With the cold weather season upon us, one of my favorite ways to warm up is with a soothing, deliciously warm herbal bath. When it comes to bath teas or soaks, there are a few go-to ingredients commonly found in most products, such as calendula, chamomile, lavender and rose. These flowers are carefully chosen for their antioxidant and rejuvenating properties, as well as powerful aromatherapy that can soothe and heal both the skin and mind. There are, however, other overlooked herbs and flowers that you can explore as you seek to add variety to your bath (and/or tea) ritual, such as immortelle and mallow. In today's blog we'll explore these two ingredients and teach you how to make an easy DIY bath tea soak!
Also known as Immortelle or Everlast, Helichrysum is a strawflower that you can find in many forms—as an essential oil, hydrosol, tea or dried, to name a few. If you’re wondering about the nicknames, they come from the flower’s reputation for retaining its bright, intense yellow color even when dried. In fact, you’ve probably seen it referred to as Immortelle in some of your favorite face creams and lotions.
Immortelle is beloved by both commercial and small-batch brands because it effectively promotes wellbeing and longevity in a number of ways:
- The powerful and therapeutic essential oil can have long lasting effects both on the body and on the emotions.
- Applied topically it can help minimize scar tissue, accelerate the healing of wounds and treat acne due to its anti-bacterial properties.
- The oil can be used topically to treat joint pain and arthritic conditions, as well as sprains.
- It has deep cleansing properties and can be used to disinfect and promote healing through tissue regeneration.
- It has been used in the treatment of eczema, abscesses, dermatitis and psoriasis.
- It can be used as an effective pain reliever due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
- In aromatherapy, Immortelle is recommended to help alleviate emotional distress, mental exhaustion and stress.
- It aids in purification of the blood and acts as a support to the gallbladder. It also balances pancreatic activity.
- It serves as an immune booster due to its anti-bacterial, anti-viral and antiseptic properties, which is why I enjoy it regularly as a tea.
As you can see there are so many benefits to using Immortelle, but one of the most stunning is its ability to regenerate skin, while at the same time soothing, protecting and healing it. The result is skin that looks firmer and more vibrant.
Although it isn’t a typical household skincare bloom, amongst experts, the purple petaled mallow has an excellent reputation for being a soothing, softening and healing flower. If you’re prone to irritated or inflamed skin, regular use of products containing mallow (the leaves and the flowers) can provide relief while moisturizing and healing at the same time. Here are the many ways mallow, aka Malva, works its magic:
- Its leaves contain high levels of a mucilaginous (mucus-like) carbohydrate that coats and soothes the gastrointestinal tract by forming a protective film. This property makes it useful in calming intestinal issues as well as bronchitis, sore throats and other respiratory ailments.
- Containing protective antioxidants such as flavonoids, tannins and vitamin C, malva can help boost the immune system.
- Malva leaves contain mild pain reducing properties and can help ward off infection, as well as healing minor sores, bug bites and wounds.
- It soothes dry rough skin by adding and retaining moisture. It’s also effective in relieving eczema and dermatitis.
- Malva has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which means that if you’ve spent a little too much time in the sun or have a baby with a little diaper rash, malva can soothe both conditions.
How To Use Immortelle and Malva In Your Wellness Routine + Bath Soak Recipe
Healing Immortelle & Mallow Bath Soak Recipe
- 4 Tbsp. dried immortelle flowers
- 4 Tbsp. dried mallow flowers and leaves
- Cheese cloth (unbleached)
- Twine or ribbon
How: On a clean surface cut a 8” x 8” piece of cheese cloth and lie flat. Add the dried Immortelle and Mallow flowers to the center. Collect the corners of the cheese cloth, and tie it off so the dried flower are packed snugly and secure. Draw your bath with warm water, and add the bath tea immediately to let the heat release the healing properties.
Tip: Prior to drawing the bath, I prefer to release the bath tea’s powerful properties, so I boil water in a large saucepan and add my bath tea to the water for about 6 minutes. Then I transfer the water and the cheesecloth containing the tea to my bath, making sure the temperature isn’t too hot. This is an extra step, but it’s worth it, and takes about as much time as it does to run your bath!
You should also consider using these flowers in their potent oil form as you can add them to your favorite creams and cleansers to increase the benefits of your products. And of course, you can always make a delicious tea that can heal you both inside and out at the same time.
What healing flowers are in your natural skin and body care routine?