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How to find relief for charlie horse leg cramps naturally

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

leg crampIf you’re currently expecting, you’ve probably heard of (or perhaps already experienced) some of the aches and pains pregnancy can bring about, but you might not have been prepared for the suddenness or intensity of the sharp, squeezing, twisting pain of a charlie horse.

Green Bath SaltSome women have described the pain of charlie horses as feeling like their legs were being squeezed in a vise or clamp; others have described feeling as though their legs were being tied in knots and being pulled at both ends. However you want to describe it, the pain of a charlie horse is certainly unpleasant.

What is a charlie horse?

A charlie horse, also sometimes spelled “charley horse” is a type of leg cramp that affects pregnant women, particularly during their second and third trimesters. To this day, doctors are uncertain what precisely causes charlie horse leg cramps, but common theories include the uterus putting pressure on certain nerves, and/or decreased circulation in the legs as a result of the baby putting pressure on blood vessels.

Finding relief for charlie horse leg cramps

aromatherapy bath saltsPrior to founding Castle Baths, CB owner Laura Thomas, experienced numerous charlie horse leg cramps during each of her pregnancies. Her doctor recommended an unusual solution: Dead Sea Bath Salts. She took his advice and has enjoyed the soothing and rejuvenating powers of aromatherapy-scented Dead Sea Bath Salts ever since! Now, she offers her experience and expertise with charlie horses freely to other expecting mothers.

dead sea salt If you’re expecting, or you know someone who is, be sure to check out Laura’s personal story on leg cramp and charlie horse relief to find out which aromatherapy essential oil blends she recommends when selecting a Dead Sea Bath Salt or Conditioning Soak.

Do you have your own natural or homeopathic remedy for charlie horse leg cramps? Talk to us! We’d love to hear from you, and add your story and advice to our leg cramp relief page!


Spa collageSpa products

Detox skin care solutions from the Dead Sea

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

dead sea skin care

Did you know that one of the ways your body’s internal detox system excretes toxins is by way of the skin? This is one of the reasons why you run a fever and sweat when you’re sick; your body is trying to purge itself of the germs and toxins that are making you ill.

But toxins can accumulate in your skin even when you’re not sick, both from your body’s detox system pushing them outwards and your skin’s absorbing external toxins like free radicals from the sun’s UV rays. If left to build up, these toxins can become trapped inside your skin and cause acne breakouts, and/or make even more serious trouble for you later in life.

dead sea bath saltsSo, how can you get rid of them?

Sweating is one way your body expels toxins from your skin, but unless you don’t mind the unpleasant smell that comes with perspiration, this probably isn’t your first choice for a detox skin care solution.

Which leads us to the next best natural detox skin care solution: Dead Sea products.

The salt, mud, and waters of the Dead Sea are some of the most effective detox skin care solutions in nature. Learn the benefits of each Dead Sea ingredient and product in this tutorial on how to remove toxins from your skin.

Dead Sea Bath Salts for Winter Chills

Friday, January 10th, 2014

Dead Sea Bath Salts offer cold weather relief

bath salts - jubilee conditioning soakIt’s cold outside! The recent kink in the Earth’s polar vortex has likely left you with lingering chills and very dry skin, due in part to the extremely frigid temperatures most of North America experienced these past few days, and also due to the efforts you likely took to stay warm during the unexpected arctic blast.

Your skin definitely doesn’t react well to extreme cold, but it doesn’t react all that well to heat either. Turning up the thermostat in your home sucks moisture out of the air, and out of your skin too.

Fortunately for you, there’s a way to stay warm that won’t dry out your skin, and may help with those lingering winter chills and aches too. It’s called a Dead Sea Salt bath.

dead sea bath salts passion aromatherapyOrdinarily, a long, extremely hot bath would actually dry out your skin by evaporating its natural oils, but a lukewarm bath with added Dead Sea Bath Salts can help counteract this effect, and even help add moisture to your skin. Dead Sea Salts accomplish this by penetrating your skin’s pores and deep-cleansing them of toxins and pollutants. Once your pores are cleansed and un-clogged, they can absorb moisture from the surrounding bath water.

If your Dead Sea Bath Salts happen to be scented in aromatherapy essential oils, this will also help put just enough oil back into your skin to keep it from drying out, as well as deliver numerous aromatherapy benefits such as soothing aches and pains and promoting an overall feeling of relaxation.

Dead Sea Bath Salts vs Epsom Salts

Many of the cheaper bath salts you’ll find in box stores are made with Epsom Salts, which, if overused, can further dry out your skin. Many of these Epsom Salt blends are also scented in synthetic fragrances instead of essential oils, and thus, deliver no aromatherapy benefits and may even give you a slight headache if you happen to be allergic to one or more of the chemicals used to create the synthetic fragrance.

bath salts - exotic earth green teaSo, if you want a bath salt blend you can use every day, or even twice a day if you like, and one with real aromatherapy benefits, Dead Sea Bath Salts are the way to go! Check out Castle Baths extensive collection of Classic aromatherapy Dead Sea Bath Salts and our exclusive Exotic Earth Dead Sea Salt blends!

Free Radicals vs. Antioxidants: an Epic Battle Waged Within Your Skin

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

The evidence has existed for some time now, yet few people are aware of just how damaging free radicals can be to the human body.

sunburn free radicalsThere is an epic battle being waged within the deep layers of your skin, one with the potential to affect your appearance and health for the rest of your life. Yet so many people remain blissfully unaware of the havoc being wreaked inside their bodies, blind to the buildup of enemy troops as they slowly but surely advance and inflict destruction on their cells, and deaf to the sounds of their bodies’ desperate attempts to repel the invaders before it’s too late.

These “invaders” aren’t some sort of new bacterial or viral disease; they’re much smaller and far more insidious. They’re called free radicals, and their continued buildup within the tissues of your body has been linked to premature aging, cancer and a host of other maladies in numerous scientific studies.

Many have now heard the warnings about using tanning beds and the sunscreen industry is booming, yet how many people actually understand the chemical reactions that occur inside the body when someone tans or burns. Probably not many outside of the dermatologist’s office. But it really isn’t that difficult a concept to grasp and can easily be explained in layman’s terms.

What are free radicals?

Free radicals are chemically charged oxygen molecules. When free radicals enter your body, they bond molecularly with the proteins the proteins in cells, destroying the proteins in the process and causing chemical burns to the affected cells. Simply put, free radicals burn your cells. When you get sunburned at the beach, your cells are burning too. When you get a tan, your cells still burn. When you smoke, your cells burn. When you breathe in polluted air, your cells burn.

The chemical reaction caused by free radicals that destroys your body’s cells is the same reaction that occurs when iron rusts or when fruits decay when left outdoors. This reaction is called oxidation. When cells become oxidized, their DNA becomes damaged, which can lead to conditions such as skin cancer in cases where the damage is extreme, lifelong, and left untreated.

Free radicals’ link to premature aging comes from the oxidation of your body’s collagen. Collagen is the connective tissue responsible for keeping a person’s skin firm, plumped, and youthful. When free radicals destroy collagen and inhibit your body’s ability to synthesize new collagen, the result is skin that sags and wrinkles.

What are antioxidants?

As the term might imply, antioxidants are substances that counteract the oxidation process, such as citrus fruits, which contain high concentrations of the antioxidant Vitamin C.

Antioxidant vitamins for skin care

Have you ever tried preserving sliced fruits by soaking them in lemon juice? If you have, then you know that the lemon juice helps the fruit slices remain fresh longer than they would naturally. This is because the antioxidant properties of the lemon juice delay the oxidation process.

The same thing happens when you use ingredients rich in Vitamin C for skin care purposes. Vitamin C is a key component of the body’s natural ability to synthesize new collagen, and also protects existing collagen.

Vitamin E is also highly antioxidant and has been shown in numerous scientific studies to be particularly effective at reducing and in some cases even reversing the inflammation caused by free radicals as a result of sunlight overexposure. Vitamin E also has the ability to intensify the effectiveness of vitamin C when the two are combined, and the reverse is also true.

Consuming foods rich in vitamins C and E, as well as other sources of antioxidants is certainly warranted. You may wish to try organic green tea, as it delivers more antioxidants than most other types of tea, is naturally decaffeinated, and is zero calories, so you can drink it all day without keeping yourself awake all night. But absorbing antioxidant vitamins into your skin topically will be even more beneficial, since that’s where your body’s free radical accumulation is doing the most damage.

herbal bath tea - jubileeHow to infuse your skin with antioxidants

While no one is suggesting you bathe in lemon juice, you may want to try natural spa products made with the extracts of organic citrus fruits and/or list vitamins C or E as main ingredients. The following spa products may be of particular interest to you:

Herbal Bath Tea – Castle Baths’ herbal bath teas are made with organic green tea leaves and scented in your choice of seven proprietary aromatherapy essential oil blends. Try Jubilee Bath Tea for an energizing blend of pink grapefruit and bergamot – naturally rich in vitamin C.

avocado face creamAvocado Face Cream – Castle Baths’ Avocado Face Cream combines avocado oil with green tea extract, cucumber extract, and unrefined shea butter, all of which are naturally rich in antioxidants and vitamins. It was initially formulated for people who had undergone cosmetic surgery and were looking for a face cream safe to use on their healing skin, so it’s designed to be extra gentle on sensitive skin – great for if you have sunburned or sun-damaged skin!

Body Butter – Castle Baths’ body butters are extra-rich and deliver all-day moisture, plus a generous quantity of antioxidants and vitamins. Try Citrus C Body Butter or Green Tea Body Butter if you’re looking for something to help with free radicals.

dead sea mud maskDead Sea Products – Dead Sea Bath Salts and Dead Sea Mud are both excellent at detoxifying your skin’s pores (through which many sources of free radicals enter your body.) Be sure to treat your skin to regular detox sessions so you can clear out all the pollutants and toxins your skin draws in before they have a chance to oxidize and start damaging your cells.

Some final thoughts on free radicals

It is important to remember that free radicals don’t just come from outside sources. Your body produces its own free radicals as part of its natural metabolic processes. Physical exercise, while good for maintaining muscle strength and overall fitness, increases your body’s metabolism, and thus, its free radical content as well. So even if you’re super careful about sunlight exposure, you eat healthy, and you exercise regularly (which you should,) free radicals will still exist within the tissues of your body.

This is not to dishearten you from trying to eliminate them, but to remind you that regular efforts on your part to protect, rejuvenate, and detoxify your skin are necessary if you want to win not only the battle against free radical damage, but also the war.

Dead Sea Bath Salts: most popular aromatherapy blends and staff picks

Friday, October 18th, 2013

If you enjoy taking long hot baths complete with scented bath salts don’t settle for those cheap salts you see in the bath and body departments of large box stores! All bath salts are not created equally, and you tend to get what you pay for. Commercial bath salts that use Epsom salt as their primary ingredient can be quite drying to the skin. They may also be scented with synthetic fragrance oils (which can cause headaches in some people) rather than pure essential oils.

There’s no getting around it. If you want a real luxury bathing experience, you need to use pure, authentic Dead Sea bath salts. The act of bathing in the waters of the Dead Sea has been regarded as a luxurious indulgence for centuries, and with good reason. The waters of the Dead Sea have demonstrated unique regenerative powers in numerous scientific studies.

Dead Sea Salt in particular has been proven scientifically to help with aches and pains, as well as reduce the likelihood of stiffness after exercising. Dead Sea Salt is also extremely helpful for detox purposes, as it helps remove impurities from your skin’s pores while feeding your skin with much-needed minerals. Dead Sea bath salts that have been scented in essential oils carry the additional aromatherapy benefits that can range from resting a headache to aphrodisiac properties. It all depends on which essential oil blend you choose.

Some of our most popular aromatherapy bath salts

Castle Baths offers a wide selection of bath salts, all of which are made with pure, authentic Dead Sea Salt imported from the Dead Sea. Below are some of our customers’ favorites, as well as our personal staff picks:

bath salts sdSweet Dreams Conditioning Soak (staff pick) – our Sweet Dreams Conditioning Soak combines the rejuvenating powers of Dead Sea Salt with the moisturizing power of Unrefined Cocoa Butter and the relaxing aromatherapy benefits of our proprietary Sweet Dreams essential oil blend (combining the essential oils of lavender and vanilla) for a truly exceptional bathing experience! These sweetly scented salts will help put your mind at ease while conditioning your skin to help you achieve that coveted silky smooth look – perfect for a late evening bath just before going to bed!

dead sea salts - prPrayer Dead Sea Bath Salts for the Soul – the very first Castle Baths aromatherapy spa products ever created, this floral fruity bath salt blend has been a hit from the very beginning, and has grown in popularity each year since. Originally formulated to ship with Castle Baths founder Laura Thomas’ spiritual memoir How to Have Purr-fect Faith, Even at a Cat Show in an effort to entice people to read the book, this aromatherapy bath salt remains a staple for anyone who, like Laura, loves to meditate and pray while taking a long relaxing warm bath.


green tea infusion bath saltsGreen Tea Infusion Dead Sea Bath Salts – when it comes to detox, this Dead Sea Salt blend means business. It combines the detox powers of pure, authentic Dead Sea Salt with the high antioxidant content of organic green tea to help purify your skin of pollutants without having to go on risky diets or undergo expensive spa treatments. Green tea also delivers uplifting and cheering aromatherapy benefits – a truly rejuvenating bath salt from Castle Baths’ Exotic Earth spa line!


bath salts - eucalyptusSexy Eucalyptus Bath Salts (staff pick) – Remember when we said that some aromatherapy blends have aphrodisiac properties? Case in point right here! We call this blend “Sexy Eucalyptus” for a reason. Both men and women love its sexy, stimulating aroma – perfect for a bath for two! Also, if you’re feeling under the weather, our Sexy Eucalyptus Bath Salts have shown to be helpful in opening up all your senses and helping you feel more revived. Containing nothing but pure authentic Dead Sea Salt and the essential oil of eucalyptus, this aromatherapy bath salt is simple yet amazingly effective!

Do you have a favorite Dead Sea bath salt or aromatherapy scent? Tell us! We may just feature your story in our next blog!

Happy Easter Spa Gift Basket Ideas to Renew Your Spirit

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Looking for a last-minute Easter Basket idea? Do you need to find a vegan and/or gluten free Easter gift basket? If you haven’t been having much luck finding the perfect gift basket for Easter and feel you’re running out of time, Castle Baths may have a solution for you: a vegan and gluten-free Easter spa gift basket.

easter gift basketCastle Baths’ Easter Gift Basket contains one 6oz bottle of natural hand and body lotion, and one 6oz bottle of massage oil, scented in the floral, fruity aroma of Prayer. Our Prayer essential oil blend is ideal for helping to calm the mind and help you reach a spiritual, meditative peace. It also includes a small bath tub and an Easter greeting card, in which you can request a custom, handwritten message for no extra cost!

For those who prefer bath products over body moisturizers, we also offer an Easter Salt Gift Bag, which features our Sexy Eucalyptus Dead Sea Bath Salts, packaged in a decorative gift bag with an Easter greeting card. The aroma of Eucalyptus is both energizing and sensual for a fun and exciting Easter holiday, and Dead Sea Salt has many skin care benefits too! It will help detoxify your skin’s pores and moisturize by infusing your skin with much needed minerals. Experience renewal in the tub with this all natural yet powerful cleansing sea salt blend. As with our Easter Gift Basket, you may request a custom, handwritten message for the included Easter greeting card at no extra cost.

easter salt gift bagBoth of these Easter gift ideas are vegan, gluten free, and won’t add any calories to your diet (they’re spa products, after all, not food) so they make great alternative Easter Basket ideas for people with dietary sensitivities.

We at Castle Baths wish you a very happy Easter, and hope you will find joy and renewal this holiday, whether it be in church, with family and friends, and/or in the bathtub with one of our Easter gift basket ideas! Be sure to check back with us next week too, as we’ll be starting another giveaway contest!

Detox Your Body Without Dieting: Natural Detox Skin Care Solutions

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Detoxing your body is a popular, and sometimes controversial topic in fitness and wellness circles these days. On one side, there are experts who say that our bodies are being exposed to toxins every day from air quality pollutants to toxins in the foods we eat. These experts argue that our modern lifestyles have supersaturated our bodies with toxins, and that detoxification methods such as detox diets are necessary to help our bodies’ natural purification systems eliminate these toxins before they cause disease.

On the other side, there are experts who argue that detox diets are actually bad for our health, and essentially starve our bodies of much needed nutrients in our efforts to eliminate toxins. Opponents of detox diets argue that such extreme dieting has the potential to result in fatigue, loss of muscle tissue, lower metabolism, and other health problems.

The problem is, both groups of experts are right.

Our bodies are being exposed to toxins and environmental pollutants on a daily basis, and detox diets can be dangerous for some people. Fortunately, there’s a third alternative – one which can help eliminate toxins from the body without risking the potential health hazards of any kind of diet: Dead Sea skin care products.

Dead Sea detox skin care solutions, such as those made with dead sea mud, dead sea salt, and dead sea brine, have incredible detox and deep-cleansing powers that you don’t have to starve yourself to experience. The restorative abilities of the Dead Sea have been known since ancient times, and have proven scientific evidence of their health benefits – something many proponents of detox diets have yet to produce.

Dead Sea products achieve their detoxification results by deep-cleansing the pores and deep layers of your skin, where few other bath and body products can reach. Furthermore, the skin is actually one of the main ways by which toxins enter our bodies. We put toxins into our skin every day when we use mass-produced synthetic cosmetics such as lipstick, nail polish, and even many lotions. That’s right – that giant tube of face cream you bought at the drug store that claims it will cleanse your skin is actually doing just the opposite.

To detox your body naturally using Dead Sea skin care products, try using Dead Sea Bath Salts with your next soak in the tub. For additional detox benefits, try some of Castle Baths’ Green Tea Infusion Bath Salts, which deliver not only the deep-cleansing benefits of Dead Sea Salt, but also a rich source of antioxidants (a key detox ingredient) found naturally in Green Tea.

To detox your face, try a Dead Sea Mud Mask, Dead Sea Facial Cream Cleanser, or a Dead Sea Black Mineral Mud Bar facial soap. You can also use a Dead Sea Salt Soap if you prefer.

The best part of all about using Dead Sea skin care products to detox your body is that, unlike detox diets, they carry absolutely no risk to you. Soak in Dead Sea Bath Salts as often as you like, use Dead Sea facial soaps every day, and you’ll be well on your way to detoxing and cleansing your body the right way! Visit our website to learn more about detox skin care solutions.

A Guide to Preventative Skin Care for Diabetic Feet

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

Imagine sitting at your desk in front of your computer, being so engrossed in what you’re working on that you suddenly realize you’ve lost feeling in one of your feet. You try to move it, only to feel a slight tingling sensation. Though your foot is obviously the same size it ever was, it also feels as though your foot has grown an inch-thick layer of extra skin that is preventing you from feeling the inside of your shoe. You stand up and brace yourself for the onslaught of the ticklish sensations that will soon envelop your leg. The sensations of having one of your feet “fall asleep” are certainly unpleasant, and can be quite embarrassing at times as well, especially if a coworker walks in on you trying to walk normally and occasionally bursting into laughter from the tickling of your leg, but chances are you’ll forget about it as soon as your foot returns to normal.

For a diabetic person, however, these same sensations can be an early warning sign of a serious medical problem. As such, if you or someone you know suffers from diabetes, it is extremely important to always take these symptoms seriously, and develop an effective foot care regimen to keep that person’s feet “awake.”

What causes these symptoms and how can I prevent them?

The lack of feeling in a foot, and the sensation of having grown an extra inch-thick layer of skin is actually the result of your foot swelling due to poor circulation. In essence, your foot does not receive enough blood and thus, its normally sensitive nerves cannot function properly. This actually causes the skin on your foot to expand and become puffy, though not nearly as visibly puffy as the inch-thick layer of skin imagine it has grown when this occurs. The tingling and tickling feelings you experience when you realize your foot has “gone to sleep” are actually caused by your body attempting to restore normal blood flow to your foot.  To prevent these symptoms from occurring, it is essential to make sure your foot always has adequate circulation.

dead sea foot salts - sweet communionThe best way to keep blood flowing to the feet, aside from making sure you or your diabetic friend’s feet remain in a natural position, is to soak them in a warm bath with Dead Sea Bath Salts.  Dead Sea Salt is well known to help boost circulation, particularly so in the extremities.

But don’t bath salts make you sweat? And isn’t sweating equally bad for diabetics? The answer is “yes” to both questions in regards to typical bath salts made with Epsom salt. Epsom salt can be very dehydrating to the skin, and will likely cause sweating, which is indeed bad for diabetics. Dead Sea Salt, however, has a unique chemical structure found only in the waters of the Dead Sea that causes them to have unique healing properties. As mentioned, these properties include the boosting of circulation, and, unlike Epsom salt, they are great for skin moisturizing too!

How to prepare a Dead Sea Foot Salt bath:

  1. cellu coffee spa soapPour lukewarm water into a foot basin. Make sure the water is not too hot, as this in and of itself will cause foot swelling and defeat the purpose of the salts you are about to add.
  2. Add the Dead Sea Bath Salts to the foot bath in the amount specified on the label for the product you have chosen. For an enjoyable aromatherapy experience while soaking, try Dead Sea Salts that have been scented with a blend of essential oils.
  3. Wash the feet with a bar of coffee spa soap, as this will also help boost circulation.
  4. Let the feet soak in the bath for 20 minutes or the time specified on the instructions for your Dead Sea Salts.

Please keep in mind that these instructions are for preventative skin care only. If you or a diabetic person you know actually experiences the symptoms of one or both feet “falling asleep,” consult a physician immediately. The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat diabetes or its associated symptoms.

Merry Christmas from Castle Baths

Friday, December 21st, 2012

(with apologies to Major Henry Livingston)

T’was the night before Christmas

And all through the spa

There was peace and contentment

And feelings of “Ahhhh….”

All the spa gifts were packaged and bundled with care

Filled with fragrant aromas of Passion and Prayer

All the spa-goers were nestled all snug in their beds

While visions of body scrubs danced in their heads

And I in my bathrobe with soap in my hand

Had just settled into my Dead Sea Salt Bath.

Merry Christmas from Castle Baths!

Castle Baths will be closed December 24 and 25 in observance of the Christmas Holiday. We will re-open December 26.

Worried About Winter-Dry Skin? Try Dead Sea Salts to Keep Your Skin Soft and Smooth

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

sweet communion dead sea saltsWith the official first day of winter starting within the next two weeks, now is a good time to start thinking about how you will keep your skin hydrated throughout the coming cold. As you may or may not already know, skin can become very dry during the winter – both from the biting chill of the outdoors and the dryness of the heated indoors.

Fortunately, there’s a simple solution to keep your skin moist, soft, and youthful-looking throughout the winter: Dead Sea Bath Salts.

Conventional wisdom would have you believe that salt is dehydrating, and it is true that your standard table salt known chemically as sodium chloride will indeed cause your body (including your skin) to experience thirst. Dead Sea Salt, however, is composed of mostly minerals rather than sodium. These minerals actually help your skin retain moisture rather than dehydrate it by strengthening your skin’s natural ability to retain moisture, and by helping to draw surrounding moisture into your skin.

Because Dead Sea Salt is most effective as a moisturizer when used in conjunction with water, Dead Sea Bath Salts are particularly effective. It only takes a small scoop or two of unrefined Dead Sea Salt added to a lukewarm bath to quench your skin’s thirst for moisture.

Any source of Dead Sea Salt, so long as it is authentic and unrefined, will make an effective moisturizer and additive to your next bath. However, beware of the many imitators on the market today. For a source of Dead Sea products that you can be certain is authentic unrefined (completely natural) you can try Castle Baths Dead Sea Salts for the Soul. Castle Baths’ Dead Sea Salts for the Soul have the additional benefit of being scented with aromatherapy essential oil blends to help you feel relaxed, energized, romantic or spiritual.bathsheba dead sea foot salts

If you find you enjoy the aromas and sensations of bathing in Dead Sea Salts for the Soul (and chances are you will), you can also try Dead Sea Foot Salts to keep your feet soft and smooth after walking through the snow in tight-fitting boots.

We hope you find these skin care tips useful, and wish you many happy soaks in the tub! Be sure to check back with us next week for more skin care and beauty information as you prepare for the Holidays.