Essential Oil Benefits: Six Ways to Improve Your Bath Experience

Who doesn’t love a luxurious bath? From the time of Cleopatra, women especially have enjoyed indulging in a soak using bubbles, oils or bath products. It’s more than just tradition, too: The benefits of essential oils for relaxation, skin-softening and mental well-being are pretty impressive.

Essential Oil Benefits

Essential oils have had quite a resurgence in the past decade. Dating back to ancient times, people have used essential oils to heal both the body and the mind. Essential oils are aromatic liquids distilled from plants, seeds, flowers, fruit, stems, bark, roots and leaves by a distillation process. It takes hundreds of pounds of plant material to distill a batch of pure oil. Once distilled, these oils have hundreds of uses that range from helping you sleep to healing your rash.

Adding essential oils directly to the bath can sometimes cause skin irritation, and since oil and water don’t mix, you’ll need to add essential oils to your bath salts by putting 10 to 15 drops into a handful of Himalayan or sea-salt bath salts, along with a couple teaspoons of jojoba oil. If you don’t have salts, you can add essential oil directly to jojoba oil and then add to bathwater.

Some essential oils aren’t suited for the bath, since they can cause skin irritation. Some include cinnamon, clove and oregano. Also, essential oils may not be safe for pregnant women so be sure to check with your doctor before using them. The National Association for Holistic Therapy has a comprehensive list of essential oils, their properties and contraindications.

Putting essential oils in your bath can promote relaxation, creativity, smooth skin, improve mood, relax muscles and provide dozens of other benefits. Here are essential oil combinations you can try in your next bath.

  1. Lavender and Roman Chamomile: Add 10 drops of lavender essential oil and five to six drops of Roman chamomile essential oil to bath salts. Mix thoroughly, and drop under running bathwater. This soothing combo may help you sleep more restfully.
  2. Rose and Frankincense: Mix 10 drops of rose essential oil with 10 drops of Frankincense and add to bath salt, then add the mixture to your bathwater. Rose essential oil can be uplifting, while Frankincense is warm and comforting on those stressful days.
  3. Lavender, Peppermint and Citrus: Combine 10 drops of lavender essential oil, five drops of peppermint essential oil and five drops of citrus essential oil, and add to bath salt. The analgesic in lavender oil is an anti-inflammatory, while peppermint oil provides a cooling effect on skin. Pair that with refreshing citrus, and you’re sure to feel rejuvenated.
  4. Clary Sage, Chamomile, Lavender and Geranium: Mix five drops of clary sage essential oil, two to three drops of chamomile essential oil, two to three drops of lavender essential oil and two drops of geranium essential oil, and add the mixture to your bath salt. The soothing properties of chamomile and lavender are said to be particularly at easing menstrual aches and pains.
  5. Rosemary, Basil and Lemon: Add 10 drops of rosemary essential oil, five drops of basil essential oil and five drops of lemon essential oil to your bath salts. This is a great combo if you need an extra mental boost, as lemon oil in particular can help improve alertness.
  6. Eucalyptus, Lemon, Pine and Tea Tree: Mix five drops of lemon eucalyptus essential oil, five drops lemon essential oil, two drops of pine needle essential oil and two drops of tea tree oil, and add to the bath salts. Eucalyptus can help soothe muscles, so this is a great combination if you’re feeling beat up or under the weather.

Be sure never to swallow essential oils, and always check with your doctor to see if oils are safe for your condition. To learn more about the health benefits, look for an aromatherapist in your area.

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