Herbal Home Spa

Bathing by candlelight in a scented bath is still one of the most romantic ways to relax. The natural way to do it is with fragrant herbs that soothe away the stress.

Herbal baths combine the therapeutic effects of water and the particular actions of herbs. Warm water quietens and soothes the body, slowing down the activity of the internal organs. The nerves carry the impulses felt at skin level deeper into the body so by adding herbs to the bathwater there is an additional benefit.

Any combination from the garden can work; it is just a case of knowing the properties of the herbs. Fragrant herbs in particular, seem to have the most soothing effect because the sense of smell affects the emotions, either uplifting or calming.

The herbs that work best as soothing bath herbs are Lemon Balm (calming and stress relief), Rosemary (aids circulation and stress relief), Lemon Grass (cleansing), Chamomile (moisturizing) Lavender (tension relief), mint (uplifting) Rose scented geranium (anti-depressant)  and Lemon scented Tea Tree ( anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal skin healer).

Herbal preparations for baths

There are several ways to prepare an herbal bath:
Make a decoction by simmering half a cup of fresh herbs in one litre water for about 15 minutes. Strain the liquid from the decoction into the bath water and soak for at least 20 minutes. The strained herbs can be wrapped in a washcloth and used to rub over your body.

An even simpler method is to just add fresh herbs to the running bath water or put the herbs in a thin cloth bag and hang it under the hot tap so that the water runs through it as the bath fills. Two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar can also be added to the bath water to restore the acid balance of your skin.

For a combination of the two methods try this recipe for a herbal bath smoothie:

Fresh herbs from the garden,
Liquidizer / Blender
Oil such as Grape seed oil / Olive oil / Avocado oil
Coarse Sea salt
Strainer and cloth,
A piece of string,
A glass container for storage

Step one: Pick fresh herbs, snip into pieces and place in a blender. Add 2 cups of water, or more if needed,
Step 2: Add 2 tablespoons of Coarse Sea Salt, then 2 tablespoons of Oil and blend together.
Step 3: After blending, strain the mixture through a cloth by taking the corners of the cloth together, and squeezing out as much as possible.
Step 4.Tie the corners of the cloth together with a piece of string, and hang it under the Hot water while running a bath. Put the strained liquid in a glass container and add as much as you like to the bathwater when needed.

Drawing the perfect bath.
A herbal bath should not be taken just before or just after a meal, rather wait for two hours after you have eaten. The best time to take a relaxing herbal bath is just before going to bed or at a time during the day when you can rest for at least an hour after the bath.

The bath water should be an even temperature and the bathroom well ventilated but not draughty. Add soft music and candles for the full romantic treatment.

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