Customized Herbal Baths for Anxiety Relief
Customized herbal baths for anxiety relief can be an incredibly impactful sidekick to your healing journey. Whether you absolutely love the idea of cozying up in a warm bath or would rather do your taxes than “relax in a bath,” I highly, highly suggest adding these rituals to your evening routine a couple times a week.
Herbal baths have become lost in translation but are still used today in naturopathic practice for healing of many ailments and cancer therapy. The earliest written information about therapy by bathing with aromatic herbs dates back to 1500 B.C.E. Ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, Assyrians and Hebrews widely applied the practice for medicinal purposes.
In countries like Japan and China, nightly herbal baths are still a tradition, in Japan if they do not add herbs every evening, they will be sure to at least add slices of citrus such as lemon or lime.
Although technically we can bathe in all herbs that we can ingest, some herbal infusions will be more relieving than others. To keep this blog post simple I gathered my top 5 Customized herbal baths for anxiety relief, but feel free to be your own herbalist and explore the many possibilities mother nature has provided us with. It is getting easier to find these herbs on amazon, just ensure to do a little research for a high quality herb. If you are using fresh herb you can use a little more as they have more water weight to them. At the end I share how I create my Herbal Baths to benefit from your self care ritual the most!
My Top 5 Customized Herbal Baths for Anxiety (In no particular order)
Milky Oat Seed or Oatstraw
Think warm, calm and comforting, this herb is one of my absolute favourites to add to a warm bath! This powerful nervine tonic builds up the immune system and reduces stress by restoring vital energy. Strengthening and nourishing the nervous system, milky oat seed is used in nervous exhaustion, that (wired and tired) feeling, anxiety, sleep disturbances, weakness, poor libido, and as a tonic for individuals who are either physically and/or emotionally taxed.
Rich in minerals, calcium and magnesium, milk oat seed is a great restorative for the adrenal glands. The glands need the most rejuvenation after wear and tear from constant fight or flight. Rich in Vitamin E, milky oat seed will also offer the skin a soft supple feeling, and is commonly used by those with skin ailments such as eczema and psoriasis. If you are someone who reaches for stimulants such as tobacco, alcohol, or drugs, oat seed can help overcome these habits. If you are gluten intolerant, it is best to refer to a doctor and be mindful that Oats contain a similar protein to gluten, so some may be sensitive.
milky oat seed, in its fresh picked state!
Stinging nettles gets its name, because well, it stings upon contact if the herb is fresh and has not been dried first! For this reason, dried stinging nettle is required for a herbal bath. Putting all “stinging” thoughts aside, nettles are actually extremely relaxing when added to a bath. After either drinking nettles as a tea, or bathing in them, I personally feel like my energy field shifts drastically. I feel it is easier to solve problems and deal overwhelming feelings, much easier. Stinging nettle is a gentle diuretic, flushing out toxins, it is often used in individuals with high blood pressure and water retention. Nettles are a blood cleanser and honestly, I believe this is the main reason why I feel so rejuvenated and light with every bath I take with nettles!
Dried Nettles pictured above
With its healing, and anti-inflammatory properties, chamomile has a soothing and calming effect on irritated skin. Chamomile provides relief from insect bites, calms nerves, soothes skin and muscles, and promotes healthy, restful sleep. Chamomile is a great bath herb for children. Chamomile relaxes the nervous system making it perfect for a nighttime ritual.
Chamomile pictured above
This is one herb to start using right away! However, don’t get too excited that you start picking dandelions from the grass in front of your home because chances are, they have been at one time sprayed with pesticides or contaminated by the neighbourhood friendly fido! But if you do seek out and find quality Dandelion from a herbal distributor or grow your own, dandelion has many, powerful benefits.
I use dandelion root in my baths but the flowers and stems can be used as well. I find dandelion to be very grounding. It is a natural diuretic and detoxifier. Used in history to support healthy liver function, dandelion root is a great source of vitamins. A few studies have indicated that dandelion may help inflammation as well. Dandelion helps with eczema, psoriasis, itchy, dry and oily skin and is anti-aging. Dandelion helps to gently improve mood and to remove any belief systems or the overwhelming feeling of “I am stuck.”
Dandelion Flower, Stem and Root pictured above
Just like the name, feverfew is common in relieving fevers, and headaches. Feverfew is the herb to reach for if your immune system is low or if you feel a cold coming on. If I have stiff muscles or joints the anti-inflammatory properties of feverfew I will take a feverfew bath in the evening. If you have anxiety and are also battling a cold, this is the bath for you. Not only will your skin feel silky smooth, feverfew has been shown to reduce depression and anxiety in mice.
Feverfew pictured above
How I Prepare my Herbal Baths for Anxiety – a strong Infusion formula!
There are 3 ways you can go about preparing your healing herbal bath, you can simply add the herbs to a muslin tea bag and pop it into the bath, and dive right in. Or you can run your bath hotter than usual and add the herbs 10-15 minutes before getting into the bath. I personally like to make my bath strong. I usually only have the time to have a herbal tea bath 1 – 2 nights per week so I make sure it is strong and worth it!
Step 1. In a large pot bring water to a boil.
Step 2. Add your herbs of choice. I still like to put the herbs in a muslin tea bag because I will still use them later for the bath as well.
Step 3. Simmer on medium heat for 30 minutes.
Step 4. Add 1 tbsp. Himalayn Sea Salt (optional)
Step 5. Add herbal infusion to warm bath water. (I also add the tea bags to the bath)
Step 6. Add 3 drops of essential oils like lavender to bath (optional)
Step 7. Put away any distractions and hop in the herbal bath for anxiety relief!
Can you mix these herbs together to make your own infusion? Absolutely! If it is your first time ever using the herb, try them in the bath one at a time to ensure you don’t have any side effects. With these particular herbs side effects are rare, except for oats which our gluten free friends will have to skip. If you have any pre-existing medical condition, are taking medications, or you are pregnant or breast feeding, be sure to speak to your health care professional before drinking – or bathing, in any herbs!
Let me know how your herbal bath goes. If you are interested in trying a new herb for the bath but unsure if it’s right for you, send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I would love to connect!