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Herbal Baths

Herbs are added to baths directly or as oils, infusions or decoctions, for their medicinal benefits. Sometimes the herbal baths are used as an integral part of the healing process. This page will highlight some of these herbs and their benefits as bath additives.

NOTE: This list is a work in progress – more will be added to over the next few weeks.

Herbal baths

Achiote , Annato (Bixa orellana)
Seeds: Ground seeds applied to bath for measles.

Black Mustard (Brassica nigra)
Foot baths and full baths are used to prompt increased circulation (headaches and mild glaucoma) or to stimulate the cardiopulmonary system (frost bite and vascular disease).

Brazilian Pepper Tree (Schinus terebinthifolius)
Leaf, Fruit: The leaf and fruit have been added to baths for wounds and ulcers. (Hager, 1949)

Chickweed (Stellaria media)
Herb: The herb is used in baths for skin ailments.

English Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
Flower, Oil: For external use as bath additive, 100g of lavender is scalded or boiled with 2 liters of water and added to the bath. Used for stress relief, relaxation and muscle aches.

Garlic Vine Mansoa alliacea (Lam.)
Stem and Leaf: Decoction used for baths to treat fever, influenza, rheumatism and colds.

German Chamomile (Matricaria Recutita)
Externally as a bath additive, 50 gm is added to 1 litre of water or 6g of chamomile for a steam bath. This promotes restful sleep, calms and relaxes, soothe muscle aches and helps improve skin health.

Hops (Humulus lupulus
Flower: Decoction or infusion is used for bath additives. Used to relax the body and promote sleep.

Lady’s Mantle (Alchemilla vulgaris)
Used as an additive in baths for the treatment of lower-abdominal ailments.

Maas (Renealmia guianensis)
Stem and Leaf: Decoction is used in a bath or wash to alleviate fatigue, as a febrifuge, and as a disinfectant for itches, sores, and the ulcers of leishmaniasis.

Mallow (Malva sylvestris)
Externally, it is used as a bath additive for wound treatment.

Mexican coriander (Eryngium foetidum L.)
Whole plant: The plant is boiled and the water used for an herbal bath or as a medication for chicken pox or for measles.

Oak Quercus robur
Bark: Bath additive — 5 gm is boiled with 1 litre water and added to the full or hip bath.

Oat straw (Avena sativa)
Oat straw steam baths are used for children with rickets and scrofula, and as a cosmetic aid to a fresh, healthy skin.

Oregano (Origanum vulgare L. Lamiaceae)
Oil: An aromatic bath with oregano oil is used to ease various pains and colic. Oregano is also used as a local bath for its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.

Passion Flower Passiflora incarnata
The herb is used externally for hemorrhoids and as a bath additive for nervous agitation.

Plantain (Plantago major)
Whole plant: Apply poultice to rheumatic like pain, or add large amount to bathwater for relief.

Red-stem Storksbill (Erodium cicutarium)
Whole plant: The entire plant is used in a warm-water bath for persons suffering from the pains of rheumatism.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
In Azerbaijan, rosemary baths are recommended to people with low blood pressure. Four glasses of boiling water are added to a pot containing five tablespoons of rosemary leaves, and the mixture infused for a half an hour. The infusion is then filtered and added to the warm water in the bath. The optimal duration of the procedure is half an hour (Pers. comm. T. Aydinov, conversation, 1992 December in Baku, Azerbaijan).

Other recommendation – Bath additive — 50g to 1 litre hot water added to full or hip bath.

Thyme Thymus vulgaris
Herb, Oil: For a bath, add a minimum of 0.004 g thyme oil to 1 litre of water, filter, then add to bath water drawn at a temperature of 35-38° C.

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)
Root: An infusion of 1⁄2 cupful of the root can be used in the bath to relieve nervous exhaustion. Vapor baths given to children will quieten and encourage restful sleep (Bello-Russ. Academy of Science, Minsk, 1965).

Venus Looking-glass (Triodanis perfoliata)
T. perfoliata was used by the Cherokee as a bath for dyspepsia (Hamel and Chiltoskey 1975).

Violet (Viola odorata)
Flower: Decoction for complete bath immersion, for chronic and persisting skin conditions, scrofula, eruptions, children’s eczema (Bello-Russ. Academy of Science, 1965).

Wild-ginger (Asarum)
Leaf: Some Native Americans boiled the leaves, crushed and put them in bathwater, or rubbed them directly on the painful limb.

Wild Thyme Thymus serpyllum
To make a bath, add 1 gm drug (or equivalent of 0.004 gm Wild Thyme oil) to 1 liter water, filter, then add to bath water. Especially for respiratory tract conditions, rheumatic disorders and sprains.

Yarrow Achillea millefolium
Flower: External application — 100 gm Yarrow to be drawn in 1 to 2 liter of water for 20 minutes and added to the bath water. For sitz baths, use 100 gm Yarrow per 20 liters of water.

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