> Aromatherapy Articles & Guides >
Introduction to Aromatic Baths and
Enjoying Essential Oils When Bathing
with essential oils is a wonderfully synergistic combination. The
relaxing properties of hot water compliment the effects of well
chosen essential oils. Aromatic baths can provide relief from
stress and anxiety, assist with muscle pains, or offer a sensual
introduction to a romantic evening with your partner.
The Japanese have long known and
respected the relaxing properties of hot baths. In Japan, it is
customary to first wash and rinse well in a separate shower or basin
and then take a long hot (extremely hot by Western standards) bath.1
It is not appropriate to actually wash in the bath.2
The water is conserved and reheated for reuse by others in the household.3
Maggie Tisserand mentions that the working Japanese individual can
call from work and program the bath water to be hot and ready at
the time he/she arrives home from a hard day at work.4
Even men are enjoying aromatic baths
in increasing numbers. Perhaps not an ideal example, but I
have enjoyed watching the U.S. television sitcom called Frasier
on occasion. If I recall correctly, Frasier, a male psychiatrist,
took a long bath with Jasmine and Vanilla in one episode. Although
the sitcom's writers most likely wanted to create humor by having
Frasier take an aromatic bath, it truly reflects the benefits that
baths can offer to both genders. There is nothing effeminate about
a man enjoying an aromatic bath.
Adding Essential Oils and Bath Oils to the Bath
essential oils in the bath is one of the easiest ways to implement
aromatherapy and its benefits. Add 5-7 drops essential oil to 1
ounce carrier oil. Add this blend to your running bath water and
mix well before getting into the tub. Be sure to read the safety
data for the essential oils you choose to use.
Recipes area contains a recipe
blend that you can use to customize your own bath
oils. It also contains a recipe for creating your own bath
salts. For a sensuous bath, try sandalwood,
neroli or jasmine.
For skin soothing benefits, try Roman
or German chamomile,
or sandalwood. Again,
be sure to follow the safety precautions for the oils you use. Avoid
oils that can cause sensitivity to the skin. Oils that you should
avoid in the bath include but are not limited to basil,
oregano, thyme, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, black pepper, and bay (Pimenta
Aromatherapy Bath Salts
salts are typically comprised of sea salt or rock crystal salt.
These naturally occuring salts contain an array of minerals in addition
to sodium. When used in the bath, salts can help rid the body of
toxins, improve circulation, ease muscular aches and are also said
to help those suffering from eczema or psoriasis.
Most salts are available in several
grain sizes. Combining different salt types and grain sizes can
lead to a multitude of beautiful and healthful combinations.
Fragrancing bath salts with essential
oils is easy and lets you combine the therapeutic and aromatic benefits
of the chosen essential oils with the benefits of the salts.
A disadvantage to fragrancing bath
salts with essential oils is that the aroma of the salts can significantly
diminish by the time the salts are used in the bath. Ideally, bath
salts should be added under running water so that the salts can
dissolve before getting into the tub. It can be a bit uncomfortable
to rest in the tub upon coarse grains of salt. When adding bath
salts under running water, however, the aroma can dissipate rather
Some individuals color their bath
salts with liquid dyes or colorful micas. Rock crystal salts like
Himalayan Salt is naturally pink or pinkish-red in color.
Making your own bath salts is pretty
easy. The Recipe Box contains
a recipe blend that you can use
to customize your own bath salts.
Aromatherapy Bath Bombs
few years ago, I discovered the fun of making and using bath bombs
fragranced with essential oils. They make eye-catching gifts and
are a favorite of children and teens. When dropped into the tub,
a bath "bomb" begins to fizz, almost like a soft drink.
As it fizzes, it fragrances the room. Depending on the size of the
bath bomb, they fizz for 5-10 minutes or so. They're not especially
therapeutic (not like natural salts, for instance) and I tend to
only use them once in awhile, but they're a fun and aromatic way
to enjoy bathtime. View AromaWeb's Aromatherapy
Bath Bomb Recipe.
My Personal Routine at Bathtime
I love adding natural salts, especially
Dead Sea salt, to my bathwater. When I first discovered how easy
it is to make beautiful and fragrant bath salts, I made them all
the time. But nowadays, instead of adding essential oils or colorants
directly to my salts, I tend to keep things simple and just add
the pure salts to my bathwater. For gift-giving, however, I still
fragrance/color salts (see above section). As I bathe, I enjoy using
a candle diffuser with whatever essential
oils I desire to use at the time. The aroma lasts longer than if
I had fragranced the salts themselves, and I can more easily decide
right before bathtime what essential oil or blend of oils I'd like
to diffuse during my bath. To enjoy the benefits of topical application
of essential oils, I typically add a little bath oil (see above).
To learn more about aromatic baths, view the book description for
The Healing Aromatherapy Bath
by Margó Valentine Lazzara.
Baths" (Schauwecker's Guide to Japan, 1999) [Web
4[Maggie Tisserand, Essence
of Love (San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1993), 83.
< Return to Article Archive Index