Amongst the extensive range of sauna bathing experiences is the herbal sauna. This type of sauna takes holistic sauna therapy to a whole new level. Sure, there are the usual saunas such as infrared or steam saunas which are incredibly therapeutic and very popular. However, if you’re looking for something a little more therapeutic then a herbal sauna may just be what you’re after.

Like all types of sauna room, herbal saunas have been widely used for their therapeutic qualities for centuries. They are most popular in Far Eastern countries such as Thailand, Cambodia & Burma. They tend to use indigenous natural herbs depending on which country you have the experience.

Example: Couple enjoying herbal sauna therapy.

Example: Couple enjoying herbal sauna therapy.

Western herbal saunas do however use many imported and indigenous herbs and flowers. Popular choices are lavender, sage, thyme, mint and lemon grass. All of which are world renowned for their natural healing properties.

Typical herbs used in a traditional herbal sauna

  • Prai – relieves muscular aches and pains, is a natural emollient and great for aromatherapy.
  • Turmeric – contains antiseptic properties, moisturisers, is anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and can heal stomach discomforts.
  • Lemongrass – also has antiseptic properties, the aromas can relieve stress and is apparently great for hangovers.
  • Camphor – is generally used for cleaning up minor infections.
  • Citronella – is another antiseptic, antispasmodic and great for repelling mosquitos.
  • Kiffir lime fruits & leaves – are used for aromatherapy treatments and are also said to be good for your hair.
  • Tamarind leaves – have antibacterial properties (the tree trunk is used for chopping blocks in Thai kitchens) and is very refreshing to your skin.

Infuse your sauna with a bouquet garni

In many countries the herbs are infused into the sauna steam via the use of a bouquet garni. A bouquet garni is usually used for infusing herbs into food dishes when cooking. They are however just at home in your sauna. The recipe of the Bouquet garni is selected for specific properties recommended by your spa therapist.

bouquet garni for herbal sauna therapy

Bouquet garni for herbal sauna therapy

It is then rested onto the steam infusion tray of the sauna heater. This provides the bather with an exciting infusion of steam and herbs. The fragrant herbal humidity and the warm sauna becomes a relaxing and invigorating treatment.

A typical herbal experience is not a hot as a traditional sauna. This makes it a much more comfortable therapy. You can while away the hours breathing in the scented herbal vapour and letting your stresses fade away.  Holistic saunas are a popular consideration for any new or existing health spa. They are an inspired addition or an upgrade to an existing sauna.

Large commercial saunas when refurbished can be split into two different types of sauna bathing. One is used for the health spa and one for general leisure which would provide multiple choices of bathing for the client.

Herbal saunas also tend to have much more of a designer theme than usual sauna design. They can of course be installed as a traditional sauna with internal bench layout. Unique designs are conceived from our abilities to push sauna design boundaries.

We can provide a solution to any custom sauna brief. Whether it’s in your home spa or corporate wellness facility contact Leisurequip to upgrade your healthy living lifestyle today.

Frequently asked questions

What does a herbal sauna do?

A herbal sauna, also known as an herbal steam sauna, is a type of sauna that incorporates the use of herbs and aromatic plants to enhance the sauna experience. It involves heating the herbs and releasing their essential oils into the air, creating a soothing and therapeutic atmosphere.

What herbal medicine is good for sauna?

Herbal medicine that is good for use in a sauna varies depending on personal preferences and desired effects. Some commonly used herbs for sauna include eucalyptus, lavender, chamomile, rosemary, peppermint, and lemongrass. Eucalyptus, for example, is known for its respiratory benefits and can help open up the airways, while lavender promotes relaxation and stress relief. It’s important to research and ensure that the chosen herbs are safe for use in a sauna environment.

What herbs work for a herbal sauna?

A variety of herbs can be used, each with its unique properties and benefits. Eucalyptus, as mentioned earlier, is popular for its refreshing and respiratory benefits. Lavender is commonly used for relaxation and stress relief. Chamomile has a calming effect and can promote better sleep. Rosemary is invigorating and can enhance mental clarity.

Peppermint provides a cooling sensation and can be refreshing in a sauna. Lemongrass has a pleasant citrusy aroma and is often used for relaxation and mood improvement. These are just a few examples, and the choice of herbs can be tailored to personal preferences and desired effects.

What is a herbal steam sauna?

A herbal steam sauna refers to a sauna that utilizes steam infused with herbal essences. The herbs are typically added to the water that generates steam, allowing their aromatic and therapeutic properties to be released into the sauna environment. The combination of heat and steam creates a soothing atmosphere, promoting relaxation, detoxification, and potential health benefits associated with the herbs used.

What are the benefits of a herbal sauna?

The benefits of a herbal sauna can be diverse and may include relaxation and stress relief, improved respiratory function, enhanced circulation, detoxification through sweating, soothing muscle aches and pains, improved skin health, and an overall sense of well-being.

The aromatic properties of the herbs can have a positive impact on mood and mental clarity, enhancing the overall sauna experience. However, it’s important to note that individual experiences may vary, and it’s always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before using herbal saunas, particularly if you have any underlying health conditions.

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About the Author: Kenton Mann

Kenton Mann
Kenton Mann has been at the helm of Leisurequip ltd. and involved in the wellness industry for over 40 years. In that time he has become an expert many times over in the design and construction of a myriad of bespoke wellness rooms. Furthermore, he is also the UK's pre-eminent Tylo Sauna & Steam expert with unparalleled knowledge not found anywhere else.

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