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, moth­ere­arth­ nat­u­ral-beauty1

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