What is an Herbal Bath Tea?
An herbal bath tea is an herb or blend of herbs added to your bath water to aid in relaxation or rejuvenation, to aid in detoxing the system , to treat skin problems, to promote general health or to improve or enhance mental wellbeing. An herbal bath is a great way to pump up your old bath time ritual with a customized blend of your choosing. Herbal bath therapy offers an amazing way to relax and unwind, calm your nerves or refresh and revive.
Why add herbs to my bath?
Herbs are all natural, non-toxic and can be used to treat a variety of issues from skin care (eczema/itching) to health (detoxing) to emotional wellbeing (anxiety/depression). The use of herbs is not new and their use dates back thousands of years. In fact, it was discovered that the Ancient Egyptians used herbs for all sorts of ailments. The Ancient Egyptian Ebers Papyrus (c. 1550 BC), purchased in 1873-74 by Georg Ebers in Thebes (Egypt), is the oldest written documentation found on herbal knowledge to date. Ancient herbal remedies in this papyrus include remedies for birth control, diabetes, and guinea worm. Interesting some of these remedies are still in use and others are being studied for effectiveness. So, you can feel good about using treating yourself by using remedies and herbs that have lasted long throughout the ages.
How do I make an herbal bath tea?
Making an herbal tea bath requires only a few ingredients: herbs, something to put the herbs in (if desired), essential oils (if desired) and tub full of warm/hot water. See example recipes below.
- Uncontained – throw a few handfuls (around 6 Tablespoons) of a single herb or an herb blend into bathwater. Let steep for 10-15 minutes. Note – draining and cleanup will be messy.
- Contained – Place 6 Tablespoons of a single herb or an herb blend into an old clean stocking or sock (tied at the end), a press and seal tea bag, an organza bag or a muslin bag. Let steep 10-15 minutes. Note: This method makes cleanup so much easier. When tub time is over…. Toss. Done.
Herbs to use
This is where fun, creativity and experimenting come in. There are many types of lovely herbs to choose from, each with its own healing properties, scent and benefits. Some are woodsy, earthy, minty or floral in scent and some are medicinal for the treatment of a specific ailment. What to use depends on what you want your result to be. There are many reasons why we bathe, besides the obvious (to get clean). Personally, I bathe for all kinds of reasons: Relaxation, Detox, Skin Softening, Sinus Relief, Energy Boost, and most important of all……pampering with some stuff that smells good! Please see below for a list of herbs and their benefits to get you started. Once you have the hang of it, I highly encourage you to research even more herbs for the type of effect you want (stress, relaxation, softening, aroma, etc.).
Herbs for Relaxation
- Lavender-relaxing and calming
- Rose – nourishing, balancing, lifts the spirits
- Lemon Balm – relaxing and uplifting. Often used to brighten the spirits.
- Chamomile- relaxing and calming. Good for sensitive and inflamed skin.
- Comfrey- soothing, conditioning helps rejuvenate skin cells,
- Hops – calms the nervous system and useful for insomnia and restlessness
Herbs for Rejuvenating/Refreshing
- Green Tea – stimulating
- Peppermint – cooling refreshing stimulating
- Rosemary – stimulating helps bring blood flow to the surface of the skin
- Basil – stimulating and refreshing. Wakes up the senses.
Herbs for Skin Irritation/Itching
- Calendula – anti-microbial and anti inflammatory. Soothing. Good for problems with skin especially wounds and healing.
- Sweet Violet- helps relieve dry, itchy skin
- Thyme- insect bites, fungal infections, skin irritations
- Yarrow- healing. Good for irritated skin and wounds.
Herbs for Muscle Aches/Pain
- Marjoram- painful joints, sore muscles, sprains, back ache
- Meadowsweet – relieves sore muscles
- Parsley – helpful for bruises
- Peppermint – cooling, refreshing, stimulating
- Sage – for sore muscles after a workout
Herbs for Colds/Sinus Congestion
- Eucalyptus – (use in a blend) stimulating and refreshing. Also great for colds.
- Elder Flower – fever reducer
- Lemon Balm- fever reducer, good for upset stomach
- Thyme – good for coughs, reduces congestion
- Oatmeal – to soothe and soften or help calm irritated skin
- Epsom Salts – draws out toxins and reduces swelling and soreness
- Sea Salt – cleansing, purifying, detoxing, healing, anti-inflammatory, stimulates circulation.
- Citrus Peels – Orange – anti-inflammatory, cleansing, helps alleviate depression. Lemon – cleansing, skin nourishing.
- Essential Oil – lavender, rose, peppermint (only 1-2 drops), rosemary, eucalyptus
- Milk Powder- softening, soothing, nourishing. Contains skin rejuvenating AHA’s
|2T Green Tea
1 drop Peppermint EO
2 drops Rosemary EO
|2T Rose Petals
4 drops geranium EO
2T Lemon Balm
1T Orange Peel
1T Pink Himalayan Salt
2 drops Clary Sage
2 drops Bergamot
2 drops Ylang-Ylang
How to prepare
Place 6 tablespoons of your choice of dried herbs in a bowl with 2-6 drops of essential oil (if using) and mix thoroughly. Add in any additional additives and mix again. Transfer contents to tea bag, muslin bag or bag of your choice and seal/close. If using a muslin bag, you may not want to use powdered ingredients (milk powder, clay etc.) as these will seep out. If using essential oils and not using right away, store in sealed container to maintain freshness and to prevent essential oils from evaporating.
How to Use
If using a muslin bag or organza bag , allow bag to hang under faucet while tub is running. When tub is full toss bag into filled tub and allow to steep for 10 minutes before getting in to tub. If using a tea bag, toss directly in tub and allow tub to fill. Allow bath tea to steep for 10 minutes before getting in.
National Geographic Guide to Medicinal Herbs: The World’s Most Effective Healing Plants , Tieraona Low Dog, M.D. & David Kiefer, M.D.; Rebecca L. Johnson & Steven Foster – published by the National Geographic Society, Washington, DC, 2014
Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine (DK Natural Health), Chevallier,Andrew, published by DK Publishing, New York,NY 2000