What is a sitz bath?You may have heard of a sitz bath, but what is a sitz bath exactly? The name comes from the German word “sitzen,” which means “to sit.” During a sitz bath, you sit in a bathtub or tub of warm water to provide healing and to relieve pain around your private area — specifically the perineum, which is between the genital area and the anus.
There are a few issues that may cause this discomfort such as hemorrhoids, anal fissure, diarrhea, prostatitis, vaginal yeast infection and vaginal birth. A postpartum sitz bath recipe can be an amazing way to help heal from childbirth while offering relaxation. Using sitz baths help by increasing blood flow to inflamed areas. This is therapeutic because the increased blood flow can provide more oxygen, which promotes healing. One study showed significant healing with the use of heated water. (1, 2)
Sitz Bath Recipe
Makes 1–2 applications
1/3 cup Epsom salt
¼ cup sea salt
2 tablespoons witch hazel
10 drops tea tree essential oil
8 drops frankincense essential oil
8 drops lavender essential oil
Pour the Epsom salt and sea salt into a bowl. Blend.
Next, add the witch hazel and essential oils. Blend again. Witch hazel is pretty amazing as an astringent for the skin because it has antibacterial properties. (3) Tea tree essential oil is an antiseptic with the ability to help treat wounds and bacterial infections. (4) Frankincense works to reduce inflammation while lavender also helps treat wounds, providing powerful antioxidants that can be absorbed through the skin. (5, 6, 7)
Now that you have prepared your all-natural sitz bath recipe, draw a warm bath about 2–3 inches deep. Note: if using a basin, use half the recipe since you have less volume of water. Pour the mixture into the bath, and swirl it around to make sure it is well-dispersed in the water. Take the sitz bath for about 15–20 minutes.
How to Take a Sitz Bath
While there are some at-home basin kits that you can purchase, using the bathtub works too. Before delving right into the how-to, there are a couple of things you need to avoid when doing sitz baths. Do not use soaps because they can dry out the skin and make it even more irritated. Don’t rush the process. Set up the bathroom for comfort and privacy. If you need entertainment, music, candles, etc., set it up so that you have everything you need to relax. If you plan to use a portable basin, make sure to avoid overfilling to help avoid spillage when discarding it.
Next, fill the sitz bath, or tub, with warm water. When you have the temperature right, add a large spoonful of the sitz bath recipe. Swirl it around a bit to help mix it in.
Now you can get into the tub, (or lower yourself onto the seat if using the portable approach). Plan to relax for about 15–20 minutes and add more hot water, if needed, to keep the temperature in check. You can take a sitz bath two to three times a day, as needed, until you have healed.
Once you are done, slowly get up. You may feel a bit dizzy. This is normal, but monitor yourself carefully. If you have time, allow the area to dry. Otherwise, use a soft, non-abrasive cloth to pat the area dry. Moisturizing the area may not be the best idea if you have an infection; however, if you feel you need it, I recommend using coconut oil. If you are using a special ointment or hemorrhoid cream for hemorrhoids, for example, this is the perfect time to use it.
A sitz bath is safe in most cases, but if you experience unusual discomfort or irritation of any sort, discontinue and talk to your doctor. You may experience slight dizziness as you get up from the sitz bath since the warm water may cause your blood vessels to dilate. This is normal, but be careful.
Soothing Sitz Bath Recipe with Frankincense & Tea Tree Oils
- 1/3 cup Epsom salt
- ¼ cup sea salt
- 2 tablespoons witch hazel
- 10 drops tea tree essential oil
- 8 drops frankincense essential oil
- 8 drops lavender essential oil
- In a small bowl, blend the Epsom salt and sea salt.
- Next, add the remaining ingredients and blend well.
- Add to a warm bath (about 2-3 inches if using tub). Use half the recipe if using a basin kit.
- Sit in bath for 15–20 minutes.
Get FREE Access!
Dr. Josh Axe is on a mission to provide you and your family with the highest quality nutrition tips and healthy recipes in the world...Sign up to get VIP access to his eBooks and valuable weekly health tips for FREE!
Free eBook to boost
metabolism & healing
30 Gluten-Free Recipes
& detox juicing guide
Shopping Guide &