Essential Oils in the Bath
Bathing can be simply a way to clean oneself or it can be an experience enhanced by the medium in which one bathes. Most of us bathe in water, but Cleopatra preferred to soak in asses’ milk and Mary, Queen of Scots, like to take her baths in hot tubs of wine.
These days, we prefer water as our bathing substance, but that doesn’t mean that all baths are the same. Some people bathe in ice cold water, some in salt water, and others of us prefer the showering modality in which we are blasted with steam and sprays of various natures.
Regardless of how you choose to bathe, relaxing in a bath can be the best part of your day, helping to ease you out of the stress of everyday life. Adding essential oils to your bath (or shower, for that matter), can transform the simply pleasurable experience into a sublime one.
Warm baths with plenty of steam tend to provide the most benefit from essential oils because the warm moist air tends to release more aroma molecules than you would get with cold, dry air. Additionally, by immersing your skin in warm water with essential oils, your pores become more open and are able to absorb the oil more quickly.
Warm baths also enhance the strength of the aroma due to the warm and steamy air. In humid air it is easier to detect the high, middle, and low notes of the essential oil. if you are using a blend of oils, you can even differentiate one oil from the next if you close your eyes and focus. When you relax and inhale, the individual oils seem to combine in a blend that is pleasing to the senses.
How to Create an Aroma Bath
Before drawing your bath, make sure that everything you will need is comfortable and arranged so that it is accessible. This way, if you need something, you won’t have to get up and interrupt your bath halfway through.
Second, remember that you may use whichever oils appeal to you. However, if you are looking to create a specific effect, such as relaxation, energizing, easing muscle cramps or a headache, or soothing sunburn or dry and itchy skin, you may wish to choose oils that are specific to that purpose. For ideas, check out these Top 10 Essential Bath Oils.
You may also choose which oils to use based on the season. In spring and summer, citrus and floral baths are very refreshing. In fall and winter, however, spicy and woody essential oils provide a warming and relaxing feeling that helps to ease a chill.
Maximizing the Aroma
Before you add essential oils to your bath, make sure you have closed the door and that you are not running the vent. This will help to ensure that you keep as much of the aroma in the bathroom as possible.
After a few minutes of being in the tub, you will likely no longer notice the scent of the oil. There is no reason to add more. It is still present, but you have become accustomed to the smell and no longer notice it. Rest assured that it is still working its magic even if you can no longer smell it.
How Many Drops Do I Need?
High-quality essential oils go a very long way. Adding greater amounts generally does not improve their effect. So, save a few bucks and only use small amounts.
Generally, 5-10 drops of oil is sufficient. Some oils are much stronger smelling. These oils include eucalyptus, basil, lime, peppermint, thyme, lemon, and rosemary. You will probably find that you need around 5 drops for each of these, whereas other oils may require closer to 10.
If you are combining oils, keep the total number of drops to 10 or less. Usually, three oils is about the maximum number you want to combine. Professional mixes usually have a top, middle and bass note. Check out this article for more information on blending essential oils.
Increase the Amount of Oil that Reaches Your Skin
Instead of adding the oils to your bath as the tub fills, wait until the tub is full and the faucet is turned off. When the water is still, then gently add the essential oils to the surface of the water. They will spread out on top and will be drawn to your skin as you slowly slip into the tub.
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