Best herbs to use for a bath tea, salt soak, and herbal face mask.
We mentioned using fresh herbs to make your own tea and tisane a few blogs back. These herbal brews can aid in healthy digestion and relaxation, but there are other, more topical ways to promote herbal self-care rituals and encourage whole-body wellness!
In this blog, we will cover the benefits of herbal self-care such as herbal tea soaks, and face masks. We also include some recipes and show you how to use the herbs you have at home, including many we offer here at Urban Leaf, to make your own at home all out apothecary.
“Self-care” has been a buzz word recently, associated mostly with over-indulgent, oftentimes expensive products and processes. However, bathing at it’s most basic is actually an ancient therapeutic practice called ‘balneotherapy’ – practiced as far back as Roman times in public bathhouses for citizens. Almost every ancient culture used to prescribe therapeutic bathing rituals to promote overall wellness and help calm the skin, our largest organ.
Herbs and oils have historically been associated with bath therapy to help relax the mind, soothe sore muscles, and promote smooth and supple skin. Nowadays, many of the “luxurious” self-care and bath products sold are filled with chemicals or even tested on animals. We think it’s more satisfying, sustainable, cost-effective (and more fun!) to make your own. We found two herbal bath soak recipes crafted by Traditional Medicinals for you to try: the Flower Powered Sea-Salts and Spring Tea Bath.
You can also try a more medicinal soak, made with Lemon Balm (you can grow your own with the help of our Hint of Citrus Bottle Garden.)
To make your own, choose one or more of the following organic botanicals:
- Mint Leaf
- Holy Basil Leaf (or try the Lemon Basil from our Hint of Citrus Bottle Garden)
- Lemon Balm Leaf
Directions for making a herbal soak
Mix your choice of herbs in a jar. Fill a drawstring cotton bag with the herbal blend and drape over your faucet so hot water runs through the bag and creates a tea in the tub. Once the tub is full, toss the tied bag into the water and swish it around to infuse your bath with even more herbal goodness. Another method is to make a large pot of tea using your herbal bath blend and add that herbal infused liquid to the tub before getting in to soak.
Dried herbs can also be mixed with Epsom salt for an extremely healing and relaxing soak – especially during cold and flu season. Try adding:
- Eucalyptus, known for its medicinal properties, to use as a decongestant and help break up nasal congestion
- Spearmint to energize the mind and body, and help cleanse and tighten pores
- Peppermint to counteract sinus pain and pressure, and decrease inflammation
- Fennel to open up nasal passages
Mix it all up with Epsom salt to achieve a bath that will soothe mind and body and relax the nervous system. Epsom salt is known to ease stress and relax the body, relieve pain and muscle cramps, help muscles and nerves function properly, flush toxins, improve absorption of nutrients, and fight various internal health issues.
For a detoxing bath, add at least two cups of Epsom salt mixed with dried herbs to bathwater and soak for 40 minutes total. The first half will give your body time to remove toxins from your system and the last 20 minutes will allow you to absorb the minerals in the water allowing you to walk away from the soak feeling energized and rejuvenated. Be sure to consume water before, and after the bath to reduce dehydration.
You could also try this easy Ayurvedic Facial Mask recipe to further pamper your skin once you get out of the bath. Ayurveda is an ancient health philosophy and a holistic approach to wellness. This alternative medicine approach uses many herbal remedies to help balance the mind/body/soul based on your individual body makeup (called your ‘dosha’ in Ayurveda). While we don’t know everything about this wellness approach, we do believe that herbs contain medicinal properties and are good for your all around health! Not just to eat, but to take topically through bath soaks, facial masks, and scrubs as we’ve discussed.
Please let us know if you use our herbs to make any of these home remedies, and be sure to tag us @geturbanleaf on Instagram so we can see!