The Pleasures and Surprises of an Herbal Bath
I was happy to do this assignment, which was to try a hydrotherapy bath. Since I didn't have a lot of money to go get herbs, I used a combination of herbal teas and herbs from my kitchen cupboard. I checked out what herbs were good for what, and combined them all together. I was probably supposed to do one type of herbal bath for one problem, but with what I had, I chose to experiment to see what happens. The following is a list of the herbs what I used and what they are good for:
Cinnamon: Improves circulation and the nervous system
Lemon: For circulation, immune system, anxiety, depression, and the nervous system
Nutmeg: Helps the intestines, neuralgia, muscular pain, fatigue, and nervousness
Peppermint: For metabolism, neuralgia, muscular pain, depression, poor memory, fatigue, and the nervous system
Oregano: Works on the metabolism, neuralgia, and muscular pain
Spearmint: Good for the metabolism
Bay leaves: Relieves muscular pain, neuralgia, repertory
Black Pepper: Relieves muscular pain, neuralgia, nervous system
Ginger: Improves memory and mental fatigue, and draws toxins from the body
After mixing all these ingredients into a pot of water, boiled them, and then simmered them for about an hour.
I poured the resulting tea into tub water as hot I could stand. It took a few minutes for me to get used to the heated water, but finally, I was able to submerge myself up to my head. My son wanted to join me, but I knew if I was having a hard time simmering, that he would shrivel up like a prune and then peel like an orange, so I hogged it all for myself.
Once under water, I almost immediately started sweating profusely (maybe from the ginger). I shut the curtain so the heat would have a harder time escaping the area. The heat grew until it was like I was in a sauna or tanning booth that was too hot to really enjoy, and I couldn't wait until time to get out. I laid there waiting patiently for the time to pass, turning and tossing, feeling like a cooking lobster with just the right kinds of seasonings. My lungs were opening up, but then I started breathing kind of shallow... "Boy, I hope it has been longer than 3 minutes... sweat, sweat, sweat!", I thought.
You are supposed to stay in for 15 or 20 minutes. But, after about 12 minutes I couldn’t ‘stands no more’.... had to get out of that steaming, hot, sweaty numbing bath water. I immediately put on sweats and socks. Off to the couch I go to sit back and enjoy the cooling down after the cooking. I sweated a bit more. Resumed good breathing, but was coughing up ‘lung gook’ like you wouldn’t believe. I know that was good for me, no matter how distasteful it was.
I suddenly noticed that the long-lasting wart on my hand was sticking up from the skin like a soldier at attention. I thought, "My, what big wart I have." I absent-mindedly pulled on the hard piece of deadened skin...It was numb and seemed to be growing. Finally I realized the wart was actually coming out of my hand.
When it finished, the herbal bath had totally sucked the wart right outta there. Very impressive. I need another hand bath to finish it up, but will wait until the weekend so I have time for it to have the next day or two to do its business.
After all that, I laid down for the night and slept like a baby with no pain and my breathing was better than usual. Of course I needed to add some lotion to my wrinkled and dry skin before my restful night sleep.
Overall , this was a fun and interesting thing to try. (Not the wart thing, but I was very impressed with that.) I actually got a variety of effects from my homemade herbal bath, all of them beneficial. My breathing was better, and although I had what looked like a mild reddish 'rash' on my face for a couple of days, I attribute that to the drawing of the toxins, because my skin was soon smoother than ever.
I shall try this again. I thanked the instructor for having us experiment with hydrotherapy for our homework. This was very educational and interesting.
The Contraindications of Hydrotherapy
This is what I was able to find out about why and when taking an herbal bath, Nutmeg, Cinnamon Bark, and Cinnamon Leaf is a contraindication. I had a hard time finding information on nutmeg and indeed, this whole issue of the herbal bath. I know that Nutmeg is used in helping with menstrual flow. I couldn't find much information about the contraindications of Cinnamon bark or leaf in books or on various websites I searched. However it does tell me that it is not recommended for pregnant women.
So, I will assume until I learn better, that the reason it is contraindicated in pregnant women might be because, according to Eastern Medicine, nutmeg and cinnamon [bark or leaf] raises your blood pressure, which would bring about increased heat, perhaps it is because when a woman is pregnant, her blood pressure is elevated slightly anyway. Therefore, excess heat would be a contraindication for pregnancy.
I will keep searching, and waiting for responses until I am satisfied with the answer to this unique question.
Darby Lee S
Where I went for more research...
This is a letter I sent to various web sites that I visited. ( See Links)
Hello, I am in hydrotherapy thru the massage school I attend. I was reading about oils to be avoided for bathing and when you are pregnant. Cinnamon bark, Cinnamon Leaf, and Nutmeg are the herbs that I am studying. I did read that a lot of nutmeg shouldn't be used by people that have had miscarriages in the past , As yet, I still have found no specific reason for this. Also, in my hydrotherapy book it states that cinnamon bark and leaf are also not to be used for bathing when you are pregnant. Still again, the source doesn't explain why.
Would you might have any suggestion as to where I might find more information on this. Thank you for your time and efforts.
And this is the response.
Hello Darby, Thanks for your enquiries. Unfortunately, this office is not really equipped for your specific questions on nutmeg, as we provide course information on courses offered at RMIT, none of which includes a hydrotherapy or natural medicine component. I recommend you speak to the lecturers at your massage school, who should be able to answer all your questions. Cheers and good luck!
Mahyar Office for Prospective Students
RMIT University Building 15,
City Campus Phone: 9925 2260
Fax: 9925 3070
Thanks for the feedback about the site. I really appreciate it!
I am not quite sure but I would guess that it is too much of a stimulant although I have heard of taking cinnamon to relieve menstrual cramps.
POTAWATOMI MEDICINAL PLANTS
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