Essential oils for dry sauna – Best fragrances


Essential oils have been used in the sauna for a long time, and have become a favorite of Poles and other Europeans because they can enhance the therapeutic and relaxing effects of sauna sessions. However, there are certain rules that allow you to enjoy aromatic oils in the sauna without unpleasant consequences, such as damaged stones in the furnace or headaches. Let’s review what essential oils can be used in the sauna, how they can be used and for what purpose.

There are two main purposes for using essential oils in the bath: for a health-promoting effect and for a cosmetic effect.
In this article we will explain the different essential oils and how to use them.

Essential oils for the sauna with therapeutic effects

There are many essential oils that have medicinal properties. Some of them help fight the common cold, relieve inflammation, improve circulation and make breathing easier. Examples of such oils include eucalyptus, pine, thyme, mint, rosemary and tea tree.

Attention: we do not recommend treatment with essential oils! Before visiting the sauna, consult your family doctor.

  • For frequent headaches caused by vascular spasms or fluctuations in blood pressure, essential oils of lemon verbena and geranium are suitable.
  • In the early stages of a cold, peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils work well because of their pronounced antiseptic effect.
  • If you have a severe cough, we recommend using anise, juniper or fennel oils (or a mixture of them). These have an expectorant effect.
  • Chinese essential oils of lemongrass, geranium or wormwood can be used to stabilize the nervous system. They have a calming and relaxing effect.
  • Rosemary oil has a refreshing effect. It can be used in cases of fatigue and chronic lassitude.
  • For skin conditions (diathesis, eczema, psoriasis), a pair with essential oils of pine, celandine, valerian, sea buckthorn, yarrow, chamomile and sage is good. You can use these oils in various combinations, but it is better not to mix more than three oils at the same time. The same oils are useful for cosmetic purposes: they make the skin softer and softer.
  • If we have scratches and abrasions, but which do not prevent us from using the steam bath, it is a good idea to use coniferous aromatic oils. Any such oil will help speed up the healing processes of any minor skin damage. These include oils from pine, cedar, spruce and fir.
  • Essential oils of lemon, sandalwood or juniper will help eliminate toxins and waste from the body. This again has both therapeutic and cosmetic benefits.

Essential oils for the sauna with cosmetic effects

Some essential oils have cosmetic properties such as moisturizing, nourishing, smoothing and regenerating the skin. Examples of such oils include lavender, ylang-ylang, bergamot, rose, orange, tangerine, lemon, lemon balm and honey.

  • Versatile essential oils such as eucalyptus, peppermint, oregano will help clean the steam room of unpleasant odors that can accumulate over time.
  • Essential oils of orange, lemon and rosemary are suitable for people who want to lose weight and get rid of cellulite. The oil can be used not only for steaming, but also for massaging afterwards.
  • For scalp problems (itching, dandruff, excessive hair loss), tea tree or lemon balm oils can be used. Eucalyptus and patchouli can help accelerate hair growth.
  • Eucalyptus is generally very versatile and will also help with swelling and itching after a blood-sucking insect bite.
  • Muscle aches can be relieved with essential oils of juniper, rosemary, lemon balm, fir, as well as eucalyptus.
  • For lowered libido and simply to increase sexual desire, aromatic oils of sandalwood, bergamot, jasmine and rosemary are suitable. These oils also improve potency.

For more details on the effects of the most popular essential oils, see the table at the end of the article.

Principles of using essential oils in the sauna

It is very important to use natural essential oils, not synthetic substitutes. High-quality essential oils can be expensive, but saving money can have unpleasant consequences.

Also, don’t ignore any contraindications for health reasons. Remember to take into account your personal intolerance to certain types of oils. To make sure you are not allergic to an oil, apply a small amount to the skin around your wrist and wait a few hours: if there is no redness or itching, it is very likely that an allergy has been ruled out. Essential oils are contraindicated for bronchial asthma, epilepsy and heart disease. However, if you have these conditions, you should take special care when using the steam bath.

To get the best results from essential oils in the sauna, you should follow certain rules:

  1. Each essential oil is highly concentrated, so do not use it in its pure form in the bath, but dilute it with water. It is advisable to use an additional emulsifier, such as honey or salt. This means first adding a few drops of essential oil to a teaspoon of salt or honey, and then mixing the mixture in water.
  2. Do not take large amounts of fragrance oil, even if it has been tested for allergic reactions. At first, 2-3 drops are enough, and later, when the body gets used to it, you can increase to 5-6 drops.
  3. We do not recommend dripping the oil directly on hot stones. The oil will burn and the stones will need to be replaced or cleaned. Also, if there is a lot of oil and the stones are hot, a fire can occur, so don’t risk it! Usually, oil is simply added to hot water, allowing it to evaporate. I also recommend pouring clean water without oil over the stones first to cool them down, and then pouring water with aromatic essential oils.
  4. To enhance the effect of the steam with essential oils, it is advisable to visit the sauna regularly, but it is best not to use essential oils more than once a week.
  5. You can also use aromatic oils for a stronger effect when steaming a broom. The principle is the same: first the oil is applied to the emulsifier, and then to the water in which you steam the broom.
  6. It is worth using essential oils according to the season. For example, in the cold season, oils with a germicidal effect, such as coniferous oils, are suitable for preventing any cold. In summer, oils with a refreshing aroma, such as citrus oils, are particularly good.

Immerse sauna stones with water and essential oils

Examples of mixing essential oils in the sauna

If, like me, you love mixing different scents, blending essential oils can delight you and create new and interesting fragrance combinations and synergistic therapeutic effects. Here are some recommendations for mixing essential oils:

  • Lavender, lemon and mint – relaxing and refreshing effect.
  • Eucalyptus, rosemary and pine – cleansing effect and relief of cold symptoms.
  • Ylang-ylang, bergamot and orange – stimulating the senses and improving mood.
  • Pine, cedar and juniper – a refreshing and energizing effect.
  • Lavender, lemon balm and chamomile – calming and soothing to the skin and mind.

Table of basic essential oils that can be used in the sauna

Below is a table of popular essential oils that can be used in the sauna:

English name Latin name Properties
Orange Citrus sinensis It calms the nervous system, strengthens the immune system, eliminates anxiety and feelings of fear, and is used as an antiseptic.
Mandarin Citrus reticulata It strengthens the immune system, promotes the absorption of vitamins and enhances immunity and immune function.
Lemon Citrus limon Reduces headaches in case of overwork and atmospheric changes, has a protective function in case of varicose veins. Antiviral and antibacterial agent.
Bergamot Citrus bergamia It stabilizes blood pressure, is used as a general tonic, antiviral and antibacterial agent, and is used to eliminate cellulite.
Wild thyme Thymus serpyllum A potent antiviral, used to treat wounds and bruises, effective for arthritis and arthritis, used for delayed menstruation.
Fir Abies alba For preventing colds and strengthening the immune system, quickly regenerates tissues after bruises, scrapes, bruises and abrasions, aids in muscle recovery after heavy exercise.
Cedar Cedrus atlantica It accelerates tissue repair, is used as an anti-inflammatory in the treatment of osteochondrosis and arthritis, and has strong antiviral effects.
Pichta Picea abies Boosts the immune system, kills germs and is a cold remedy. Increases visual acuity after mental fatigue. Works great for the body in cases of hypothermia.
Pine Pinus sylvestris An effective remedy for colds. Soothes muscle fatigue, providing relaxation and relief. Heals wounds, cuts and abrasions.
Ylang-ylang Cananga odorata It normalizes blood pressure, relieves headaches, improves blood circulation and lowers the pulse rate; in cases of impotence and frigidity, it is used as an erotic stimulant, relieves menopause.
Lavender Lavandula angustifolia Relieves headaches, joint and muscle pain. Heals wounds. Increases immunity to infectious diseases.
Melisa Melissa officinalis It acts as an antiviral during flu epidemics, restores strength after heavy physical exertion, and is used for dizziness.
Myrtle Myrtus communis Used for flu and colds, it has a high degree of antibacterial and antiviral protection. Strengthens and makes the walls of blood vessels more flexible in cases of varicose veins.
Mint Mentha piperita Used in diseases of the upper respiratory tract, it strengthens blood vessels and reduces muscle tension.
Eukaliptus Eucalyptus globulus An excellent preventive and therapeutic agent for the upper respiratory tract. Has a restorative effect on the body and relieves fatigue after sports activities or heavy physical exertion.
Thyme Thymus vulgaris It strengthens the body’s immunity. It is an antiseptic and disinfectant. Used to heal wounds and strengthen the nervous system.
Juniper Juniperus communis Anti-infectious, normalizes blood pressure, eliminates weakness, dizziness and dark circles in the eyes.
Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis Relieves severe headaches, Used for dizziness and restores visual acuity in fatigue, stimulates the body to recover quickly from colds.
Tea tree Melaleuca alternifolia A potent antiseptic and anti-inflammatory for treating wounds, abrasions and other tissue injuries. Stimulates the endocrine system.
Clary sage Salvia sclarea It is an excellent general tonic. It repels insects and relieves itching after insect bites. Used to soothe and restore menstrual cycles.

It is worth experimenting with different essential oils to find the ones that best suit your needs and preferences. However, remember to always follow the safety rules and contraindications associated with using essential oils in a sauna.

Contraindications and caution in the use of essential oils in the sauna

Before using essential oils in a sauna, it’s a good idea to read the contraindications and precautions. Some essential oils may be inappropriate for people with certain medical conditions or sensitivities. Here are some important tips for the safe use of essential oils:

  1. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid using certain essential oils, such as sage, rosemary or juniper. It is a good idea to consult a doctor or aromatherapy specialist before using essential oils.
  2. People with asthma, allergies or other respiratory diseases should be cautious about using essential oils in the sauna. Some oils, such as eucalyptus or mint, can cause allergic reactions or irritation of the respiratory tract.
  3. If you suffer from high blood pressure, avoid using essential oils with stimulating properties, such as rosemary, thyme or ylang-ylang.
  4. Children under the age of 6 should avoid contact with certain essential oils, such as mint, eucalyptus and thyme. Always use essential oils in very small amounts and dilute them before using them on your child’s skin.
  5. Remember that some essential oils can cause allergic reactions or irritation. Conduct an allergy test before using an essential oil on a large area of skin.

In conclusion, the use of essential oils in the sauna can bring many health and beauty benefits. However, it is important to know the properties of the various oils and to follow safety rules when using them. Selecting the right essential oils and using them properly will allow you to enjoy the relaxing and therapeutic effects of aromatherapy in the sauna.

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Since 2011 I have had my own business selling sauna building materials, sauna cookers and sauna accessories. I know all about building a quality sauna!