Peaceable Home: Herbal Oat Bath
Emma from 95 Acres of Sky is with us today to share a lovely way for families to transition in to a new season—nurturing ourselves and loved ones inside and out.
After a fun (and sometimes frenetic) summer I’m beginning to notice the subtle shift that indicates the season is changing. Perhaps it is a cool morning with a mist hanging over the pasture, or reaching for a blanket when I’m snuggled on the sofa for an hour of quiet after chores are done. I’m beginning to acknowledge that summer is shifting slowly into something else and making preparations for a new season.
Part of that preparation is to repair some of the neglect my body has undergone during the busy rush of summer! I notice that my skin and hair are feeling the effects of a season of sun, swimming and sweating, I’m ready for a little TLC and can’t help thinking the little people in my life would benefit too.
As the nights are drawing in we are beginning to trade brisk showers as the sun sets for more relaxing baths and a return to our bedtime routine. Though it will be a few weeks yet before we really notice the sun dipping low before bedtime, we can begin to enjoy some of the relaxing rituals that we are too busy for when the heat beats down. One of those is a soothing oat bath with scented herbs to uplift and relax.
Oats, though ubiquitous in the kitchen cupboards of the land, are a powerhouse of nutrition inside the body and out. As well as being a filling (and gluten free) food, they have equal power to soften and soothe the skin. I’ve used them for years as a replacement for bath products that invariably set my skin to itching, drying it out regardless of the promises on the bottle. Instead I mix oats and herbs together to make a milky ‘tea’ in my bath that replenishes and feeds my skin leaving it soft and supple without the need for a moisturizer.
Since I had my children I became even more concerned with what goes on their skin, after it is our largest organ and the one most likely to come in for abuse! Even products that purport to be for children can be filled with a host of chemicals that you’d worry about putting down your drain let alone on your child’s skin. Leave it to nature to have the perfect solution.
The joy of these oat bags is that they use something that you are likely to have already in your cupboard and with the addition of your favorite herb you are done!
- 1 cup of rolled oats (not instant!)
- 1-2 tablespoons of dried herb
- 4 x 6 inch square of cheese cloth
Add the herbs to your oats and pop about 2 tablespoons in the middle of your cheesecloth spare, tie it up and that’s it! A cup of oats will make about 4 bags and I usually put two in each bath. For a baby or child under 2 just one bag will be enough. I like to pop it in as the bath is running then encourage the boys to squeeze out the ‘milk’ as the oats warm and soak. Rubbing the bag across the skin adds extra moisture and even helps to exfoliate dead cells.
Here are some of my favorite herbal bath additions:
- Lavender & Chamomile – for soothing and relaxing, great before bedtime.
- Rose buds/petals – to feel pampered and soothed, wonderful for relieving headaches.
- Nettle (dried) – a great addition for anyone suffering from eczema or skin allergies.
- Rosemary – but only if you don’t want to sleep for a few hours!
- Lemon Balm – the perfect mood lifter after a tough day.
All of these herbs are readily available, you may even have some of them in your own garden. I hope you enjoy a gentle transition as we move into fall, remember to look after yourself!