By Isake Tom
“This country need ah bush bath oui!”
This is a saying commonly uttered by my granny and fellow Trinidadians alike, usually in response to rising crime rates, government corruption and a socioeconomic situation that seems to be spiralling out of control in the twin republic.
So what exactly is a “bush bath” and how can it assist in healing, stress reduction and detoxification? Derived from African tradition, in Trinidad if you fall ill, granny may prescribe a bush bath; a special brew of potent herbs and plants steeped in water. Locals believe the bath can speed recovery, wash off the “maljo” (bad luck or evil eye), and bring good fortune. It’s also said to help soothe minor skin ailments. Around the world many cultures have employed various bath recipes to detox, relax and nourish the mind, body and soul.
So how can this age-old tradition assist us in 2016?
2016 has been a year filled with violent tragedies, racial turmoil and heart breaking images of our Haitian brethren picking up the pieces after yet another natural disaster. The constant media bombardment, coupled with the everyday stresses of big city life has left many of us feeling spiritually and emotionally drained. What we need now more than ever is healing and detoxification. One way I achieve this (besides cancelling my cable subscription) is through an aromatherapy/ herbal bath.
Growing up I’ve always appreciated baths. However as the years went by, life got in the way and finding to time to take a bath became a thing of the past. In 2015 I moved into a new place with a cozy soaker tub. This luxury has made me appreciate baths even more! Bath time for me, is a time to decompress, relax and cleanse myself of the stresses of another week gone by. Bath time is also a form of meditation. Since there’s no such thing as a “quick” bath (as that would defeat the purpose) this is a critical time to pray for protection, while reflecting on my goals and ultimate purpose in life.
If you’re feeling particularly stressed, tired or “heavy”, utilize an aura cleansing herbal bath of your choice. Baths can be practiced once a week or monthly to rejuvenate your physical, mental or emotional well-being.
You will need:
Pure Epsom salts
Healing herbs (e.g. basil, rosemary, mint etc)
You can use either herbs or essential oils for this cleansing bath. Whatever you have on hand or whichever you find the most soothing.
- If you’re using herbs boil the herbs beforehand so they can steep, or you can make an infusion using a fistful of each herb and add it to your bath.
- For an Instagram worthy pic, feel free to add a colourful concoction of flowers to your bath.
- For my fellow anxiety sufferers, burning incense simultaneously is another way to further reduce anxiety and stress.
While we can’t live in a bubble to protect us from the stresses of life, we can protect ourselves and our energy. It is essential that we care for our mental and physical health during these challenging times.
Sending peace, love and happiness to my muses.
Not sure where to purchase essential oils or incense? Check out Love & Unity Culture Shop in Toronto. Caribbean owned, it’s where we purchase all of our bath goodies. Be sure to tell them we sent you. xoxo