Favored Herbs for Bathing
In several of our Instagram posts, we mention how drinking tea is a cathartic expression for transitioning between life's roughest moments. Along this same thread, it could be argued that if DRINKING tea can reap amazing benefits, then surely STEEPING in herbs could possibly have similar effects.
It's springtime. Rosebushes are bursting forth with brilliant hues, stalks of lavender are endlessly enticing bees, and dandelions dot our backyards with dots of vibrant yellow. But did you know these common plants lead a double life? Roses, for example, warm our hearts with romance, but also have anti-aging properties. Lavender while soft, grey, and lovely, calms the mind and restores emotional restitution. Dandelion makes an excellent support herb due to its high magnesium and zinc containment.
Herbal allies are everywhere. Walk down the block or to the nearest park and you'll be passing some highly valuable, yet humble plants. Want to make use of some of these plants to aid in your own wellness journey? See below for a list of commonly found herbs and their folkloric uses. (Just ensure you've correctly identified your herbs, have permission to responsibly harvest, and that they haven't been treated with pesticides or grown too near a roadside.) While these herbs are safe for adult use in bathing, please note this list ONLY references dried or fresh herbs and NOT essential oils. These same plants in essential oil form can burn and damage skin.
Basil - said to bring good luck with money and love
Bay Leaves - protection from evil, ensuring an unwanted guest not return
Chamomile - washing with this herb is said to bring luck with gambling and fortune
Calendula - help in moving stagnant energy away, reclaiming boundaries
Chickweed - draw attention of a loved one, ensure fidelity of a mate
Comfrey - protection from theft and unfaithfulness, safe journeys
Dandelion - symbolizes love, welcome, bitterness, the sun, and divination
Eucalyptus - relax the stress response system, while promoting relaxation
Horehound - promote mental clarity and acumen, thought to produce healing vibrations
Lavender - talisman for love, sharpen mind, encourages fertility
Mallow - greater emotional flexibility, invoke fertility and lust
Mint Leaves - cleanse, protect, fortitude, overcoming difficulties
Oranges - good for cleaning energy
Plantain - healing, protection, charm against snakes or snakebites
Rose - symbolizes heart, beauty, fertility, lust
Rosemary - believed to ensure a good nights sleep and drive away nightmares
Common Sage - (Not to be confused with white sage which is a traditional medicine that should be left to the Indigenous tribes whom it belongs to.) alleviate sadness, sorrow, or death of a loved one, immortality, longevity
Yuzu - considered good luck; ward off illness in the coming year
An easy way to enjoy a few of these herbs is to grab a handful and throw them into a warm bath. But if that's too daunting, an easy place to start is with herbs you already know and love. Pull a few rose petals to adorn your water. Or perhaps a few cooking basil leaves in a muslin bag to enhance your aromatic experience. Hanging a bouquet of lavender and eucalyptus in your shower can invite a spa-like experience. There’s no right or wrong way to incorporate the beneficial uses of herbs. Simply choose a plant that intrigues you, do a little Googling, and see what you find. You may be surprised by the wealth of healing you unearth!
(This article was originally published under Figs and Feathers Farm, 05.20.2019. This is in no way medical advice meant to heal or cure.)