Thanks to Alexis from Worts & Cunning for this beautiful article.
A few years back I was exposed to the work of Maurice Mességué via Rosalee de la Floret’s blog post on the famous French herbalist. I love reading biographies and autobiographies of herbalist – their stories of becoming herbalists and practicing their craft are always illuminating and inspiring. I especially appreciated Mességué’s approach to herbs which generally involved little to no alcohol-based remedies and a lot of hand and foot baths. As someone who doesn’t use a tremendous amount of alcohol-based remedies in my practice, I am always interested in learning about the herbalists who use alcohol-free alternatives as well. Herbal baths (whether full body or for the feet) are something that I personally love and I would make them as part of many a client consultation, usually with a ritual component attached to them (because magick). Reading Mességué’s work inspired me to work more with herbal bath concentrates and have them become a primary form of herbal remedy with some of my clients as opposed to an adjunct therapy. I haven’t been disappointed with the results and what I love about herbal baths is that they are so darn easy to create and use. If you can throw herbs together in a bowl and pour hot water over them you can make an herbal bath. You don’t even have to worry about what the blend will taste like as in the case when you’re making teas.
Herbal baths are an inexpensive luxury which is why they are such a great self-care tool. You don’t even need to have a bath tub to enjoy an herbal bath as you can use a big bowl for a foot or hand bath. I have a large white bowl that I thrifted a few years ago that I use exclusively for foot baths and it has become a magickal cauldron for tired feet to be soothed in and re-emerge happy and restored.