4 Soothing Essential Oil Baths
No matter what your day has been like, a bath can be a very soothing experience for both you and your child. Whether you are helping to fight off congestion from a cold, soothing dry skin or eczema, or are simply looking for a calming bath before bed, essential oils are a fantastic natural option with very beneficial results. If nothing else, their aroma will leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.
Essential oils are a highly concentrated (usually around 70 times more concentrated than the particular plant used) which is why a little goes a long way. Essential oil baths are an excellent therapy for many skin conditions, circulatory problems, respiratory symptoms, stress and tension, insomnia, and muscular pain. Essential oils also contribute to overall wellness with their unique and beautiful aromas.
Since essential oils are highly concentrated, they can cause irritation when applied topically without a carrier oil. Carrier oils are typically scentless oils derived from the fatty parts of plants, such as the nuts or seeds, and are used to emulsify your essential oil of choice. The following list is comprised of a few of the most popular types of carrier oils:
Sweet Almond Oil
A scentless oil, sweet almond oil is very nourishing for the skin. It is high in proteins, vitamin D, linoleic acid and olein glyceride. Almond oil is remarkable for soothing irritated skin and is also a wonderful moisturizer. This oil is often used in massage because of its satiny feel. (Now Foods has a wonderful Sweet Almost Oil)
Grapeseed oil is very good for oily or acne-prone skin because it has astringent-like qualities. It is a very light and is easily absorbed by the skin. (Check out Now Foods’ Grapeseed oil.)
Apricot Kernel Oil
This is considered one of the most versatile carrier oils. Being very rich in many nutrients, particularly vitamin A, Apricot Kernal oil is regarded as a good carrier oil for all skin types. (See this Apricot Kernal Oil by Aura Cacia)
Jojoba oil is known for making the skin glow. It is very rich in vitamin E and has a very light aroma. This oil is marvelous in a bath with essential oils. (We love this Jojoba oil by Leven Rose.)
- For children under one, use only one drop of any essential oil.
- For children 2-4 or for a woman during pregnancy add no more than 2-3 drops.
- For children 4-12 add 4 drops of essential oil.
- For children over 12 and adults add 3-5 drops of essential oil.
Skin patch test:
If you are worried about allergic reactions to essential oils, it is possible to do a skin patch test to see if any reaction is present before taking a bath. If you wish to do a test the steps are as follows:
- Mix 1 tsp of any carrier oil with your essential oil of choice.
- Apply a small amount on the inside of your wrist.
- Wait 24 hours before washing the area and if no redness or irritation occurs, you should be safe to use that essential oil in a bath.
Instead of a carrier oil, 1/2 to 1 cup of whole milk (cow, goat, or buttermilk) can be used to emulsify essential oils. Milk has been used throughout history in baths as an ultimate luxury. Cleopatra is said to have taken baths of milk and honey along with exotic oils (essential oils). (1) As you know, milk contains lactic acid. Lactic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid which gently breaks away dead skin cells and nourishes dry or irritated skin. Mixed with an essential oil such as chamomile, you can create a bath which does wonders on inflamed or irritated skin.
Lavender is a “quintessential” essential oil for relaxation. Not only is it calming, it also gently soothes irritated skin with its antiseptic and healing properties. Calm your skin while getting an aromatherapy treatment at the same time. This bath is wonderful for babies or children who have difficulty calming down in the evening or falling asleep.
- 2-4 drops of lavender essential oil (We love this one by Eden’s Garden).
- 2 Tbsp. of carrier oil
Stir carrier oil with essential oil while filling the tub with water. After the bath has reached desired temperature, add essential oils, mix by hand and enjoy!
Eucalyptus Bath (nasal congestion)
Eucalyptus oil is a deep and woodsy scented oil used for skin ailments and easing the symptoms of colds and the flu. It is very useful to help clear nasal passages and relieve respiratory congestion. Eucalyptus also soothes skin abrasions such as insect bites, blisters or burns.
For even very small children or infants, Eucalyptus essential oil can be used to relieve congestion. You can either add the oil directly into the bath, or place it in steaming water in the sink or in a bowl. Allow your child to breathe the aromas for 15-20 minutes at a time.
- 2 Tbsp. carrier oil
- 1-5 drops of Eucalyptus essential oil (we recommend this essential oil by Eden’s Garden)
Fill the bathtub and mix in the oils only after the water is completely finished filling so as to prevent the oils from evaporating. Stir with your hand and soak as long as possible.
Tea Tree Oil Bath
Tea Tree oil contains constituents called terpenoids (2) and is widely used as an antimicrobial and antiseptic. Taking a tea tree oil bath can combat many skin irritations and conditions ranging anywhere from acne to thrush, from eczema to a yeast infection. (3)
- 2 Tbsp. carrier oil
- 2-4 drops of Tea Tree essential oil (Try this Tea Tree oil from Eden’s Garden)
After mixing oils, fill the bath. Make sure the water is not too hot, which might aggravate skin irritations. Relax and let the healing begin!
Chamomile (Roman or German) Bath
Chamomile is a rich, yet gentle, herb for soothing skin and relieving tension. With active constituents, Chamomile is an excellent choice to soothe a vast number of skin irritations or to simply have a very nourishing bath. Chamomile will soothe eczema, rashes (including diaper rash), itchy or inflamed skin such as chicken pox or bug bites. It also reduces joint pain and swelling, reduces muscle pain including menstrual cramps, and lessens anxiety. Chamomile also helps to soften skin.
- 3-5 drops of Chamomile Essential Oil (We love this one by Eden’s Garden)
- 2 Tbsp. carrier oil or a half of a cup of milk.
- For an extra soothing bath, add one cup of oatmeal in a tied cheesecloth or cotton muslin tea bags.
For added benefits, put a few drops of Chamomile essential oil directly onto a tea bag and soak both in your bath!
Photo Credits: Flickr Son in the tub adapted from U.S. Army (CC); Flickr Bath time for Yuka adapted from Gezelle Rivera (CC); Flickr Boy and bath toys adapted from Jeff Rhines (CC); http://laurenhardyblog.com/
Tags: apricot kernel oil, Aroma, aromatherapy, bath, carrier oils, dry skin, Dry Skin Remedies, Essential Oils, grapeseed oil, jojoba oil, milk, natural relief, nourishing, oils, organic, relax, relaxation, skin, soothing, sweet almond oil
Trackback from your site.