Thursday, June 30, 2011

from the herb garden

One of my favorite things to do in the summer is to work in my herb garden. Every year, I read about new herbs and their possible uses. Then, I pick three or four of my favorites and add them to the garden. Fresh herbs taste so good in just about anything edible and their wonderful aromas keep me smiling. Lately, I have been exploring other herb uses. Have I ever been having fun in the kitchen mixing up fragrant concoctions that aren't just for cooking! After a long hard day, there is nothing quite as nice as a long luxurious soak in the tub. I mean the kind of bath that when you sink down into the warm steamy depths there is nothing more to say than--- Ahhhhhhhhhh. Add a few extra ingredients to that bath and you will feel the stress, aches and fatigue of the day melt away. Surprisingly, the extra ingredients I am speaking of have nothing to do with adult beverages. I would like to introduce you to my new bath time favorite----bath tea. I researched all sorts of herbal bath recipes and came up with an ingredient combination of my own. I call it a bath tea because, once the ingredients are mixed, I scoop it into tea pockets that you can find at most specialty tea shops. I got mine from Teavana. I have included some of the supposed benefits of each herb just for fun. Who knows, maybe there is something truly therapeutic in the use of herbs and aromatherapy! If nothing else, the fragrance is divine and the salts soothe my achy muscles.
The mixture is very simple to put together and the results have me wanting to take baths several times a day.
Aromatic Bath Tea
1/2 cup Epsom salt
1/2 cup sea salt
1/4 cup baking soda
3/4 cup total of any or all of these fresh herbs
       Basil- relieves mental stress
       Sage- restores energy. Used in the bath to relieve labor
                   pains and the discomforts of menopause.
                  Supposedly, sage incites wisdom so I added 
       Rosemary- relieves mental fatigue and sore muscles
5 drops Geranium Essential Oil- calming, balancing,uplifting
5 drops Sweet Orange EO- calming. Promotes happiness. 
                                          Let's just make that 8 drops.
10 drops Lavender EO- relieves stress, headache,muscle
                                    soreness, and insomnia

Mix all ingredients together in a food processor (this chops the fresh herbs. I put in leaves and stems)
Spoon into tea pouches and fold over the flap. You could also use muslin bags with tie strings.
Hang the bag from the faucet of your bath tub and let the warm water flow through it.

Enjoy being swept away to a steamy fragrant ambience of bliss and relaxation! 
When you are done, toss the tea bag containing the fresh herb remains in the compost pile.  
Hope you are having a wonderful summer!

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