Sea salt is best known for being a more flavorful alternative to table salt, but it also has medicinal and relaxing properties. A sea salt soak can be used to treat minor infections and wounds, as well as sterilise piercings and tattoos, and it can be as relaxing as a dip in the ocean. Because sea salt contains no iodine, it is ideal for making saline solutions to keep wounds clean. It easily mixes with scented oils and can be stored in the bathroom to add to calming baths.
Method 1 Making a Medicinal Sea Salt Soak
1. Purchase 1 gallon (3.8 L) of purified water or purify your own tap water. If you don’t have access to a water filter, you can run tap water through one or buy purified water — just make sure the bottle says “purified.” Filter pitchers and faucet filters are available at most grocery and specialty stores. The filter removes chemicals that are commonly added to tap water and can affect the salinity of the solution.
2. To sterilise the purified water, place it in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Any living organisms will be killed during the boiling process, leaving you with sterile, purified water. If you purchased distilled water rather than purifying tap water, it should be sterilised.
3. Allow the water to cool before adding 9 g (1.8 tbsp) sea salt. Allow the water to cool slightly before adding the sea salt and allowing it to dissolve completely. If you need to make more medicinal sea salt soak, add 9 g (1.8 tbsp) of sea salt for every additional 1 litre (4.2 c) of distilled water.
A typical saline solution contains 0.9 percent salt, which is comparable to the amount of salt in the human body. If there are large chunks of salt left in your water, either strain it out or add more water.
4. Fill a shallow cup halfway with the solution or soak a clean cloth in it. Fill the shallow cup just enough to submerge the area to be treated, such as a finger wound, or completely soak a clean cloth to dab over a larger area, such as a leg or an arm.
5. 2 to 3 times per day, apply the soak to the affected area until it heals. You should soak the affected area for 5 to 10 minutes, either by dipping it in a shallow cup of the solution or dabbing it with a soaked cloth. It’s a good idea to do it three times a day: once in the morning, once around lunch, and once before bed. This helps to ensure that treatment is distributed evenly throughout the day.
To reduce the risk of infection, saline solutions are recommended for post-tattoo treatment. To keep a fresh tattoo sterile, dab a clean cloth soaked in the solution onto the area.
Saline solutions have also been known to aid in the sterilisation of small wounds, such as piercings and minor infections on the hands, which may be treated more easily by dipping the affected area into a shallow cup.
Excess solution can be stored at room temperature in a sealed container for future use or for repeat treatments. As long as the solution is kept in a tightly sealed container, it should last indefinitely.
Method 2 Preparing a Sea Salt Bath Soak
1. In a bowl, combine 453 g (1.9 cups) fine grain sea salt. If you use coarse grain sea salt, it will take much longer for the salt crystals to dissolve into the bath water when the time comes.
2. Add 15 to 30 drops of scented or essential oil to the sea salt. While essential oils are not required, they can make the soak feel more relaxing and comforting. Lavender and peppermint are popular calming oils to use, but feel free to use 15 to 30 drops of whatever scents are soothing to you and blend them together to your liking if you prefer.
You can use essential jojoba oil to add a mild anti-fungal effect to the soak, or essential almond oil to soften the skin.
3. Thoroughly combine the salts and oils, then store the mixture in a glass container. The salts and oils should mix well, but don’t expect much, if any, salt to dissolve into the oil — the mixture will dissolve into bath water when you use the soak. In a sealed glass container, which you can keep in a bathroom closet, it should last forever.
The mixture will only become “bad” if outside objects, such as grass and dirt, enter the container, but it should remain mould and contaminant-free indefinitely.
4. Allow 120 g (1/2 cup) of the salt soak to dissolve in a warm bath. Allow it to sit for 10 to 20 minutes, or until the bathwater starts to smell like your oils and the salt has dissolved. If you don’t want to use oils, just wait until the salt is mostly dissolved before stepping into the water.
If you want to make your soak into a foot soak, simply dissolve 120 g (1/2 cup) of the salt soak mix in a hot foot bath. Because there is less water for the salt to dissolve in, it may take a few minutes.
5. When you need to relax and unwind, take a bath with the sea salt soak. While the saline solution is used for medical purposes, the sea salt bath soak is used for its calming and medicinal properties, especially when combined with jojoba or almond essential oil. Stressful days, sick days, or days when you just want to unwind are ideal for grabbing the sea salt soak and making your bath a little more relaxing.
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