is a bad idea. Himalayan salt is safe to eat for the most part, and people have used Epsom salts as a laxative for centuries. Dead Sea salts, on the other hand, are not for consumption.

Sea salt baths could also ruin your pipes. Depending on the type of plumbing you have, you could end up with damage to everything from the pipes beneath your tub to your septic tank. It's important to know what kind of pipes you have. If you don't, consult a plumber. They'll be able to tell you if saltwater will damage your pipes. If it will cause damage, indulging in a sea salt bath is probably not a good idea. It's also recommended to avoid taking a sea salt bath when pregnant and not to use water that is too hot. You should try to avoid sea salt baths if you have certain medical conditions and haven't gotten approval from your doctor as well.

Note that we are not medical professionals. We cannot know how you will react to a sea salt bath. This information isn't medical advice at all, and you shouldn't treat it as such, so talk to your doctor. Some people believe in the ability of a sea salt bath strongly. Without evidence though, there is no data for what may go wrong when you take this bath. Do you think a sea salt bath could be beneficial to you?

Could A Sea Salt Bath Help You?

sea salt that formed along the shore

A sea salt bath may help you if you’ve got pain or skin issues. There isn’t enough scientific evidence to guarantee anything. This can make some people wary, but the holistic community swears by sea salt baths. Even if you use a salt that isn’t technically from the sea, you could still get some benefits. There are risks to your pipes, especially if you bathe with salts often. You may also find you have some serious adverse reactions from the baths if you don't consult your doctor before you start to take them. If you take the baths rarely and consult your doctor before you start, you should be fine. If you have a skin condition and you get approval from your doctor, you may have found a great way to treat the irritation and inflammation.

Sea salt baths rarely do physical damage to people unless they misuse the sea salt. Though more data must be collected, many people believe they’re reaping the benefits of a lesser known homeopathic remedy. Have you taken a sea salt bath before? Leave us a comment about your bathing experience.

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