To Soak or Not to Soak? That is the Question…
As a teenager, one of my favorite Friday night activities was not going out with friends or classmates, it was having a luxurious bath-soak followed by watching an old movie on Turner Classic Movies or AMC. Into my early 20’s I would find solace in the tub of the dingy apartment I shared with a roommate in NYC’s Chinatown. If I was on a business trip, it was a sure bet I soaked in the tub before going to sleep. Though as I got older, this beautiful bath ritual faded away. Somehow I no longer carved the time out for soaks as I was always “doing something.” I’m not sure why a regular soak was no longer “doing something.” Does this resonate with you?
It seems humanity understood the therapy of baths well before “science” was borne and deemed the only discipline that proves anything. There is much research behind and lived experience proving the importance of bathing in water from a health and healing perspective. There are even fancy words to describe the vast water therapies out there such as balneotherapy and thalassotherapy to name a few. But forget about all of that for now…
A Recipe for the Perfect Aromatherapy Bath
Following are easy steps to create a perfect bath.
- Draw a bath where the water is 100°-110° F
- Ensure there is enough water in the tub so a full-body immersion is possible; where the water is up to your neck and covering your heart
- Mix the following together into a bowl:
- 1-2 cups Magnesium Chloride or Magnesium Sulfate
- 1-2 cups Dead Sea Salt
- 5 – 12 drops Essential oils of your choice put into a dispersing agent* (Jump to Essential Oil Blend Ideas)
- Empty the aromatic salt mixture into the tub and swish it around as you slowly immerse your self into the tub*
- Spend 15-20 Minutes spent soaking in the tub
- Once you are done, slowly get out of the tub, dry off and wrap yourself up
- Post Soaking:
- Sip on a glass of warm to room temperature water to re-hydrate as you are winding down
- Sit comfortably or lay down to let your pulse and body temperature regulate
*Notes & Tips for Essential Oils in the Bath
Essential oils (EOs) are lipophilic by nature, meaning they are not readily soluble in water. Some EOs, like Peppermint, may be dermal and mucus membrane irritants. For safety purposes, it is best to disperse and solubilize EOs in fatty/lipid substances like a nut/seed oil, powdered or liquid milk (coconut milk is a lovely option), honey or into bath salts.
Always put EOs into the carrier mixture FIRST and then stir the mixture around in the bath water as you go into the bath. Why? EOs are volatile and readily dissipate into the air. They are providing less benefit in the kitchen or hallway when you want them in the vapors of the bathroom.
Essential Oils for the Bath
There are so many blending ideas to share! What matters most is your intention behind the bath and that you use the least amount needed of essential oils to realize their holistic benefits! Here are a few combinations…
- Classic sleep blend: 1 drop Roman chamomile, 2 drops Vetiver & 8 drops Lavender
- Balancing: 2 drops Patchouli, 4-5 drops Rose Geranium (or Palmarosa) & 6 drops Scots Pine (or Hemlock spruce)
- Sensual: 1 drop Cardamom, 3 drops Patchouli, 3 drops Clary sage & 5 drops Ylang ylang