Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Relax and Soothe With Herbs

Using dried and fresh herbs to relax and soothe isn't just a trick the spas use. You can do that same thing at home! I keep dried chamomile to use in the bath and for tea, as well as lavender, rosemary and mint. Herbal bath teas and bath salts are very easy to make, and if you allow yourself to experiment a little bit you will find your perfect combination!  


These are very strong "teas" that you add to your bath. Remember that you can experiment with combinations as long as you follow the basic recipe on the amounts. If you are allergic to plants of any type do be cautious, but you also are not ingesting the tea, so you should be fine keeping with the guidelines. So much of the commercial bath products we buy are very harsh on our skin, and these will soothe you...  

Skin Soothing Bath Tea 
You will need: 2 tablespoons dried thyme 2 tablespoons dried calendula blossoms 2 tablespoon dried chamomile blooms 1 quart boiling water Add the herbs to the boiling water and steep for 10-15 minutes. Strain the infusion and add to your bathwater. NOTES: You can use just chamomile and double the amount. 

Spring Herbal Bath 
You will need: 1/4 cup dried lemon balm 1/4 cup dried chamomile blossoms 2 cups boiling water Cover the herbs with the boiling water and brew for 20 minutes. Strain and add to your bathwater. NOTES: You can use fresh lemon balm, but increase it to 1/2 cup. I also use mint with chamomile.  

Relaxation Herb Tea 
You will need: 1 cup rosemary 2 cups lavender 2 cups rose petals 1 cup mint Mix these dry ingredients together and keep in a sealed, dry jar. Use about 1/2 cup for each bath. Pour 1-2 cups boiling water over the herbs and brew for 15-20 minutes. Add to your bath.  

Herbal Milk Bath 
You will need: 2 cups cornstarch 2 cups dry milk powder 2 tablespoons of your favorite herb, crumbled Mix these dry ingredients together. For your bath tie about 1/2 cup of the mix in cheesecloth, or a muslin bag and tie very tightly. Add to your bath. You can tie kitchen string to the bag and float the bag in your bath as the water runs. Keep the bath mixture in a sealed container. 
Bath salts are so easy to make and there are SO many variations once you start making them yourself. The basic recipe is as follows: You will need: 1 cup Epsom salts 5 or more drops of essential oil Mix together and keep in a covered jar. Allow the salts to sit for a few hours or overnight. Add about 1/2 cup to running bath water.  

Add 1 cup baking soda which is a skin soother. Add 2-3 tsp. honey for a moisturizing. Add 1/4-1/2 cup of a healing salt such as Dead Sea salts Squeeze in 3-4 caplets of Vitamin E oil to moisturize. Add 2 cups of baking soda, and 1 cup of citric acid for fizzies. You can use any type of essential oil that is soothing. Nice choices are lavender, rose, calendula or patchouli oils. 

What's Related:
Dream Pillows
Fifty Ways to Use Essential Oils
Growing Your Own Tea Garden

About the Author
Brenda Hyde is a wife and mom to three living in the Midwest United States. She is also editor of OldFashionedLiving.com.
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