How to Make Vagus Nerve Bath Salts
What is the Vagus Nerve?
The vagus nerve is the longest nerve of the autonomic nervous system and is one of the most important nerves in the body. Commonly referred to as the second brain, the vagus nerves helps to regulate many critical aspects of human physiology, including heart rate, blood pressure, sweating, digestion and even speaking. Recently, the vagus nerve has been increasingly researched due to its role with the gut-brain axis. People who have a strong vagal tone may find it easier to relax after a stressful event and their body may be able to better manage inflammation and gut issues.
Because of the importance of the vagus nerve, many people have been looking for ways to naturally stimulate and strengthen it.
A few ways to increase vagal tone:
- Mindful meditation
- Deep breathing exercises
- Aromatherapy indulgence
- Acupuncture sessions
- Regular massages
- Invigorating cold showers
- Maintaining gut health
- Singing or humming along to your favourite song
- Practicing yoga
Almost all of these things are simple, easy and natural ways to support the vagus nerve. As a result we tend to feel calm and relaxed after (thanks to the parasympathetic nervous system!).
Quick ways to engage in these activities:
- Take a cold shower for 30 seconds at the end of every shower.
Play your favourite tune on morning or evening commute and sing out loud for all to hear.
Smell an essential oil and take slow deep breaths while smelling it. Notice how you feel after.
Sit or lay down and breathe slowly in through the nose counting to 5, holding for a 2 and releasing slowly exhaling through mouth for a count of 7. Repeat 5 times and enjoy the relaxation after.
A bath that stimulates the vagus nerve
Essential oils have been shown to increase heart rate variability which improve vagal tone as well as provide calming effects via the vagus nerve. There is also a correlation between scents and activation of the parasympathetic nervous system.
Bath salts, which are usually made from a combination of minerals, essential oils, and other natural ingredients, offer a range of benefits that can enhance your bathing experience and contribute to your overall well-being. Here are some of the benefits of using bath salts:
Relaxation and Stress Reduction: Bath salts are known for their ability to promote relaxation and reduce stress. The warm water, soothing fragrance, and calming properties of the salts can help you unwind after a long day.
Muscle Pain Relief: Epsom salt, a common ingredient in bath salts, contains magnesium and sulfate, which can help relax muscles and alleviate muscle soreness and pain. This is especially beneficial for athletes and those with muscle tension.
Improved Sleep: A warm bath with bath salts before bedtime can help you relax and prepare your body for a restful night's sleep. The relaxation-inducing properties of bath salts can help you fall asleep more easily!
Skin Rejuvenation: Bath salts can help exfoliate the skin, removing dead skin cells and promoting a healthy, radiant complexion. They can also provide hydration and soothe dry, itchy skin.
Detoxification: Bath salts may assist in drawing toxins and impurities from the body through the skin. The warm water and natural minerals in the salts can open pores and support the detoxification process.
Pain and Inflammation Reduction: The magnesium in Epsom salts can help reduce inflammation and alleviate pain associated with conditions like arthritis, fibromyalgia, and gout.
Improved Circulation: The warm water of a bath and the minerals in bath salts can improve blood circulation, potentially benefiting individuals with poor circulation or cold extremities.
Enhanced Mood: A relaxing bath with bath salts can elevate your mood and provide relief from symptoms of anxiety and depression. The soothing scents of essential oils can also have mood-boosting effects.
Respiratory Health: Some bath salts contain eucalyptus or menthol, which can help clear nasal passages and relieve congestion, making them useful for individuals with colds, allergies, or sinus issues.
Aromatherapy: Bath salts often contain essential oils, which provide aromatherapy benefits. Different scents can have specific effects, such as lavender for relaxation or eucalyptus for invigoration. See the vagus nerve bath salt recipe below!
Aid for Skin Conditions: Bath salts with certain ingredients, like colloidal oatmeal or chamomile, can be helpful for individuals with skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis. They may provide relief from itching and inflammation.
Vagus Nerve Bath Salts
These vagus nerve bath salts are my favourite when I want to destress and unwind from my day. This essential oil synergy not only calms and quiets the mind, but also soothes any tension stored within the body.
Vagus Nerve Bath Salts
- 20 drops for Soothe Essential oil
- 2 tablespoons jojoba oil
- 2 cups Epsom salt
- 1 cup of dead sea salts
- Optional: Dried flowers such as dried lavender, rose petals, etc.
- Add essential oils to jojoba oil.
- Add to salt and stir to combine.
- Store in glass jar.
- To use: Add 1/2 cup to a warm bath, allowing them to dissolve. Soak in the bath for 15-30 minutes to reap the benefits.
To use bath salts effectively, simply add them to a warm bath, allowing them to dissolve. Soak in the bath for 15-30 minutes to reap the benefits.
While bath salts offer numerous benefits, it's important to choose products from reputable sources and ensure that they are safe for your skin type and any underlying health conditions. If you have allergies or skin sensitivities, consult with a healthcare professional or dermatologist before using bath salts to avoid potential adverse reactions.