Herbs have been used in baths almost as long as baths have existed. Records indicate Romans used lavender while the general European sought plants like rosemary, thyme, mint, hollyhock and chamomile. Basically, so long as the herb had a pleasant aroma, it did well in the bath.
When taking a spiritual bath, this practice becomes much more structured. To begin, you need to determine the purpose of the bath. Many believe each herb has a special quality related to certain aspects of the body. Lavender and chamomile, for instance, are seen as ideal for clearing away stress. Knowing what you are cleansing will help determine the herbs you use. Plants like Espanta Muerto have long been used to dispel jinxes and remove unwanted spirits. Still others, such as Bleo Blanco, maximize peace and tranquility. While dried herbs are often touted as the preferred choice, it can be argued this is only because dried herbs are found at a larger variety of stores. In reality, fresh herbs are the strongest in both aroma and power.
Determining when to perform the ritual depends heavily on your belief system and the plants involved. The Santeria church, for instance, prescribes it through divination or prophetic declaration but also allows for followers to perform their own ablution should the need strike. Still others recommend bathing only on nights when there is a full moon and never 6 or 12 AM or PM. Once you’ve determined what works best with your beliefs, fill the bath tub with warm water. Add your herbs and let them sit for at least a minute to allow them time to begin releasing their aromas. Once in the tub, soak for about 20 to 30 minutes. Another popular method is to steep fresh herbs in boiling water for about 10 minutes. Strain this mixture, let it cool and then pour over your head while standing in your tub. During this time, meditate on your current position in life. Release any and all negative energy and take in the positive. Prayers are also welcome and encouraged during this time. If a fuller cleanse is a part of what you seek, use a soft sponge to add a physical component to the otherwise spiritual activity.