The ABCs of Aromatherapy

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Aromatic Bath Salts

Words: Danielle Williams

Aromatherapy is such a big part of making homemade bath and body products. Not only do the all-natural ingredients work wonders on your skin, but they can also work to improve your mentality. By the most basic definition, aromatherapy is the inhalation or topical application of essential oils all with a therapeutic intention. Another way to explain it is a means to enhance your well-being. From those descriptions, it’s easy to see how any DIY recipe, like a salt scrub, bath soak, or facial steam, could be used for aromatherapy purposes.

In the bath salt blend featured here by Kami McBride, she uses an aromatic blend of lavender, rose, and sage to calm and provide anti-inflammatory benefits in order to wash away any tension. And in Stephanie Rose’s all-natural playdough, she upgrades the nostalgic playdough from your childhood into a sensory activity filled with essential oils. Read on to learn how to make each recipe and begin adding aromatherapeutic practices to your routine.

All-Natural Aromatherapy Playdough

All-Natural Aromatherapy Playdough

by Stephanie Rose from Willow and Sage Spring 2022

You Will Need

  • 2½ cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • ¾ cup warm water
  • Food coloring
  • 1½ TB. vegetable oil
  • Lavender, peppermint & sweet orange essential oils

To Make

Mix the flour and salt together in a bowl. Set aside three separate bowls, large enough to hold at least 2 cups of playdough. Add ¼ cup of water to each bowl. Add food coloring to each of the bowls: five red drops and five blue drops for the purple/lavender dough; three red drops and seven yellow drops for the orange dough; and 10 blue drops for the blue/peppermint dough. Then, add ½ tablespoon of vegetable oil to each bowl. When choosing an oil, go with an unscented option, such as sunflower oil.

Add two to four drops of essential oil to each bowl. Start with two drops and add more if you would like to make the scent stronger. Keep in mind, little noses can easily be overpowered by scents, so less is better. Stir the oil and color mixture together. Add 1 cup of the flour and salt mixture to each bowl, and stir until thoroughly mixed. Dust the countertop with more of the remaining mixture, and knead the dough until it has a soft texture perfect for playing. If you feel like you need to soften the mixture a bit, add a smidge of water. If it is too soft and sticky, add more flour/salt to firm it up. Package the playdough in a jar with a tight seal, and store in the fridge when not in use.

Aromatic Bath Salts

Aromatic Bath Salts

by Kami McBride from Willow and Sage Summer 2022

You Will Need

  • 4 cups sea salt
  • ½ cup sage leaves, powdered
  • ½ cup lavender flowers, powdered
  • ½ cup rose flowers, powdered
  • 2 cups olive oil

To Make

In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients, and mix well. Transfer the salt blend to a clean jar. Label, cap, and store in a cool, dark place for up to six months. To use, dissolve ½ cup of the herbal salts in the bathwater. Alternately, scrub up to ½ cup of the herbal salts directly on your skin during a shower or bath to exfoliate, moisturize, and help move your lymph. Rinse well afterward.


If you want to add more aromatherapeutic practices to your routine, check out Willow And Sage magazine.

Danielle Williams is the managing editor for Willow and Sage, The Natural Home Issue, Mingle, and Art Quilting Studio. She lives with her growing family in Orange County, California.

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