Hey! Check out this guy, floating in a super-salty sea while reading his newspaper! How does he do it? Is he a superhero, or is the water magical?
Today we’re going to make a really easy, fun gift for our friends and family, and we’re going to learn how epsom salts can make your bathtub more like The Dead Sea, the density difference between gold and kitchen sponges, and learn a little about the super amazing body armor you wear every single day.
SCENTED SALTS GIFT JAR
This is a very easy and inexpensive gift you can make for friends and family.
- 1 cup Epsom Salts
- 1 cup Kosher or flaky sea salt
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 10-20 drops essential oil(s)
- A container with a tight lid
- A bowl and a fork or whisk
- 4-6 drops food coloring
- 1 Tablespoon dried flower blossoms, like lavender, chamomile, rose
- sticky labels, fabric, ribbon for labeling and decorating jar
- optional: used for fizzy salts – 1/4 cup citric acid
Mix the salts and baking soda together in a bowl. Add 10-20 drops of essential oil, dried flowers, food coloring and keep mixing until everything is evenly mixed. If you’re making a fizzy bath salt mix, add the citric acid when you’re absolutely sure all the other ingredients are soaked into the epsom salts. No clumps should remain. Now add the salts to your container, and either use labels or a fabric circle tied around the top with a tag. On the tag, write something like “To: Mom, From: Your Favorite Kid – Lavender Mint Bath Salts.”
Make the jar look pretty, and give it as a gift!
What do bath salts do?
There are lots and lots of myths about what Epsom salts can do, so let’s start with the one thing we absolutely know to be true: when you put this mixture of salts into warm water, your bathwater will increase in density because of the salts. This increase in density makes water feel silky, thick, heavy, luxurious…and especially when mixed with nice scents, this may make you feel more relaxed. It will also make you feel lighter — because your density remains the same, while the density of the water increases, making you float more easily.
What is density? Density is how much mass a substance has, compared to how much space it takes up.
These two blocks take up the same amount of space. One is made of solid gold. The other is made of kitchen sponges. Which one weighs more?
The block that weighs the most is made of solid gold, even though it’s the same size as the sponge block. That means the density of gold is higher than that of sponge. If you look very closely at a block of gold, you will see there are no air pockets; just a solid piece of metal. If you look at a sponge, you see air pockets inside. The air pockets take up some of that space, but add no weight – just air. That’s how density works.
So why do you feel lighter in a bath filled with bath salts?
Have you ever heard of the Dead Sea or The Great Salt Lake? The first one is an inland sea that borders the countries of Isreal, Jordan, and Palestine; the second is a giant lake in the state of Utah, in America. What they have in common is that they are very VERY salty. The huge amount of salt dissolved in the water makes the water a lot more dense.
Your body is just a little less dense than water, meaning you will float in water.
- When water is very salty, it becomes even more dense than you, so you float even better more.
- If you have a lot of body fat, your body will be less dense, making you more buoyant (meaning “floaty”)
- Epsom salts increase the density of the water, which in turn adds to your buoyancy. This floating sensation may help you relax your muscles more readily.
This is a good time to talk about your body and how it cleans itself, something it is naturally very good at doing. There are several organs and systems that allow keep your body clean, from the inside out.
The digestive system includes the intestines, salivary (spit) glands, pancreas, stomach, and gall bladder.
The liver detoxifies the blood, and produces some of the biochemicals necessary for digestion, which is the way your body breaks down foods and uses their nutrients to run the magnificent machine that is your body. It filters your blood and produces special enzymes to destroy toxins we might get from food, water, and air. The liver basically packages up these things our body doesn’t want or need, so the body can get rid of them through your urine and bile. Liver is in charge of metabolism, a chemical process in which foods are converted into energy the body can use.
Food also passes through your intestines, where nutrients are absorbed. Healthy intestines keep good and bad bacteria in balance, so your body can digest (use) the food you eat.
Kidneys are part of the urinary system. They also filter your blood to remove waste, and send it to the urinary bladder. The kidneys get rid of waste products like urea and ammonium, which leave your body as urine. eir principal function is to transport oxygen from the atmosphere into the bloodstream, and to release carbon dioxide from the bloodstream into the atmosphere.
Lymph is the clear fluid that makes up part of our lymphatic system, which is part of the immune system. Lymph contains white blood cells (the body’s warriors!), which pick up bacteria and viruses from your cells and carry them back to your lymph nodes, where they are destroyed.
And finally, your SKIN helps fend off infection and absorption of unwanted toxins because it is basically a giant, flexible suit of armor that stands between your inner systems and the world. Skin can also excrete extra salts your body doesn’t need by sweating. Your skin is part of the immune system, but the top layer of skin is actually dead. That dead part of your skin is constantly falling off and being replaced by new skin cells. It is part of the integumenty system – the entire network of dead skin cells, from your skin to your nails and hair, that create a final barrier between your body and the outside world. Did you know you you lose 40,000 dead skin cells every minute!?
Your body sure does work hard to keep you clean! By eating nutritious, healthful foods and having good hygiene – like taking baths and brushing your teeth – you help all the systems of your body do the best job they can to keep you healthy and keep your amazing machine running smoothly.
More on the science of Epsom salts.