Nothing beats the sheer amount of relaxation you can achieve by spending a day at the spa. This relaxing luxury is one full of pampering and self-care. Just what we need to help us recover from the stress we tend to pile onto ourselves these days. However, if you want a spa-like experience without having to leave your home, you should try out a nice and relaxing herbal bath. Most of us are aware of how brewing and drinking a nice cup of tea can help us relax, yet we forget about the benefits we gain from adding a few herbs to our bath.
The practice of adding beneficial herbs to baths is an ancient one. Cultures as far back as Ancient Egypt and Babylon were fond of herbal baths to improve skin conditions, relax muscles, and for many medicinal therapies. The art of the herbal bath was further explored in Ancient Greece, where scholars and practitioners used herbs such as chamomile, lavender, and catnip in therapeutic baths. The noble ladies of the Middle Ages were known to use rose petals in their baths to improve and perfume their skin.
Even today, the practice is not unheard of. Epsom salt baths and soaks are a common therapy for athletes, with or without herbs added in. Cosmetic and soap companies often add herbs to their products for bathing. Often these bath products will advertise the health benefits of those herbs that were used. So even if you don’t actively think of it, bathing with herbs is a fairly common practice.
Here are a handful of ways you can add fresh or dried herbs to your bath, with pros and cons:
- Brew an extremely strong tea and add that tea to your bath.
- Pros: You get all the benefits of your herbs, you don’t have to wait, and you don’t have to clean anything up afterward.
- Cons: If you don’t make the tea strong enough, the herbal benefits may be diluted.
- Use the hottest water you have and add a muslin bag or a large tea ball stuffed with herbs to your bath.
- Pros: You get all the benefits of your herbs and you don’t have to clean anything up afterward.
- Cons: You have to wait for the bath to cool down before getting in.
What herbs should you use in your bath?
You can use just about any herbal tea that you may already have in your cupboard. Try an aromatic blend like Meditative State of Mind to help relax and uplift your mood. Or maybe try a tea blend full of mineral-rich herbs like Know Your Gut Trust Your Gut. Those minerals will help improve your skin, relax your muscles, and provide healing relief to your body and mind.
What if you want to create your own bath blend?
Aromatic herbs are always great for baths. Just smelling them helps to relax us and improve our moods. But aromatic herbs aren’t the only ones good for a bath. Each herb has it’s own unique set of benefits that can be added to our bath, depending on our needs.
Most people associate lavender with relaxation, and with good reason. This herb has a long history of use to help reduce anxiety and proved a sense of calm. It also has some, lesser-known effects that make it a great herb for the bath. Lavender helps to speed the healing of wounds and promotes hair growth.
This herb is a great bath herb for all ages. Its sweet smell helps to relax and soothe even the fussiest of toddlers both young and old. Chamomile also helps to smooth the skin and soothe the sting and itch associated with insect bites. Read our complete article on the benefits of chamomile.
Traditionally used in the baths of courtly ladies, this herb is often used for its sweet fragrance. However, it’s also an amazing herb to use for the skin. It helps to clear up acne and refreshes your skin after a long day. Rose petals are especially soothing to skin afflicted with bouts of eczema.
Red clover is such a beneficial little herb, but it’s rarely ever discussed. This herb makes a great addition to any bath blend because of its benefits for both the skin and the hair. Bathing with red clover leaves your skin soft and youthful while strengthening your hair. Read more about the benefits of red clover.
This nutritional powerhouse is full of amazing minerals that are not only great to nourish the body from the inside, but from the outside as well. Adding dandelion flowers to your bath can help to detoxify the skin, leading to youthful-looking and clear skin.
In addition to being known for its lovely smell, this herb is also known to help hydrate and condition the skin. This property alone makes jasmine a great herb to add to your bath. But it’s also antiseptic and antibacterial, so it will help improve any wounds you may have acquired as well.
“Rosemary, that’s for remembrance.”William Shakespeare
Shakespeare was well known to have a love and knowledge of plants and their uses in his day. This herb is no exception. Just the scent of rosemary invigorates the mind and helps to improve memory and recollection. But what really makes this herb shine during bath-time is its ability to invigorate the skin and hair as well.
A few words of caution.
A good, hot bath helps you relax in a lot of ways. One way is by lowering your blood pressure. If you typically have problems with low blood pressure, bathing may not be for you. Also, some herbs do have adverse effects on certain people. Some herbs that are often recommended for baths can be overstimulating to those who are prone to seizures. If you are one of those people, avoid using herbs such as rosemary, eucalyptus, and camphor in your baths. Also, some herbs may cause contact dermatitis in people who have sensitive skin or are allergic to other plants such as ragweed.
Trust Your Gut, Know Your Gut and Meditative State of Mind can be purchased through Amazon. For more information on You, Me and Uni, check out the website, created by Master Herbalist, Jennifer Vollbrecht. Browse the herbal tea articles on the site for more tips on the healing benefits and uses for herbal tea.
What are you waiting for? It’s time to enjoy your very own warm and relaxing, herbal bath. You can even double up the experience and have a nice cup of tea while bathing and simply wash those cares away.
Anastacia Elizabeth Walden
Freelance writer and editor at Walden Writes For Women, in Gainesville, Florida