Did you know that the use of herbal steam or using essential oils in baths was practiced a 1000 years ago?
These days we think of aromatherapy as a treat. It’s certainly a luxury, but it wasn’t considered that in the past. Medicinal bathing was highely popular due to its healing properties arising from herbs.
When fresh herbs are placed in hot water, a fraction of their essential oils can be extracted. These essential oils, or aromatic oils, are a crucial element for the art of aromatherapy. They have been famously used throughout history for treating headaches, respiratory problems, exhaustion and even depression. I mean who doesn’t feel rejuvenated after a great shower? Maybe that’s why the ancient Greeks and Romans studied the benefits of adding herbs to the shower for an extra dose of rejuvenation! Hippocrates, for example, extensively studied hundreds of various herbs, and combinations and put them to good use by recommending that essential oils be added to bathing rituals.
So let’s get started with how to pick the right essential oil:
Lavender: Lavender oil is very soothing and can reduce tension, pain and improve blood circulation.
Chamomile: Chamomile oil is very calming and is excellent at treating anger issues and depression.
Ylang Ylang: A natural sedative, this oil is great for complete relaxation and mood enhancement.
Patchouli: Commonly used for its sweet and musky scent, this oil is great for grounding or centering the body.
Cypress: A treatment oil for oily skin, it will leave you looking and smelling fresh.
Sandalwood: Found in South Asia, this oil has been used for 1000s of years to provide excellent relaxation to the body and mind to help it drift off to sleep.
Pine: Did you know that pine oil has anti-inflammatory properties? This oil is also great for headaches and congestions.
Eucalyptus: Sinus problems? Cough? Sore muscles? This excellent oil is the super hero you need.
Grapefruit: This essential oil is great as a natural antidepressant.
Sweet Orange: Need an instant mood booster? Use sweet orange essential oil as a perfect pick-me’up and even reduce depression.
Lemon: Lemon oil has always been used to reduce anxiety, pain and improve your mood.
How to use it in the shower:
1. Pick an essential oil.
2. Take a shower, before wiping the water off with your towel, gently and slowly massage the oil behind each knee. If you face any irritation, stop immediately. If not, work it upwards, one drop at a time. Focus on your throat, underarms and feet. Inhale deeply before rinsing off with water.
3. Alternatively, spray your tub or shower walls and curtain with the oil you choose. Once your heater has steaming hot water ready, let the water out to create steam before you take your shower.
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