The earliest systematic exposition of the different kinds of salts, its uses, and the methods of its extraction was published in China around 2700 years BCE. Hippocrates encouraged his fellow healers to make use of Salt Water to heal various ailments by immersing their patients in sea water. The ancient Greeks continued this, and in 1753 English author and physician Dr. Charles Russell published “The Uses of Sea Water”. The term Bath Salts refers to a range of water-soluble, usually inorganic solid products designed to be added to a bath. They are said to improve cleaning, improve the experience of bathing, and serve as a vehicle for cosmetic agents. Bath salts have been developed which mimic the properties of Natural Mineral Baths or Hot Springs.
Salts used in Bath Salts
Although, chemically speaking, many organic substances commonly used in bath water (such as soap and many others surfactants) are salts, these are not referred to as “Bath Salts“, as they are not used in the form of hard, crystalline granules. These salts include:
- Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom salts)
- Sodium Chloride (Table Salt)
- Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda)
- Sodium Hexametaphosphate (Calgon, Amorphous/Glassy Sodium Metaphosphate)
- Sodium Sesquicarbonate
Some organic salts such as sodium citrate can be used in bath salts. Fragrances and colors are often added to Bath Salts, and one purpose of salts is as a vehicle or diluents to extend fragrances, which are otherwise often too potent for convenient measurement or use. Other common additives to Bath Salts are oils, foaming agents, and effervescent agents.
Effects of Bath Salts
Some Bath Salts such as phosphates have a detergent action which softens calloused skin and aids in exfoliation. Some Bath Salts act as water softeners and change the way soap rinses. Some confusion may arise after a first experience with soft water. Hard water does not lather well with soap and can leave a sticky feeling. Soft water lathers better than hard water but feels slippery for a longer time during rinsing of soap, even though the soap is coming off faster, because the soap remains soluble. High concentrations of salts increase the density of the water and increase buoyancy which makes the body feel lighter in the bath. Very high concentrations of salts in water are used in many isolation tank therapies.
Dangerous Illegal Version of “Bath Salts”
A new Designer Drug known as “Bath Salts” is being marketed and has become increasingly popular; most of these Bath Salts are MDPV(Methylenedioxypyrovalerone), although newer pyrovalerone derivatives are being made by illegal street chemists. Though called Bath Salts, the synthetic drugs aren’t found in salts used for bathing. Marketing them as Bath Salts and labeling them ‘not for human consumption,’ they have been able to avoid them being specifically enumerated as illegal. The drug causes “Agitation, paranoia, hallucinations, chest pain, suicidality. It’s a very Terrifying Stimulant that is out there. It creates high blood pressure and increased pulse.It is yet not known that this drug is addictive or not but many stimulants in it do cause a craving. The people who take them are very creative. They snort it, shoot it and mix it with food and drink.” The Drug has been banned, The ban applies to three of the more commonly used compounds: Mephedrone, Methylone and Methylenedioxypyrovalerone, also called MDPV.
- Broward Passes Ban On Bath Salts (miami.cbslocal.com)