Cleopatra bathed in ass’s milk and the Romans built huge fancy buildings with giant baths filled with natural spring water for all the family to enjoy. Perfume was invented 4000 years ago to indulge the rich in the bath and warriors would have a bath before a battle as part of their protection ritual, so the bath has always been regarded as a mystical, magickal place.
For me, every bath is an experience. We are born from the security of the womb – a warm comfortable place filled with all we need to survive, and the bath returns us to that place again. Taking a bath can mean warming up after the cold, cooling down after the heat; somewhere to go to de-stress, relax after a bad day or to heal if you are unwell. It can be somewhere to share a bottle of Champagne with your partner for a romantic interlude or lock out the children for 10minutes peace. One tub of metal with so many different meanings so here are a few ideas for you to enjoy, if this is a new idea to you and you use it only as somewhere where you simply add the chemical-filled bubble bath from the supermarket and have a wash. Welcome to the magickal bath…
If you make a cup of peppermint tea by steeping the leaves in hot water, then drinking it, it will help to calm or cool any digestive problem. Well, a bath is just a much larger cup of tea and any herbs or oils it contains will be taken into your system through your skin and used by your body to help or heal it.
To make your bath, first run it to the correct temperature. If you are using oils, then you will simply add the oils to a dispersing agent (teaspoon of full fat milk, vodka or dispersing bath oil), add to the bath and swirl.
If you wish to use actual herbs, then you can use them in two different ways…if your chosen herb is in leaf form, you just need to make either a strong pot of tea (infusion) with boiling water, strain and add, or tie the herbs in muslin and add direct to the bath whilst you are running it and keep squeezing the bag to extract the herbal qualities. If your chosen herbs contain roots or twigs, they will need to be boiled for 5minutes to extract the goodness before adding the tea to the bath. I have to admit that I am quite lazy and since discovering the ease and simplicity of essential oils, I tend to use them all the time but also remember that I have all the stock for the shop in my house so I never run out of any remedy. However, things like lemon balm (still can’t afford Melissa oil!!) and oats still have to be added the old fashioned way in the muslin bag so occasionally I resort to the infusion but it doesn’t mean it is less valuable of use –it just means that oils are so much more use the majority of the time that I prefer the ease of them both magickally and medicinally in the bath.
If using oils, the general rule is 8 drops to a bath for an adult. I tend to adapt a child’s to their age (use less than half their age is a good rule of thumb i.e. 8 years old add 3-4drops but then again, this is also when herbs are more valuable than oils as they are less strong or stick to the simple oils like lavender, chamomile and tea tree). Here are some of my favourites mixes for you to enjoy….
Hormonal (pmt etc): Geranium (5) & clary sage (3); Cleansing: juniper (5) & grapefruit (2);
Relaxing: lavender (4) & ylang ylang (4); Romantic: Jasmine (3) & sandalwood (3);
Lust and sexual energy: patchouli (5) & Ylang Ylang(3); Restful sleep; Marjoram(4) & lavender (4)
Sore back, joints etc: Marjoram (5) & black pepper (3); Colds & chills: Niaouli (5) & sweet marjoram (4)
Relieve depression; Rose Otto (2) & lavender (4)