Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Hold the crumpets...

Lately, my fascination for aromatherapy and the benefits of natural herbs has been growing (pun intended).  The gathering, the researching, the concocting - it's really quite amazing what the earth has given us to use medicinally, for our skin, our mind and spirit and overall health.  The more I read and learn, the more I want to continue to learn.

So my current project is herbal bath teas.  They smell absolutely intoxicating, and their use is a really effective way to absorb their beneficial ingredients through our skin.  They can be useful for healing, relaxation, anxiety, managing pain or skin conditions, aromatherapy and even if you'd just like to take a little "me time" and do a little pampering.  Each combination of herbs and other ingredients has a specific target use.  You use them much like a regular tea bag, except that you steep them in your bathtub instead of a teacup with some honey and lemon (though if you wanna throw that in the tub too, I don't judge ;o) ).

Tonight I'm making a blend that's all about being pampered.  It'll include fragrant rose petals, passionflower, chamomile, lemongrass, citrus peels, jasmine, essential oils, goat milk, oats, therapeutic salts and lots of other goodies.

Chamomile is used to soothe the skin and calm the mind, passionflower helps anxiety and melts away worries, milks and oats help with skin conditions and add softness, juniper and spearmint enhance circulation, tones the skin and helps the body eliminate toxins - and the list goes on and on.  (Can't give away all my secrets now can I?  :)

I began by using some very fine dendritic salt, which has a unique surface to the grain.  It's ability to absorb twice the oils as other salts provides a delivery system for any essential oils you choose to use so that they don't mold as they would if you just added drops to the plant material.  Nasty moldy baths are probably not too much fun.   I added my essential oil blend that I came up with after some trial and error.  A few drops at a time and then blending very well.

Then you may add any other additives you'd like at this point.  Salts, milk powders, clays, oatmeal, ground herbs - anything skin safe and beneficial to the skin.  be careful though - not all essential oils are safe, and not all plant material is safe.  Just because it's "natural" doesn't automatically guarantee that it's safe.  Take poison ivy, for example.  :)  It does require some research before jumping in. 

Stir the mixture thoroughly to be sure the essential oils are mixed throughout.  Then you may add your herbs,  berries, plants, flowers...whatever you've come up with for your tea.  For this particular blend, I've chosen material that's great on your skin, smells amazing, and frees your mind.  Total spoil-job.

OMG, too bad you don't have smell-o-blog. :)

Next, fill your tea bags no more than half full to allow room for the herbal material to expand (you don't want the bag to tear!) and heat seal the bag closed with a plain ol' houshold iron set on low.  Once someone showed me pictures and a diagram of what one of those was, I managed to hold one in my hand without much trouble.  (Heh...) 
My daughter and trusty assistant demonstrates:

That's pretty much it.  You toss these in a warm tub and let them steep 15 minutes or so and soak in the luxury sure to make you feel like a queen.  Alternately, you can put them in a pot of water on the stove (just like a drinking tea) and steep them in the pot.  Then just remove the bag and pour the liquid into the bathtub.  They can also be used as sachets to scent your clothing in your drawers or can tuck them inside shoes, or you can slip them between your linens in your bed to scent the sheets.  I'll be offering these in several therapeutic blends in the very near future.

Beautiful, great for gifts, lovely stocking stuffers or additions to gift baskets, and wonderfully fragrant.  Look for them soon at my Etsy shop

I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial.  I'm gonna go take a niiiice loooong bath!  :)


  1. Sounds absolutely wonderful! Love your piccies too :)

  2. This is a great post! I've never wanted to take a bath more!

  3. I love it!!! I have some of those heat closure tea bags - you have provided additional inspiration - thanks. Great pics and tutorials!