I’ve been reading a lot about folks doing detox cleanses. They take pills or liquids, hoping to clean their ‘system’ out. These same folks seem to ignore another elimination channel: the skin. Cleaning the inside is all well & fine but help yourself out: take a detox bath, too!
Although Spring is when people normally think about detoxing, you can do it anytime. I find it especially helpful when I’ve been busy, stressing and not paying close attention to myself. (Stress blocks a lot of your body’s ability to eliminate toxins.) An aroma bath or soak is a wonderful way to detoxify body, mind & spirit, all at the same time.
An aroma bath can be done with either relaxing or stimulating essential oils and the effects of this type of therapy can be felt almost immediately. There are primarily three different types of essential oils: flower, spicy/pungent, and fruity sweet/sour. Their energetics are much like herbs in terms of heating, cooling or neutral. Flowers like Rose or Jasmine are usually sweet or bitter in taste and cooling in energy. They calm the nervous system by decreasing irritability and anger. Spicy oils like Clove or Ginger are pungent in taste and heating in energy – very stimulating. Fruits like Lemon or Grapefruit are neutral to cooling in energy and can uplift, relax or stimulate.
Chamomile oil has been shown to neutralize the effects of toxins produced by bacteria even in small doses … especially staphylococci and streptococci.
To relax, try a combination of Lavender and Chamomile (you can throw in some Rose petals and make it romantic, too). If you want some stimulation, try Rosemary and Peppermint together. 10-15 drops of oil in a full tub of water is all it takes. Adding Epsom and/or mineral salts will help draw out impurities and relax the muscles. If you add salts, mix the oil into the salt before swishing it into the bath. Otherwise, add the oils immediately after turning the spigot off. However, if you use salts, only soak for about 10 minutes or you’ll re-absorb all the toxins you’ve drawn out.
If you don’t want to use oils but do want the benefit of herbs in your bath, steep 2 ounces dried herb (in any combination) in 1 quart just-boiled water for about 10 minutes. Strain, then pour the ‘tea’ into your bath after you’ve drawn it. Don’t put the herbs directly into the bathwater – you’ll clog up your pipes. (Rose petals in small amounts are easily scooped up before unstopping the drain.)
If you don’t take baths you can get some of the same benefits in the shower. Add about 10 drops of essential oil(s) to a bottle of liquid soap (or some homemade bar soap). Or you can make a shower scrub with finely-ground sea salt or sugar and add a few drops of essential oil(s).
Don’t forget to start your bath/shower with a dry skin brush to remove layers of dead skin cells and stimulate circulation.
Enchanted baths are quite common in the magical community; most often for healing or protection, but can be used for anything of a personal nature. Herbs or oils are empowered before putting them into the water. Placing lit candles around the tub doesn’t just provide atmosphere – they add to the spell. Dunk yourself all the way at least once to cover all ‘bases’ and where possible, air dry rather than towel off. This keeps the spell on you not your towel.