You can blend together botanicals celebrated for their relaxing aromas and cooling astringent properties to create a soothing herbal sitz bath. Both yarrow (Achillea millefolium) aerial parts and St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) flowers have been found to aid mothers recovery from the birthing process. Their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties soothe the skin and stimulate cell rejuvenation (Bantilan, 2019).
Please note that herbalist, midwife, and doctor Aviva Romm explains baths can be used after vaginal birth “as long as mom is healthy and there are no signs of infection” (Romm, 2014, para. 2). If in doubt, be sure to check with your midwife or doctor before bathing. If bathing and soaking are not yet advised by a person’s OB or midwife, the same tea blend can be infused in small batches, strained carefully, and spritzed using a clean spray bottle. Just be sure to make a fresh batch per use and empty and rise the spray bottle daily.
Reducing inflammation and soothing irritation is the goal of any good sitz bath, especially for the new mom. Astringent herbs may also support repair and restoration of stretched tissue. Witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) leaf, bark, or twig is a natural astringent known for its anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties (Link, 2018). Often used to treat irritated skin and hemorrhoids, witch hazel is the ideal herbal sitz bath addition.
Calendula (Calendula officinalis) flowers offer anti-inflammatory and astringent properties, and they’re commonly found in skin-soothing balms and lotions (Cervoni, 2020). This herbal sitz bath is completed with a sprinkle of relaxing lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) blossoms and sweet smelling rose (Rosa spp.) petals.
Soothing Herbal Sitz Bath
A warm herbal bath is a wonderful way to relax the body and the mind post birth. As the physical body enjoys the soothing properties of the herbs, the mind can absorb the calming aroma of the botanicals. This herbal sitz bath is a great gift idea for the new mother. Yield: 2 baths
- ½ cup yarrow (Achillea millefolium) aerial parts
- ½ cup calendula (Calendula officinalis) flowers
- ½ cup lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) blossoms
- ¼ cup witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) leaf
- ¼ cup rose (Rosa spp.) petals
- ¼ cup St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) flowers
- Blend all the herbs together and store in an airtight container until you are ready to make your bath.
- Using a mounded cup of the herbal bath blend, place the herbs in a ½ gallon shatter-resistant canning jar or big pot.
- Fill the jar or pot with boiling hot water, put a lid on top, and let steep for at least 30 minutes or up to 8 hours.
- Strain the liquid directly into the tub filled with comfortable, warm water, and enjoy your soothing herbal sitz bath.
For more recipes for new moms, check out:
Bantilan, C. (2019). 5 emerging benefits and uses of yarrow tea [Online article]. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/yarrow-tea#1.-May-enhance-wound-healing-
Cervoni, B. (2020). The health benefits of calendula [Online article]. Retrieved from https://www.verywellhealth.com/health-benefits-of-calendula-4582641
Justis, A. (2017). 6 DIY recipes For gentle herbal support for new moms [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://theherbalacademy.com/gentle-herbal-support-for-new-moms/
Link, R. (2018). 8 benefits and uses of witch hazel [Online article]. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/witch-hazel-benefits-uses#TOC_TITLE_HDR_11
Romm, A. (2014). Healing Herbal Baths for New Mamas. Retrieved from https://avivaromm.com/postpartum-herb-baths/