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Baking soda and other salt baths  RSS feed

 
Xisca Nicolas
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I am investigating why those baths can detox.

Baking soda is also taken orally for this purpose.
A bath is made either of sea salt, or baking soda with an eventual mix with epsom salt.

As far as I have understood:
- the detox is through osmosis, helped by opening thanks to the heat.

- The carbon (C) plays a role, through skin or by ingestion (to help the one we get by breathing, and cellular respiration).
This should help to reverse the tendency to produce lactic acid by anaerobic energy production.

Also, I have a problem to solve:
Grey water salt content.

You are supposed to put 2 kilos of salt in 100 liters of water, a lot!
I guess you cannot rewarm the same bath, nor extract the salt for re-use. And plants will not like it.

Anyone has investigated more than me?
 
Tyler Miller
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I sometimes soak my feet in epsom salt and warm water. My grandmother told me to do it if I was having foot problems, and every time I've asked a doctor about it they told me it was a good idea. I never asked how it worked, though.

I think it might be fun to build a sensory deprivation tank some day as well, and in the ones I've read about they use lots of epsom salt to make it easier to float in the shallow water.

Xisca Nicolas wrote:Also, I have a problem to solve:
Grey water salt content.

You are supposed to put 2 kilos of salt in 100 liters of water, a lot!
I guess you cannot rewarm the same bath, nor extract the salt for re-use. And plants will not like it.

Anyone has investigated more than me?

Epsom salts are actually often used in gardens either directly in the soil or as a foliar spray. I haven't done this myself, but I was researching it as part of trying to find out what to do with the water after soaking my feet.

Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate. Both magnesium and sulfur are important micronutrients, and if your soil is lacking in them the waste water from your epsom salt bath could potentially help. You might need to dilute it depending on how much you use.

"Fertilize with Epsom Salts" by Charlie Nardozzi
This was a pretty good article. Here's the bits I took away from it:

Epsom salt has been traditionally been thought to help tomatoes, peppers and roses.
Backyard testing of using 1 tablespoon epsom salt diluted with one gallon of water applied as a foliar spray to peppers seemed to help them produce bigger, better fruit.
More scientific testing of epsom salt as a soil amendment has not proven be a benefit, but it looked like they wanted to do further testing before saying that conclusively. Apparently testing the effects of soil amendments is tricky because there are so many variables.
Magnesium, calcium and potassium all compete with each other for uptake by roots. If the plant needs more magnesium adding more to the soil might not actually be effective, as there could already by plenty of magnesium and it might just not be available because of being blocked by calcium and potassium surpluses. If this is the case, using epsom salt as a foliar spray would be more effective.
Epsom salt could help with minor magnesium deficiencies, but for a major deficiency some other source of magnesium might be better.

Here's an article from people who sell epsom salt: "Gardening with Epsom Salt"
Like the previous article, they recommended epsom salt for tomatoes, peppers and roses. Also flowering shrubs, trees and lawns.
They claim that epsom salt will not build up in the soil, and for house plants it can be used to flush out salt buildup caused by fertilizer.
They are selling epsom salt, so I would take anything they say with a grain of salt. (see what I did there? Har har har.)

Here's an article skeptical about epsom salt: "Epsom Salt for Plants" by Robert Pavlis
If your soil is not deficient in magnesium or sulfur, adding epsom salt will do you know good.
If the gardener is adding organic matter to the soil, there is unlikely to be a magnesium deficiency.
There is no evidence that roses need magnesium than other plants.
If your plants need more calcium, adding magnesium to the soil could be making things worse since magnesium competes with calcium for uptake by roots.
(I should say the author is skeptical about people using epsom salt as a general purpose soil amendment, rather than as an amendment to fix a specific problem that they've confirmed they actually have.)

So I wouldn't worry too much about epsom salt being in your grey water. If you use a whole lot lot (like in a bath) on a frequent basis it would probably be safer to spread it around rather than having it empty out at the same place each time.

It might be worth getting your soil tested to see if you have a deficiency in magnesium, sulfur, calcium and/or potassium. Or you could do a fun backyard experiment by using epsom salt water on some plants and not others.
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Thanks Tyler for this condensate about magnesium!
This part is fine.

And sea salt? This is my main concern....

The why for those baths is I think about skin permeability. So you can maybe gain magnesium.
A bath is a home thermal treatment!
 
Tyler Miller
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Xisca Nicolas wrote:And sea salt? This is my main concern....

You're right, sea salt would be of much more concern.

There are some plants that can handle higher concentrations of salt than others, such as Sea Buckthorn. In the book Around the World in 80 Plants the author Steve Barstow wrote about perennial vegetables that live along the sea shore and can thrive in the presence of large amounts of salt. I only skimmed this section, I'll have to look it up again when I get home.

One idea might be to create an artificial tide pool of sorts using the salt water from your bath. Maybe by using some of the same techniques they use to make rain gardens connected to roof downspouts or the Australian stock tank gardens. It might be possible to link several "tide pools" together so that as one overflows it drains to the next one, hopefully filerting out a lot of the salt, and depending on your rain conditions if you have enough they might never overflow and release salty water into your landscape. You might have to build a roof over them to keep them from overflowing when it rains.

I don't really know what I'm talking about when it comes to this, the idea just popped into my head. I would be very careful about using salt water. My understanding is that once a soil gets salty it takes an extremely long time to recover. Also, while it might be fun to make a tidepool environment it might not be cost effective to do it in a safe way, unless you live very close to the ocean already, in which case you would already have access to natural tidal pools.

A cheaper and safer option would be to use a solar still. In the end you would have distilled water and some salt and other bath residue.
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Posts: 1337
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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I have just started a post about applying permaculture design to ourselves, and this is exactly the problem:
Salt bath are very useful BUT forget the residue problem.
As long as you live in a city with pipes going you-don't-know-where, "no problem", just forget about what is going on after your bath, and after everything you do.

I have thought as well about a salty patch, with crithmum maritimum and more. That would still be a lot of salt. But it can be a partial solution, so if you have some plants names to suggest from the book, I will take them!

Evaporating to take the salt would be an option, loosing the water but wetting the atmosphere which is not bad.
A salty pond?
And i would get the salt back for reuse.

As you said, ideas popping when writing...

Distilating would be energy intensive, so the sun-drying would be better.
 
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