These Herbal Bath Teas Make Tub Time Even More Blissful

Filled with skin-soothing and stress-relieving ingredients, bath teas will rejuvenate you on the inside and out.

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Choosing to hop in a bathtub to wash away the day's grime is about as contentious as putting pineapple on pizza. To the haters, sitting in a vat of warm water after aworkout or an afternoon spent tackling yard work is basically the equivalent of sitting in toilet water. And on sweltering days, you end up sweating while you soak. No, thank you.

These Herbal Bath Teas Make Tub Time Even More Blissful
Adobe Stock - Design: Alex Sandoval

Despite these totally valid arguments against tub time, there are some compelling health reasons to give it a shot — even if that means soaking after you rinse off in a cold shower. Taking a bath in warm water can help eliminate skin dryness — particularly if a heavy body cream is applied after drying off, which locks in the moisture — and soften any crusty patches so they can be gently rubbed off, according to Harvard Health. And in a small 2018 study, participants who took a 10-minute bath daily for two weeks straight reported feeling less fatigued and stressed compared to when they showered each day for two weeks.

When you drop a bath tea into the tub, though, even the most ardent bath critics will find the experience luxurious. Bath teas (aka tub teas) are exactly what they sound like — tea sachets filled with herbs, flowers, oats, and Epsom salt that are added to warm bath water. While a bath tea will look aesthetically pleasing no matter what's inside, its potential health benefits will vary based on the ingredients. (Related: Are Bath Bombs Bad for Your Vaginal Health?)

For example, a tub tea featuring colloidal oatmeal — a special form of oatmeal made by finely grinding and boiling oats — is known to soothe, soften, and boost moisture in the skin, and it can help treat rashes, burns, and itchy skin when added to baths. Similarly, when standard table salt is added to baths, it can prevent stinging in people experiencing severe eczema flare-ups. Epsom salt (aka magnesium sulfate) can be put in the warm water to potentially relieve muscle aches, soreness, and tired feet, according to the Mayo Clinic. (FTR, there isn't much research out there to back up how effective Epsom salt is at easing these symptoms, and Michigan State University's College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension states that the placebo effect may be at play. Still, if the salt seems to alleviate that soreness in your hamstrings, go for it!)

Certain bath tea ingredients may even give you a mental pick-me-up. The scent of the lavender flowers, for instance, may help you chill out and boost your mood; studies show that lavender aromatherapy reduces anxiety in dental patients and postpartum women and improves mood in patients admitted to an ICU. Likewise, the smell of peppermint leaves may help improve mental function and alleviate stress, since whiffing its essential oil has been shown to have those effects, according to the National Institutes of Health. Just know that essential oils are super concentrated, so the stress-busting effects may not be as pronounced if you're using the whole flower or leaf in a bath tea compared to the oil itself. (FYI: If you tend to have yeast or bacterial infections, you might want to read this before you try a bath tea or bath bomb.)

Sure, you can score that skin nourishment, stress relief, and spa-like scent just by dumping the bath tea ingredients straight into the tub, but containing them in a sachet means your drain stays clog-free and your tub remains as clean as it's pre-soak state — perks that even bath skeptics will appreciate

If you're ready to start making tub time as blissful as can be, stock your bathroom drawer with Dr. Teal's Bath Tea Variety Pack (Buy It, $27, amazon.com). It has two tubs (each containing three tea bags): one of the Calming Green Tea Bath Tea (which contains Epsom salt, green tea, oats, and botanicals) and one of the Soothing Lavender (which contains all those ingredients plus lavender). You can also find homemade versions on Etsy, including this five-pack (Buy It, $15, etsy.com) that features a bath tea for every mood and occasion and come in cotton drawstring bags that you can wash and reuse.

Dr. Teal's Calming Green Tea and Soothing Lavender Bath Tea Variety Pack

Dr. Teal's Calming Green Tea and Soothing Lavender Bath Teas
Amazon

But if you're trying to become a DIY queen à la Martha Stewart, follow the guide below to make a bath tea from scratch. Sure, it'll take a bit more work, but you'll get all the benefits of doing a crafty hobby and, in the end, have a tub tea that will have you feeling cool, calm, and collected.

How to Make a Bath Tea from Scratch

Supplies

Directions

  1. Open tea sachet and use a spoon to fill it with chosen herbs, leaves, and flowers; colloidal oatmeal; and Epsom salt. Once full, pull sachet's drawstring closed tightly.
  2. When ready to use, add bath tea to warm bath water five minutes before hopping in. Keep bath tea in the tub while you soak.
  3. After use, remove bath tea from tub before draining and toss in the trash or compost.
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