DIY Herbal Bath – Natural Herbs For A Home Spa Experience
Seven Relaxing Herbs to Add to Your Bath-Time Routine
Guest post by Ashley Hamilton-Myers, Mother and Baby Health Blog.
For most moms, the bathroom is a sanctuary: the one room where you can lock the door, fill up the bathtub, and settle in for a few minutes of peace, away from the chaos on the other side of the door.
When you do find time to slip away into this magical oasis, you want to make the most of your experience. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on expensive relaxation products, much of what you need to transform your ordinary bathtub into a five-star spa is located in your kitchen cabinets—for less than half the price!
1. Chamomile – Tea connoisseurs have long known the soothing effects of a warm cup of chamomile tea. The herb has been used for a variety of purposes from stomach cramps to burns to migraines. Two of chamomile’s main chemicals are chrysin (an anti-inflammatory) and glycene (an amino acid used to relax nerves). And just as you might add honey and lemon to your tea, you can add these ingredients to enhance the aromatic effects of the chamomile in your bath.
2. Rosemary – The fragrance of rosemary is enough to make any hungry group of kids run to the kitchen for roasted chicken and vegetables, and it can also make any stressed mom run for the bathtub. Rosemary has many healing properties and is found in a variety of herbal remedies, including arthritis and sore throats. When steeped in water, the aroma of this sweet-smelling herb helps soothe sore muscles.
3. Bay Leaves – Any simmering pot of vegetable soup needs a bay leaf or two, so why not include them when simmering in the bath? Bay leaves contain the chemical eugenol, which is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. The leaves also act as an astringent, which will help cleanse your tired body.
4. Ground Almonds – Almonds are packed with nutrients. The carrier oil derived from these nuts soothes dry skin and combats wrinkles. When crushed and added into a bath, almonds help inflammation, easing the tension from overworked skin. Plus, you’ll come out smelling like a cookie!
5. Lemon – Lemons have a variety of uses in both aromatherapy and overall wellness. Each part of the lemon has different properties to help with asthma, gastrointestinal distress, and even arthritis. The terpenes in lemons have a calming effect on the body, and the acids in lemon juice have excellent cleansing properties, so you can use the leftovers to clean out the tub.
6. Lavender – Lavender is on the rise as an ingredient in haute cuisine, but it is better known for its aromatic properties, often mixed with chamomile, as both produce a relaxing effect that aids in sleep. The soft purple blooms also contain oils such as linalool that combat acne and scarring.
7. Rose Petals – While rose petals are edible, most of us don’t have a stock of them in the kitchen cabinet. However, you may find them in your garden or purchase them inexpensively (once those long stems are disregarded). Rose petals have moisturizing essential oils that will soften the bathwater and hydrate your skin.
There are two methods for including herbs in you bath.
If you don’t want the herbs in the bathtub with you (they can be messy to clean up and clog drains), prepare your brew beforehand. Place one cup of the herb(s) in a gallon of water. Slowly simmer on the stove top for 15-20 minutes. Strain the infused water before pouring the “tea” into your bath water.
If you prefer to steep with the herbs, there are a number of cost efficient ways to keep the herbs from destroying the drain. Place one cup of the herb(s) into the bottom of a pair of pantyhose. Tie a knot in the open end, and submerge the homemade sachet. (Cheesecloth or another tightly-woven fabric will work too.) Try both methods to see which you prefer, then start mixing and matching your favorite herbs to create a unique bath time experience.
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For great prices on the finest quality, certified organic bulk herbs, visit Mountain Rose Herbs.