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Herbal Baths

Louise Plant
Written by Louise Plant

Herbal Baths

There are many benefits to be had from immersing your body into hot water, steeped with herbs. Even hydrotherapy the use of hot and cold water applications can have its own benefits.

The nature of water allows it to be used externally and to be used as a tonic and a medicine.  Of course clean fresh spring water would have the greatest benefits. Rain water and snow water is the purest kinds of natural water.

There are several different types of baths and they are used for both similar and different purposes. Some cover the whole body while some are only used for a small part. They’re all basically made the same way. The only main differences are their temperatures, sizes and lengths.

Water is a great way to modify the temperature of the body, at higher temperatures it will stimulate circulation, cold water on the other hand will tranquilize or sedate circulation and other functions. Cold water can be applied indirectly to also act as a potent stimulant.

The more vigorous and abrupt the application the more powerful the body reaction. Hot and cold can be quickly followed by one another to stimulate circulation and restore function to certain areas.

The word bath denotes a complete or partial immersion on the body in water or steam. Bath temperatures are

Bath Temp Temp in Fairenheight Temp in Celsius
Very Cold 32 – 50 0 – 10
Cold 50 – 65 10 – 18
Cool 65 – 75 18 – 24
Tepid 75 – 85 24 – 29
Warm 85 – 98 29 – 37
Hot 98 – 104 37 – 40
Very hot 104 and above 40 and above

 

 

Types of Baths

Cold bath – a quick cold plunge creates a thermic reaction. This gives the same reaction as the body’s initial reaction to heat. The body will gasp in air and the shock will cause rapid contraction of the cutaneous capillaries pushing a rush of blood back to the lungs and internal organs. The difficulty of breathing will disappear and as the person leaves the water a warmth or glow will invigorate the entire system. This type of bath will have a tonic action on the nervous system without hampering the activity of other body functions.

To encourage a thermic reaction put warm clothes on, drink hot beverages, exercise vigorously or briskly skin brush the skin after the plunge. These types of baths are not recommended for infants, the elderly and in debility or exhaustion.

Cool bath – actions are similar to those of the cold bath, though less powerful. These baths are better for children, debilitated and those to an aversion to cold.

Tepid bath – this type of bath has a modifying influence on the heat of the body. It acts to soften and cleanse the skin. This type of bath is best used about noon when breakfast digestion is over. A brisk walk after the bath is recommended.

Warm bath – this type of bath is not really working as a stimulant. It will reduce the pulse, slow respiration, lessen body heart and relax the skin. This temperature will not provoke a thermic reaction. This type of bath would be very effective in a fever.

Hot bath – a hot bath is very stimulating and the heat is an excitant. The secondary effect of the heat is to act as a depressant, which then has a reflex action to increase heat elimination. Hot baths are best not prolonged as the body can accumulate a rapid rise in temperature. 5 to 20 minutes is a good time frame. Hot baths are contra-indicated in weak heart, arteriosclerosis, debilitated old age, infancy and people who have suffered from strokes and heatstroke. Hot baths are excellent for elimination through sweating, therefore it could be useful in bronchial problems in children and to help relive chest congestion.

Herbs Herbs that can be used in an herbal bath include

Actions Herbs
Relaxing herbs Lavender, lime flowers, chamomile, peppermint, lemon balm, valerian, red clover
Herbs for itchy skin Chickweed, black walnut leaves, yellow dock, hyssop, chamomile, oatmeal
Herbs for muscular tension and pain Mugwort, chamomile, horsetail
Herbs to aid circulation Rosemary, yarrow, calendula, cayenne, ginger

Please use care when bathing babies, children and anyone who is very ill or weak as drowning can result, even in small amounts of water. If you are extremely ill, be extremely cautious when taking a hot bath as it could lead to passing out and possibly drowning.

Baths can be used to generally splashed onto the skin to treat wounds, rashes, ulcers and other skin conditions, it can be used hot (not boiling), room temperature or cold.

Spiritual uses – washes are used for ritual purification, of “washing away” problems, negativity, illness, etc. They can also be used for consecration of people, places and things.

If you are looking for some herbs to buy online for your herbal bath, check out my herbs at www.driedherbsonline.com

Dried Calendula

About the author

Louise Plant

Louise Plant

Louise Plant (ND, RT, HonDipBM, BcSc, PGd)

Holistic Nutritionist | Master Herbalist, teacher, life motivator, author, public speaker and healer.

I love teaching and educating others to help empower them to make their own informed decisions and proactive choices. I look to furthering my journey to expand by teaching overseas and to share my light to larger audiences, enabling me to expand my writings, publishing and sharing.

My passions are travel, adventure, books, learning new concepts, empowering others and laughing with my family. I love seeing the light being turned on inside people, and seeing them ‘light up’ as they wake up to the real world. I have spent many years walking amongst and being the living dead and now it is time to WAKE UP and BE ALIVE.