“The way to health is to have an aromatic bath and scented massage every day.” – Hippocrates
For centuries, people always used therapeutic baths to help relieve their ailments or just for general health and well being. Hippocrates, known as the Father of Medicine, learned about the healing properties of aromatic baths from the ancient Egyptians. He taught about the benefits of using water as a form of treatment, which he called hydrotherapy. Cleopatra was also famous for her beautiful skin. Her secret was that she soaked in baths of fresh milk and herbs.
As a Certified Aromatherapist and Natural Health Professional, I can say this has to be my #1 most common self-care regimen I give to my patients. And this is why…
Relaxation is important. It may feel like a luxury, but it is important for your overall health and well-being. We cannot take this for granted. Too many times I have clients tell me how busy they are to take time for themselves; yet they are stressed, overworked, exhausted, perhaps suffering from chronic pain, physical or emotionally. With more reason we have to make the time and give ourselves the priority. Our body will continue to struggle to heal itself if we do not provide it with nourishment and self care. Just as many couples are scheduling date nights, we also need to have our bath time.☺️
Aromatherapy baths are deeply therapeutic and healing. The warm water is soothing and enhanced with the therapeutic actions of the essential oils. Bathing is one of the best ways to receive the many benefits of the essential oils both physically (through your skin) and emotionally (by inhaling the aromas). Aromatic baths can provide relief from stress and anxiety, assist with muscle pains and can help us get a restorative nights sleep. The warm water alone is pleasant, but with the added benefits and aromas of the essential oils and mineral salts and/or herbs…it doesn’t get any better than that!?
Bathing is a time to relax and let go, while you allow the oils to work with you both physically and mentally. This is one of the most relaxing ways to calm down tired bodies and relieve stress. The action of taking the bath itself is you giving yourself that moment to pause. It allows you a few moments to slow down, think, and meditate which can create wonders for the body and mind. Your body deserves this.
The vapors rising from the hot water enters your olfactory system and lungs; while the warm water opens your pores allowing oils to enter your circulatory system.
What an Aromatherapy bath can do for you…
Relax your entire body – Ask yourself this: When do I take out time to just relax, breathe, and let go? The best way to do this is to make time for yourself as we mentioned above. Maybe before bedtime would be a good routine to start. Many of my clients have children, so this works for them very well. When you give yourself permission to unwind and relax, you will be more productive in your life as you will gain more focus and concentration. Creating your own sanctuary with a warm aromatherapy bath will create the ideal environment for your body to release stress and can help induce restful sleep. Several essential oils have nervine (relaxes the nerves), and anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing), properties. Your aromatic bath will make you feel more rejuvenated and assist with coping with life’s daily stressors.
There are many essential oils that relieve pain and inflammation from muscles and joints. Some essential oils increase blood circulation, have anti-inflammatory, and antispasmodic properties. They are great when for body aches related to the cold or flu. Essential oils can help with soreness from hard workouts, general sports injuries and, and to relieve chronic pain or arthritis so that we can keep enjoying what we do!
Just Breathe- Respiratory Benefits
Inhaling the steam from hot aromatherapy baths will open up your airways. Essential oils that help with the respiratory passage and open the sinuses include Rosemary, Eucalyptus, Ravensara, Spruce and Cypress.?
Your skin is known as the largest organ in your body and toxins are excreted through sweating. An aromatherapy bath will assist your body in eliminating these impurities, as well as absorbing the minerals and essential oils that are in the water. Detoxification of your body through bathing is an ancient remedy that anyone can perform in the comfort of their own home. “Epsom salt contains magnesium, a natural antidepressant and muscle relaxant whos benefit are best realized with a soak of 20 minutes or longer. The sulfate molecule helps power detoxification pathways in the liver .”- Kurt Schnaubelt, Ph.D (The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils- The Science of Advanced Aromatherapy) ?
How to make your own therapeutic bath salts:
- 1 cup Epsom Salt
- 5-10 drops of essential oil (depending on oil using. Read note below.)
- 1 tbsp carrier oil
- 1 tbsp. castile soap or unscented shampoo (highly recommended)
In a mixing bowl, add drops of the essential oil to the bath salt and mix well. Store in a jar. Add scented salts to a bath for a soothing, luxurious experience! Dissolve the salts into water right before getting in. Soak for 20 minutes.
A Note on Bath Safety
So we talked about the amazing benefits of the aromatic bath. Now let’s talk about safety. Because if we don’t use safe precautions with essential oil applications, that can cancel out the benefits. It is highly recommended to use a little unscented castile soap or unscented shampoo to your bath blend. This is because Essential Oils are Lipophilic (Fat loving) and Hydrophobic (water hating). They are NOT soluble in water. This means that the essential oils can separate from the water, floating to the top. Just like oil does not mix with vinegar, they have the potential to come into direct contact with your skin. This is why it is recommended to use a surfactant, such as castile soap or unscented shampoo, as it helps to connect the two together.
On another note, not all essential oils are appropriate for use in the bath. Some oils cause sensitization or are dermal irritants. Do not use these oils in the bath: include but are not limited to basil, oregano, thyme, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, black pepper, lemongrass, peppermint and bay (Pimenta and Laurus). For more information on safety click here.
And one more thing…lets talk about children. We must be aware that not all essential oils are appropriate for use on children. Its best to be safe.
2 of my favorite books on this topic that I highly recommend if you are a parent or work with children are:
- Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child– by. Valerie Ann Worwood
- Aromatherapy for Kids, Safe and Sound– by. Leslie Moldenauer
Below are examples of Eternity Blends that you can add to your bath, or make your own combinations keeping a note of the list of sensitizing oils above:
- Anxiety Eternity Blend – Need to take the edge off?
- Calming Eternity Blend – Let it go and get grounded and centered.
- Nature Eternity Blend– For a restorative bath that relaxes tension overall.
- Peace of Mind Eternity Blend – Who doesn’t need a little inner peace every now and then?
- Stress Relief Eternity Blend – When you need to take the edge off after a heck of a day.
- Happiness Eternity Blend– Balances emotions and brings you to that happy place.
- Elegance Eternity Blend – A beautifying bath, when you feel the need for luxurious self-care. Treat your body with this anti-aging and restorative blend of essential oils that are grounding, woodsy and elegant.
- Sleep Eternity Blend– So you can catch those zzz’s.-
- Romance Eternity Blend – For a romantic evening. Vital to this blend is Ylang Ylang, which is considered to be an aphrodisiac which has been used for centuries in wedding ceremonies in Asia to promote expressions of love. ?
How do you like your bath? We would like to know.?
*Aromatherapy is a Complimentary Alternative Medicine (CAM) and is not used by any form to replace medical care if necessary. Do not use essential oils internally or undiluted on the skin. Always test a small amount of the essential oil first for sensitivity or allergic reaction. The FDA has not evaluated the statements on this website. No claims are made as to any medicinal value of this oil or any products from Barefūt. The information presented here is for educational purposes of traditional uses and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. You are responsible for understanding the safe application of these products. If you have any questions, please call or email us for further information.