If you’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting a spa, you’ve probably experienced some form of aromatherapy. Whether it was the calming scent of lavender during a massage or the refreshing aroma of eucalyptus in the spa steam room, aromatic essential oils are widely used in today’s spas to heighten your self-care experience so you emerge feeling totally relaxed and re-invigorated. Thankfully you don’t have to go to the spa to enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy. You can create your own scent-ual sanctuary right in your own bath at home!
What Is Aromatherapy?
First, a quick refresher: Aromatherapy is the age-old tradition of using aromatic plant components to promote physical and spiritual well-being. The practice has roots in China, India and Egypt, but it was the Persians in the 10 century who are apparently credited with distilling essential oils. The Germans later wrote about essential oil distillation in the 16th century, and later in the 19th century, French physicians recognized the potential of essential oils in treating disease. (Fun fact: the term “aromatherapy” was coined by a French perfumer and chemist René-Maurice Gattefossé in a 1937 book he wrote on the topic.) There are numerous medical studies that have been conducted on the benefits of aromatherapy, which we’ll save for another day. But it is widely believed to help reduce stress and alleviate congestion, headaches, nausea and exhaustion, among many other ailments.
How to Bring Aromatherapy Home
Now that we’ve all agreed on what aromatherapy is, it’s time to talk about some simple and not-so-simple ways you can create an olfactory oasis at home.
1. Create a Eucalyptus Bouquet
Amplify your shower experience by hanging a few springs of eucalyptus from your showerhead. This isn’t a new idea, but a favorite among Reddit users, according to Prevention magazine. We think it’s a refreshingly simple way to enjoy the benefits of the plant. “Eucalyptus is known to help relieve upper respiratory issues, which is why it’s often the active ingredient in over-the-counter chest rubs and used with humidifiers,” according to Prevention. The beauty of hanging it from your shower is that the steam releases the minty sweet aroma of the eucalyptus, which can help clear nasal congestion and inflammation related to sinus and bronchial infections. Its cooling properties can also help soothe sore muscles, and may help relieve muscular aches and pains. Purifying, cleansing, clarifying, and immune-boosting are all reported properties of this plant!
Tips: use a rubber band or twine to tie the stems around the shower head and makes sure to tie them toward the back of the shower head so they’re not directly in the water’s flow.
2. Diffuse the Situation
Essential oil diffusers are another easy way to create your own personal aromas at home. The beauty of ultrasonic diffusers is that they diffuse essential oils without heating them, so you can fill up your bath space with steady stream of scent. These diffusers are also both quieter and more attractive than other kinds of diffusers. There are many stylish ultrasonic diffusers available on the market, like the Vitruvi hand-milled stone diffuser sold by Sephora and Nordstrom, or this Jillian Harris edition diffuser from Saje.
3. Add it to Your Steam Shower Head
Another way to enjoy the healing powers of aromatherapy is through your steam shower at home — if you are lucky enough to own a ThermaSol steam shower system. Add two to four drops of one of ThermaSol’s 100% organic Essential Oils to the steamhead reservoir in your steam shower and breathe in instant healing benefits. There are currently 11 different essential oils in ThermaSol’s lineup: French Lavender (for calming and relaxing effects), Portuguese Eucalyptus (for stimulation, soothing and cooling properties), Italian Bergamot Citrus (for reducing anxiety, depression and insomnia), Madagascar Ylang Ylang (a tranquil, warm aroma and aphrodisiac), French Rosemary (for calming nerves and improving memory, confidence and creativity), Egyptian Geranium (for relieving stress, anxiety, fatigue and PMS symptoms), the proprietary Energize Oil Blend (for invigorating the senses, improving circulation and relieving headaches), Bulgarian Rose Absolute (for a naturally uplifting feeling and aphrodisiac), Indian Jasmine (for easing worry, anger, depression and irritability), Italian Neroli (for alleviating depression and insomnia, and beautifying the skin) and French Roman Chamomile (for relieving emotional anxiety and tension).
This is by no means a comprehensive list of ideas for bringing aromatherapy into your bathroom, but hopefully it gets your creative juices flowing. And remember, you don’t have to use only one scent at a time to create a spa experience at home. Feel free to experiment by mixing a few oils together to create your own bespoke aroma. You can also add them to body lotions, and then apply them topically, or spritz the oils throughout your house. After all, your house should be your sanctuary so let the pampering begin.