Sore Muscles Soak with Epsom Salt & Herbs

sore muscles soak

This bath helps relax tense, sore muscles, yet doesn’t leave you smelling of a medicinal vapor rub. The aroma will soothe frayed nerves, but won’t lull you to sleep. It’s useful to relieve soreness and aches and pains.

It also smells fantastic and is just the thing to use next time you feel a little achy and have a stuffy nose from a cold!

This wonderful recipe comes straight out of the first unit of beginning online herbal class at the Herbal Academy and I couldn’t wait to share it with you today.

a sign for the Herbal Academy

I had all of these ingredients on hand, or growing in my yard and garden, but you can also find dried herbs at  Mountain Rose Herbs or Amazon.

Epsom salts and baking soda can be found in most grocery or drug stores.

sore muscles soak for bath

Sore Muscles Soak with Epsom Salt & Herbs

Yield: Enough for two baths

To make this, you’ll need:

  • 2 cups Epsom salt
  • 3/4 cup baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons dried chamomile flowers
  • 1 tablespoon juniper berries
  • 2 tablespoons pine needles
  • 1 tablespoon sage leaves
  • 2 tablespoons peppermint leaves
  • 10 drops eucalyptus, peppermint, or juniper essential oil, diluted in 2 tsp oil (jojoba or fractionated coconut oil are good non-greasy choices)
  • one 12″ x 12″ square of muslin or cheesecloth, or toe of a stocking (or sock)
  • ribbon or string

Combine all ingredients together. Divide into two portions, so there’s enough for two baths.

Place the mixture in the center of the cloth. Take up the corners of the cloth and tie with a ribbon or string. Tie your herb bag over the faucet to allow warm water to run through, releasing the medicinal properties and filling the air with aromatherapy. Relax and enjoy!

Variation: Before tying up in a cloth – gather, then air dry the herbs for two or three days, spread out in a single layer on a clean dishcloth. Once dry, whirl the herbs together in a mini food processor with about 1/4 cup coarse sea salt until finely ground, then stir the resulting fragrant mixture into the baking soda and Epsom salts. Even though the herbs are a finer texture, you still want to tie them up into a bag, so the herb specks won’t make a mess in your tub.

a bath bomb and floral bath soak

Looking for more natural bath soak & bath bomb ideas? Check out my Natural Bath Care Package!

display for the Natural Bath Care eBook Collection
Sore Muscles Soak - made with Epsom salt and beneficial herbs




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    1. Hi Shawn! You can crush or grind them up. My little food processor didn’t quite grind them fully, so little chunks were still scattered in the blend. Since you use a bath bag, it’s not a problem for bathtub drains if the berries aren’t ground completely.

  1. found you on Pinterest. Just learning about homemade soap, although I have been making the laundry detergent for years. New follower!

  2. Is this recipe for a one time use, or is it suppose to be enough for several bathings? Also, if you were giving this as a gift, how would you incorporate the essential oils, since it recommends adding them at time of use?

    1. Hi Lauren! It depends on how much you want to use at a time/how deep a bath you draw. I like using the full amount, but half as much might be ideal for others. You go ahead and put the essential oils in with the other herbs, not right before using. Sorry if that wasn’t clear!

  3. Is there a specific type of pine needles that should be used? I have pine trees in my yard, not sure of the specific type, just know they are pine. Could I use the pine needles from them?

    1. Hi MSellers! I used white pine in my version, but I believe most pines are safe to use externally. I did find this article that mentions three types of conifers not to use INTERNALLY (there’s pictures of each one too) – I can’t say for sure if it’s 100% accurate though, since this article by Susun Weed (a widely revered and experienced herbalist) says “Don’t worry if you don’t know a soft pine from a hard pine, or even what kind of pines grow around you. Pines are safe to experiment with them.”

      1. Thank you for your reply to my questions. And thank you for the links to the other articles. I do believe the pines I have in my yard are white pine but have not actually taken the time, yet, to go examine them. They are definitely not any of the three poison types. And since you think it would be ok to leave out the juniper berries, I will make the sore muscle soak and try it out this weekend.

  4. Also, I have all other ingredients but juniper berries, is there something I can substitute for them?

    1. Hi MSellers! There are so many other good things in this recipe, that I think you could leave them out and still have an effective soak.

  5. Hi, Jan. I have a question. What’s the difference in infused oil and essential oil? I apologize if you have already answered this question. :)

    1. Hi Rhonda! You make infused oil when you take dried flowers or herbs and soak them in oil for several weeks, to extract their healing properties into the oil. They make a nice, safe and gently effective homemade ingredient for salves, soaps and such. (i.e. calendula infused oil can be used by the cupful to make a skin soothing calendula salve.) Essential oils are mostly created by steam distillation, using special equipment that the regular home hobbyist usually can’t do. It takes something like 10,000 pounds of rose petals to make one pound of rose essential oil, which is why it’s so expensive. Essential oils are very strong, so only a few drops or small amount is needed in recipes. I hope that helps explain it! :)

  6. I don’t understand the next step after putting everything in the cloth, tying the cloth and letting warm water run over the cloth.

    You then said you spread out I guess the cloth with everything in it and let it dry, then you whirled the herbs in a food processor with epsom salt and baking soda.

    Then what is next, tie it back up and put it in the water? A little more clarity please. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. Hi Donna, I see what you mean – I mixed up the order a bit! Thanks for letting me know!
      You can either gather up the herbs whole, or whirl them in a food processor for a finer texture.
      Then tied them up and let the warm water run over them for your bath. Then you’re done!
      Sorry about the mix-up. I’ll go in and retype that up in a short bit so it’s more clarified.

  7. Love your website; love the information. Excellent presentation. Buena suerte. GodSpeed.

  8. Hi, just a quick question, juniper berries, pine needles, sage leave, peppermint leaves, where or what kind of store, should I be looking for, a Health Food Store, Vitamin Store. Have been searching, nothing in my area, of course.
    Thanks so much, this sounds so wonderful, an with all the differ ingredients, I know it’ll work. Dianne

    1. Hi Dianne! For things that I can’t find locally, I usually order from Mountain Rose Herbs ( I like getting my spices from there too, since you can get a big bag of something like super fresh cinnamon for a fraction of the price per ounce than the little bottles in the grocery store. Two other great places are Bulk Herb Store ( or Jean’s Greens is also really good for those hard to find herbs ( Locally, you might be able to find some at a Fresh Market or Whole Foods type of store, if you have one nearby. Pine needles might be the hardest to find, but you could use rosemary or lavender leaves instead, or leave them out if necessary. Good luck with your search! :)

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  12. If you make a large batch or gift a jar, how long will it stay good? If not long, is there a natural preservative that can be added? Thank you!

    1. Hi Heather! It will stay fresh for many months since all of the ingredient are dry.
      No mold or bacteria will grow within, so no need for a preservative.
      However, the problem with making bath salts or soaks too far in advance is that they can easily clump up in their storage containers.
      So you may go to give the gifts and they are just hard lumps.
      Because of this trait, I make up bath soaks about a week or so before I want to give them to someone.

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