Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Herbal Bath Tea and Salts- Vegan Tub Tea How To

So my newest favorite thing is Tub Tea. I have used bath salts for years, but recently decided to add dried herbs to the mix. How soothing and wonderful...until I saw the mess in the bottom of my tub. I went online and did a little research and found out you can buy(OR MAKE) tea bags! So after doing some research, testing and experimenting, I think I have the PERFECT Tub Tea mastered.
I am passing on the wisdom to you, my fellow reader, to go enjoy yourself in a nice hot tea bath.

STEP 1: Go to local Fabric Store and buy 100% cotton Muslin. Cut into 4 or 5 inch squares(depending on how large you want your tea packets to be). Sew two together around 3 sides and part of the 4th side. Turn inside out. Or you can purchase premade bags for about 30 cents each and pay for shipping. I originally bought some wonderful drawstring tea bags, but realizes it would be cheaper and easier just to make them myself.
4x4 will hold about 1/2 cup of salt and herbs



STEP 2: Make Your Salt Blend. I use Sea Salt. (coarse ground). You can use a mixture of sea salt and Epsom Salts, or some people use Dead Sea Salt (which is a tad more expensive). Try Hobby Lobby for their Crafty Bobbles Sea Salt buckets. With a 40% off coupon it is only $5.40.I use seasalt that I ordered online plus add a little sea salt from my local Home Economist Health Food store. They have all sorts of sea salts available in their bulk department.You can add oatmeal to it as well. But use regular Rolled Oats, DO NOT USE QUICK OATS. You will have a cloudy gloppy mess in your tub as quick oats break up and fall apart far too quickly. i use Organic Rolled Oats from (again) Home Economist. If you add oatmeal, your balance should be abour 3:1 salt to oatmeal. Some people add powdered milk, but then it is no longer vegan friendly. So If you decide to add the powdered milk, use about 1/2 of what you used in oatmeal.
I Make a HUGE batch of seasalt and oatmeal blend at once and store it in a ziplock gallon baggie. That way I am not mixing up my salts and oatmeal when I have a special order come in. I can just get out my scoop and take out the base amount that I need. Press out all the air before sealing, roll up and keep in a cool dark place, this will last forever.

Now, count the number of tea bags you are making and measure out the appropriate amount of salt blend. About 1/2 cup per each 4x4 bag.
STEP 3: Select and Add your dried herbs of choice. Go online and google "dried herbs" You will find a ton of sites that tell you what properties each dried herb is good for. If in doubt, stick to the basics (Chamomile, Lavender, Calendula, Rose Petals, Lemongrass, rosemary). Let me just say that 1oz of cut and dried herbs is PLENTY, you wont need more than that unless you are making Tea for an army. I buy 2oz of lavender and Chamomile at a time, however, as I use those in almost every blend.

Add your herbs, a teaspoon at a time and mix.


WARNING: go sparingly on Spearmint and peppermint. A little goes a long way. If it smells overpowering in the bag in dried form, imagine steeping it in hot steaming water, it will be twice as potent. So keep that in mind and go sparing on the camphor and mint herbs. A little can add just the right amount of invigorating pleasure, but too much you can cause your body to go into fever mode to try and sweat it out.

You will end up with 1/3 the amount of herbs that you have in salt blend. So if you have a cup of salt, you will have about 1/3 cup of various mixed herbs.

STEP 4: Make a paper cone or use a funnel to empty about a 1/2 cup or so of the mixture into each of the tea bags.

Make sure they are nice and full, but leave room at the tip for whipstitching your bag closed, or if you have premade bags, pulling the drawstrings tight enough.


STEP 5: Use your bags. You Now have your bags of bath tea and salts. Give them away, or toss them into a tub of hot running water. If you are giving them away, be sure the recipient knows what herbs are in the bags.

If gently used, each bag can be reused for a second bath. Or you can open the bag, put the used herbs into a pot of hot steaming water and use as a facial.


RESOURCES:

http://www.leavesandroots.com/: wonderful site to buy Dried herbs. They even carry the drawstring tea bags. They have certain Certified Organic Herbs available as well. Every type of herb you can imagine. Shipping is fast and reasonable. The quality of the herbs are spectacular and they load you up! They start at 1 ounce packages. I received my herbs within 4 days of ordering. Plus they send you a catalog of all their herbs and spices.


http://www.chemistrystore.com/: Sea Salt, Dead Sea Salt and Epsom Salts available here. They ship UPS, so the shipping can be kind of pricey, and they add 3.50 to every order as a convenience charge. BUT they fill orders FAST and their products are wonderful. minimum amount in salts are 9 pounds. They usually ship out within 1 day of ordering.


http://www.thesage.com/: They have all salts available as well. You can order a minimum of 2lbs or up to 50 pounds. They have a variety of ship methods available. You can also buy tea bags here. They have the heat and seal paper bags available. You fill, then iron the open side shut with your household iron.

SHOPS WHO SELL HERBAL BATH TEAS:

BLENDS TO TRY:
Calming Blend: Rose petals, Lavender,Lemon Grass, Sage and Rosehips
Calming Blend 2: Chamomile, Linden, Lemon Verbena and Calendula
Comforting: Lavender and Rosemary
Sore Aching Muscles: Lavander, Sage, Raspberry Leaf and Rosemary
Breathe Easy: Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Spearmint, lemon Balm, Rosemary and Lavender. You can throw in a clove and star anise as well, but use those sparingly.
STANDARD HERBS TO HAVE ON HAND:
Lavender- relaxation, muscle tension, decreases minor depression. Very soothing
Calendula-Anti Inflammatory, topical-very mild herb, wonderful for any tea.
Chamomile- Aids nervous system, relaxes, helps sleep
Rose-rose petals add extra scent and are beautiful in any tea. Love and Harmony.
Peppermint or Spearmint-invigorating, stimulating, warm and relaxing, relieve tension
Orange peel- Adds an uplifting scent and is a mind clearing and "happy" smell
Rosemary-Anti depressant, stress and anxiety
In My arsenal I keep the following herbs: Chamomile, Calendula Leaves,Elder Flower, Eucalyptus, Hibiscus Flower, Lavender,Lemon Balm, Lemongrass, Lemon Verbena, Linden, Orange Peel, Peppermint Leaf, Red Raspberry Leaf, Rose Hips, Rosemary, Rose Petals, Sage, Spearmint.
I recently ordered Hops, Passionflower, Strawberry Leaf and Scullcap. Just waiting for those to arrive.
try out these bath teas:
good luck and enjoy your bath teas!


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