Bath water is my personal favorite way of using essential oils. After all, I own a bath company so there is never a short supply of aromatherapy bath salts, essential oils soaps, or herbal tub teas around our house.
It makes me sad when a customer tells me that they do not own a bathtub, only a shower. To me, that says a great deal about our society today – that we cannot slow down long enough to enjoy the relaxation and therapy of a hot bath. There is only enough time for a quick trip through the shower for basic hygienic reasons. How unromantic and clinical. I have never seen a movie where the romantic lead spread rose petals on the floor of the shower because they didn’t own a tub.
Hippocrates, known as the Father of Medicine, learned about the healing properties of aromatic baths from the ancient Egyptians. He developed teachings about using water as a form of treatment, which he called hydrotherapy. Medicinal bathing is also called thalassotherapy or hydrotherapy (water cure). The name thalassotherapy may come from the ancient Greek thalassa (small sea).
When adding essential oils straight to the bath water, only use between five and seven drops. The tub may look like a large amount of water that could easily handle more, but this small amount is really all you need. For example, more than eight drops of peppermint in the tub makes it feel like you are bathing in deep heating rub – and not in a good way. Start out small and work your way up to a comfortable ratio of essential oils to water. Essential oils will float on top of the water in droplets so spread the surface of the water around with your hand before stepping into the tub.
A simple and time-honored way of creating an aromatic bath is by using bath salts. You can create your own at home with sea salt, Epsom salt, or a combination of both. A very basic recipe is:
1 cup Epsom salt
8 drops essential oil of choice
Mix well and store in glass jar or cut the recipe in half
for a single bath.
Add half-cup bath salt to running bath water
It is as simple as that. There are many salt choices. Sea salt is readily available in higher end grocery stores. Plain table salt is not a good choice for bath salt as it is drying to the skin.