Refreshing Bathsby Kim Newman
Hello there again everyone. I hope that you have all had a stress free week!! If you have, then just pamper yourself with my 'recipes' for this week. If you are stressed then let the effective natural products help to sooth your mind and body. After which you will feel pampered too!! We all lead very hectic lifestyles in all shapes and forms, be it at work or as homemakers caring for the house, budget and not forgetting those 'ankle biters' we know more commonly as children !!! Now that the weather will be causing havoc to our skin and we will be wrapping our bodies in woolies and layering our clothing, the skin on our bodies needs particular attention. My aim is to help you with this in the newsletter this week. I would like to add that if you have any questions or particular problems, feel free to e mail me at the address below. I will endeavour to help you in solving anything you need to find a solution to. I write this article each week for you so, if there is anything in particular you are interested in relating to Aromatherapy, contact me. I don't bite !! (Well rarely!!)
Water has been worshipped as a source of life since time began and sea water is renowned for it's healing properties. It contains some 60 mineral salts and trace elements, most of which are essential to the human body. The Dead Sea in Israel is renowned for it's therapeutic properties, as it has the greatest concentration of all of these essential ingredients. We cannot all afford to visit Israel every week for treatments in the sea, so, my first 'tip' as regards recreating these benefits is to buy a box of Sea Salt and add two tablespoons to the bath as the water is running. The coarse unrefined is best by far to use. Relax in the bath after the salt has dissolved (otherwise sitting on coarse grains can be somewhat uncomfortable and detracts from the aims of the therapy!!!). If you have difficulty obtaining Sea Salt please contact me as here in Maldon, where I live (in the UK); Sea Salt is 'panned' and boxed for sale. This is the brand I use, even on my food. So, I am ingesting the essential properties of this enriched salt too!! I would recommend 20 minutes soaking in a bath containing this. I call all time spent locked in the bathroom as my 'Me Time'. We all deserve this at least once a week, more often if at all possible. Every night would be marvellous if you can manage that. Also, you can choose a 'recipe' to suit your requirements from those below and off you go................"Happy Soaking!!"
Relaxing Bath Soaks
To encourage a peaceful night or simply to unwind after a stressful situation, fill a muslin cloth (tied at the top after the chosen contents are added!!!) The herbs with the most powerful sedative effects are: Valerian, Lemon Balm, Marjoram, Lavender, Passion Flower. Hops have a good sedative effect BUT they are not one of the nicer smelling additives to the muslin bag so mix with other herbs !! One teaspoon is ample when added to 3-4 tablespoons of another herb or mixture. Add cold Chamomile tea or 2 tea bags to a warm bath to help relax your muscles and delicately scent the skin. If you use the tea leaves please remember to strain the solution before adding it to the bath........unless you like small particles on your skin!! A mug of tea made using 2 teaspoons of the leaves will be ample. Leave to infuse in boiling water for 15 minutes before adding to a warm bath. Infuse the tea bags for the same amount of time. I would like to stress that bags or leaves are equally effective. I find the bags less hassle!! For soothing strained or achy muscles use the following. Infuse in boiling water the following: 1tsp each of Lavender flowers, dried Sage, and chopped Bay leaves. Leave for 20 minutes in a mug. Strain then add to the solution to a pre-run bath. To sooth skin and relax the mind, add 1tbspn Olive Oil or Peach Kernel Oil together with 6 drops of Frankincense and 2 drops of Chamomile Essential Oils to a warm bath. Amongst the most relaxing Essential Oils are: Melissa, Lavender, Sandalwood and Bergamot. as they are broken down by heat and quickly lose their potency always add to a pre-run bath. This way they lie on the surface of the water and as you step in, they coat your skin. Feeling relaxed already? Please don't fall asleep and miss the rest of the article !!
To stimulate the circulation and aid the process of digestion of food add a Rosemary infusion to the bath. Place 50grms (2oz) of fresh Rosemary to 1 pint of boiling water (leave the stalks on). Leave to infuse for 15 minutes before pouring into the pre-run bath water. Adding Peppermint Oil to a cool bath is a traditional way of 'pepping' up the body and mind. You can also put dried peppermint or fresh leaves into a piece of muslin cloth or....a cotton sock!! (clean please!!), socks can be used to hold all herbs as a substitute for muslin, we all have a sock in the home, usually one which has mysteriously 'lost' it's mate!! Tie the top with string or sewing cotton. (I like to do everything as cheaply as possible!!) Add to the bath as the water is running. You can also utilize left over Peppermint tea (or tea bags). It is also possible and beneficial to use freshly chopped leaves and flowers from the plant itself. Mint grows like wildfire in gardens and it would be economical for you to purchase a plant. BEWARE....plant it in pots as it will soon take over your garden otherwise!! The kind we use to flavour potatoes and peas etc is fine for this use. Applemint has a distinctive, sweeter aroma to the better known Peppermint. Milder for those who do not like the 'whiff' of Peppermint!!
Take a tip from Cleopatra and her ass's milk (no I am not referring to her butt!!) by adding 2 tblsp of dried milk powder or granules to the running water of a bath. Lie back and expect the bunch of grapes to be fed to you!! It is the Milk Whey Proteins which soften and refine the skin. Soak in the bath for 15-20 minutes and you will really feel the difference in the texture of your skin. This is of great benefit to sufferers of skin complaints such as Eczema and Psoriasis. Mild enough for babies and young children to use too. Make muslin sachets in the way mentioned above filled with Oatmeal and place in the bath whilst the water is still running. Also, use the sachet to gently exfoliate the skin on your body after soaking in the bath for 5 minutes. Removing dead skin cells brightens and refines the skin. Concentrate on areas such as hips and thighs, elbows, knees, heels and the soles of your feet, upper arms too. Add 2 tsp Olive Oil to the bath water just before stepping in. Sunflower Oil can be used as an alternative. This leaves the skin feeling silky soft. Take care when stepping in and out as the sides of the bath can be quite slippery. Ooops, told you so!! Dry sensitive skin is often caused when the skins natural pH balance is disrupted. Usually caused by the use of soap (which is banned in my house!!) Unless it is detergent free and contains at least 20% Shea Butter (obtained from the nut of the Macadamia tree in Africa). This is called 'Woman's Gold', as only women are allowed to harvest and extract the butter. They also earn from doing this. Usually their only form of income. (Contact me for sources of this soap). Add 15mls Cider Vinegar to restore the correct acid/Alkaline balance. It is also worth adding a splash of Aloe Vera juice to calm skin irritations. Please don't get me talking about Aloe Vera as I would be here for 24 hours!!!!! I will have to devote a complete article to Aloe Vera for a future Newsletter, it has a multitude of uses. If you can, buy an Aloe Vera plant ready for the article as when you read it you will have a use for it immediately!! Please do not go to the expense of buying the gel form in silly little tubes!!. The plant reproduces itself and you can pot on the 'babies!!
************ I hope that you have enjoyed this article and enjoy trying the 'recipes' I am sharing with you. I can assure you that they all work. However, they do not work by simply reading them!! Why not print out this newsletter so that you have a record of these Naturally Active Bathing 'recipes'. We all 'delete' e mails and you may well be annoyed with yourself for losing things you might wish to refer to in the future!!
Kim Newman Kim Newman is a registered R.N. in the UK, and has been studying aromatherapy and natural skincare products for many years. She can be reached at http://www.geocities.com/naturesskincare2001