Aromatherapy is an ancient art, considered an early form of ancient medicine; it was widely practiced by ancient cultures such as Egypt, Babylonia, the Romans, even the Greeks. The benefits of essential oils and the herbs that are used to make them have been known to us for centuries and even modern science uses essential oils due to its benefits.
Essential oils are also used in bathings products. This article will cover the use of essential oils, specifically tea tree oil, in baths, looking at its advantages and how it can be used.
Therapeutic Uses of Essential Oils
Essential oils are the lifeblood of a plant. These oils are highly potent and powerful. They can be used in a variety of ways, through massage, inhalation or as aromatic treatments. These oils can serve as a natural alternative to chemical-filled pharmacy drugs. Using essential oils is the best option for people who prefer organic and safe remedies.
Essential oils are highly concentrated and must be mixed into a base or “carrier” oil in order to be used safely for massage. The carrier oil can be any vegetable-based oil with grapeseed oil being one of the most popular choices. This oil is light, odorless and is easily absorbed into the skin, making it ideal carrier oil for most skin types.
Some other commonly used carrier oils which are suitable for most skin types are listed below:
- Sunflower oil
- Sweet Almond oil
- Wheat germ oil
- Jojoba oil
- Apricot kernel oil
- Avocado oil
- Evening Primrose oil
- Soya oil
To make the massage oil, take your choice of carrier oil (you can use more than one if you wish) and add them to the essential oils you like. Be sure that you stick to a ratio of 25 drops of essential oil to 2 ounces of carrier oil.
Essential Oils for Hair Care and Scalp Problems
Essential oils are the perfect way to treat common hair problems, people who have stubborn dandruff, greasy scalp can benefit from tea tree oil.
You can use Keeva shampoo for your hair if you have dandruff that won’t go away with regular pharmaceutical treatments or if you want to try an organic, all-natural solution for dandruff. The shampoo is mild enough for everyday use and the essential oil will leave your hair shiny and nourished.
Problems: Dry hair, dandruff, greasy hair, lice infestations
Essential Oils: Thyme, Sage and Lavender, Tea tree oil
Tea Tree Essential Oil
Tea tree oil is made from the leaves and twigs of the tea tree plant native to Australia. It has a sharp, spicy and warm scent. The method used to extract the oil is called steam distillation. This oil has antifungal and antibacterial properties that have made it a popular choice among herbalists and natural health practitioners.
Most Valuable Uses of Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is most effective in treating the following diseases and common infections.
- Rashes or common insect bites
- Nail fungus and infections
- Head lice
- Sore throats and bronchial congestion
- Painful boils
- Stomach Ulcers
- Arthritis and stiff joints
- Cold sores
- Acne vulgaris
- Fatigue and tiredness
Tea tree oil is always in demand; some manufacturers will mix other species of the Melaleuca plant and create a low-grade essential oil blend. This adulteration harms the natural effectiveness of the oil. Be sure that you purchase the oil from a well-reputed source. This is because the quality of oil you use in your treatment is very important. Check the appearance of the oil, the color should be a very pale yellow and the viscosity will be watery. The aroma should be warm, spicy and camphor-like.
Tea Tree Oil Blends
People often mix several essential oil in their treatments; it is common to use one carrier oil and use two to three of your favorite essential oils. These oils differ in their properties and you should check to see if the chosen oils will blend well with each other. If the primary oil you want is tea tree then the following oils will blend well with it.
- Clary sage,
- Oregano, and
Tea Tree Oil and Shampoo
To use tea tree oil as a shampoo, simply mix in 5-15 drops of high quality essential oil in 100ml of shampoo. The shampoo must be unscented and made from natural ingredients. Mix well and use regularly in the prescribed manner.
Essential Oils in Facial Creams, Lotions and Toners
- Essential oils such as lavender, neroli, and patchouli naturally stimulate skin growth and help rejuvenate the skin.
- Use either rose or neroli oil if you have sensitive skin, these are anti-inflammatory oils
- Sandalwood and cypress heal broken veins and reduce redness and irritation
- To nourish mature, cracked or dry skin, use avocado and wheat germ oils, their high vitamin content will help these conditions.
Essential Oils for Inhalations, Mouthwash and Gargles
This is a great way to make your own mouthwash; you will know exactly what it contains and what quality of ingredients it has. These can be a money-saver as well. If you suffer from respiratory problems then inhalations are a perfect way to get the benefits of essential oils.
The oils will enter the bloodstream and stimulate the immune system to help fight invading bacteria and viruses. The heat of the steam will act on the nasal passages and fight the dryness and irritation. Gargles containing essential oils can be used to fight infections of the mouth and gums. Mouth ulcers and infected gums will heal quickly if treated with essential oils of fennel, lemon or sage.
Aromatic baths can be fun treats and soothing treatments as well. These baths are stimulating and refreshing when indulged in during the mornings or soothing and relaxing when taken in the evening. There are different blends of oils that will give you a relaxing or regenerating effect depending on what you desire. To add a healing dimension to your everyday baths, look for scented oils that are commonly available in natural food stores. You can use these oils in combination with essential oils to give your body a healing, energizing and calming experience.
The very basic way to use essential oils in aromatic baths is to simply add in 5 to 10 drops of the essence to a tub of warm water. After the tub is filled, always wait for the water to settle down to a warm temperature; stepping into scalding or steaming water is not good for your skin. Hot water will strip the natural oils from your skin. Do not add essential oils directly to hot water, you will end up evaporating them and losing their therapeutic benefits. Instead mix your blend of oils with a few tablespoons of olive oil or into a cup of full-cream milk, and then add this diluted mixture to the warm water.
More ways to add essential oils to a bath
- Mix 5 drops of essential oil to about a tablespoon of the chosen carrier oil, then add this to your bath water.
- Mix 5 drops of essential oil with a cup full of full cream milk mix well and then pour the mixture slowly into your bath. The fats in the milk will create a bond with the oils so when the milk spreads into the water; the essential oils are dispersing as well. An added benefit of using milk is that the layer of milk will create a protective layer that will prevent any skin irritation. If you choose this method then a carrier oil is not needed.
- Another way to use essential oils is to incorporate them with bath salts. Mix 5 drops of your favorite essential oil into about 56 grams of bath salts. The type of salt you use is up to you; just make sure it is a natural salt, such as pink Himalayan salts or Epsom salts. Simply add the essential oil to the salts and stir gently. The bath salts will provide additional nourishment as they are full of natural minerals and nutrients. Just to be extra cautious, add the essential oils to a carrier oil before mixing the blend with the salts. To be extra skin safe, add the essential oils to carrier oil first and then mix into the salts.
A Sitz bath, also called hip bath is a type of bath in which the water comes only up to the hips. These baths are commonly used to relieve discomfort or pain in the lower parts of the body. They are often used after major surgeries to promote healing and increase blood flow to the lower parts of the body.
People suffering from conditions such as hemorrhoids, bowel disease or bladder infection can also benefit from sitz baths. A partially-filled bathtub or a large basin can be used for this purpose. The bath can be warm if the purpose is to reduce irritation, itching, pain and discomfort associated with hemorrhoids and genital problems. Cool baths will ease conditions such as constipation, inflammation and tone the muscles.
The basic method to use is to add 5 drops of oil to about 3 pints of water. Dilute the essential oil with a teaspoon of carrier oil first.
Creating the Right Aromatic Environment
A comforting aromatic bath will help detoxify the body relax sore and tight muscles and restore the body overall. You can pamper your skin while you soak into the blissful warmth. Your average bath will become a spa treatment with the right blend of essential oils.
The Best Essential Oils for your Bath
Rose oil is perfect for baths, it has a calming but at the same time gently uplifting effect. It also helps control anxiety or nervous tension. Rose oil suits all skin types, so even if you have dry/sensitive skin you will benefit from the restorative effects.
Sandalwood or Rosewood
Essential oils that come from the bark of trees are incredibly soothing and grounding. The scent is so soothing that many people prefer to use them individually, than in a blend. Sandalwood is a favorite and has been long prized for its fragrance, and its calming properties.
Neroli is extracted from orange blossoms; it calms the spirit and mind. It has a gentle uplifting scent. Neroli oil is also a gentle sedative that encourages sleep and reduces anxiety. Add this to your bath as it is the perfect antidote to a stressful day at work.
Vetiver is called the oil of tranquility in India. It is oil distilled from the roots of the vetiver plant. It is a humectant and hydrates and moisturizes the skin. The effect is almost as the nature’s most potent humectant, honey.
Lavender is most commonly associated with calm and can be used for nighttime baths. It serves as a great way to deal with insomnia. It will heal damaged or irritated skin. So settle in a lavender-soaked heaven before slipping into dreamland.
Energizing Peppermint Morning Bath
Not a morning person? Didn’t get enough sleep last night? Try this bath. It is an instant jump-starter; the unique scents of rosemary, juniper and peppermint will wake you up and melt away the tiredness of the morning.
Fill your tub halfway with warm water, and then add in,
- 5 drops of rosemary oil
- 5 drops of juniper oil
- 2 drops of peppermint oil
Swish the water around slowly to disperse the oils properly, get in and lie down, try to relax for about ten to fifteen minutes. You will feel an instant rejuvenating effect and feel active and energized for the day ahead.
Even a simple foot soak will help you relax, if in a hurry, soak your feet in warm water filled with your favorite energizing oil, a short ten minutes will help you.
Half fill a basin with warm water and add in:
- 5 drops of juniper oil
- 2 drops of rosemary oil
- 3 drops of lavender oil
Slip your aching feet into the tepid water and lean back. Let the tepid water roll over your toes and breathe in the calming scent. After ten minutes, remove your feet and gently massage them, then towel dry. Use a moisturizer if needed.