Radical Herbal Hydrotherapy
It is time for some radical self-care to ease the worries of the pandemic and allow mother nature to ease the tension from our bodies in a luxurious herbal bath. We may not be able to venture to the Spa, but with a little preparation we can create a wonderful hydrotherapy experience in our own homes using just a few ingredients.
For centuries, people have been bathing in hot water to cleanse, rejuvenate, and relax. This experience can be enhanced by adding an herbal decoction to the water. This practice is relaxation multi-tasking because the herbs are received via the pores by direct contact with the skin, and by inhalation as the aroma of the herbs (AKA essential oils) send messages to our body through the olfactory system. Our senses of touch and smell are closely connected with our nervous system and are an excellent way to shift modes by sending an immediate message to our brain that it is time to relax and forget the worries of the day. It is very effective and grounding and there is something wonderful and earthy about bathing in herbs that helps us to bring the energy into our bodies and away from our monkey minds. Traditional somatic therapies such as massage or hydrotherapy have also used herbs and essential oils to help relax our muscles.
Decocting the herbs is the best way to extract all the goodness of most herbs, whether they are roots or flowers. Aromatic herbs such as lavender, eucalyptus and rosemary are good examples, and it is a therapeutic just preparing the decoction!
The recipe can be adapted depending on the herbs that you have, your preferences and your needs. Here is a suggestion of a blend that can be used for one bath. If you have a large jar, make a larger batch that you can use for several baths.
¼ cup of Lavender
¼ cup of Peppermint
¼ cup of Chamomile
¼ cup of Calendula
Optional: essential oils of choice. For relaxation use cedarwood, sandalwood, lavender, or vetiver
Optional: 1 cup of Epsom salt
Optional: intention of love, peace and healing
- Add two cups of water to a pan and bring to the boil
- Add herbs, stir thoroughly
- Bring to the boil
- Reduce heat to a simmer and cover
- Simmer for 15 minutes
- Add optional ingredients
- Add to the bath while it is running so that it mixes with the water. It may seem as if it becomes very dilute. Your nervous system is sensitive enough that it will gladly receive the powerful herbal messages
- Hide your phone, light some candles, add some relaxing music and enjoy your bath!
- Time saver tip: Make a bigger batch and save the rest in the freezer by using small containers or ice cube trays.