STRESSED OUT? DROP A BATH BOMB.
Treat yourself to a few delicious ideas for stress reduction, and gift giving, using natural beauty aids from the garden.
The other day I had one of those nonstop, super-busy days. I’m sure you know the kind in which every project and family member needs your attention and there just doesn’t seem to be enough time for a moment to yourself. Usually on a day like this, I go out in the garden and do some weeding, just to clear my mind and give myself a moment of peace. But in this particular instance, I didn’t even have time for that. So, at the end of the day, when I did have a moment to myself, I took some of my own advice: I took a bath! Not the basic get in, get clean, and get out type of bath, but an indulgent, luxurious, spa-style bath. I lit candles, made a cup of my favorite herbal WHD ¿OOHG WKH WXE ZLWK ZDUP ZDWHU DQG GURSSHG in a fragrant lavender bath bomb. I slipped into the fragrant waters and read a good book. After a good soak, my crazy day and all its stress went right down the drain with the bathwater. I emerged renewed, calm, and ready for a good night’s sleep. A bath, something so simple to do, is overlooked as the stress-relieving rejuvenator that it is. I recently read that successful people love taking baths. Many of them take what are called “power baths” (soaking quickly for 10-15 PLQXWHV LQ ZDUP ZDWHU ¿OOHG ZLWK HQHUJL]LQJ scents). These quick baths are better than a cup of coffee to start the day. People have used water for centuries to heal, cleanse, and relax the body. Hydrotherapy is an ancient health practice. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, praised the use of water and LWV EHQH¿WV )DPRXV ZRPHQ DQG ¿JXUHV RI OHJHQG VXFK DV Venus, Marie Antoinette, Mary Queen of Scots, and Cleopatra all attributed their great beauty to bathing rituals. Roman men solved problems and discussed current affairs in their communal baths. Is it any surprise that legendary idea man %HQ )UDQNOLQ LV UHVSRQVLEOH IRU LPSRUWLQJ WKH ¿UVW formal bathtub to America from France? It was made of copper and had a small furnace under it for heating the water. This was historic, as it enabled bathing to become private, not in the kitchen, where the water was traditionally heated. I remember my grandmother having these ¿]]LQJ EDWK WDEOHWV WKDW , ORYHG WR XVH ZKHQ , would visit her house. Well, it turns out what she was using is now what we all have come to use and love as a “Bath Bomb,” only smaller LQ VL]H 7RGD\ \RX FDQ ¿QG EDWK ERPEV LQ all shapes and sizes, and some can be quite expensive. They are super simple to make yourself at home and fun to share. Citric acid is the key ingredient that produces the bubbly effect. When the bombs are dropped in a tub of water, the baking soda and citric acid combine, creating a chemical reaction that UHOHDVHV FDUERQ GLR[LGH L H ¿]]LQJ EXEEOHV Citric acid powder is used in canning and bread PDNLQJ <RX PD\ ¿QG LW LQ VRPH IRRG VSHFLDOW\ shops and in some grocery stores. Bath bombs nourish the skin and leave it feeling silky, supple, and deliciously scented. Try the recipe for Garden Bath Bombs at right. Fill a basket with new towels, candles, a good book, and some homemade bath bombs for a special gift this holiday season.
Find more than 200 recipes for natural beauty in Janice Cox’s book, Natural Beauty from the Garden and other great books in our bookstore, motherearthnews.com/ natural-beauty1