Essential oils are used in Saunas to promote well being and increase the enjoyment of the session. It is advisable to only use 100% natural oils and avoid artificial fragrances or oils. By using oils in your water bucket, it takes the whole experience to another level and adds an extra layer of enjoyment.
Traditionally Finns favour the use of Birch, Eucalyptus, Pine, Peppermint and Lemon Citrus, however Lavender, Rosemary, Wintergreen, Cedar and Manuka have gained recent popularity. Some sauna users swear by making a mixture from a variety of oils and I have found to be most rewarding.
One of our favourites has to be Eucalyptus oil. Take care not to add too much as this is a potent oil (generally 4 drops per liter of water). The resulting steam has a wonderful effect on blocked nasal passages, coughs and sore throats. Many articles on the internet claim it can prevent or cure colds, however we just know that it feels fantastic in a sauna. Best avoided for people with epilepsy and if high blood pressure is present. This oil mixes really well with Lavender, Lemon and Pine.
I have found that Peppermint oil has helped with my regular headaches and improves my state of alertness. Avoid neat use, particularly around the eyes and mucous membranes. Interesting fact, did you know Peppermint oil can be used as a treatment for ringworm? This oil likes to partner up with Eucalyptus, Lavender, Marjoram, Lemon and Rosemary.
Young birch leaves on twigs are often wrapped together in bundles, these are used in saunas to tone skin and improve circulation to body parts. Birch oil has great anti-bacterial and insecticidal properties, it also mixes well with Rosemary.
It is a good ideas to seek professional medical advice before letting children use a sauna or exposing them to oils in the air. Also please take advice if pregnant or you think you are trying to get pregnant as most oils and sauna are not recommended.