Baths (and bath houses) have been around for centuries, so there has to be something good about them other than the luxury of hot water. In fact, hot baths have been shown to offer both physical and mental benefits. According to the Huffington Post, baths can boost your mental capacity and improve your memory, just by taking a few intentional moments to relax your body and mind. The humidity from the warm water can heal dry nasal passages and soothe your lungs, even if you didn’t realize they were working harder in the colder weather. The warm water of a bath will relax and promote healing of sore or aching muscles. Baths are also ideal for reaping the benefits of aromatherapy. A lavender bath will promote relaxation, while rosemary, mint and sage will calmly energize and, and even improve your memory. And adding salt introduces a new element of detoxification, drawing out the grit and stress of your day, and Epsom salts can give you a gentle magnesium boost.
Unfortunately, contrary to popular belief, taking a bath might not actually save as much water as taking a really quick shower (according to National Geographic: Green House and Waterwise), unless you have a super-mega-inefficient power showerhead, so you can’t necessarily pull the “it’s better for the environment” excuse to soak. That being said, baths usually require around 20 gallons of water, which is the same amount as a 10-minute shower. So, if you have more than 10 minutes on your hands, a relaxing soak may be just what you need!
Though baths are wonderful all year round, they are especially luxurious in the winter. Even a 10 minute soak can do you a world of good, so try one of the following recipes if you want to take your bath to the next level!
Recipe from Happy Money Saver
These lovely darlings are a perfect hybrid of body butter and bath scent to pamper you and give your skin a treat. Since oil (therein butter) and water don’t mix, the hydrating skin food gets absorbed, leaving the bath smelling wonderful with tea and essential oils.
Recipe From Humblebee & Me
Remember that science project with the baking soda volcano? These homemade bath bombs run on a very similar principle. The mix of baking soda and dry citric acid (often used for canning) explode into a perfect fit of effervescence in your tub, and you can create your own fragrance too with essential oils! Try a Soothing Aloe and Coconut Milk variation.
Image from the Gardener’s Supply Co.
Recipe from Frugal Granola
Who says tea is just for drinking? This bath time herbal “tea” (it doesn’t have any tea leaves, and won’t stain you or your tub!) is a perfect herbal mix to reap the benefits of herbal aromatherapy. Mix up a bag of your favorite herbs and let your stress wash away. Rosemary, mint and basil energize and revitalize the mind, while lavender and sweet orange peel relaxes. You could also let herbs free-float in your tub for picturesque-ness, but it’s a lot easier to clean up just a tea bag. Plus, the tea bag can also be used as a body scrub! And it can work as a potpourri until you can steal a minute for the tub.
After your skin has soaked up all the clean moisture from your bath, slather on an organic moisturizer or homemade body butter to fortify a moisture barrier between your skin and the dry air, protecting your newly replenished and pampered skin, and leaving your skin extra soft.
Taylor Nutting is an editorial assistant at Mother Earth Living who loves to find new ways to live a healthy and happy life.