Sitz baths are simply plastic tubs that may be placed inside a toilet bowl or a bathtub. When they’re filled with warm water and bath salts, people may soak in them to relieve a number of complaints and ailments. Women who have recently given birth and those suffering from hemorrhoids, genital herpes, vaginal fissures, and any other conditions around the anal and pubic regions may benefit from sitz baths. Most sitz bath solutions contain some kind of bath salts. When choosing sitz bath salts, the patient must consult a doctor and then choose salts and herbs based on his or her condition.
Many different ingredients may be present in sitz bath salts. The most common solution is simply a mixture of warm, distilled water and either sea salt or Epsom salts. The salts cleanse and soothe the affected areas, gently washing away irritation and preventing infection. Patients who have been hospitalized may be sent home with a sitz bath and several packages of bath salt solution. Others should ask what to include in the solution because salts and herbs that may be helpful for one condition may irritate another.
Lavender, sage, marigold, cypress, sage, and comfrey are all typically recommended to help stimulate healing. These herbs may be added to sitz bath salts in the form of tinctures or teas, but loose and dried herbs should generally be avoided. The solid matter could get caught in the affected area and cause infection. Sitz bath salt solutions usually only require about a spoonful of tincture, and three or four times as much tea. Tinctures are more concentrated than teas. Oils may also be used, though only a few drops of these are necessary.
The above herbs are highly recommended for women who have recently given birth, but they may also be used for other ailments. Patients should not use all of the above herbs, but create sitz bath salts that contain only one or two. For instance, a patient with severe hemorrhoids may find relief with sitz bath salts containing Dead Sea salt, lavender, and marigold. All of these ingredients are known to soothe inflammation and calm irritated areas.
Those with vaginal problems may also benefit from adding apple cider vinegar to their sitz bath salts. Patients must seek a doctor’s advice before doing this to ensure the vinegar won’t throw off the pH balance inside the vagina. Cider vinegar may be mixed with comfrey and just a touch of cypress for most vaginal conditions. Bromelain is also sometimes used, but should be avoided by those allergic to pineapples, mangoes, and other tropical fruits.