Balneotherapy – Let’s Create Our Own Using Essential Oils!

mystic hot springs Utah via

Mystic Hot Springs Utah via

Balneotherapy – what is it?

It encompasses many aspects of bathing including soaking in mineral enriched waters in natural springs (either hot or cold or both); it may also include massage while in a bath and may also have added extras like clays and essential oils. The water may be hot or cold or both.

While it is not hydrotherapy, the title balneotherapy is basically about bathing in water, and all its variations.

Rotorua hot pools enriched with sulphur

Rotorua hot pools enriched with sulphur

There are many amazing natural springs all over the world, including the incredible pools in Rotorua, New Zealand which have a very high sulphur content, and a very high sulphuric scent too. Nature is a wonderful thing, but if we can’t get to a hot spring once a week, I’ve decided that we can create our own balneotherapy treatment schedule. If you don’t have a bath use a bucket and soak your feet and legs instead. It wont be as fabulous but you’ll be amazed at how much difference it can make.

This regime will:

* relax your muscles

* help your body unwind

* soften and improve the look of your skin

* hydrate your body

* increase flow in your lymphatic system to help rid your body of a build up of toxins

* cleanse and balance your energetic body

* allow your mind to release stress

* allow space for change and creation


Don’t make the bath too hot. It’s better to add more hot water if necessary. Soak for 15 minutes minimum.

Sometimes essential oils can sting the skin when mixed with a hot bath. If you find you feel a bit prickly, then smooth a carrier oil like almond, all over your skin (when you get out of the bath) to disperse the essential oil.

3 Week Balneotherapy Course  (In Your own Home)

sea salt

sea salt

Week 1 “DETOX” – 2 baths

Try and have the baths a few days apart but if that wont work just do it whenever you can.

Bath 1

To a bath add 2 cups of sea salt either Dead Sea Salt or Celtic Sea Salt


Lavender 6 drops

Juniper    4 drops (add the oils to the salt first)


To a foot bath add 3/4 cup of Dead Sea Salt or Celtic Sea Salt


Lavender   3 drop

Juniper      2 drop


Bath 2

To a bath add 2 cups of magnesium sulphate (Epsom salts)


Eucalyptus    4 drops

Rosewood    6 drops (add the oils to the salt first)


To a foot bath add 3/4 cup of magnesium sulphate


Eucalyptus   2 drop

Rosewood   3 drop


clay bath or a mud bath?

clay bath or a mud bath?

Week 2 “NURTURE” – 2 baths

Bath 1

To a bath add 1 cup of white clay


Rose 3 %  18 drops

Bergamot  4 drops (add the oils to the clay first)


To a foot bath add 1/4 cup of white clay


Rose 3%   9 drops

Bergamot  2 drops


Bath 2

To a bath add 1 can of coconut milk (high fat)


Geranium   6 drops

Marjoram   4 drops (add the oils to the milk first)


To a foot bath add 1/2 can coconut milk


Geranium   3 drops

Marjoram   2 drops


a petal bath - looks great but the cleaning -UGH!

a petal bath – looks great but the cleaning -UGH!

Week 3 “CREATE” – 2 baths

Bath 1

To a bath add a bunch of fresh mixed herbs including coriander, basil, marjoram and thyme. You wont need any essential oils as the oils from the herbs will make an infusion.

To a foot bath add the same bunch, but just a bit less.

** This may be quite stimulating so try not to do it right before bed


Bath 2

To a bath add a 4 or 5  herbal tea bags. It could be plain chamomile, or a relaxing blended tea. If you have loose leaf tea that’s even better, just put it in a stocking, a piece of fine material or a larger infuser.

To a foot bath add the same as above, but just a bit less (2 teabags should be enough)


3 weeks of balneotherapy to nurture your body, open your mind and connect with your spirit.

I’m going to do this course and report on my findings. If you’d like to try it I’d love to hear from you.

Good Luck!


copyright suzannerbanks 2013

Tussy Mussies, Nosegays and the Victorian Language of Flowers

white rose tussy mussy in a Victorian silver tussy mussy holder

white rose tussy mussy in a Victorian silver tussy mussy holder

Tussy mussy.

I’ve always thought it was very camp but until now I don’t think I ever had the proper understanding of what it really was. I thought that herbs and flowers were gathered in posies and carried by ladies in the 16 and 1700’s to drown out the stench of sewerage, rotting rats and other smelly things. It was also before daily bathing was common and I suppose the tussy mussy would have come in handy regularly. I’ve imagined lavender, rosemary, thyme and all things herbal, dotted with sweet smelling flowers where possible. These were called originally called “nosegays”, and if that isn’t camp – what is?

herb tussy mussy

herb tussy mussy/nosegay

Upon further research it seems they were around in the 1500’s too for the same reasons. It isn’t quite clear if the word “tus” refers to a cluster of flowers or comes from a similar word meaning tuft or clump.

So I’m right.

But it’s more than that!

Gentlemen callers sent posies to the one they admired whereby the flowers chosen had secret meanings! How devilish and exciting.

And….. there are special tussy mussy holders made from gold, silver and even glass that hold the posy in place as you gad about the town – taking whiffs whenever needed. You could then rest the posie on your table when finally at home.

Victorian tussy mussy holders

Victorian tussy mussy holders

I imagine beautiful violets in a traditional tussy mussy. I wonder what that means? Here are a few from

Strands of ivy signified fidelity and friendship, gardenias conveyed a secret love, forsythia… anticipation. Shakespeare used them to enhance the story, as in Hamlet, when poor Ophelia laments “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance; pray, love, remember: and there is pansies, that’s for thoughts.”

Baby’s Breath: Everlasting Love

Calla Lily: Magnificent Beauty

Camellia: Perfected Loveliness

Daffodil: Unrequited Love

Daisy: Innocence

Forget-me-not: Memories

Gardenia: Secret Love

Gladioli: Sincerity

Jasmine: Cheerful & Graceful

Lilac: First sign of love

Lily: Purity of Heart

Orange Blossom: Marriage and Fruitfulness

Orchid: Beauty

Red Rose: Passionate Rose

Sweet Pea: Good by

Violet: Modesty

My client and amazing angel lady Doreen Virtue has written a book with an Australian Naturopath, Robert Reeves, about the language of flowers.  It’s a beautiful book and of course differs from the list above. It’s worth a read if you LOVE flowers and the healing energy of mother nature. Check it out “Flower Therapy: Welcome the Angels of Nature into Your Life”.

red roses

red roses

Today I think it’s pretty simple. Flowers are always a beautiful gift and if you send red roses it probably does still signify love and passion. If you send anything else, it’s simply stunning. How could a flower have a negative connotation? And of course my choice would be scented flowers. Especially roses. I think if you are sending roses, ask for scented stems.

So next time you are on the holo-deck having a virtual Victorian experience, remember your nosegay or tussy mussy to get you through.


copyright suzannerbanks 2013

Softly and Gently with the Chamomiles

Roman chamomile Anthemis nobilis or Chamaemelum nobile

Roman chamomile Anthemis nobilis or Chamaemelum nobile

What a pretty flower! I always loved daisies as a child, and the chamomiles belong to this species called Asteraceae or Compositae. Chamomile is famous for it’s soothing nature and tranquil effects, and is used in both herbal medicine and aromatherapy alike. I’ve always thought of Aromatherapy as a specialist part of herbal medicine, powerful because it insists we use our sense of smell for healing and interacting with the world.

1. Roman Chamomile 

Anthemis nobilis or Chamaemelum nobile

This chamomile has a sweet honey like aroma, and appeals to many people because of this softness. Roman chamomile is usually found in a 3% jojoba blend because of its price. It is often overlooked in favour of German chamomile but please give it a try. It is one of those oils that gives an immediate reaction of bliss.

In aromatherapy Roman chamomile is the one used as an anti-spasmodic treatment, an tonic for unclenching, that may also help the smooth muscle of the gut relax. Also great for muscle spasm and tension and general fatigue and stress.

Best of all, I like to use Roman chamomile as a perfume straight from the bottle. No doubt people will be attracted to you when you wear this oil as you will smell divine and will be radiating a sense of calm and knowingness. Try these recipes

“Floatin’ on a Cloud”

For release of gripping tension and pain in the body make an oil blend with 3 teaspoons of carrier oil and add:

Roman Chamomile 3%      8 drops

Marjoram                           2 drops



As a pulse point perfume mix these drops together and anoint your chosen spot –  for attracting and resonating with a goddess-like energy

Roman Chamomile 3 %    3 drops

Rosewood                        2 drops


German chamomile - Matricaria chamomilla or Matricaria recutita)

German chamomile – Matricaria chamomilla or Matricaria recutita)

2. German Chamomile

This tiny little flower is a different genus to Roman chamomile and what sets it apart from most oils is its blue colour. During the distillation process, one of the consituents – chamazulene – is changed to give a deep blue hue to the oil. This oil is best used as an anti-inflammatory and works well with lavender in this sense. It is great for stress, anxiety, and any tension in the body. It is a strongly scented herbaceous oil and I would not say this is an oil to use as a perfume. Think BLUE – think COOLING! A good oil for joints and muscles as well as an over thinking mind. German chamomile is more readily found then Roman chamomile and will also be in a 3% jojoba blend. Try these remedies:


For a treatment of painful joints make an oil blend with 3 teaspoons of carrier oil, rub over the joint and cover with a bandage. Rest. Add these essential oils to create your treatment:

German chamomile  3%   8 drops

Lavender                          2 drops

Peppermint                       1 drop



After a stressful day stop your mind from over-processing by mixing the following into a little container and rubbing on your temples and third eye. Remember to put a little of the oil residue inside your nose to gain maximum benefit, and dilute with a few drops of carrier oil.

German Chamomile           2 drops

Orange                               2 drops


The chamomiles are your ancient tool for stress release.

Remember to use your intention when you make your blends to give extra power and personality to the formula.  For more information on intention see my article What Do I Mean when I Say “Use Your Intention”?

copyright suzannerbanks 2013

Lavender is the “Little Black Dress” of the Oil Wardrobe

absolutely stunning lavender fields via

absolutely stunning lavender fields via

Lavender is the “Little Black Dress” of the oil wardrobe. The L.B.D. It is. Let me explain.

The other night I was going to a 20’s Prohibition themed 40th birthday party and didn’t really have time to get an outfit together – or really had no idea what to wear. My friend said “oh come on all you have to do is wear a little black dress and stick a flower in your hair”.

Right. Of course. And then the fact that I didn’t own a L.B.D became the issue. Off I went to the new year sales and after hours of trying on dresses I found my L.B.D. It wasn’t what I had imagined so now I realise it may be necessary to own a few. So anyway the L.B.D. is the item in your wardrobe you can take anywhere. You can wear it out to dinner, to the opera/symphony/theatre, to a party, to an intimate evening at home, to lunch and pretty much anywhere. It’s how you accessorise that counts. You can dress it up or dress it down, and mould it into something new every time you wear it. In fact it could just be a little black slip and still work.

the L.B.D via

the L.B.D via

Lavender is the same. It is a MUST have oil for any collection! Even if you aren’t into aromatherapy in a big way, it’s a must have for any household due it’s amazing first aid properties. Burns, cuts and abrasions, panic attacks, stress, headaches and anything else you can think of. It’s the fortifying oil, the oil of bringing energy together.

Lavender has cell regenerating properties too so it’s great in skincare and haircare, helping scars heal and helping sunburn. Here’s a few body oil blend recipes for lavender:

“I’ll Have a Sour Plum Margarita Thanks”

Take lavender to a cocktail bar – in 3 teaspoons of carrier oil add

Lavender      2 drops

Ylang Ylang  3 drops

Orange         3 drops


“I have No Idea What She is Singing”

Take lavender to the dress circle at the opera – in 3 teaspoons of carrier oil add

Lavender        3 drops

Frankincense  3 drops

Patchouli        1 drop

Nutmeg          1 drop


“Behind Closed Doors”

Take lavender into the bedroom – in 3 teaspoons of carrier oil add

Lavender                 1 drop

Jasmine in jojoba     12 drops

Sandalwood             1 drop


dance floor at Sydney Mardi Gras 2007

dance floor at Sydney Mardi Gras 2007

“I like the Extended Dance Mix Better than the Radio Edit”

Take lavender to the dance floor – in 3 teaspoons of carrier oil add

Lavender                 1 drop

Cedarwood Atlas     2 drops

Bergamot                4 drops

Cinnamon                1 drop


“I’ll Save Room for Dessert”

Take Lavender to a dinner party – in 3 teaspoons of carrier oil add

Lavender                                 3 drops

Fennel                                     1 drop

Roman Chamomile in jojoba    8 drops


“What’s the Wi-Fi Password?”

Take Lavender into a business meeting – in 3 teaspoons of carrier oil add

Lavender             2 drops

Neroli in jojoba    12 drops




Lavender is a fantastic, versatile herb that should never be overlooked. It is powerful!

I hope you have fun with these recipes and please feel free to tell me about your experience of lavender in the comments section.

Remember to treat yourself first, then everyone will benefit.

Christmas Essential Oil Blends

Please check out my new book REVELATION! – Reveal Your Destiny with Essential Oils

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and many other stores worldwide as a Kindle and Paperback

Christmas Essential Oil Blends

The North and the South

The North and the South

Christmas may be famous for snowflakes and reindeer, but believe it or not people it’s a HOT Christmas for some. And oh how we love to go to the beach and do summery things at Christmas in Australia. I’ve created a few blends for you according to your place in the world

Here are some great essential oil recipes for scenting your space on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Southern Hemisphere

sneakily borrowed from

sneakily borrowed from


I’m thinking citrus and a little spice. Maybe even some indigenous trees.

All blends are for a vapouriser or “oil burner”.

Buzz Off – a blend for an outdoor celebration, to keep away the little biters

Lemongrass       10 drops

Lavender            10 drops

Peppermint         5 drops


Chill –  a cooling and relaxing blend

Lemon               10 drops

Tea Tree              5 drops

Petitgrain           10 drops


Aaahhhhh Summer! – sparkly and fun

Lime                  10 drops

Orange               10 drops

Cinnamon            5 drops


Northern Hemisphere

All I Want for Christmas .....

All I Want for Christmas …..


I’m thinking herbs and spice.

All blends are for a vapouriser or “oil burner”.


White Christmas – a classic Christmas scene

Rosemary             5 drops

Orange               12 drops

Nutmeg                5 drops

Myrrh                    3 drops


All I want for Christmas is Mariah Carey – a fun, uplifting blend

Cinnamon            10 drops

Peru Balsam        10 drops

Mandarin               5 drops


Mulled Wine – warm and lovely

Marjoram           5 drops

Clove                 5 drops

Lavender           5 drops

Bergamot         10 drops


Get scenting! I’d love to hear what blends you are making for Christmas. And if you don’t celebrate Christmas, what blends are you creating right now?

Remember to use your intention when you are placing the oils in your vapouriser. What mood do you want to create? How do you want yourself and your guests to feel? See my article about intention.

copryright SR Banks

Remember with Rosemary – Lest We Forget

We remember Ken with rosemary

I was at the funeral of my ex-partner’s Dad the other day. He was a war veteran and the service was in the chapel of a beautiful retirement village for old soldiers. The service was a simple family affair with tears and laughter.

As people were arriving the chaplain said to my friend, “there’s a rosemary bush out there. would you like me to pull some off the tree, and then all the family can have a sprig to lay on the coffin?” I piped up and said yes.

At that moment I took the picture above, and silently said to myself “remember with rosemary”. I’m not sure if it happens in any other country but we celebrate our soldiers, war veterans and give thanks to those who have given themselves selflessly. We do it with with rosemary.

I’ve always loved the way such on old herb has made it through to modern times. I’ve always loved that it’s made it through the ages with it divine purpose intact. Rosemary is used to stimulate the brain. Always recommended for study, rosemary can help you remember things.

So when the ANZACs (Australia New Zealand Army Corps) and other soldiers from Australia who have fought in wars, commemorate the fallen in marches and ceremonies, it is common to wear a sprig of rosemary on the lapel. To remember. To stimulate the mind and create an anchor to the scent. So the next time rosemary is smelt, the memories of those who have gone before us, will bring them right back into our minds again.

I just loved that we were given a sprig of Rosemary for Ken’s farewell. The Last Post was played and the beautiful stanza from Laurence Binyon’s poem “For The Fallen” was read. It is synonymous with Australian and New Zealand Remembrance days:

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
Lest we forget.
So to connect with a love one who has passed, remember a person or animal that has lived before you, or to connect with a time in history or your own past life…….
flowering rosemary

flowering rosemary

Use rosemary.
Remember with rosemary.

Attention All mothers – Have a Massage!

To all my beautiful mothers out there – look after yourself – have a massage! Relieve stress and relax your muscles, unwind and release all those thoughts – thank yourself for the impressive job you’re doing bringing up the next generation of leaders.


Please check out my new book REVELATION! – Reveal Your Destiny with Essential Oils

Barnes & Noble      Booktopia AU      Amazon UK

and many other stores worldwide as an ebook and paperback



Give yourself a moment away from the tasks at hand

Give yourself a moment away from the tasks at hand


I gave an old friend an aromatherapy treatment today. When I do a treatment I like to take my time, have a chat, and relax into it.

I always formulate a special oil blend for each client.  I choose oils based on the answers to various questions. I want to know what’s happening for them on the day, as far as their general health is concerned. I ask about their body and how it’s feeling, their emotions, what’s happening in their life and click into their vibration. It doesn’t have to be a long process and in fact can just take a minute or two with the right questions.

My friend and I used to work together in a restaurant in the nineties called The Wharf Restaurant. It was at the end of the pier that The Sydney Theatre Company calls home. All of us that worked there still remain friends, even though we may only see each other from time to time. We call ourselves “Wharfies”. And actually another Wharfie paid for the massage today for my friend – isn’t that lovely?

My Wharfie today studied massage and herbs when I studied aromatherapy so we are connected through natural therapies too. She is a mum of two beautiful children and rarely takes time out for herself. As I was doing the treatment I thought about mothers everywhere who do so much for their families, and who often place themselves last. Some of these women are single mothers, some have male partners and some have female partners, so the situation is different for everyone.  However, often the one thing mothers have in common is lack of personal time, and nurturing. They nurture everyone else, rarely themselves.

get your energy singing and dancing -

get your energy singing and dancing pic via


A massage is a wonderful thing for a mother. Simply the time alone can be just as good as having the treatment. Allowing and receiving nurturing is extremely important to stimulate the flow of energy throughout the body and the etheric body. Finding a balance between giving and receiving is necessary in all aspects of life. It’s the yin and yang, hot and cold, up and down, light and dark. We need both to show us delicate design of the universe. Adding essential oils to the mix amplifies the treatment and creates an aromatic moment that is sheer bliss.

50 ml bespoke body oil made by me

50 ml bespoke body oil made by me


When I make the individualised formula for my client, I add my intention to the mix. Intention will gently steer the oil blend to work in harmony with me, and the body on the massage table. And of course the physical stress release of a massage is amazing and rejuvenating!

Mothers – have a massage.

Partners – buy your love a massage as a gift to return the nurturing you receive.

Remember, treat yourself first, then everyone will benefit.

copyright suzannerbanks 2013