Gardens of Valinor: Estë’s Sanctuary ~ Herbal Baths & Hair Care
There is no better cure for the daily stresses of a complicated life than a long soak in a hot tub! But even better than plain water is a leisurely soak in an herbal bath. This first section will tell you all you need to know to make a totally herbaceous bath!
Which Herbs to Use
Certain herbs have beneficial effects on the body, and when they are added to your bathwater you get the double effect of the healing herb and the soothing warm water. Below is a summary of the helpful effects you can create.
Soothing and Relaxing
Catnip / Chamomile / Hops / Hyssop / Marshmallow
Invigorating (Stimulates Blood Circulation)
Basil / Bay / Fennel / Lavender / Lemon Balm / Mint / Rosemary / Sage / Tansy / Thyme
Good for Rough or Damaged Skin
Calendula / Comfrey / Spearmint / Yarrow
For Sore Muscles
Bay / Oregano / Sage
Astringents (Tighten Skin Pores)
Bay / Comfrey / Nasturtium (flowers) / Rosemary / Sage / Salad burnet / Southernwood / Yarrow (flowers)
Herbal Bath No. 1
1 part lavender
1 part rosemary
1 part sage
Herbal Bath No. 2
1 part peppermint
1 part sage
1 part rosemary
1 part thyme
2 parts chamomile flowers
Herbal Bath No. 3
1 cup lavender
1 cup uncooked oatmeal
1/2 cup dried orange peel
1/2 cup rosemary
10 bay leaves, broken
Preparing Your Herbal Bath
How do you get the herbs into the bathwater? Well, you could just throw a handful in while the water’s running but you would end up with little green flecks all over your body when you get out! So, the easier way to do it is to make herbal water instead!
The basic idea is to make a strong “tea” of the herb and then add some to the bathwater. It is the same as making an infusion, but you make it just like tea: boil water, pour it over the herbs, let it steep, and then strain!
You can use either fresh or dried herbs; if fresh, chop the herbs first. Use lots of herbs, because it will be diluted in the bathtub. Proportions are 3 to 4 tablespoons of dried herb per cup of water; twice that much if fresh! Steep for 15 minutes to an hour; the longer you let it steep the stronger concentration you will have.
Use about one cup of herbal water in your bath. The rest will keep in your refrigerator for a few days!
Next – Herbal Hair Care
Herbal Hair Care
Using herbal products for beautiful, shiny hair is not a new idea! Herbal hair care has been around for ages, and now it’s time for you to make up your own versions!
Herbs for Hair Care
You can use fresh or dried herbs, and you can use them in either shampoo or rinses, or both. You’ll get the specific benefits of the herbs, plus your hair will smell great!
To lighten colour
Calendula / Chamomile
To darken colour
To condition dry hair
Comfrey / Marsh-mallow / Parsley / Sage
To condition oily hair
Calendula / Lemon Balm / Lavender / Mint / Rosemary / Southerwood / Yarrow
To add shine and body
Calendula / Nasturtium / Parsley / Rosemary / Sage / Southernwood
To make hair grow faster
Catnip / Marjoram / Nasturtium leaves / Rosemary
To help prevent dandruff
Camomile / Parsley / Rosemary / Southernwood
To make hair softer
How to Make an Herbal Shampoo
Start with a very mild, unscented shampoo, pour a little bit into a cup, enough for one shampoo. Then add the herb or herbs of your choice, either in the form of a strong herbal water or an essential oil.
Or, Make a small amount of very strong herbal water. (see instructions for herbal water on previous page). Add about 2 tablespoons to the shampoo!
Hint: the main herb for the people of Rohan (blonds) is Chamomile, and the people of Gondor (brunettes) is Sage and Rosemary.