Kick Your Cold Fast With A Detox Bath

Contributing writer By Erin Motz
Contributing writer
Erin Motz is a writer, yoga instructor, and co-founder of Bad Yogi. She received her degree from the University of South Florida and her work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Huffington Post, and Yoga Magazine.
Medical review by Roxanna Namavar, D.O.
Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine & Psychiatrist
Roxanna Namavar, D.O. is an adult psychiatrist focusing on integrative health. She completed her residency training at the University of Virginia Health-System and currently has a private practice in New York City.

Image by Trinette Reed / Stocksy

It’s the time of year where it seems everyone is either sick or on the verge of getting sick. Blame it on the stale air floating around those airplane rides home from holiday vacations or co-workers bringing it in to the office, but either way, it’s out there!

I started feeling cold symptoms over the weekend and if you’re in the same boat, I have just the thing for you to help get you back on your feet and feeling better in no time.

A Detox Bath.

After I did this, my cold symptoms actually subsided and I felt better the next day. Remember: a detox bath can only work to stave off a cold that is not viral, so cold-like symptoms, but not a chronic cold. The ingredients below facilitate the elimination of toxins which cleanse the liver, kidneys, and thyroid. In other words: it gets those sniffles over with quicker.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup epsom salt
  • 1/2 c baking soda (yes, the kind you keep in your fridge!)
  • 4 T ground ginger (more or less depending on your tolerance)
  • Essential oils of choice (I did this twice and used lavender the first time and tea tree the second)


Fill your bathtub with hot water - as hot as you can tolerate it. Once it fills about half way, sprinkle in your ingredients and give it a few big stirs with your hand to help it all dissolve. Once it’s full, get in and submerge yourself to your neck. Soak for at least 20 minutes but you can stay in as long as 40 minutes. The first 20 minutes is to extract toxins while the second 20 minutes is when the body begins to absorb the minerals.

Once you’re out, simply towel off and rest for about 30 minutes before showering. Do not do this detox every day, but instead once or twice a week and build to three times a week from there if you want to do so. Detoxing requires you to be able to remove toxins, through the skin, bowels and urine, so you need to be sure your body is working well.

How does it work?

Sulfate is in epsom salt and baking soda which, when absorbed in the skin, rids the body of toxins we pick up from pollution and processed foods.

I added ginger to enhance the detox process because it has anti-mucus properties, is a natural decongestant, and opens the pores. Just a little word to the wise: The ginger in there will make you sweat your ass off! Luckily for us, that’s a good thing in this case.

Sweating is one of the best (and cheapest) ways to detoxify, and if you don’t have access to a sauna this is a fantastic alternative. Another bonus: it’s a powerful antioxidant with potent anti-inflammatory properties, so it’s amazing for your skin as well.

A few words of advice before getting started:

If you’ve never done this before (which was the case for me), I’d say that 20 minutes is plenty. Especially with the added ginger, the bath will cause you to sweat more than usual and it will feel quite hot. Any longer might be too intense for a newbie. Also, don’t feel badly if you can’t stay totally submerged the entire time. I moved around a lot and read my Kindle most of the time and still got all the benefits it promised.

That said, I’ll just tell you again that you will sweat. A lot. Even after you get out of the bath, you’ll probably continue to sweat a lot for the next hour or two, so wear light clothing or a towel so you can easily change.

Just like with any massage or sauna treatment, drink plenty of water afterwards!

If you weigh less than 120 pounds, add less epsom and ginger (cut it in half). Conversely, if you weigh more than 175 pounds, add a bit more to your comfort level.

Finally, as with any home remedy, check with your doctor before pursuing a regimen like this. And if you’re pregnant or have any heart or liver illness, don’t try this at home.

What's your favorite go-to home remedy for getting rid of a cold?

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