You’re wound up like a top from work, or your in-laws showed up unexpectedly for the weekend. What do you do? Take a bath and let your troubles melt away. Don’t just pour some dish soap into the bathtub and pretend you’re at the spa, try these concoctions to really help you relax.
1. Essential Oils: Made through steam distillation of botanicals, essential oils capture the pure essence of the plant. They are potent, aromatic and highly therapeutic. Since one of the best ways to benefit from essential oils is vaporization, putting drops into a hot bath is an excellent way to use them. This is a form of aromatherapy. "Aromatherapy can be defined as the controlled use of essential oils to maintain and promote physical, psychological, and spiritual wellbeing." ~ Gabriel Mojay
Here are some essential oils to use for relaxation
- Clary sage
- Ylang ylang
How to use them
To help the oils dissolve better, add them to the bath with a tablespoon of whole milk or Epsom salts. Add the drops just before entering the bath and use your hands to stir them around the tub.
Try this relaxing recipe from Laurel Vukovic, author of Herbal Healing Secrets for Women:
5 drops lavender essential oil
3 drops sandalwood essential oil
2 drops clary sage essential oil Read more about essential oils
2. Epsom salts: These contain minerals, one of which is magnesium. Magnesium is used to relax muscles and help people sleep. Put 1-2 cups of Epsom salts into your bath for a deeply relaxing experience. This is a perfect bath to take just before you slide into bed.
3. Herbs: You can also use the dried herb version of some relaxing plants. One suggestion from the Crunchy Betty website is to make a very strong tea, let it steep at least seven minutes and then pour it into the bath. Take the remaining loose tea and wrap it into a wash cloth. Tie it up and let it float in the bathtub with you. You can also use this as a scrub to wash your body.
The following herbs are both relaxing and rejuvenating. You can combine whatever scents you like the most in combination or use one at a time. The fun thing to do is to experiment and take as many baths as you can. Dedicate an entire week to research!
Use Sage, Green tea, Chamomile, Peppermint, Rosemary and, of course the belle of the ball – Lavender.
4. Oatmeal: It isn’t just a cereal. As a grass it contains high amounts of minerals including calcium, which can relax the nervous system and muscles. An oat bath is an age-old remedy for anyone stressed out and sore.
Boil oatmeal in a large pot for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Drain the water into a bowl and leave the oats behind. Use the emollient water for the bath-pour it in when you’re ready. This is soothing as well as very moisturizing.
Image via Bob Peters