Baths have been used to cleanse the body, relax the mind, remove evil spirits, improve attitudes, create awareness, celebrate life, attract love, relax, produce invigoration, and aid in meditation. The infirm in hospitals and nursing homes are placed in protective seats and lowered by pulleys into warm, jetted tubs. Taking a bath can be very pleasant, relaxing, almost ritualistic experience.
Varied purpose for natural baths
To relieve tension, try using valerian, sweet flag, lavender, and hops. For general beautifying, try lavender, rosemary, comfrey, and mint. For stiff joints and muscles, try sage, strawberry leaves, mugwort, chamomile, and comfrey. For overall toning, try lavender, parsley, comfrey, blackberry, and nettle. To aid in circulation, try calendula, bladderwrack, ginger, and nettle. And think virtuous thoughts.
Ritual baths were practiced in Africa and elsewhere for healing, love, success, spiritual cleansing, and any other important event in life. A love bath, for example, contained rose, cloves, cinnamon, and honey.
Another way to alleviate aches and pains, add a cupful of equal parts of the following herbs: agrimony, comfrey, St. John’s wort, mugwort, sage, plus one tablespoon of Epsom salts to your bath water. Or take a mixture of the herbs and bring them to a light boil in a nonmetal pot for fifteen minutes. Or you can put the herbs in a small muslin bag to run under the hot water as it some out of the faucet.
Hot baths are used to relax, warm baths to enjoy, and cold baths to stimulate. You can choose the temperature of the water, the herbs, the essential oils, the time of day, the use of candles and incense, and the thoughts in your mind- you can alter the experience.
Varied temperatures for baths
I remember on sweltering hot summer days, we would get up very early to work in our apple orchard. We had no pool or pond or creek. In the heat of the after noon, we would climb a tall ladder to bathe in a raised water tank that resembled a giant “pork ‘n beans” can on stilts. The water was cold and invigorating, and conducive to getting us back to work of the rest of the day and evening.
Different kinds of baths
- Milk bath. Use one cup powdered milk with ten drops of lavender oil. Sprinkle milk into tub.
- Vinegar bath. For dry or itchy skin, add one-half cup organic apple cider vinegar to bath.
- Honey bath. Add one-forth cup honey to bath to relieve tiredness or as sleep aid.
- Epsom salts bath. To reduce inflammation and chemical pollutants, draw a deep bath, add four cups of Epsom salts, and soak for at least twenty minutes.
For more on baths and many great recipes check out Lily’s book Beauty, Health & Happiness.