Sweat Bath
By Steven Horne, RH (AHG) & Kimberly Balas, ND


Many people in temperate climates the world over have used sweating both to prevent and treat disease. Scandinavians built saunas; Native Americans built sweat lodges. Samuel Thomson would wrap a person sitting in a chair with blankets and place a hot stone in a pail at his feet. By pouring water into the pail, the steam would come up under the blankets until the patient started to perspire.

My friend and fellow herbalist Thomas Easley used a hot plate with a pan of water on it when in college. By administering a formula like HCP-X with extra lobelia (and maybe capsicum) and steaming fellow students for about 20 minutes, they were able to knock out all kinds of acute illness.

With modern hot running water and bathtubs, inducing perspiration to clear toxins isn't that difficult. Start by drinking plenty of fluids.

Sudorific herbs are herbs that enhance perspiration. They move blood to the surface of the skin and help to open the sweat glands to promote elimination. You can also make a warm tea of any sudorific herb or formula.

After drinking the tea, draw a bath as hot as can be comfortably tolerated.
Add to the water a couple of tablespoons (or opened capsules) of ginger, a handful of yarrow, rosemary or mint leaves or other aromatic herbs.
Put the herbs in a cloth bag so they don't make a mess in the tub.

Another, even easier, sweat bath water treatment is to put about 5-10 drops of an essential oil such as lavender or tea tree oil or eucalyptus, or peppermint in the bath. Dissolve the oils in a little liquid soap before putting them into the bath water so they will mix with the water and not just float on the surface.

After getting out of the bath, don't dry off. Wrap up in a cotton sheet and go to bed. Pile on the blankets and allow the sweat to come freely. It's fine to fall asleep. When done, take a cool shower to cleanse the skin and close your pores. Don't allow chilling during the process.

With small children, don't put them into a really hot bath. Use a warm bath, and gently wash the child's body down with some natural soap (such as Sunshine Concentrate) and a washcloth to make certain the pores are open. Adding just a small amount of lavender essential oil or tea tree essential oil to the bath, or using a natural soap will help to stimulate the circulation and draw the blood to the extremities.

We have found sweat baths to be helpful for all types of acute ailments, especially colds, fevers, flu, sinus congestion, rashes and earaches.

Sweat baths are not recommended people who are infirm, elderly or have heart conditions.


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Therapies:
Sweat Bath helps deal with Toxic Overload, one of the root causes of disease.

Herbs: Chamomile, Ginger and Yarrow

Herbal Formulas: catnip & Fennel and HCP-X

Essential Oils: Lavender, Eucalyptus, Peppermint and Tea Tree Oil