Body & Soul: Soothing Bath Treatments

Relax in an herbal bath

| February/March 2001

For pure pampering, nothing beats a long, hot soak in the tub. 

At the end of a long day, there’s nothing as therapeutic as drawing a hot bath, dimming the lights, and sinking in. Heat immediately surrounds and comforts aching muscles and joints; water and steam provide moisture to plump and soothe dry skin. Senses awaken. Tension evaporates. Those who opt out of this sensuous experience in favor of a quick hot shower are missing one of life’s truest and most comforting pleasures.

A long soak actually helps you become cleaner than a shower. As skin softens and pores open to the warmth, deep dirt is released. A short, cool shower after a bath will rinse away any impurities that cling to the skin. But devoted tub bathers take baths for all kinds of reasons besides cleanliness. Baths can awaken the mind or relax it; they can facilitate clearer, more focused thinking or allow our thoughts to drift into the clouds.

Some baths using natural additives are designed with physical healing in mind. For example, a person with eczema will find that a handful of oats thrown under the running water will help soothe itchy skin. A hot bath, accompanied with a muscle-warming oil rub, will do wonders for sore legs or an overworked back. A steamy bath with a few drops of eucalyptus oil or floating eucalyptus leaves may help relieve clogged sinuses.

Other baths are purely for pampering. Aromatic herbs and other natural ingredients can make bathing a sensuous treat. Below are a few easy recipes for nighttime pampering baths.

Milk baths

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