Chamomile Tea Bath
Bath & wellness tips by Glenn Ferruigiari, lead massage therapist
Herbal teas have nurtured, comforted, and healed us for thousands of years. We keep turning to herbs for their health and wellness benefits because they are reliable, effective, cost-efficient, delicious, and have few (if any) risks or side effects. Chamomile tea, for example, is a wonderful, soothing healer in your bath and a very inexpensive, natural way to give yourself a spa-like, bath-time treat. Mixed with lavender it can have a soothing effect on the nervous system. Here's how you can enjoy a chamomile tea bath.
Chamomile Tea Recipe
For your healing chamomile spa bath, first bring a quart (about 4 cups or 1 L) of fresh water just to the boil, and then let it cool very slightly. Chamomile tea is most beneficial when made from very hot (rather than boiling) water.
Pour the water over 4 or 5 chamomile tea bags (or 4 to 5 heaping teaspoons of loose leaf chamomile tea or dried chamomile blossoms).
Steep and cool the tea for at least 15 minutes, then remove the teabags. Pour the tea into your drawn bath, swirling it about to ensure that is evenly blended.
Now, light a few candles, and into the tub you go. Lie back and enjoy a nice long soak in your aromatic, healthy chamomile bath.
A glass of wine wouldn’t hurt.
My favorite essential oil in the bath is lavender. When using an essential oil bath product, it is recommended that one cap full be used. You should get into the bath water first to allow your body to acclimate to the water temperature then add the essential oils and pull the in towards you. Lavender is very soothing and relaxing it is great just before bedtime. Adding oils like tea tree or eucalyptus which have anti-bacterial, antiseptic, and anti-fungal properties can help skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis.
The Right Temp
Even before the invention of the bathtub, humans have been bathing in hot water for centuries. Natural hot springs around the world have been favorite destinations from the dawn of time. However precautions must be taken to protect ourselves and our skin from overexposure.
The ideal temperature for bath water is about 2 degrees more than the normal body temperature, which is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Bathing in water that is hotter than 102 F can cause injuries that can compromise a person's health.
Hot water causes the blood vessels on the surface of the skin to dilate. This means that more blood flows to the body surface and away from the internal organs. It is the body’s way of dissipating heat to keep the core body temperature within normal levels. Excessive blood flow to the skin and subsequent compensatory mechanisms can cause cardiovascular strain. At bath water temperatures of 39 degrees Celsius (102F), the heart has to start working harder which can be a problem to the elderly.
Dry skin is another side effect of prolonged exposure to hot water. According to health professional prolonged exposure to hot water for more than ten minutes is the number three reason for dry skin.
People with skin conditions should always consult a doctor before trying at home remedies.