The magical alchemy of bathing

“[My guilty pleasure is a] deep, eco-unfriendly, hot bath. Preferably with a glass of champagne and someone sitting on the loo seat gossiping.” – Dame Prue Leith

I don’t know whether it’s a generational thing, but Sunday night for me was always bath night, and still is.  Growing up in the 1970’s Sunday evening meant bath and hair wash in preparation for the school week ahead. There was nothing like getting in the tub with half a bottle of Matey foaming under the running water, ready to strip my poor juvenile skin off at source and I LOVED LOVED LOVED it. And you know nothing has changed for me in the intervening years if I’m honest; aside from the fact that a bath is no longer a once-a-week necessity and I’ve upgraded the Matey for a Lush bath bomb or 50! 

For me my bath is a safe haven; a muscle memory from the days of being cocooned in my mum’s womb as a growing baby perhaps, but it certainly always makes me feel warm, safe and secure; an alone space where I can just ‘be’.  For me the bath is the perfect place to practice some self-care.  I love the peace and quiet that the bath and the bathroom affords me, for me it’s a great place to meditate.

Bath recipes 

Yes that’s right, there is such a thing as bath recipes complete with ingredients to make the perfect bath.  New-York Healer Deborah Hanekamp – who also goes by the name Mama Medicine – provides individual bath ‘recipes’ for the clients she works with.  For example, if love is on your mind and you’re looking for Mr or Miss right then you might want to try a concoction of coconut milk, rose absolute essential oil, Epsom salt, dragon fruit powder, along with a rose quartz crystal.  Mama also suggests bathing with the lunar phases, “We can feel so much grounded peace by connecting with nature through our baths, and aligning ourselves with the moon,” she says. “The full moon is a great time for reflections and revelations in your bath, while the new moon is a great time for intentions in your bath.” She explains more in her book Bath Rituals, which is available now. 

DIY bath soak 

Do you fancy making a delicious smelling bath soak?  It couldn’t be simpler and it make a really lovely gift for someone you care about because you can tailor the Soak specifically to them. 

You will need; 

385g Epsom Salts 
130g pink Himalayan rock salt 
60g bicarbonate of soda 
60g dried rose petals 
60g dried Lavender flowers 
60g Marigold/ Calendula flowers 
5 to 10 drops of Lavender essential oil 
5 to 10 drops of Rosemary essential oil 
5 to 10 drops of Cardamom Essential oil 
2 to 4 tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive oil 

In a Kilner jar or similar place the Epsom Salts, Himalayan rock salt and bicarbonate of soda.   
In a food processor blitz the all but a small handful of the various petals (this helps with the releasing the bath water down the drain) and mix into the other dry ingredients. 
Add the various oils to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Add the remaining petals.   
You’re done and the soak is ready to use! 

Note:  For a greater depth of smell, leave the soak for a few days and use. 

Did you know? 

  • Submerging in warm water can calm down the central nervous system, alleviate anxiety and take away aches and pains 
  • A warm bath can increase the levels of serotonin, which is that lovely happy chemical produced by the brain. 
  • Steam from a hot bath is a good influence on the lungs, and can help you breathe better.  Particularly useful if you’re suffering from a cold. 
  • Bathing is a very grounding experience. So if you’ve had a particularly busy or stressful day be sure to have a bath as soon as you can when you get home. Soak up all those negative ions.

I highly recommend you check out the 5 mental health benefits of bathing by Fiona Thomas at Happiful. 

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