Bathing has occupied a special place in the cultural landscapes of many civilizations throughout history. In ancient Greece, water itself was regarded as a gift of health from the gods. The ruins of lavish public baths in the farthest reaches of the Roman world testify to the importance of bathing in the health regimes and social life of the empire’s citizens. More than 150 years after the bathtub of Napoleon’s wife, Josephine, was crafted, it’s reputed to retain the scent of the musk oil–infused bathwater that soothed her mind and pampered her skin.
In India, bathing has always been accorded the status of a sacred, healing ritual. Ancient Ayurvedic texts speak of therapeutic baths with rose petals, honey, milk, and turmeric, preceded by a luxurious full-body massage with warm oils and followed by skin treatments with rich herbal pastes and fragrant floral waters. These Ayurvedic baths were designed to restore balance to the body, mind, and spirit.
Ayurveda views bathing as a form of holistic therapy. A daily bath, especially in the morning is an important part of an Ayurvedic daily routine. It adds a profoundly healing dimension to your day and your life. Ayurvedic medical texts report many benefits from the healing bath. The simple act of taking a bath provides a full complement of mind-body rewards without any effort on your part:
Relaxes tense muscles
Opens clogged pores
Banishes bad moods
Calms the mind and balances the emotions
Removes sweat, dirt, and environmental toxins from the skin
Enhances physical energy levels and improves metal clarity
To transform an ordinary bath into a healing Ayurvedic self-care ritual follow these tips:
Prepare your bath with traditional Ayurvedic herbs.*
Do not bathe in a hurry, take your time.
Practice deep breathing while soaking in your bath.
Try to relax, so that both mind and body benefit.
Use gentle natural gentle aromatherapy products, not harsh synthetic fragrances, which add to the toxic burden on your body.
Make sure your bathwater is pure and clean.
After you towel off, spritz your body with rose water and apply warm dosha-specific oils.
*Herbal Bath Recipe
3 tablespoons of green gram powder
½ tablespoon of turmeric powder
¼ teaspoon of ginger powder
2 tablespoon of rose petals
1 tablespoon of raw organic honey
½ cup of almond milk or 1 tablespoon of almond oil
5–7 drops of rose, lavender, or geranium pure essential oil
As you’re drawing a warm bath, add ingredients to the water in the order listed. Swish your hand in the water to blend after each addition. Enjoy!
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure, or prevention of any disease.