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Sitz Bath Recipe

Hydrotherapy has many beneficial aspects and using a sitz bath recipe to create specific healing sitz baths can soothe and eliminate the discomfort of many common medical complaints. Childbirth and hemorrhoids are the two most common reasons to use a sitz bath but swollen ankles, menstrual pain, headaches and painful groin muscles also benefit from these baths.


Using water to soothe painful conditions is referred to as hydrotherapy and sitz baths were once very common especially for the treatment of hemorrhoids and for healing the peritoneum area after childbirth. A sitz bath recipe can be used warm or cold and added to a bath with the water no deeper than their navel or placed in a special pan that often can be placed on the toilet bowl. Sitz water may contain healing oils, herbs or salts and alternating warm and cold water reduces swollen, sensitive tissues or pulled muscles while natural oils provide moisturizers for dry or painful tissues.

Essential Oils

Healing oils including many essential oils can be added to any sitz bath recipe and will complement the soothing relief this type of hydrotherapy provides.

  • Rosemary and chamomile are very common sitz bath essential oils that help relax skin tissues

  • Juniper and lavender oil help keep bacteria from proliferating.

  • Calendula and all other species of marigolds are particularly useful for helping repair damaged skin tissues including those damaged by childbirth

  • Comfrey essential oil helps reduce swelling, quite common for people with hemorrhoids, women after childbirth and athletes who have pulled groin muscles.


Salts including Epson, sea and rock salt help soften skin tissues, are also beneficial in cleansing open wounds, and are easily combined with other ingredients for sitz baths. Finely ground salts dissolve faster and by using a household blender even rock salt can be ground fine. Salt is also a common ingredient to help prevent infection, cleanse skin, teeth and hair and by adding it to sitz bath water these tender areas can be kept clean which is important during healing.

Sitz Bath Herbs

Herbs that are commonly used for wound care can be included as part of any recipe for sitz baths including plantain, chickweed, yarrow, marshmallow root, anise seed, white oak and willow bark. All of these plant materials are healing, anti-inflammatory and cleanse without irritating the skin to create bath herbals place 1/2 to one cup of the herb in a bowl, pour two or three cups of boiling water over the herb, cover the bowl and allow it to sit for 15 to 20 minutes, strain and pour into the sitz bath. Plantain and chickweed contain high concentrations of Vitamin C; yarrow, marshmallow root and anise have antimicrobial properties and white oak and willow bark provide gentle natural pain relief.


For every ounce of herbs or plant material, the average ingredient proportions for sitz baths are two ounces of salt and for every two ounces of salt, and at least two teaspoons of soothing oil like olive, canola, soybean, almond, walnut and emu, plus up to five drops of essential oil. Herbs should be allowed to steep at least one hour but all herbs can steep up to four hours before use.

Relief from painful conditions is easy using a sitz bath recipe and these types of baths can be undertaken in the privacy of your own home.

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