Do you ever wish you could replicate the feel-good vibes of a spa in the privacy of your home? Soothing music and soft lighting are always an easy place to start, but introducing certain scents into the mix has the power to transform any headspace. Check out these ideas for incorporating an aromatherapy ritual into your shower routine to help you strike the right mood.
How to Bring Aromatherapy Into Your Shower
We often associate bubble baths with self-care. But if you’re pressed for time (or simply don’t have a tub at home), a shower can also help you achieve the right mood, whether you want to feel invigorated before the work day or relax before bed.
So, how exactly do you incorporate aromatherapy into a shower? There are a few different methods, but in general you want to allow the steam of your shower to help disperse your aromas.
A washcloth or even a cotton ball can make for an ideal essential oil carrier. After you put a few droplets of your preferred essential oil on a cloth or cotton, place it in your shower in an area that won’t be directly hit by water (you don’t want it to vaporize too quickly). Alternatively, you could create a steam cup with some water and your essential oil. Or, you could use an essential oil diffuser in your bathroom.
Dried herbs (like lavender and eucalyptus) work, too. Put them in a tea ball infuser, suggests Dr. Erica Steele, N.D. with Holistic Family Practice, and feel free to add some Epsom salt to it and drop in your favorite essential oil.
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What To Add To Your Shower To Relax
“Lavender is known for its relaxing effects and has a host of calming uses for headaches and fatigue,” explains Dr. Leena Guptha, D.O., M.B.A., P.H.D., and academic dean of online education at Pacific College of Health and Science. Plus, she points out, research has found that lavender essential oil may also have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. These initial results do look promising, she says, but future studies should investigate further to confirm this.
If you prefer to take a bath before bed, put 15-20 drops of lavender essential oil in your tub.
“Lavender in a bath is a wonderful way to soothe away tensions of the daily grind, too,” Guptha says.
What To Add To Your Shower To Feel Invigorated
If you tend to feel groggy in the morning and need a little help waking up, there are several aromatherapy scents that can help energize you.
“Spearmint and bergamot can be uplifting and invigorating,” says Steele. Or, if you’ve got a big day ahead, try peppermint essential oil for increasing mental focus and clarity, she suggests. A small study in the International Journal of Neuroscience showed that peppermint increased alertness and memory in study participants.
Lemon is also a great choice in a diffuser, to uplift mood and create a refreshing atmosphere, says Guptha. In addition to being a mood-booster, research published in Lipids in Health and Disease shows that lemon essential oils have health benefits, too, as they have strong antibacterial effects against the bacteria that causes listeria.
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What To Add To Your Shower For Overall Wellness
If you’re looking for a multi-tasker, eucalyptus is a scent that hits many marks. A study in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that when inhaled, eucalyptus oil could decrease anxiety. Another study published in the same journal showed that inhaling the aroma of eucalyptus has the potential to reduce pain and blood pressure.
Eucalyptus (which has antimicrobial properties) is often used as an antiseptic to treat colds, sore throats, and coughs, Guptha says.
In addition to incorporating eucalyptus essential oil into your shower, you could also dry a bundle of it to hang on your showerhead. Using a rolling pin to roll over the eucalyptus leaves will help you express the oils.
Now, you just need some towel warmers and a plush robe to solidify the spa vibe at home.