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Aroma Energy - Baths for Colds by Mary Lee Reynolds

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Few activities are as soothing and relaxing as taking a warm bath; soaking seems to ease not only sore muscles but emotional tension as well. If you have a cold, bathing can offer the extra advantage of encouraging your body to sweat the toxins out. (NOTE: We are a generation that is quick to pop a pill the minute we have a fever. Fevers are the body's natural way of ridding toxins from the body. Granted, very high fevers need specific attention and treatment. I am speaking of temperatures of 99-101.0 degrees. Let your body do what it knows best to do.)

Adding essential oils can truly turn the experience into a healing bath. Baths give the oils a double route into the body - through the scent diffused in the stream and through the skin. Warmed by the bath water, the skin is more permeable to the oils, which can then enter the bloodstream in a faster manner, releasing their therapeutic effects.

A thyme oil bath, for instance, works to strengthen the weakened resistance of your body; using eucalyptus and rosemary essential oils will loosen chest and nasal mucus to relieve congestion. Baths containing essential oils also provide an added benefit: the carrier oils you mix with the essential oils will moisturize, condition and soften your skin.

Rules of the Healing Bath

~ Bathe for no longer than 20 minutes, staying in the tub longer dries out the skin.
~ Never take a bath on a full stomach; it irritates the digestive system.
~ Use a bath pillow or rolled hand towel to support your head; it will allow you to relax more easily.
~ Essential oils are highly concentrated; always dilute them before using.
~ Add oils to the bath water just before you get in, so they don't evaporate and lose their therapeutic value to soon. You want their full benefit while you are in the tub.

Therapeutic Effect:
Combining a bath with essential oil can both sooth the sprit and heal the body. The medicinal effects of your bath will vary according to the essential oil chosen; the essential oil of tea tree is antiseptic; rosemary is an expectorant; and thyme essential oil strengthens the immune system. To maximize the effect of the bath, dry-brush your skin with a natural-fiber brush before bathing to open up pores and remove dead skin. Use about four (4) drops of essential oil in a tub filled halfway, or eight (8)in a full bath.

Tea-tree oil for a weakened immune system:
Cold viruses attack us when our immunity is weakened. The essential oil of tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) is a great antiseptic for fighting viral and fungal infections, such as athlete's foot and ringworm. The oil also thins the mucus that is causing nasal stuffiness and coughs, making it easier to eliminate. Tea tree oil helps to soothe inflammations, bites and burns, as well.

Rosemary oil for coughing: Essential oil of rosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis), with its fresh, crisp aroma, disinfects respiratory and nasal passages and clears bronchial tubes, relieving the urge to cough. It also spurs expectoration, increases circulation and eases aches attributed to fever.

Thyme oil for infections:
The essential oil of thyme (Thymus vulgaris) can help fortify the immune system, stimulate the metabolism and warm and energize the whole body. The oil is a strong antibacterial agent helpful when used for respiratory infections, including not only colds but also flu and bronchitis. Muscle aches that accompany these infections are soothed by Thyme oil.

Extra Tip: Massage your skin with gentle and circular motions while you are in the bath to bring blood to the surface. In addition, a massage tones muscles and energies the body.

Applications: A blend of essential oils can often intensify the healing properties of individual oils in the bath. Make sure to use good quality essential oils to give you optimal purity and healing effects. For boosting immunity: Mix five (5) drops eucalyptus essential oil (Eucalyputs globules), five (5) drops thyme essential oil, and two (2) drops tea tree essential oil, one (1) tbsp. olive oil (or a carrier oil of your choice like jojoba), one (1) tbsp. honey, one (1) tbsp. vodka or gin.

For congestion and fever: Mix six (6) drops rosemary essential oil, six (6) drops thyme essential oil, one (1) tbsp. sunflower oil, one (1) tbsp. honey, one (1) tbsp. vodka or gin.

For sinus infections: Mix four (4) drops tea tree essential oil, one (1) tbsp. sweet almond oil, four (4) drops spike-lavender essential oil (Lavandula spica), four (4) drops peppermint essential oil (mentha piperita), one (1) tbsp. honey, one (1) tbsp. vodka or gin. This healing bath should be taken at the onset of a sinus infection, when you first experience symptoms.

Sea-salt bath for flu: Mix one (1) cup fine seal salt with four (4) drops thyme essential oil, four (4) drops eucalyptus essential oil and four (4) drops rosemary essential oil. Take this bath just before you go to bed; you should feel much better in the morning. Sea salt helps the body fight off viruses. In addition, it encourages sweating, which is another way the body eliminates toxins.

Take Care: Each essential oil has its own specific properties and appeal; see which is best for your state of mind and symptoms. Follow recipes closely, and never add more oil than is called for. Always dilute an essential oil with carrier oil, plus a little alcohol and honey, so it can dissolve better into the bathwater; you can add cream as an extra emulsifier, if you wish. After bathing, cover yourself well and rest for about one (1) hour.

Mary Lee Reynolds LPN, CHT, HHP is a Holistic Health Practitioner and Energy Medicine Counselor with a nursing background (LPN-retired).

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