It is very easy to make your own aromatherapy bath oils and salts. You do not even need base oil or salt to take a bath with essential oils: you can add essential oil directly into bath water. However, since a long soak dries the skin, and since some oils can irritate sensitive skin, it is a good idea to use carrier oils.
Sweet almond works for all skin types, is moisturizing and nourishing yet absorbs well. Alternatives include jojoba oil (especially good for oily or acne-prone skin) or peach/apricot kernel (light and absorb well).
Easy Homemade Bath Oils for Stress Relief
You do not have to have lots of different oils in the cupboard to enjoy a bath with essential oils. Commercial aromatherapy bath oils and salts can contain an incredible variety of ingredients, but you can make a simple bath blend with two or three essential oils. Even one is enough for a bath, but many essential oils enhance each others’ properties when blended together, and it is fun to create your own bath blends.
Add around six drops of essential oil(s) to one or two teaspoons of base oil, and mix with the bath water just before you get into the tub.
- 3 drops of Petitgrain (Citrus aurantium bigaradia)
- 3 drops of Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia/officinalis/vera)
Petitgrain oil comes from the leaves and twigs of the orange tree. It has a lovely refreshing scent, it blends well with many oils, and it is often used during times of low moods, winter blues and to help you sleep better. Lavender is one of the most versatile oils in aromatherapy and it is many aromatherapists’ first choice when treating sleeping problems or stress. It also relieves muscular aches and pains.
- 2-3 drops Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)
- 3-4 drops Sweet or Bitter Orange (Citrus aurantium var. dulcis/Citrus sinensis or Citrus aurantium var. amara/ bigaradia)
Frankincense has been used as incense in Christian churches and as an aid to meditation in cultures around the world. Frankincense essential oil can help to regulate breathing and to calm down the mind. It is an ideal oil for stressful times especially if you have a busy mind. It blends beautifully with orange essential oil: a cheerful oil that is sometimes used against sleeping difficulties.
- 2 drops Lavender
- 2 drops Marjoram (Origanum majorana)
- 2 drops Roman Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)
Marjoram relaxes tight muscles, improves local circulation and relieves aches and pains. Chamomile soothes the nerves and lavender gives you a good night’s sleep. Lavender also enhances the effect of other oils it is blended with.
If you use carrier oils in your bath blend, watch out for slippery bath tub surfaces when getting in and out of the bath, and clean the bath tub well to remove oil residue. Read more about aromatherapy baths in Tips for Using Essential Oils in the Bath and make sure you know How to Use Essential Oils Safely.
Photo: English Lavender (Ken Irwin)