The Sweet Life, Part Five: Winter Warming Bath

Melt the winter blues away with this detoxifying bath…

This post comes from our friend Abbye Churchill — artist, herbalist and co-author of A Wilder Life, due out January 28th. It is also the last of our 5-part series focused on living The Sweet Life.

As January’s grey skies and chilling weather take hold, climbing into a steaming hot bath can seem like the perfect remedy for the winter blues. This recipe brings vibrant color and radiant heat back to the body using spices usually found in Japanese and Ayurvedic healing traditions. French gray sea salt, rich in trace minerals, helps remineralize irritated and parched winter skin. Cinnamon invigorates the skin, enhances blood circulation and deeply warms the body. Ginger deeply detoxifies the body and helps sore muscles, body aches, and even cold symptoms. But, the real star of this bath is turmeric. Known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, herbalists have been using turmeric for centuries to detoxify the body and heal many skin conditions thanks to its active ingredient, curcumin. These energizing spices are combined with grounding essential oils of sandalwood, cypress and Texas Cedarwood to help center the mind while the spices deeply stimulate the body.


Warming Winter Bath

(Makes enough for one bath. To make in bulk, simply double or triple the recipe.)

Materials (per bath):

⅓ cup French gray sea salt

1 tbsp Ground ceylon cinnamon

2 tbsp Ground ginger

3 tbsp Ground turmeric

Texas Cedarwood essential oil

Sandalwood essential oil

Cypress essential oil

Glass or ceramic bowl


Air-tight container



1. Measure out your salt and spices.

2. Combine the salt and spices in a glass or ceramic bowl and whisk together.

3. Add your essential oils to the salt spice mixture. Begin with 10 drops of each oil and let your nose guide you to your perfect combination. Whisk ingredients together.

4. Transfer ingredients to an air-tight container to store your bath for later.

Directions for Bath:

To prepare the bath, first make sure to remove all lightly colored clothing and towels from the area as the spices may stain. Draw the bath, making sure it is consistently hot and add your salt spice mixture and mix together with the water. Soak for at least 20 minutes and rinse off with warm water. You should be nice and toasty when you get out of the bath. Wrap yourself in a blanket and rest. Because of the ginger and turmeric, you may perspire after your bath as your body continues to expel toxins and warm you from the inside out.



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7 years ago

How cool, never thought about making my own bathing salt. Wonderful!

7 years ago

Can epsom salt be substituted for french grey salt?

7 years ago

This seems great but I wonder if you’ll be scrubbing the tub afterwards, turmeric is expensive and stains a deep yellow on every thing. Just a thought!

7 years ago

Same thought Ally !

Turmeric is one of my favorite spices for cooking, health and beauty, but I have definitely learned my lesson on its’ staining properties. My white countertop now has a faint gold stain from a turmeric mask session months ago.

7 years ago

I normally love all your posts, but highly recommend not trying this one! My tub is bright yellow and I’ve spent so much time scrubbing :( the bath was very nice and relaxing though, if you have a black or yellow tub I would highly recommend!

7 years ago

I LOVE this bath. I didn’t have any staining or any of the problems. Maybe I used more water in the bath than everyone else? Definitely warmed me up!

7 years ago

@fpcarrie It came out! My tub was just yellow for a few days, a combination of regular showering the sun doing a nice bleach job on it and my tub is back to normal! Also, I have to say in this dreary winter grey having a bright yellow tub for a few days was a great replacement to the lack of sun!