Last week my husband and I were in the Azores celebrating 5 years of marriage. It was a pretty epic trip with lots of good food, downtime, and adventuring. The travel was a lot on these ol' bones, though, and there were a few days I was feeling achy and tired.
Towards the end of our trip, we visited geothermal hot pools (heated from the earth's crust). We swam, we soaked, and I emerged a new woman. Seriously. Joint aches? Gone. Stiffness? Gone. Fatigue? Gone. I felt so relaxed and calm. The reason? Minerals.
The mineral content of some of the pools was so high that waters were murky and the whole town smelled like sulfur!
What's the deal with minerals?
Minerals are inorganic substances from the earth's crust that our bodies rely on for cellular processes. Some minerals include: magnesium, calcium, sodium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, selenium, zinc, silica.
Our modern diet is not nearly as mineral-rich as it once was. Minerals are found in real food: fruits, veggies, tubers, nuts, seeds, meats, dairy. However, much of the food we consume is heavily processed and lacking in nutrition. Packaged foods are often enriched with synthetic minerals, but our bodies do not register them the same way.
On top of that, modern agricultural practices does not honor the quality of the soil: minerals are stripped from the soil of minerals due to overuse, and pesticides kill off beneficial microbes. So even if you are eating a whole foods diet, you may still have some mineral deficiencies.
Some of us savvy consumers - we're hip to this mineral game. So we pop magnesium and calcium and iron and all the pills thinking we're covering our bases. And we might be. BUT, if our gut health isn't on point (and for 70% of Americans it is NOT), then we may not be absorbing those supplements as well as we would like.
What's another way to uptake minerals? Topically!
Transdermal mineral therapy refers to bringing in minerals through the skin. This is what what was going on in those Azorian hot springs. No wonder why I felt so great! When you soak in a mineral-rich bath, you take in minerals from the skin.
This can ease up the following symptoms: anxiety, irritability, headaches, muscle weakness, fatigue, arthritis, muscle/bone/joint pain, dizziness, tremors, cramps, heart palpitations, skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis, and other mineral-deficiency symptoms.
I was determined to bring this experience back home, and my husband was opposed to drilling our backyard to hit the earth's crust. So I crafted up a recipe using mineral-rich substances like sea salts, epsom salts and magnesium crystals.
By adding bentonite clay, you also get the added bonus of supporting detoxification.
When added to baths, bentonite clay has the ability to absorb toxins from your body, while simultaneously releasing minerals for your body to use (silica, calcium, magnesium, sodium, iron, and potassium).
I grabbed all the materials at my local health food store, but I've included Amazon links below to show you what I used. One batch makes enough for 5 baths, and it cost me about $10 to make.
You can use this as part of a detox program, or simply as a way to relax!
Detox Mineral Bath
1 cup bentonite clay
1 cup pink Himalayan sea salt
1 cup Celtic sea salt (grey)
1 cup UNSCENTED epsom salts
1 cup magnesium bath crystals
1/3 cup aluminum-free baking soda
1 Tablespoon dried ginger (optional, this helps promote sweating)
10-15 drops of essential oil (optional, I like lavender for relaxation, wild orange for energy or ginger to promote sweating)
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine. Store in a glass container with a lid. Add about 1 cup of the mixture to a hot bath. Soak for 10-30 minutes. This is a great time to meditate or read a good book!