Saturday, June 8, 2013

Herbal Soak for Joint & Muscle Pain

So, as always our "rule" here at Family Of a Vet is that we share - we share what works, we share what doesn't, we share what we're doing day-to-day to help our heroes and our families cope.

This is a recent addition to my caregiver arsenal.  My own dear hero, like so many Veterans around the country, is dealing each day not only with PTSD and TBI but also chronic pain.  I'm always looking for ways - small and large - to help keep his pain levels as low as possible.

We tried for the first time today an herbal soak.  I've honestly been trying for weeks to get him to do it... but in his rough, tough, manly man world, an "herbal soak" was just a bit to girly :) .  But for days his pain levels have been climbing so tonight he finally gave me the go ahead.

The basic "recipe" is 2 c. of Epsom Salts, 1 c. of Baking Soda, and 8 Chamomile tea bags.  Pour the first two ingredients under running bath water that is as hot as your Veteran (or you) can stand it [preferably, while in the tub you want to sweat a little so your pores get nice and open].  Then drop the tea bags in the water and let them steep for a few minutes.  (I also stirred the water and ingredients that had settled to the bottom with my hand to get them to go ahead and dissolve.)

Then, climb in and stay put for at least 20 minutes.

[Also worth noting, we have a cover for our overflow drain so that the water in the tub can be as deep as possible.  It was $7.25 on Amazon and works really well - CLICK HERE TO VIEW IT - and also note that this link will give Family Of a Vet "credit" for referring you, so if you make a purchase we will earn like 5% or about $0.36.  I always like to be REALLY clear on things like that!]

Follow the soak by rinsing off in a cool shower.  DO NOT use soaps, lotions, or anything other than just plain water.  Since you're pores are wiiiiiiiiiide open you don't want to add any chemicals to the "mix" right now.

While this soak won't banish all your aches and pains, it does actually help.  I actually soak this way once a week.  It's not only helpful for pain but is also a great way to detox and relax.

Epsom Salts - 16 oz for $0.88 at WalMart - more info about what Epsom Salts do for the body (including helping with pain, helping muscles and nerves function properly, eliminating toxins from the body, and more!) CLICK HERE.

Baking Soda - I cheated and had some on hand but you can generally buy a small box for around $0.50 - $1.00 - the baking soda actually helps neutralize chlorine and other additives in tap water so that you don't soak in chemicals while trying to detox!

Chamomile Tea - $1.00 for 20 bags / so the 8 bags used are $0.40 - Chamomile has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-anxiety, and many other properties.  For more information about what it does, CLICK HERE.

Total Cost per Bath =  $1.78 - $2.28

*AS ALWAYS, remember I'm nooooooooot any sort of professional and only sharing from a "this is what we tried" perspective!!  I don't believe any of these ingredients used this way could be harmful, but it's always a good idea to check with a doctor if you / your veteran have questions!*

Hope that helps!


Brannan Vines
Proud wife of an OIF Veteran
Founder of - an organization dedicated to helping heroes and their loved ones survive and thrive after combat with real world info about PTSD, TBI, and Life After Combat!


  1. thank you for sharing.

  2. I have the ginormous-sized baking soda. I believe we bought them at Costco, but I'm sure these 4#-8# bags are available at other stores. It breaks down to less tan what you pay for the small boxes, and there is plenty left over for natural cleaning products and other wonderful baking soda concoctions.

    And because I cannot remember my logins to any of the profiles listed, I'll post as anon but it's Linda Earley! lol