By: Laurie Schmiesing RN, MSN, ANS, RES
Lavender as a healing plant has a special relationship to decreasing feelings of anxiety and promoting rest. In fact, “lavender is pure, gentle restfulness” (Pelican, 1997). Known for its thin, upright flowers with potent scent it stimulates the forces of calm and centeredness within and balances an overactive nervous system and emotions. The oil concentrates itself in the lavender flowers emerging from the top of thin, green stalks. If you have ever plucked the flower of lavender and rolled it in your hands while taking a deep inhalation, the effect can be instantaneous. One feels a softening, a releasing of tension and a sensory delight.
Lavender oil can be worked with in many ways. It can be stroked onto the feet for cold feet or trouble sleeping. It also comes as a bath oil and a soothing bath or foot bath can be prepared to assist with warmth, sleep and for a general easing of tension and relaxing effect. Some people find it helps with insomnia and restless leg syndrome as well.
A lavender footbath can help with difficulty going to sleep, nervous tension or restlessness, especially with troubled thoughts. But it should not be used in the case of allergies or over-sensitivity to lavender, venous complications like varicose veins, or infections such as thrombophlebitis or any skin damage or wounds on the legs.
How to Prepare a Lavender Foot Bath
Interested in a lavender footbath? Below you will find everything you need to know to experience one!
You will need: a basin large enough to cover the feet and calves with water, lavender bath oil, a towel to dry your feet, a flannel sheet to cover yourself, and wool or cotton socks to put on after the bath.
Fill the basin with body temperature water; the water should feel pleasant and comfortable. Add the lavender bath oil and mix with your hand using a rhythmic, lemniscate movement for about a minute. This mixes the oil in and enlivens the water. Never use undiluted essential oils (essential oils should always be diluted in a carrier oil). Uriel’s bath oils come diluted so it makes them very easy to use and enjoy. Use 2-3 tsp depending on the size of the tub. If you are using a very small, foot-only tub, you can use less.
You should sit in a comfortable chair with the feet in the tub. Large new garden buckets or brand-new garbage cans make good containers for footbaths that can include the calves. After you are settled, it’s nice to put a flannel blanket over your shoulders and all the way down covering the container. If this isn’t possible, be sure to cover the upper legs and hips with a large towel to keep warm.
Enjoy for 15 to 30 Minutes
The feet can stay in the footbath for 15 to 30 minutes, as long as it’s comfortable. You may want to have extra warm water at hand in case the water cools down.
After the footbath, dry the feet, lie down and keep warm for about 15 minutes to enjoy the relaxation. Put those warm socks on before you get up or go straight to bed and enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep!
Compresses and Other Therapeutic Applications by Monika Fingado
Healing Plants by Wilhelm Pelikan