Since ancient times, aromatic baths have been used for their health benefits. Greek physician, Hippocrates, to which the "do no harm" hippocratic oath is attributed employed ‘hydrotherapy’ with aromatic oils and wrote of how baths are essential to good health. And now that we understand from previous class posts the importance of smells to emotion which is connected to physiological health, we can only begin to imagine how specific oil combinations to support both emotions and physical needs can be used in an aromatic bath to give us the best of both worlds!
While I'm sure you're all experts on taking a bath, let me share with you some tips and suggestions on how to safely enjoy an aromatic one! First, make your oily concoction before you get in the bath but do not add it to the bath until after you've gotten in. This is because adding oils even with a dispersant (for dispersing the oils so they don't float around on top and potentially irritate the skin or just not provide the therapeutic benefit work if not completely dissolved into the water), you can imagine how that might then irritate mucus membranes, particularly the most private ones! Examples of dispersants that work well with EOs are: sea salt, epsom salt, honey or whole fat milk. You can use a carrier oil but then it won't disperse.
So, how do we make an oily concoction for an aromatic bath to stimulate or support emotions, relaxation, muscles, circulation, lymph circulation, detoxification, and more? First, pick your dispersant. Let's use Sea Salt in this example because I love sea salt for it's skin softening and detoxing and energetic support (as in I had crazy energy around me today, I'd like to wash it off). One to two cups for a full bath with an adult is recommended. If it's honey or whole fat milk, a couple tablespoons will do w/ the EOs.
Then chose an EO that is going to support what you're looking to achieve. I like Copaiba, Frankincense and Lemongrass because it's a great combo on sore, stiff muscles, they are not too irritating or strong on skin and actually help w/ puffiness and circulation, plus that blend is super meditative and up-lifting. Typically, for an adult, 5 to 10 drops TOTAL of essential oils into a full-body bath is suggested. If it's a more mild EO like Lavender, you can bump that up to 15. But if it's a super strong floral like Jasmine, for example, just a few drops would be sufficient. Avoid EOs that can be dermal irritants like Thieves, Peppermint, Panaway or hot oils like Thyme, Rosemary, Oregano, etc. When in doubt, go w/ Lavender!
Now, get in the full bath, THEN pour your concoction in there and move it around to disperse. For kids and other baths like sitz baths (just your bum), let's chat about those in comments if you'd like!