SOAK IT UP

Bathing is a cure-all for almost anything. It soaks away a bad mood, relaxes a crazy day, inspires dreamy ideas, and renews a jaded disposition. Give your bath extra purpose by adding a bit of therapy. Here's what to add.
TEA BAG BATH Rather than throwing in loose herbs, fix a healing bath by adding a few tea bags. You may also have a box of herbal tea you never get around to drinking that could do more for you in your bath. Two or three bags are the perfect amount for a normal sized bath. Leave them in while you bath. Chamomile is extremely relaxing and de-stressing. Rosemary is stimulating and great for circulation. Rooibos is excellent for skin irritations. Peppermint will up your mood and get you going. HONEY For soft smooth skin add a tablespoon of honey. Stir up your bath so it mixes in well. Honey is also anti-bacterial. MILK Thank you Cleopatra for this idea. You don't have to fill the whole bath up with milk but adding a few cups will soften skin beautifully and will soothe and calm sunburn. COCONUT OIL You definitely can't go wrong with a full teaspoon of coconut oil in your bath. You won't need to add any moituriser to your body afterwards. It's hydrating and is anti-ageing as well. BAKING SODA + HIMALAYAN SALT Half a cup of baking soda and a tablespoon of Himalayan salt brings pain relief, reduces inflammation and is deeply relaxing. LAVENDER Use lavender aromatherapy oil (a few drops will do) or cut some branches from a lavender bush and put them in a small cotton bag. You can loop this under the tap or throw it in the bath. A lavender bath is great for stress, muscle relief and countering depression. LEMON To refresh your body, shrink pores and revive your being, squeeze the juice from 3 lemons into the bath. Throw the spent lemons in as well. GINGER Ginger has a multitude of uses. It's a great detox, excellent for cold and flu, it brings muscle relief and is very warming. If you tend to overheat be aware that although cleansing and healing, ginger increases heat in the body. CINNAMON Boil some cinnamon tea or crush some cinnamon sticks in the bath for an invigorating and detoxing experience. Cinnamon is also said to help cure rashes. CAYENNE & BLACK PEPPER For a metabolic and circulation boost cayenne and black pepper are great allies. Consider using black pepper aromatherapy oil and try some cayenne pepper capsules or a teaspoon of the ground powder. Make sure you mix it into your bath well to avoid having a concentrated dose near your skin. SCENT SENSE Fragrance is transformative and can positively influence your surrounding. Add more fragrance to your home with these ideas. ' Tie a bunch of eucalyptus onto your shower head and the steam will activate a beautiful smell. ' Use a pipette to add a few drops of your favourite aromatherapy oil to the inside of your toilet roll. Everytime someone pulls paper off the roll the fragrance will activate. ' If you're having guests or putting your house on show, put some lemon juice, vanilla extract, and rosemary sprigs into a pot of water and boil it on the stove to send a homely aroma around the house. ' Put vanilla scented tea lights in a bowl of coffee beans. As the flame warms the beans, the combination of vanilla and coffee adds a real feel-good smell. DID YOU KNOW? Muchihiko Ueda, a Japanese doctor and firm believer in the bath claims that while a shower just heats up the surface of he body a long, soaking bath warms up the entire body. 'The blood circulation speeds up and more oxygen is carried to the internal organs,' he claims. 'Therefore, metabolism is enhanced. Also by soaking in a bath you can recover from physical fatigue more quickly, because muscles get soft and lactic acid that builds up through exertion is removed more promptly. Moreover, the floating feeling in the water greatly aids relaxation.'

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