Stressed? Sniffly? Can’t sleep? Time to… Harness the power of a flower shower
- Trend for using plants to enhance bathing experience has had a new lease of life
- Catherine Nix of My Scented Home works with fresh and dried flowers
- Florist presents her favourite shower bouquets for improving health
Since Cleopatra added rose petals to her bath and Ancient Romans scattered the waters of their spas with herbs, people have been using plants and aromatherapy in their bathing experience.
Now the trend has been given a new lease of life with the rise of bath — or shower — bouquets.
It is what it sounds like — bunches of herbs, flowers and greenery suspended so the water can flow over them, releasing health-boosting essential oils and fragrances. Craft site Etsy has a selection of ready-made shower bouquets (etsy.com) or you can make your own.
‘Herbs and flowers can be beneficial from a health perspective,’ says Catherine Nix of My Scented Home (myscentedhome.co.uk), a florist who works with fresh and dried flowers. ‘Some, such as lavender which aids sleep, or rosemary which can clear the mind, are readily available fresh.
Catherine Nix of My Scented Home revealed her favourite shower bouquets. Pictured: For Radiant Skin
‘But others, such as camomile, which reduces stress, are harder to come by in anything other than dried form. So while I’d always suggest using fresh, there’s nothing wrong with adding a muslin bag with some dried herbs or flowers to the mix.’
For inspiration, have a look at the book The Bath Project by Dr Barbara Kubicka (£24.99, thebathproject.com), which suggests plants and herbs to help with various ailments — from using marjoram, cardamom and basil for a hangover, to fennel and juniper for water retention.
Or, try one of the bouquets that we asked Catherine to make up for us.
‘To get the most out of your shower or bath bouquet, put it in a plastic bag and hammer it with a rolling pin before you use it,’ she advises. ‘This will help release the fragrance.’
Here, Catherine presents her favourite shower bouquets…
FOR RADIANT SKIN
Sage, oatmeal (in a bag), oregano, lemon verbena, aloe and eucalyptus
Aloe vera is often found in after-sun products because it has anti-inflammatory and skin-soothing properties. You will often find oats in creams that are designed for dry and sensitive skin.
‘Sage and oregano both have antibacterial properties,’ says Catherine. ‘And oregano is also high in antioxidants, while lemon verbena tones the skin.’
Lavender, basil, peppermint and eucalyptus
Catherina said basil reduces menstrual cramps, while peppermint, ‘reduces headaches and nausea. Pictured: PMS soother
I loved the fragrant combination of basil and peppermint but had no idea they could help with PMS. Basil is said to reduce menstrual cramps because a chemical it contains has pain-killing properties, while peppermint, ‘reduces headaches and nausea’, says Catherine.
Lavender, eucalyptus, lemon balm, camomile and mugwort
Catherine said she slept well for a good seven hours after using her sleep aid bouquet (pictured) with lavender, eucalyptus, lemon balm, camomile and mugwort
Camomile has long been associated with sleep as it contains an ingredient that binds to receptors in the brain that are believed to decrease anxiety and initiate sleep. Lavender helps the body relax, while lemon balm can apparently bring relief for insomniacs.
Finally, Catherine adds eucalyptus and a little dried mugwort to the bag.
‘This has sedative properties and gives wonderful dreams,’ she says. After using it, I slept well for a good seven hours.
Eucalyptus, peppermint and oregano
Catherine paired eucalyptus with peppermint and oregano to ease breathing (pictured)
Eucalyptus helps you breathe more easily. Catherine has paired it with peppermint — ‘good for un-clogging sinuses’ — and oregano, the oil of which has long been used to treat fevers and respiratory symptoms.
Lavender, eucalyptus and bay
Catherine combined lavender, eucalyptus and bay leaves (pictured) for an anxiety buster bouquet
Bay leaves are associated with stews, but it turns out that burning them has long been a herbal remedy for anxiety.
Apparently they contain a chemical called linalool, which is the same active ingredient found in lavender (also in this bouquet) that has been proven to relieve stress.
Sage, basil, eucalyptus and oregano
Catherine said sage, basil and oregano are all good at slowing the ageing of skin. Pictured: The anti-ager
Sage, basil and oregano are all good at slowing the ageing of skin, says Catherine.
This is partly because they’re high in antioxidants which counteract some of the unstable compounds associated with accelerating the ageing process. Perennial favourite eucalyptus is included because of its ability to reduce stress.
Rosemary, eucalyptus, fennel and camomile
Catherine paired rosemary, eucalyptus, fennel and camomile (pictured) for the perfect kickstart to the day
Eucalyptus oil’s cooling effect is invigorating first thing, but Catherine explains that, like the camomile she’s included, it also reduces stress.
She pairs it with rosemary which, she says, ‘clears the mind’. Apparently fennel’s scent is good for clearing the respiratory system. It’s perfect to kickstart your day.
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