I’m in full swing nesting mode. With only 4 short weeks until I am considered full term in my pregnancy, I am busy prepping our home to be “baby ready”.
One of the things on my To-Do list was gathering the ingredients for a “Healing Herbal Sitz Bath”. I intend to use this bath to help with healing post labour and delivery. This herbal soak will help to speed up any kind of healing, whether from a perineal tear, episiotomy, hemorrhoids or general trauma. It can also be used as a gentle herbal bath for baby or for future skin rashes, diaper rashes, and irritations that might come up.
I simply popped over to my local Fiddlehead’s Health and Nutrition store and raided their bulk herb dispensary. Here is a list of the herbs I gathered:
- Calendula – also known as Marigold, calendula is a vulnerably, meaning it helps to heal and soothe irritated, inflamed and sore skin. It also has antimicrobial and anti fungal properties for preventing infection. Caution if you have an allergy to the Asteracea family of herbs.
- Comfrey – this herbs high content of allantoin, a substance that helps promote new skin cell growth, helps to reduce inflammation and heal skin.
- St. John’s Wort – contains a constituent called hyperforin, which stimulates growth and differentiation of keratinocytes (aka new skin cells). It is also anti-microbial and helps prevent infection.
- Sheppard’s Purse – This astringent herb helps reduce bleeding and swelling.
- Lavender – Soothing, antimicrobial, antioxidant, calming, and let’s face it, smells great!
All in all, the ingredients cost about $10 for 5-6 soaks.
Use the following ratios:
- 2 tablespoons comfrey leaf (Symphytum officinale)
- 2 tablespoons St. John’s wort flower (Hypericum perforatum)
- 4 tablespoons calendula flower (Calendula officinalis)
- 1 tablespoon lavender (Lavendula officinalis)
- 1 tablespoon Shepherd’s Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris)
- Himalayan sea salts or epsom salts – optional but recommended if using as a post labour soak.
Use 4-6 Tbsp of the above mixture per soak, along with 1/2 cup of sea salts. There are a couple different techniques you can use to extract the healing constituents of the herbs.
- Combine herbs with boiling water in a French Press – let sit for at least 20 minutes. Add to a warm bath along with sea salts. Soak only lower body or your entire body in bath for at least 15-20 minutes.
- Combine in a pot with boiling water and let simmer on low for 20 minutes. Add to a warm bath along with sea salts.
- Combine in an old dish towel or cheese cloth. Let herbs soak in hot bath for 20 minutes along with sea salts before climbing in yourself.
You can also add the herbal extraction into a peri bottle and rinse as needed.
The application of witch hazel (I purchased Thayer’s Witch Hazel online) onto a wipe or sanitary pad, frozen in your freezer and applied as needed to affected area is also very healing and soothing.
Note: Avoid soaking deep surgical wounds until you are cleared by an MD/surgeon for showering/bathing. This recipe is NOT to be consumed orally as a tea.