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Ever wondered how amazing it must feel like to lay in a bath made out of hay? You can do so in various regions of Germany. The ingredients of blossoms and grasses enhance blood circulation, relax muscles and even detox the body. Relaxation guaranteed.
The history of taking baths in hay
Taking a bath in hay is not only a wellness treatment but much more a long-established tradition in the Alpine region. Initially, the activity was introduced in Southern Tyrol where it was called ‘Alpenbaderl’, which directly translated means: ‘Alpine bath’. Already back then farmers new about the healing effects of hay. During the hay bath t aromatic oils were released easing limb pain. In 1888 the healing effects of hay were researched on for the first time scientifically and were even mentioned by pastor Kneipp.
In the 1890s, farmers made a real business out of hay baths. Richer people from the cities loved the healing treatments and like this farmers found an easy way to earn some very much needed extra money. Back then taking a bath in hay wasn’t always a pleasure though: The conditions under which the hay was stored wasn’t always the best and consequently fungal diseases grew. These caused the hay to heat up to 60°C which as you can imagine wasn’t very pleasant for the visitor. Thus, with the help of the heat the aromatic oils of the hay were released. Luckily, things have changed since then. Today, guests can enjoy their hay bath at a pleasant temperature of 42°C and still enjoy the full effect of the treatment.
How does one take a bath in hay?
Back in the days, heated hay was simply put in a hole in which the guest stood until his full body was covered. The body then began to sweat. Good to know: It was normal to use the heated hay for more than one guest only..
Starting from 1991, when also wellness hotels discovered the treatment more hygienic standards were introduced. These days, 4 to 5 kg of hay is preheated in a water bath. The guest lays down naked on a lounger and gets then fully covered in hay. Once the hay is applied, the body gets wrapped in foil. Like this the essential oils do not only benefit the skin but also the airways. A hay bath takes about 20 minutes and after the guest should relax and drink lots of water.
What are the effects of taking a hay bath?
- Stimulation of metabolic processes
- Recovery from mental and/or physical stress
- Calming effect on the skin
- Reduction of rheumatic pain
- Reduction of joint pain
- Activation of the immune system
Where does hay come from and what's in it?
Hay is made of different grasses, plants and blossoms. Depending on the region where the hay is produced its composition varies.
Can I take a hay bath at home?
Hay baths also serve as ‘do it yourself’ wellness treatment. Fill up a bathtub with warm water and then simply put a small bag filled with bio hay in it. Leave it in there for about 5 minutes before removing it. You should pay attention to only use bio hay, which you can either order online or in the pet shop.
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