Aromatic Bath For Stress & Anxiety

Man bathing

Stress and anxiety have been shown to cause or worsen cardiovascular disease and obesity. Fortunately, both can be treated without expensive, side-effect laden drugs. One of these treatments is not just simple and inexpensive, but relaxing and enjoyable: The aromatic bath. … This article has been updated and moved to the new blog here:


4 thoughts on “Aromatic Bath For Stress & Anxiety”

  1. Hello, I am really interested in trying this technique but I have a few questions. One are the oils and mixes listed safe for pregnancy (first trimester)? And do they work with EXTREMELY hard water? We just moved to a rural area where we have a well with hardly any filtering and it has made using most products we use to very difficult.

    1. The following essential oils should never be used in pregnancy by a lay person.

      Angelica (Angelica archangelica)
      Marjoram (Origanum majorana)
      Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
      Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis)
      Clove (Syzygium aromaticum)
      Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum)
      Coriander (Coriandrum sativum)
      Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
      Juniper Berry (Juniperus communis)
      Nutmeg (Myristica fragans)
      Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)
      Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
      Thyme Red (Thymus vulgaris)
      Sage (Salvia officinalis)
      Parsley (Petroselinum crispum)
      Aniseed (Pimpinella anisum)
      Penny Royal (Mentha pulegium).

      The following essentials can be safely used while pregnant.

      Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)
      Chamomile Roman (Chamaemelum nobile)
      Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus smithii, Eucalyptus staigeriana)
      Frankincense (Boswelli carteri)
      Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)
      Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
      Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi)
      Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
      Lemon (Citrus limon)
      Mandarin (Citrus reticulata)
      Rose Otto (Rosa damascena/centifolia)
      Sandalwood (Santalum album)
      Sweet Orange (Citrus aurantium sinensis)
      Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)
      Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata).

      These essential oils are extremely gentle to use, particularly those which have a high alcohol content; many alcohol based essential oils are safe to use throughout the pregnancy term. There are some cases when no essential oils should ever be used, or only with caution, in pregnancy, depending on individual circumstances. For example:

      You should be careful about using any essential oils in the first three months of pregnancy, when miscarriage is most likely to occur. Although essential oils may not necessarily cause a miscarriage, misuse or use of a particular essential oil with an individual who is sensitive to it, may aggravate a situation. Some essential oils are abortive; penny royal, in my opinion, is the most dangerous.

      Also, cases of high blood pressure and epilepsy should be treated with the same caution with essential oil use as when not used in pregnancy. And some essential oils may cause skin sensitization or irritation and this may be heightened in pregnancy. It is strongly advised that professional advice is taken when using essential oils in pregnancy to avoid any potential dangers; each individual may react differently to essential oils depending on medical conditions.

      If you get the go-ahead, you can simply switch out the coriander for chamomile, since they both possess the antispasmodic and analgesic properties that have made coriander my favorite essential oil. However, Roman Chamomile is more expensive. A lot more expensive, but quite safe. Petitgrain is in general non-toxic, non-irritant, non-sensitizing and non-phototoxic. It isn’t on the safe list, but it is one of three oils extracted from the orange tree. But to be on the safe side, you could simply switch it out for sweet orange. Carrot oil is also safe.

      Marjoram, like coriander, it is also an antispasmodic and analgesic. A good replacement would be bergamot, which in addition to those qualities is also useful in treating depression, stress, tension, fear, hysteria, all types of skin infections, anorexia, psoriasis, eczema and general convalescence. BUT you should not go out into the sun wearing it, because it is phototoxic and can cause burns when used on a sensitive skin which is then exposed to sunlight. So use indoors only.

      When I wrote this article two years ago, I never even considered pregnancy being an issue. I think I will add additional aromatherapy recipes, specifically for pregnant women, or write a separate article on the subject, sometime in the near future. And I will try to find out whether or not hard water can affect essential oils tomorrow.
      Thank you for commenting! 🙂

    2. I can find no evidence that hard water affects aromatherapy in any way. In every place I have ever lived there has only been hard water available. Hard water can make your soap less lathery and will make your skin feel sticky, but the aromatherapy oils will still be effective. If you hate hard water, and who doesn’t, you can buy a water filter for the shower head and use it to fill the tub.

      Note: There are aromatherapy recipes for removing hard water residue in showers and sinks. You can Google it.

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