There’s very little that cannot be solved with a cup of tea.
I don’t recall where I read or heard that saying but it is certainly applicable to many situations in life. The saying reminds me of the need to think things over, take a moment and just breathe. How appropriate for matters of health.
Herbal bathing is a bit like meditation. I find people either really love it, find ways to make it work best for them or it is the most excruciating way to spend 30 minutes in their life. Ironically, I find the response usually aligns with the individual’s stress responses and energy vibrations.
We are all capable of herbal bathing and yet depending on where we are in our mind-heart-body health and well-being will not only influence the outcomes of the experience but our perspective about doing it at all. When we are under high stress for instance, the last thing we can think about is self-care or stepping away from a situation. Yet it is in those very moments, we often need to do exactly that! The process of healing includes our own ability to strengthen ourselves while in the middle of a crisis or stressful time.
Developing a Like for Herbal Bathing
Sitting still, being quiet and alone sounds awful to a lot of people. We can be uncomfortable and not like the experience. Developing a comfort with being by ourself is healthy and helps us check in with ourselves. We can discern our own thoughts, reflect on what’s happening, dream of what’s next, solve complex problems and simply connect with God. Herbal bathing creates that space for alone time while also benefiting our mind-body-heart being.
If this is new to you, I recommend starting out with 10 minutes. In that time, shut off your phone, step away from your desk, shut your eyes and just breathe. If a thought arises in your mind, hear it and let it float by. I promise it will still be there when you open your eyes. Get in a space that is quiet and just breathe. It doesn’t matter if it is the bathroom or a closet, find that little spot where you step away for a few minutes and just breathe.
Build on that time to make it longer. No pressure applied to yourself of labeling it meditation or anything at all. Just breathe.
When it becomes more natural to you, try meditative guided sessions like those on Insight Timer (free app). Develop a routine of stepping away to breathe during your week. I like to add a diffuser of essential oils in these experiences to provide an aromatic support. Try using lavender, ylang ylang, geranium, or your favorite aroma that invokes quiet peaceful feelings for you.
Once you feel ready, expand your breathing practice to a herbal bath. Here you will soak for about 20 to 30 minutes in an aromatic tub of water that is warm, quiet, maybe dimly lit or bright and sunny, depending on your preference. Replicate the setting as much as possible to what you used in your breathing practice for lighting, temperature, quiet and aroma characteristics.
Preparation the Tea for a Herbal Bath
The process is as simple as making a cup of tea. Essentially you need a tub to soak in, some herbs, flowers, essential oils and water. Everything else can be customized to your liking and needs.
There are three methods of making an herbal bath:
Option 1 – Steep and Strain – you can make a tea with your ingredients, steep for about 15 minutes in very hot water then strain the mix in a covered bowl so the liquid remains and then pour it into your tub. This is great for premade mixes you do in advance and have ready to use.
Option 2 – Direct Steep – this method is where you take your tea elements wrapped in a tea cloth (cheesecloth, t-shirt material or muslin) and hang it off the side of the tub. The best place is over the faucet where the hot water coming into the tub hits it. Use very hot water and let it cool to comfortably get in it.
Option 3 – Free Float – if you don’t mind cleaning the tub of the pieces, this option provides a beautiful array of elements in the water that add to the experience and ambiance. You simply add your elements to the water to hot water, let it cool to comfortably get in it.
Herbal Bathing Ingredients
When it comes to what to use for your herbal bath tea the sky is literally the limit. It comes down to what your needs are, what aromas you like and what type of tea method you’re using. I don’t recommend for instance using the free float method with powdered milk and oatmeal because the mess in the tub is a sure way to ruin the de-stress you just achieved in your herbal bathing.
Base ingredients are what you find commonly across herbal tea recipes. These ingredients compliment and support the herbs and provide support to the body depending again on your specific needs.
Epsom Salt – use a non-scented natural Epsom salt. This provides magnesium to support pain relief and is helpful in balancing the emotions. It works well with all herbal bathing. Add directly to your water and let dissolve. Use approximately 1- 2 cups
Pink Himalayan or Dead Sea Salt – this salt is a skin softener and supports blood pressure. It is helpful to scrubbing and expanding the benefits of the herbs for absorption. Use approximately 1/2 to 1 cup or as directed by recipe
Baking Soda – opens the body to clear away impurities, relieves muscles. Use approximately 1/2 cup
Citric Acid – this ingredient is option but gives the baking soda the bubbling action that can add to the experience. It feels wonderful against the skin and can add to the support of relaxing. Use approximately 1/2 cup.
Fractionated Coconut Oil – aids in expanding the properties of dried herbs and essential oils using in directly in the bath through free float or direct steep methods. Use 3-4 tablespoons
For herbs and aromatics the list is endless of possibilities. The guidance though is to use a high quality ingredient. You don’t want a manufactured ingredient that can cause skin sensitivity, respiratory concerns or other health implications because of being chemically produced. Herbal bathing is a natural health remedy that requires natural high quality pure ingredients.
If you wildcraft your own ingredients from nature and your own backyard, be sure they are free of pesticides, chemical sprays and insects. Clean them well before using.
Ingredients to consider:
doTERRA Essential oils including Lavender, Chamomile, Frankincense, Eucalyptus, Geranium, Ylang Ylang,
Dried herbs including chamomile, comfrey, chickweed, plantains, red clover, echinacea/coneflowers, rosemary, yarrow, peppermint leaves, ginger shavings
Fruits including orange slices, pears, apples
Flower petals like roses, daisy
Finding the Right Herbal Bathing Ingredients
Part of the fun is finding a tea mix that you love and works well with your body and needs. Get creative and try a variety of ingredients to see what you like and feel the best afterwards from using.
For specific help consider these blends:
Inflammation support – ginger, birch bark, yarrow
Mental comfort – Melissa essential oil, lavender (oil or herbal form), rose petals
Dry skin – powdered milk, oatmeal, salts, rose petals, geranium, chamomile
Skin sensitive – calendula petals, plantain leaves, chamomile petals
Herbal Bathing Gifts
If you increase the mixture to make more than you need for 1 session, you can package them in jars for gift giving or ease of use in your next bath.
Preserving your own herbs and fruits for bathing is also easy with a dehydrator.
For natural health support schedule a consultation with me at dragonspitapothecary.com