Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Making Your Bath More Luxurious

Creeping Rosemary, Rosemary officinalis 'Prostratus'

Studies have proven that not only is working in the landscape good for your mental health,  but you can also relieve stress and help your skin with the herbs grown in your garden. Taking a steamy, relaxing bath every night, especially after digging in the dirt all day, is part of my "getting ready for bed" ritual.  Adding different plants, herbs, and flowers can be added to your bath to help clean, soothe and revigorate your skin and bath recipes are easy to prepare. 

You can use fragrances you enjoy the most singularly or combined with other herbs. This is where a little bit of this and some of that works for anyone.  You can be as creative as you like.  Add ground oatmeal to your herbal concoctions to help defoliate dried skin cells, soothe irritation, and reduce inflammation of sunburns and insects bites.
Warning:  Check with your doctor before ingesting any herbs for medicinal purposes.

Flowers, foliage, roots, and seeds that can be used in your beauty routine:
  • Artemesia ~ Baths
  • Basil ~ Baths
  • Catnip ~ Potpourri, baths
  • Calendula ~ Astringent, highlights hair
  • Chamomille ~ Astringent, highlights hair
  • Comfrey ~ Reduces skin irritation and inflammation
  • Dill ~ Baths, facials
  • Elder ~ Baths,
  • Eucalyptus ~ Baths, facials
  • Fennel ~ Astringent, baths
  • Geraniums, Wild ~ Astringent, baths
  • Hops ~ Baths, soporific
  • Hyssop ~ Cleanses pores, used with thyme and rosemary in baths
  • Jasmine ~ Baths, muscle relaxant, relieves inflammation
  • Juniper berries ~ Baths
  • Lady's Mantle ~ Astringent, baths
  • Lavender ~ Baths, used as a vinegar helps oily skin
  • Lemon Balm ~Astringent, baths, skin
  • Lemon Verbena ~ Energizes
  • Marjoram ~ Energizes
  • Mints ~ Baths
  • Oatmeal, Baths, soap, facials, cleanses pores
  • Oregano ~ Baths, muscle relaxant
  • Nettle ~ Baths, hair conditioner, facials for oily skin,
  • Parsley ~ Facials for oily skin, hair rinse for dark hair
  • Peppermint ~ Astringent, freshner and energizer
  • Rose ~ Astringent, skin hydration
  • Rosemary ~ Baths, soaps. energizer, facials for oily skin, hair rinse for dark hair
  • Sage ~ Astringent, baths, muscle relaxant, conditioner for dark hair
  • Rose Geraniums ~ Baths
  • Thyme ~ Antiseptic, baths, energizes
  • Valerian ~ Baths, soporific
  • Violets ~ Soaps, Facial steams
  • Willow ~ Baths, relieves pain and inflammation, muscle relaxant
  • Yarrow ~ Astringent, baths, facials for oily skin
Combine your favorite herbal scents with oatmeal or powdered milk in a muslin  or cheesecloth bag, tied with rubber band or pretty ribbon.  Place in your bath water as it fills or hang from the bath faucet to allow the warm running water to release the fragrances.

To make an infusion for your bath: Mix 4 cups of boiling water with 4 tablespoons of fresh or dried herbs and flowers, soak for 20 minutes, then strain through cheesecloth or sieve.  Add to bath water. For hard organic materials such as bark, seeds, and roots, boil ingredients for 20 minutes then strain.

Mexican Sage, Salvia longistyla
Here's a great recipe for adding Kama Sutra mint potion to your bath, courtesy of our friends at Top Tropicals Nursery.
Harvest 1 cup of fresh leaves. In a large thermos, mix the leaves with 4 cups of boiling water and. Seal the cap tightly and let sit for 24 hours, then pass the decoction through a sieve, squeezing the most you can out of the leaves. Add juice of one freshly squeezed lemon to the mint concentrate - it is an essential part of the recipe that keeps active ingredients of Kama Sutra Mint at most effective level and helps making your skin smooth and velvet. Add 1-2 table spoons of your favorite bath gel, stir. Fill a bath with cool or slightly warm water. Add mint/lemon potion.


Culbertson, Molly ed.. Book of Herbs. 1st. Des Moines, Iowa: Meredith Corporation, 1994.

Tolley, Emelie, and Chris Mead. Gifts from the Herb Garden. 1st. New York, New York: Clarkson N. Potter Inc., 1991.

Top Tropical Nursery, Retail Garden Center located at 300 Center Road, Ft. Myers, Florida

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