Got pain down below? You'll want to 'sit' for this
A couple of months ago we received a request for a sitz bath. Well, we're the bath people, and a sitz bath would make an excellent addition to our roster of healing baths, so of course we said yes! Then it was a matter of researching the best possible herbs to use, and sourcing them from reputable local growers. Finally we could put our Mama Mia! Healing Sitz Bath on the market. Here it is:
But wait...what on earth is a sitz bath?
An actual sitz bath is...wait for it...a bath that you sit in
The name sitz bath is derived from the German words sitzen (meaning to sit) and bad (meaning bath). The sitz bath seems to have taken hold as a treatment for abdominal complaints in Europe in the mid-nineteenth century. The idea apparently was to sit in a small tub of hot water several times per day to improve circulation; since tubs back then were mostly metal, the subject had to either be wrapped in towels, or the tub itself had to be lined with hot towels of some sort to protect the skin from burns.
Yikes! We've come a long way, sitzen!
Today, sitz baths are recommended by doctors and health care practitioners for therapeutic purposes - often after giving birth, to relieve the discomfort and pain of uterine contractions, tearing, episiotomies and C-section wounds. In addition to this purpose, the sitz bath is also used for cleansing and soothing when a number of different painful conditions are present, including:
inflammatory bowel disease (IBS)
The modern-day sitz bath device is designed to fit over the toilet - although you can simply fill the bathtub with a few inches of water to achieve the same effect.
Depending on what is added to the sitz bath (never add soap or detergents of any kind!) it may also be effective at reducing inflammation and infections. Some doctors recommend taking a daily sitz bath for 7 full days after a surgery or birth.
Five ways to use a sitz bath
The term 'sitz bath' can also refer to the actual contents of the bath - in our case, herbs specifically chosen for their healing, soothing, anti-inflammatory, anti-infection properties, and sea salt, which is cleansing and healing. The SaltZ&Co Mama Mia! Sitz Bath comes packaged as a sachet in a muslin bag, which prevents the herbs from causing a mess in the tub and clogging drains. Think of it as a big tea bag, which can be brewed and discarded or cleaned and reused! Here are 5 ways to make use of the sitz bath goodness inside.
1. Remove sachet from plastic bag and place in the tub under hot running water. Bathe as usual, being sure to keep affected areas submerged for at least 20 minutes.
2. Purchase a plastic sitz bath basin that fits over your toilet. Brew a single bag of sitz bath in about 2L of boiling water. Let steep for 15 minutes and cool till the liquid reaches a tolerably warm temperature. Pour into the sitz basin and soak for 10 minutes.
3. Brewing as per the instructions in #2 above, pour the cooled liquid into a Peri bottle to provide soothing relief when going to the washroom. A Peri bottle is really just an inexpensive plastic bottle that squirts liquid out to a targeted area. You can buy them on Amazon or usually obtain a free one from your hospital or health care practitioner.
4. Brewing as per the instructions in #2 above, moisten some cotton pads or paper towels with the cooled liquid. Seal in a Ziploc bag and refrigerate for cooling relief when using the washroom, or as needed.
5. Wound healing herbs are great for baby's cord care, too! Dip a Q-tip or cotton pad into the cooled liquid to moisten the cord area once or twice a day and speed drying/healing.
Have you experienced relief from a Sitz bath - would you recommend it to others? Let us know!
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