I’m a person who suffers at the hand of seasonal allergies every spring. And by someone who suffers, I mean that I’m on prescription allergy medication and Reactine to get through my day. When my sinuses were plugged recently, I decided I needed something menthol/eucalyptus to help me out. That’s where Gayle comes into the picture. She has been making Aromatherapy Shower Steamers for awhile. For those who do not bath (like myself), a shower steamer is an excellent idea. Drop one on the floor of the shower and the water running by it activates it, and you are being steamed into pure menthol bliss. You can make these with any essential oils you like to suit your purposes, just keep in mind that peppermint and menthol should be kept away from children under six (as well as many other essential oils… practice your due diligence and when in doubt, don’t do it! And an FYI, your Young Living or Doterra representatives probably don’t know the actual safety data regarding usage as much of their training is marketing).
Now these steamers are not for the faint of heart. I tried two different recipes before I settled on this one. The first had too much water (I made it on purpose as I could not comprehend how adding water to citric acid and baking soda would not activate them prematurely… I was correct… I now have aromatherapy cookies! The picture shows them growing within minutes of unmolding them). The second recipe worked well, they did not activate prematurely, and they retained their shape during handling.
I am going to provide two different variations of this recipe as one contains menthol crystals and the other does not. I did stumble across a couple of recipes that crushed up the menthol crystals and added them to the mixture, however being that menthol crystals are not water soluble, it doesn’t make much sense to me to add them that way. I dissolved them in 99% Isopropyl alcohol first (you could use Everclear or any high percentage grain alcohol, if you prefer… the alcohol evaporates either way, so it does not much matter which you use). The menthol crystals still will not dissolve in the water, but they will make it down the drain a little easier and will not be so gritty on the shower floor.
Aromatherapy Shower Steamers
- 1 cup Sodium Bicarbonate USP (Baking Soda)
- 1/2 cup Citric Acid USP
- 1 tbsp Cream of Tartar (Available at Earth`s General Store in bulk).
- Colourant of choosing
- 5 tbsp+ alcohol (99% Isopropyl from Costco is what I used, I may try Everclear next)
- 20 g essential oils of choice (combined or single type… I give some ideas below)
- If using the menthol crystals, measure them out and add to 5 tbsp of the alcohol. Stir. Let dissolve as you are making the base.
- Mix the dry ingredients together well. If using a
powdered colourant, add that as well.
- Add the essential oil to the menthol crystal mixture. If you aren’t using the menthol crystals, add the essential oil to 5 tbsp of alcohol.
- Using gloved hands, start adding the alcohol mixture to the powder mixture. Keep adding until you reach a sandcastle consistency that holds it shape when squeezed. You may need to add more alcohol to achieve this.
- Push into your molds. The smaller the mold the better. I did not have much success with large molds.Push down firmly! A measuring spoon fit perfectly into the opening of the mold I happened to use (an ice cube tray from the dollar store that Gayle had). I packed each cavity as hard as I could.
- Now, you can either leave them in the mold overnight, or you can chance unmolding them at that very moment (helpful, if you don’t have enough molds). The good thing about unmolding them right away is that you’ll have a better idea if you packed them enough or not. If they aren’t wet enough, spritz the powder with more alcohol.
- Let dry (cure) overnight. The next day you should have very hard aromatherapy shower steamers!
Essential oil blend ideas:
- Relaxation: Lavender Essential oil with Peppermint Essential oil
- Uplifting: Lime Essential oil, Orange Essential oil, and a touch of Geranium Essential Oil.
- Sinus Relief: Menthol Crystals, Cornmint Essential Oil, Peppermint Essential Oil, and Eucalyptus Essential Oil.
- Four Thieves (not to be used for kids!)
- Spearmint & Patchouli Essential oils
- Lavender & Patchouli Essential oils