Written By: Sharon Letts Photos By: Sharon Letts Hot water infusions are the oldest infusions on the planet. The healing compounds of herbal plants are found in the essential oils of the plant, those that make up the scent and flavor. These essential oils easily come off the plant quickly in hot water. Plants […]
Written By: Sharon Letts
Photos By: Sharon Letts
Hot water infusions are the oldest infusions on the planet.
The healing compounds of herbal plants are found in the essential oils of the plant, those that make up the scent and flavor. These essential oils easily come off the plant quickly in hot water.
Plants have fragrance because we have a nose. It’s a symbiotic relationship we have to plants. Especially those plants that can heal us, as they draw us to them.
Tea can be made of many types of plant materials- bark, flower, fruit, aside from the leaves, are used. Combinations of plants for effect is key. You just need to know what benefits come from each plant.
Surprisingly, many of these beneficial plants have the same benefits, with treating inflammation and infection at the top of the benefit list.
History of Aromatic Extracts
Apothecary, not pharmacology, was the norm using plants as remedy prior to the 1940s and the creation of synthetic patents and the pharmaceutical industry.
But the creation of tea using plants dates back as far as 2737 BC, when then Chinese Emperor Shen Nung was sitting beneath a tree while his servant boiled drinking water, and some leaves from the tree blew into the water.
The Chinese and Indian (India) use of essential oils dates back between 3000 and 2000 BC., but evidence and recorded history show that Greece, Rome, Persia and parts of Europe also extracted beneficial compounds from plants for various uses, including personal, spiritual, and medicinal.
According to a paper published in the National Institute of Health, using essential oils on our skin dates back as far as 4500 BC, with credit given to Egyptians, as the first culture to use aromatic extracts for ointments for health and beauty care, and culinary uses; as well as for spiritual and physical well-being.
Getting the essential oils from plants is as easy as making a cup of tea. So, it stands to say that making a bath of essential oil tea would be equally as beneficial to our skin for a good soak.
My garden is small, but filled with beneficial plants, such as calendula, rosemary, lavender, mint, and mallow. From time to time I’ll have one or two cannabis plants growing, or will receive fan leaves from a friend.
Using just these from my garden, below is a breakdown of each plant’s benefits in a tea bath:
Calendula: inflammation, treating wounds/infections/burns. It’s also said to tighten and give more supple skin. It’s also an antioxidant.
Rosemary: inflammation, antioxidant, and anti-infection. Rosemary is also said to boost alertness, intelligence, and focus, when ingested.
Lavender: Treats skin blemishes, pain, reduces blood pressure and heart rate – calming. Reduces asthma symptoms, anti-fungal, promotes hair growth.
Mallow: anti-inflammatory, anti-infection, pain relief, treats skin sores/burns. When ingested, mallow treats digestive issues, sleep problems, respiratory illnesses/bronchitis.
Cannabis: anti-inflammatory, anti-infection, pain relief, treats skin sores/burns.
Garden Fresh Bath Sachets
Handful each of fresh flowers, leaves, and stems from the garden
Put all in a nut bag or fine mesh bag
Put in bathtub as it fills
Plants’ essential oils will come off into the hot or warm water, giving you a soothing, healing soak, and soft skin
For more recipes from Sharon visit, www.sharonletts.com/apothecary
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NIH paper on biological effects of essential oils on human health: