Stress is an important survival and adaptation tool. While stress can motivate us to take action in high-energy situations, long-term stress can deplete our mental and physical health over time. Aromatic herbal cleansing works with our nervous system to support decompression and balance out our stress response. Although aromatic herbal cleansing can take many forms, incorporating water, minerals, and aromatics can have a profound effect on the body, mind, and mood.
Aromatic Herbal Cleansing: Bathing for Decompression
What exactly is aromatic herbal cleansing, and how does it uplift our health and spirit? Energy from stress, emotions, and other people can become stuck in our bodies. This energy can manifest as physical, mental, or spiritual blockages, leaving us uninspired and often unwell. Aromatic herbal cleansing incorporates the beautiful, healing aromas of our natural world (plants, herbs, and trees) with water to clear out energy that doesn’t serve us.
Including aromatic herbal cleansing in your daily lifestyle routine can have profound benefits. Aromatherapy delivers the therapeutic properties of herbal oils directly to the brain through the nose. Bathing assists with decompression by reducing stress and regulating energy levels. It can improve blood flow, support the heart, and even help with pain. However, our relationship with water goes much deeper.
From drinking water for survival to communal bathing rituals, history shows that our connection with water is sacred and nurturing. This earthly element has long been a potent symbol of knowledge, life, power, emotions, and so much more. Taking time to relax in a body of water can also trigger our brains to feel safe as it sparks a similar sensation to being in the womb. We’re genetically tuned to find solace in water and plants.
Different types of aromatic herbal cleansing target varying areas of the body; however, all of them are restorative in nature. Herbal steams and botanical bathing are popular ways to incorporate aromatic herbal cleansing into your daily rituals.
This type of herbal cleansing introduces water in the form of steam. While you aren’t being submerged in water, herbal steams are a great way to apply therapeutic herbal properties directly to a part of your body. Water is heated to a boil and the herbs of choice are added to create an infusion, just like tea. However, instead of drinking the herbal tea, a specific body part is placed over the infusion. The herbs’ volatile oils and compounds travel through the steam to cleanse this part of the body.
Facial steams are an excellent example. Whether you have congestion or are interested in cleansing your pores, herbal face steams can be highly effective. Since the skin on our faces is more permeable, facial steams can provide nourishing moisture, warm pores, and balance natural oil production. Adding herbs like rose and calendula will reduce redness and soothe puffiness leaving the skin firm and radiant.
Botanical bathing is deeply rooted in historical practices. For centuries, people have used this type of herbal cleansing to soothe the symptoms of seasonal colds, ease aches, manage skin conditions, and boost mental health. It’s no secret that herbal baths are nourishing for the skin and grounding for the mind.
Along with the beautiful, centering herbal aromas, a bath draws the nurturing benefits from herbs creating a large herbal soak. Simply add your herbs to a large mesh bag or sprinkle them directly into the tub. Lavender and chamomile are lovely and gentle herbs to include in a bath as they both calm the nervous system and provide valuable soothing properties for the skin.
Ritual Practice: Add 3-6 pumps of our aromatic oil, Elements of Comfort, to your warm bath. This practice creates a divine aromatherapeutic experience and is a great way to receive the botanical benefits without using dry or fresh herbs. Set the relaxing mood by lighting candles, brewing a cup of tea, and inviting in gentle music to further enhance decompression.
While herbs often take center stage with aromatic herbal cleansing, additional minerals can elevate this ritual. The fourth most abundant mineral in the body, magnesium, is an essential mineral that the body naturally produces. However, daily stress, poor nutrition, and processed foods can deplete magnesium and cause a decrease in production. Magnesium deficiency is extremely common and often goes unnoticed. Symptoms can range from fatigue, muscle cramping, low mood, anxiety, and poor sleep. Since magnesium reduces inflammation and activates vitamin D, which is manufactured in the epidermis, it’s essential for optimal skin health.
Including magnesium, or Epsom salts, in your cleansing practice is a great way to relax muscle tension, ease pain, and naturally exfoliate the skin. Since it’s rapidly absorbed through the skin’s top layer, mineral bathing is an effective and easy way to de-stress while promoting a radiant appearance.
A thermal bath, or hot spring, is another mineral-rich bathing source. Occurring naturally, thermal baths host minerals like magnesium and selenium that are known to lower stress levels. These baths can also calm skin irritations, so they’re excellent for those with inflammatory skin conditions. If you find yourself traveling and would like to indulge in a thermal bath soak, there are a number of sacred springs around the world. The Thermae Spa in Bath, England hosts hot springs that date back 3,000 years, and the Pamukkale Thermal Pools, with their mesmerizing, turquoise waters are a must experience should you be exploring Denizli, Turkey.
Prioritizing aromatic herbal cleansing is a wonderful way to include natural therapeutic properties into your nourishing rituals. Both water and herbs support and balance the body, allowing our systems and mind to decompress. For more information on ways to incorporate natural elements into your rituals to lower stress and enhance mood, visit Scent for Emotional Wellbeing and Nature’s Love Language.