Herbal baths can relax the body, stimulate blood flow, calm the emotions, moisturize the skin, aid digestion, and heal various other complaints. Adding herbal infusions (strong teas) and essential oils to your bath is an easy way to get the healing properties of herbal plants into your daily routine.
Also try herbal salt scrubs to rejuvenate the skin. Easy to make, requiring only a few ingredients, salt scrubs remove dead skin cells, draw out toxins, make fine lines disappear, and give skin a youthful glow. Don't forget herbal facials. They are a great home remedy for skin problems.
Relaxing herbal baths are a great sleep aid. For a sedative effect in the bath, use valerian, lemon balm, marjoram essential oil, lavender, hops, passion flower, sweet Melissa, sandalwood essential oil, or bergamot essential oil. Chamomile is also a good herb to help relax tired, achy muscles.
Rosemary, peppermint, and mandarin essential oil are good additions for a stimulating, uplifting bath. Invigorating baths improve the circulation and speed up digestion. While enjoying your bath, try using a herbal salt scrub for smoothing skin. If using essential oils, use only a few drops to avoid irritation and burning sensations. Essential oils are powerful substances.
Powdered milk may be added to the herbal bath as a moisturizer. Add two tablespoons of olive oil and a few drops of rose or jasmine essential oil for best results. Any fine vegetable or nut oil may be used in an herbal bath. Almond oil, avocado oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, walnut oil, and grapeseed oil are all excellent additions for moisturizing the skin.
Just tie up a good portion of oatmeal in a clean handkerchief or thin cloth. Gentle rubbing will get rid of dead skin especially on the elbows, thighs, and hips. Exfoliation is a great way to get a younger looking complexion.
To stimulate healthy skin regeneration, add a few drops of sage essential oil, parsley essential oil, sandalwood essential oil, or thyme essential oil -- along with any good-quality cold-pressed oil -- to a warm bath. These essential oils have antioxidant properties that help heal and repair the skin. See Herbal remedies for skin problems for more information about herbal remedies and the skin.
Use of herbs in the bath (or in massage) helps improve lymphatic drainage and blood flow. Toxins and cellular debris are more quickly cleared from the body resulting in improved health and vitality. Eat a diet rich in antioxidants (fresh vegetables and fruits) for best results. Unprocessed foods, whole grains, fruits, and green vegetables should be eaten several times a day.
For arthritis or joint soreness, use fresh sage, lavender flowers, and bay leaves (or bay essential oil). Boil the medicinal herbs in boiling water for a minute and then simmer gently for fifteen minutes. Strain into bath and try to relax while taking slow, deep breaths. This technique is a great natural pain reliever. For added relief sip willow or oak bark tea immediately before or during bath.
If you want to make herbal bath salts for yourself, as gifts for friends, or to sell for a profit, join Katie Lane in her little purple potting shed where she shows how to make some herbal bath 'tea bags' -- the perfect homemade gift for family, friends and yourself.
For tension headache, panic attacks, or stress related problems try adding frankincense essential oil and chamomile essential oil to the bath. Combine with olive or peach kernel oil for added benefits.
A basic bath or body oil can be made from any good cold pressed vegetable or nut oil. Pour into a jar or bottle, add a teaspoon of wheat germ oil, and add ten drops of lavender essential oil. Use in a warm bath every day during the winter months and use on skin to moisturize and protect.
Foot baths are used to treat everything from the flu to varicose veins. Submerge both feet in a deep enough container so that water goes up to the calves. A cold foot bath can relieve headache and insomnia. Alternating hot and cold water helps improve circulation. Try soaking in hot water for two minutes, then cold water for one minute. Repeat 10 times. To ward off colds and flu add strong mustard, freshly grated ginger, or horseradish to foot bath and soak twenty minutes.
Herbal salt scrubs are easy to make at home.
Herbal salt scrubs are easy to make with just a few ingredients such as Epsom salts, cold=pressed vegetable oil, and a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Salt scrubs can be used for soaking, as well as scrubbing. The salts and medicinal herbs will pull out toxins and greatly improve many skin problems.
Herbal salt scrubs are easy to make at home. They are inexpensive, good for the skin, remove dead cells, and stimulate circulation. Just pour sea salt into a wide mouth jar leaving some head space. Pour almond oil over the salt. Add several drops of favorite essential oil and stir with a wooden spoon. (Lavender and rosemary essential oils make a good addition for using in cold weather.) Epsom salts may be added for extra strength. In the shower, rub body with salt once a week. Use on the feet and elbows more often. Salt scrubs leave the skin soft and glowing -- but do not get too rough or irritation could occur.
Resorts and day spas offer many luxuries including soothing massages, aromatherapy baths, and salt scrubs. Tired skin is rejuvenated and busy minds are calmed during the process. It takes a professional to do a good massage, but aromatherapy baths and herbal salt scrubs can be done at home at a fraction of the cost.
Purchase a pound of natural sea salt or Epsom salts, a good cold-pressed vegetable or nut oil, and any favorite essential oil. My favorite, lavender essential oil is always a good choice for any skin type and it is not as expensive as some of the other florals. Ylang-ylang and rose essential oils are excellent for the skin if you have them on hand or want to splurge.
Uses equal measures of sea salt and Epsom salts (one cup each), almond oil to cover, 6 drops of lavender oil, 6 drops of patchouli oil, and 3 drops of orange oil. Herbal scrubs stimulate circulation and remove dead skin cells. They leave the skin glowing and soft.
A mix of ordinary cooking ingredients can produce a wonderful scrub. Add a quarter cup of powdered ginger root, one-half cup of ordinary table salt, and the juice of two limes to one-half cup of warm olive oil. Use this gritty paste to exfoliate feet, elbows, and other rough places. The ginger root will leave skin tingling and smooth.
Here's a scrub recipe that is good for dry facial skin -- no salt (which can cause more drying). Grind 1 cup of oats into a fine powder. Put in a bowl and add one-fourth cup of ground poppy seeds or almonds. Add a cup of powdered green clay. Add one-fourth cup of dried herbs such as lavender, rose petals, calendula, comfrey, or chamomile, in any combination. Cover with oil. Mix well and store in a large wide-mouth jar with a tight fitting lid (keeps for up to six months in the refrigerator). Use a small amount of scrub on wet face with gentle circular motions. For a longer shelf life, add a few drops of tea tree oil.
The choice of essential oils in a scrub should be based on skin type. Chamomile, lavender, carrot seed, and ylang-ylang essential oils are good for moisturizing fine wrinkles. Dry skin can benefit from geranium, frankincense, lavender, and sandalwood. Teenage acne calls for lemon grass, lavender, lemon thyme, tea tree, or sage. Sensitive skin will soak up chamomile or rose oil without causing any irritation.
Essential oils have a vast array of scents ranging from intensely floral to sharply antiseptic. Rose, ylang-ylang, jasmine, gardenia, and neroli essential oils have the intoxicating fragrance of exotic flowers. Rosemary, tea tree, eucalyptus, and sage essential oils have a clean, medicinal scent. If possible, experiment with individual oils before using blends. Each person's system is unique and reactions to different oils can be surprising.
If you are attracted to an essential oil or individual herb then use more of it. If you are repulsed by something, discontinue use. Do not overuse essential oils. A few drops go a long way. Always dilute essential oils before applying to skin. Do not take them internally unless directed to do so by your healthcare professional.
Herbal bath and beauty products do not contain toxic chemicals and are easy to make at home.
Herbal facials and cleansing masks are also easy to make at home. For beautiful skin, try a cleansing and moisturizing facial. Many things can be added to facials including vegetable oils, green clay, honey, essential oils, aloe vera, oats, eggs, raw vegetables, cider vinegar, and fruit pulp. To deep cleanse, use a green clay mask followed by an oil facial. Add geranium essential oil for normal skin, rose oil for dry skin, jojoba oil for oily skin, avocado oil for sensitive skin, and frankincense essential oil for mature skin. Good carrier oils include apricot kernel, almond, hazelnut, walnut, jojoba, olive, flaxseed, grape seed, and safflower. Always dilute essential oils before applying to skin.
Combine a tablespoon of jojoba oil, two drops of geranium, a drop of frankincense, and a drop of myrrh essential oil. A good facial oil for normal to oily skin combines a tablespoon of jojoba oil, three drops of lavender, and three drops of ylang-ylang essential oil. Apply before bedtime with fingertips, using gentle circular motions.
To deep cleanse the face after normal washing, prepare a herbal steam facial. Add three drops of eucalyptus essential oil and three drops of lavender essential oil to a pot of boiling water that has been removed from heat source. Drape a towel over head and lean over pot. Do not get so close that face is burned. About twelve to eighteen inches is safe. Always use common sense when in the kitchen! Stay under the towel for five or six minutes with eyes closed. Pat dry.
Fresh and dried herbs may also be used in a steam facial. Try chamomile, rose, comfrey, lavender, sage, rosemary, or calendula. Steam the face for five to eight minutes. Rinse with cold water and follow with a good moisturizing herbal cream or oil. Herbal steam facials are best when done on a weekly basis.
* Always use common sense when preparing herbal beauty products for home use. Wash off immediately, and discontinue use if burning or irritation develops. Some herbs and essential oils should not be used before sun exposure.
* Note - the information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
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