GAPS Diet detox baths are supportive whether you’re eating from the GAPS Intro Diet or the Full GAPS food list. They are surprisingly effective in gently removing toxins out of the body as the skin takes in some nutrients from the bath and the relaxation frees up internal energy that may be put towards healing tasks. Allowing some detoxification to happen through our skin takes the burden off of our internal detoxification organs like our liver, kidneys, and the lungs. When the liver is particularly overburdened, skin rashes are common. While the body is already pushing toxins through the skin as a detox pathway, lean into that.

How do you take detox baths on the GAPS Diet?

GAPS Diet detox baths should be taken every day. It’s ideal to spend 20 to 40 minutes in a warm bath, but you may need to start with less time and cooler water, and work up to this. Hot water increases your circulation, and that increases the effects that you’ll feel. Rinse with plain water after you’re done with your bath to wash away bath additive residues and any toxins that may have been released.

If you don’t have a bathtub, you may do a foot soak with the same amount of bath additive instead. You may choose to start with a foot soak if you find that full detox baths leave you feeling overly fatigued or spacey.

It’s a helpful habit to rest for at least a half an hour after the bath.

If you find yourself feeling faint or woozy at the end of bath, drain the water and continue sitting in the bathtub. If your bath water was quite hot, splashing tepid water over your body will help cool you and slow your pulse. When it feels safe to stand up, put on a bathrobe and walk outside to put your bare feet on the grass for a few (or several) minutes. It may sound a little silly, but this is really calming to your energy system.

GAPS Diet detox bath additives

I encourage my clients to rotate through each of the following bath additives. If you find that one type of bath additive really resonates with you, you may use that type more often.

Family members may share a bath or bathe after each other in the same water. I haven’t seen any harmful outcomes from this. The only time I recommend against sharing bath water is after a known acute exposure, such as exposure to industrial chemicals, or a burning building.

Adults will use one cup of each of these, with the exception of seaweed powder, which is used at ½ cup. I suggest about half of the adult amount for children’s baths, and one to two tablespoons for babies.

Apple cider vinegar (ACV): Apple cider vinegar contains a large complement of minerals that your skin will absorb. You may experience a reduction in joint pain and body odor. They reduce chronic urinary tract infections because they rebalance the pH around urethra. ACV reduces dry skin and helps eradicate fungi and bacteria, so you may see an improvement with eczema, acne, dandruff, psoriasis, and Athlete’s foot.

Baking soda: Baking soda baths reduce stress, fatigue, tension, and pain. They promote perspiration, which is often inhibited when you’re demineralized, weak, have low adrenals or low thyroid and can’t sweat. They relieve swelling, itching, and burning sensations, making them helpful for diaper rash, poison oak or ivy, psoriasis, and chickenpox, as well as soothing UTI’s.

Dead Sea Salt: Dead Sea salt baths are even richer in minerals than other sea salts, so all of the therapeutic effects are multiplied. Dead Sea salt is particularly helpful for skin diseases, especially psoriasis and eczema. It’s highly moisturizing, as well as cleansing and disinfecting due to its sulfur content (which is the second highest after Epsom salts).

Epsom salts: Epsom salt is composed of magnesium and sulfur. Magnesium is calming to the nervous system and does hundreds of things in the body. Sulfur supports the detox of heavy metals and other toxins. It soothes skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis, and it’s effective against skin fungus, gout, nail fungus, sprains, and bruises.

Magnesium chloride flakes: Magnesium chloride is a form of magnesium that’s easily absorbed through the skin. It is especially helpful for relaxation, easing anxiety, and sleep in adults and children. When you can’t take magnesium internally, this is an excellent option to supplement with. If Epsom salt baths are too strong for you, you can start with magnesium flakes to build up on the magnesium portion while your sulfur tolerance slowing increases.

Seaweed powder: Seaweed powders are anti-inflammatory and help to remineralize the body and detox heavy metals. They are rich in iodine, which supports your thyroid (do not use if diagnosed hyperthyroid). They improve the firmness and tightness of skin. Seaweed powders improve blood circulation, so choose them if you experience heavy legs, edema, or cellulitis. They may also reduce pain from rheumatoid arthritis.

If you’ve reached a plateau in your healing and you’re not taking detox baths regularly, make them a habit to support more progress. It’s a bit of a lifestyle adjustment to make time for a bath every day, and GAPS Diet detox baths are something that I see fall by the wayside for many families. I encourage you to make a commitment to doing them daily for two weeks straight in order to decide how much of an impact they make in your life.

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