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A Ginger Detox Bath for Cold Season

It’s well known that taking a steam or sauna at the beginning stages of a cold can be very beneficial. In my studies of holistic health and now Chinese nutrition, I’m learning just how important it is to sweat as soon as you feel yourself coming down with a cold.

In Chinese medicine diseases are classified into eight categories, the two that I will discuss today are described as external or internal. External diseases affect the areas of the body on the surface, the skin, mucous membranes, nose, throat and lungs. Internal diseases affect the blood, bones and internal organs. The common cold and the flu are the most wide-spread exterior diseases that are often easy to cure if we take action right away.


Typical signs of exterior conditions:

  • Sudden onset of symptoms
  • Sometimes aversion to cold or wind
  • Runny nose, congestion, headache, fever, body aches, sore throat and cough
  • Chills/fevers

From the Chinese perspective one of the goals is to balance the condition. In order to create this balance it is recommended that we expand, taking the disease to the outer edges of our body. We do this by consuming foods that are expansive in nature (think fresh fruits and vegetables) and by opening our sweat glands. To open our sweat glands I like to use a ginger detox bath.

About the bath:

You can take this bath with fresh or powdered ginger. Ginger is one of my favorite decongestants and works well to open up the pores. I prefer powdered ginger because it works deeper and faster. The ginger will make your body super hot and you will sweat more than you would in a typical hot bath. Take your bath in the hottest water you can stand and try to stay in for at least 15 minutes. You will sweat a ton!

In addition to the ginger I use Epsom salts to draw toxins from the body and help soothe achy muscles. Sometimes I add a few drops of ginger essential oil as well.

A ginger detox bath will help lessen your symptoms and in many cases shorten the duration of your sickness. This bath will make you tired and you will probably sweat for a good hour after the bath. I prefer to take them late morning or late afternoon followed by a nap. Some people like to take them before bed but I don’t like to sweat all night. You can try them at different times and see what works best for you.

After your bath dry off and wrap yourself in a large towel and get right in the bed. Cover yourself with a blanket and try to stay bundled up for the next 45 minutes to an hour. You’re going to keep sweating. After an hour hop in the shower and rinse off.

If you own a dry brush it can be nice to do some dry brushing while your bath is running. Learn all about dry brushing here. This will also make your skin extra glowy and smooth. Be sure to brush gently in circular motions towards your heart.

Drink plenty of water after the bath to rehydrate!

Please note if you have a cold/flu and are already sweating a great deal, a detox bath is not advised. Also not a good idea if you feel very weak, if you tend to sweat without moving very much, are pregnant or have a liver condition. If you have any concerns please consult with your doctor.


Ginger Detox Bath


Ingredients  //

  • 1 c. Epsom salts
  • 3 Tbsp. ground ginger
  • A few drops of ginger essential oil or other scent preference (optional)


Method //

  1. Fill your bath tub with the hottest water you can stand.
  2. Add the salt, ginger and optional oil to the running water and give it a good swirl to incorporate.
  3. When the tub is full submerge yourself up to your neck. It’s okay to do this slowly as it will be super hot.
  4. Try to stay in for 15 minutes and up to 30.
  5. When finished towel off and hop in the bed for an hour to sweat.
  6. Afterwards rinse off in the shower and continue to rest.
  7. Drink plenty of fluids
  8. This Ginger Detox Bath can be used when you feel a cold coming on or in the winter when you want to detox safely and warm up. As always, follow your intuition with these remedies and adapt them to suit your needs.



  • I’ve had a summer cold a few weeks back… Could’ve used this back then for sure! Thanks for sharing your wisdom dear!

    • ashley

      Oh no! I wish I had posted this earlier for you! Glad you are well now and hopefully you won’t need to take this bath anytime soon ;)

  • Alvin Eagle

    Yo! Absolutly loved your page. Following my intuition led me here. Anyways thanks for the info and the love.
    One love peace

  • Annabel

    What if I don’t have a bath tub but only have a standing shower, how do I do the ginger detox ?

    • ashley

      Hi Annabel,

      You will need a bath tub for this.


  • George Holland Hill

    You recommend adding to the ginger bath “1 c. Epsom salts”. What is a “c”?

    • ashley

      Hello George, a “c” is a “cup” or 8 ounces.

      All the best!

  • Judi

    Would this work in a footbath or does it have to be a whole body soak

    • ashley

      Hi Judi,

      You can definitely do this as a foot soak, let us know how it goes!

  • […] ½ cup freshly grated ginger (organic if possible) or 1-2 rounded tablespoons of ginger […]

  • I had been feeling grouchy for a couple of days with influenza side effects I was not able shake off. The way that I was overpowered with work and in a lethal race against due dates just exacerbated the situation.

    Feeling frustrated about my hopelessness, my companion Francine demanded I attempt a ginger shower, without broadly expounding regarding what occurs all the while.

    I faithfully obliged and, at night, feeling temperamental and throbbing, filled my bath with heated water and a cup of pasted ginger, as proposed. I thankfully slipped myself into the warm and fragrant water.

    Little did I anticipate that what was going will occur next!

    Inside 5 minutes of lying in the bath, it felt like my body had transformed into a tap! Sweat began spilling down my face and out of each and every pore in my body, in a way I had never experienced, not even while doing the most strenuous of games! During my 25-minute shower, as well as for the following couple of hours, totally splashing the wraparound I was wearing.

    I slept like a child that night and, surprisingly, woke up feeling vivacious, purged and totally side effect free!

    Call it magic…

  • M o

    So, I just tried this for the first time. I stayed in the bath for 30 minutes, with the 1cup Epsom salt and 3tbs ground ginger. I made it as hot as I could stand(I made it too hot at first and cooled it down a bit before getting in, which is better than it being too cold). I definitely felt very hot and was starting to sweat on my face(hard to tell how much your body is sweating since you’re in the water), but I decided 30 minutes was enough.

    I very quickly showered with as little natural body wash as possible and washed my hair very quickly, right after I drained the tub. Then I dried off, put on clothes, and reclined. I didn’t sweat too much more after that. Maybe it’s because I cooled down too much with the shower… ?

    Next time I’ll try to just rinse, or maybe not rinse, and drink a hot tea(maybe ginger tea for double ginger points) during the bath. This time I only drank cool water while in the bath.

    I think I’ll be trying this again sometime soon maybe later in the week. Hopefully even better results next time(via the changes I mentioned)

    But I definitely felt relaxed and much cleaner afterwards. Raising your body temperature alone helps kill infection, which I didn’t really feel like I had a cold, but have other illness and wanted to increase sweating in a hot bath.

    • ashley

      Hi! Yes, you won’t sweat much if you cool off in the shower and then put on clothing. Best to get out of the tub, pat yourself dry and immediately wrap up in a towel, and then lie down with a blanket or two on top of you to help the sweat continue.

      Keep us posted!

  • Kimberly

    I’ve done this bath before and it has definitely made a difference however this time I didnt sweat at all… it actually concerns me. I made it pretty hot. It took me a couple minutes to fully submerge. I stayed in about 15-20m… the whole time the water was steaming. I immediately put my robe on and got into bed… I’m really disappointed. All that time for nothing. I have been sick for a week, not that bad but suddenly woke up yesterday feeling way more congested for some reason was really looking forward to cleansing. I guess I’ll have to make it hotter next time. Ugh!

  • Very good article. But some of us wonder what if I have no a bath hot tub but have only a standing up shower, how can you do the turmeric detox? Thank you in advance.

    • ashley

      Great question and am not sure!

  • […] so there’s no formal evidence proving a ginger bath’s alleged benefits. But there are tons of anecdotal reports online from those who swear the practice is a super effective form of a sweaty […]

  • […] no formal evidence proving a ginger bath’s alleged benefits. But there are tons of anecdotal reports online from those who swear the practice is a super effective form of a sweaty […]

  • […] no formal evidence proving a ginger bath’s alleged benefits. But there are tons of anecdotal reports online from those who swear the practice is a super effective form of a sweaty […]

  • […] so there’s no formal evidence proving a ginger bath’s alleged benefits. But there are tons of anecdotal reports online from those who swear the practice is a super effective form of a sweaty […]

  • The idea is to immerse yourself in a hot bath filled with ginger (fresh or powdered) and some Epsom salts. The ginger makes the bath “hotter” as it comes into contact with your skin. This allows your pores to open, your skin to sweat, providing a clear path for toxins to get out.

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