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Flu & Cold Bath Salt Recipe

Katrin Mooney

Our house is on medical lock-down as Vermont Cowboy came down with the flu. After whipping up my famous Chicken & Dumplings in addition to a newly discovered Curry/Ginger Carrot Soup, I set out to create a "Pick me Up" bath salt to get him up on his feet a little sooner.


Eucalyptus essential oil: it is commonly used for respiratory issues (it's also one of the main ingredients of Vick's Vapor Rub - which also uses camphor (synthetic) as well as menthol). It has been proven to relieve cough symptoms as well as runny nose, stuffy nose, sore throat, and overall icky-ness so I felt this was the perfect ingredient for this bath soak. Unintended side effect: it also worked in deodorizing the entire house with the smells wafting through - while I wasn't in the bath myself, I felt oddly invigorated - which may or may not have been the effect of the warmer weather (finally!) and sunshine outside.

Clove essential oil: My grandmom used to recommend chewing on a clove bud to ward off infections ...  since we're no longer in Christmas season and out of clove buds, I grabbed the next best thing, clove essential oil. You want to be careful as clove can be a major skin irritant and should never be used on the skin "neat" (undiluted) nor should it be ingested as some MLM companies suggest. It also doesn't cure cancer, HIV or Cholera nor does it vanish cavities (seriously, who makes up these absurd claims?). Under 0.5 % of the overall percentage of essential oils is what you're striving for - meaning if you're making 1000 grams of bath salts, you do NOT want to use more than 5 grams of essential oils total (1/2 teaspoon). 

In any case, clove oil supposedly supports a healthy immune system and is commonly used for respiratory issues. And, as I said, my grandmom said so. So into the mix it went.  

Ginger essential oil: Vermont Cowboy loves ginger. Ginger Kombucha, Ginger Beer, Ginger Soap, Ginger Candies, Ginger Tea ... you get the idea. ;-) Ginger has "warming" properties and I typically use it more in massage oils for sore and achy muscles and bones, I figured it would be a good addition as VT Cowboy just entered that particular stage of the flu - the one where everything hurts. Just like clove, be careful not to overdue it with the ginger essential oil. 

The ratio is 4 parts Eukalyptus, 1 part Clove and 1 part Ginger. As for the actual salt part of this soak, you can use Epsom Salts with a pinch of baking soda and sea salts or just Epsom Salts. And remember: the essential oils should not make up more than 0.5% of the weight of your bath salts. 

The end result: the house smells AH-mazing, Vermont Cowboy doesn't look any worse for the wear and reports that he feels slightly invigorated with a slightly tingly feeling on his skin (as I said, EASY on the clove & ginger there!). Invigorated enough to tackle a giant batch of Kombucha - with, you guessed it: Ginger.

Happy Sunday!

Vermont Cowgirl