A Foraged Midsummer Soak
Since Wild Source founder Kate recently began posting on instagram her weekly ritual flower baths, a number of curious folks reached out asking how they could recreate it!
Creating a herbal or flower bath is such a beautiful way to bring the healing power of nature into your home and self care rituals, it’s a way in which we can connect with and get to know plants in a tangible, meaningful way. So we are excited that you so many of you are keen to try your own. Possibilities are endless, you can simply be creative with what you have available, or use your intuition and seek out plants you feel guided to include.
Below are two wonder herbs easily foraged at this time of year (mid summer) throughout the country, both with a long history of use as skin healers.
If you are able to come by a handful Rose petals, Rosemary, Lavender, Calendula, Lemon balm, Sage or Eucalyptus leaves these will make a wonderful and fragrant base for your bath mix. You could also throw some pink himalayan salt or magnesium flakes into the mix for an extra cleansing and muscle soothing effect, we recommend our beautifully soothing Detox soak which is a trio of Himalyan Salt, Magnesium & Epsom.
Why Yarrow: Thanks to its astringent, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic properties Yarrow has been used for centuries in traditional herbal medicine for healing wounds, as it stimulate the formation of skin tissues and has a skin tightening effect, and who doesn’t want that!?
Yarrow also has a sedative effect on the nervous system so added to a bath, it will help you to wind down and relax.
How to use: In midsummer yarrows creamy white florets of flowers are in bloom, so this is the part of the plant you want to gather at this time. The flower has a light but unusual scent so go lightly when adding to your bath mix, perhaps three or four florets. A little goes a long way.
How to Identify: Yarrow grows throughout the country on grasslands, hedgerows and wastelands. Yarrow has thin wispy leaves which are larger at the stem base, long single stems branching out into many at the top of the stem to produce five or six florets of tiny, creamy white flowers with a yellow - orange central disk. There are also pink varieties of yarrow. If you are uncertain, be sure to check a more comprehensive description to identify before picking.
Why Chickweed: Chickweed has long been used to heal and moisturise dry, itchy, inflammatory skin conditions and you will often see chickweed added to healing balms for dermatitis, eczema and psoriasis.
How to use: Collect a few handfuls of the top six inches of the plant, early in the morning or after rain on the day you wish to use it, as chickweed will wilt easily in sunshine and once picked. In addition to adding to a bath, you can add the mild tasting leaves to salads and they will have a soothing, mucilaginous action in the digestive tract, much like slippery elm.
How to Identify: Chickweed is prolific and grows all year round in gardens, allotments and woodlands, it loves moist, shady area and doesn’t do so well in hot sun, so during summer you will find it under the shade of trees and bushes, often alongside cleavers and nettle. The leaves are oval shaped, coming to a slight point at the tip, they have a plump juicy texture, the stems have small white hairs. The flowers are small and white with five petals however they appear at first glance to have ten, so inspect closely.
If you are at all uncertain, please be sure to check a more comprehensive description of these plants, which the above is not intended to be, in order to accurately identify before picking.
Always forage away from road sides or council managed areas which may be polluted with fumes or sprays.
We recommend using home grown or wild grown plants and advise against using shop bought flowers as these are usually grown and preserved with chemical sprays which we would not wish to end up in your bath.