Bringing a Little Relaxation to Your Holidays

Dating back to the days of writing and creating our Kids Science and Environmental Show we started a holiday tradition at Ahimsa Media of sharing an activity that you could do with your loved ones or on your own.  Typically, this activity has had a green slant to it. While this year’s could still be considered green, our theme this year is slanted a little more to unwinding and relieving stress … turning your tub into your own little spa oasis.

Have fun making these and then find a good book and go enjoy a bit of well deserved down time soaking in the tub!

Photo by Roger Mateo Poquet

Bath Bombs

This is an old favourite of ours from the days when we use to spin tales of magic for kids, while getting them excited about science through a potions class or two.  For further details, you’ll have to chat with the Great Professor Ericacea.


  • 1 1/2 cups of baking soda
  • 1/2 cup of citric acid
  • 2 tbsp of coconut oil
  • 5 – 8 drops of food colouring
  • 10 – 15 drops of essential oil

Whipping up a bit of Bath Time Bliss:

  • In a dry bowl, mix baking soda and citric acid together.
  • Melt coconut oil and mix together with baking soda and citric acid.  This should make the dry ingredients clump together, so that you can mold the mixture into balls.  If not, then melt and add in a bit more coconut oil.
  • Add food colouring and essential oil and mix thoroughly.
  • Shape mixture into the desired-sized balls (1 – 2 inches in diameter) and leave to dry on a plate for at least 24 hours.

Photo by Sharyn Morrow

Now all there is left to do is find a good book, run a warm bath, drop in one of your bath bombs and relax!

Finding Citric Acid

Back in the day, it use to be that citric acid was a relatively easy and inexpensive ingredient to find at the pharmacy.  This is sadly no longer the case, but still needed in the bath bombs, as it and the baking soda are what create the fizz. So here are a few places where you should be able to find citric acid at a decent price:

  • health food stores
  • grocery stores, as a product called Fruit Fresh, which is usually found with the canning supplies
  • home brewers / winemakers (rumour has it that prices here are excellent on citric acid)

And if all else fails, you can substitute cream of tartar for citric acid, but as cream of tartar is thicker, you will only need 1/2 the amount of cream of tartar to citric acid. For example, if the recipe calls for 1 cup of citric acid, substitute in 1/2 cup of cream of tartar.

Choosing your essential oils:

The essential oil is the key ingredient to setting the perfect mood in the tub, so you want to make sure you find the right one for you.  Here are a few of my favourites:


  • refreshing, relaxing and calming
  • anti-inflammatory
  • good for muscles pains, rheumatism, headaches, insomnia, stress, colds …


  • refreshing and stimulating
  • good for anxiety …

Orange / Mandarin

  • refreshing and relaxing
  • good for anxiety, insomnia, muscle pain, skin, stress …


  • refreshing and stimulating
  • anti-inflammatory
  • good for nausea, fever, stress, headaches, muscle pain …

You can find essential oils at the pharmacy or health food store.

Simple Soaks

The beauty of the essential oils is they can transform your bath into a bit of bliss in a few seconds, minus much effort on your part.  Here are a few quick tips:

  • Simply add a few drops of your favourite essential oil to your running bath water.
  • Create a milk bath with 1/2 a cup – 1 cup of powdered milk and a few drops of your favourite essential oil.
  • Soak in a tub with 1/2 a cup – 1 cup of epsom salts and a few drops of your favourite essential oil.  This ones great for aching muscles.

Photo by Mary Pattavina

Gingerbread  Body Scrub

This scrub makes your skin feel lovely and is a great alternative to going in hunt of essential oils, as most of the ingredients are in your kitchen larder.


  • 1 cup of epsom salt
  • 1 cup of sea salt
  • 1 cup of your choice of oil (almond, jojoba, olive, sunflower …etc)
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp of ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp of ground cloves
  • 2 tsp of brown sugar
  • a mason jar

Whipping up a bit of Bath Time Bliss:

  • Mix all of the dry ingredients in a bowl.
  • Transfer dry ingredients into a mason jar.
  • Pour oil into the jar.

Now all you need to do is place the mason jar of scrub beside the tub and enjoy a few luxurious baths.  Just don’t use the scrub on your face.  You’ll also find that like with the essential oils, the spices have a few comforting properties of their own.  You can read about them below.


  • warming and stimulating
  • good for nausea, exhaustion, arthritis, colds, flu …


  • warming and stimulating
  • good for headaches, stress, nausea, colds and muscle tension …

I hope this gets your 2011 off to a blissful start.

With love from the gang at Ahimsa Media.

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