If you usually head to the gym, go a run around the block, take a swim or make your way to movie to bust stress, here’s something that won’t take as much effort and still works wonders. Just chill out in a spa bath or soak with a handful of herbs that you can get right from your kitchen. It’s aromatic, gives you a glow, lessens fatigue and makes you feel pampered, all at one go.

Love smelling fresh roses? Use the beautiful petals in your bath (ensure that it’s not sprayed with chemicals). The flower has a bunch of healing properties rose bushes have lots of healing properties and make luxurious baths. The flower goes back to ancient times and Cleopatra’s legendary bathing ritual included soaking in a bath with milk and rose petals. Roses nourish the skin, are cooling and also calm the system. Here’s a soothing rose soak to calm the mind and draw out the heat from the skin in the summer.
How to use: Create a fragrant bath infusion using dried rose petals, chamomile flowers, green tea leaves and an essential oil. Add this to a muslin bag and place it in your bath. You can also add rose petals, lavender herbs and coconut milk to it. The indulgent bath keeps the skin soft and supple.


Calendula

Calendula flowers are said to be little miracle-workers. They have skin-soothing properties, they boost cell repair, lessen redness and moisturise the skin, making them an apt healer in the bath.
How to use: To create your own calendula bath soak, take half a cup of dried calendula flowers and dried rose petals. Add some Epsom salts to this as well as a few drops of lavender or ylang oil. Place this in a muslin bag and add this to your bath. It will leave the skin feeling cooler and nourished.


Chamomile

Gentle chamomile, with its fruity scent, is a soothing nerve relaxant. It is also perfect addition to a herbal bath. Its white flowers chamomile have bisabolol, an oil with sedative qualities. In the bath, the aromatic oils are released for a healing soak. It also enhances sleep.
How to use: To make a chamomile tea bath, brew chamomile tea and allow it to steep for 10 minutes so the plant oils are released. Add this to the bath.


Basil

Want an energising bath? Try basil. It has a wonderful aroma and stimulates the senses. Pop star Madonna posted a video online of soaking in fresh basil leafage. The herb reduces skin inflammation, too.
How to use: Add about five basil leaves to your bath water. Relax in it for 10 minutes and rinse off.


Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus is not just useful to clear stuffy sinuses and anti-inflammatory, but can also stimulate the mind and body with its heady aroma.
How to use: To attain its benefits in your bath, make a blend of it with other essential oils — tea tree, lemon essential oil and a coconut carrier oil. Shake and add a tablespoon of it to your bath water. It reduces stress and makes for a great pick-me-up.


Lavender

Good ol’ lavender packs a host of benefits. It can reduces nervousness and anxiety, it lower blood pressure, eliminate stress, help reduce skin infections, boost blood circulation and more. We suggest a lavender-rose bath soak with oats, which makes for a lovely indulgence.
How to use: To make it, blend oats till it turns into flour. Add some epsom salt, dried rose petals and dried lavender in a bowl. Add this to your bath directly or if you want to keep it less messy, add the mixture to a muslin bag and let that steep in the tub.


Forest herb scents

Love that feeling of walking in the forest with all its woodsy smells? Bring the forest right into your home and in your bath. Pick up forest-scented bath salts with pine and deodhar, that add up to the experience of being amidst the tranquil greenery. The Japanese ritual of shinrin-yoku or forest bathing is hailed an ancient method of stress reduction and if you’re looking for serenity, then these Alpine blends fit right in.
How to use: To make it, just add the blend of the salts in the tub of water. Let it mix well in the water and then soak in it.


BENEFITS AT A GLANCE
– Chamomile: Reduces pain and soothes the skin.
– Eucalyptus: Heals irritation and its aroma helps relax the body.
– Lavender: The oil reduces headaches and tension and treats acne.
– Mint: Acts as an astringent and brightens the skin.
– Parsley: Clears blemishes and helps balance sebum production.
– Rose petals: Have natural oils that moisturise the skin.
– Rosemary: Promotes relaxation.
– Sage: Has antioxdiants that reduce the signs of ageing and prevents muscle soreness.
– Lemongrass: Natural skin toner.

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