How to use essential oils in the sauna

Essential oils from various plants and herbs have the ability to relax us, energize us, make us more focused and help us sleep better, to name a few. Which oils can you use for what?

Written by: Guro Thobru

You may have noticed that smells have a strong ability to evoke memories, and emotions linked to these memories. An old flame's perfume, anyone? Freshly baked buns on display? The small molecules have a free path into our limbic system - and the amygdala and hippocampus, which are the centers for emotions and memory. The oils can pick you up or calm you down, boost your mood and improve sleep. Each has its own special field.

At KOK we use essential oils in aufguss rituals. In aufguss, hot steam with fragrance is pushed around the sauna with a towel, and it is a sensual and intense experience. If you want the effect of essential oils without it being quite as hot as with aufguss, you can put a few drops in the water, pour on the stones, sit back and enjoy the scent you have chosen.

Our sauna masters have some favorites they use often, but you are also welcome to bring your own that give the effect you want.

Essential oils to calm dowm

For this we need some oils that ground the senses. Lavender is the classic that has a balancing effect on the mind. Eucalyptus, peppermint, lemongrass, geranium and sandalwood are also great when you need to let your shoulders down.

Bergamot can lift your mood if you are down or tired, and can, according to this study lower the level of cortisol
and can therefore be secreted when we are stressed. The same is said of sage.

lavender essential oil

Essential oils for better sleep

Here too, lavender is a strong candidate. Dripping a few drops on the pillow is a good trick, and if you take a sauna late at night you should have this in your bag. Chamomile oil can also be the thing here. Not surprisingly, it comes from the same source as chamomile tea, and is known to induce sleep. Ylang Ylang is not as potent as lavender, but has some of the same effects. And then it smells really good, which is soothing in itself.

Essential oils for more energy

If there's one thing everyone needs in between, it's a pick-me-up. Taking a time out from the world in the sauna will replenish your everyday life, and please combine it with an essential oil that has a positive effect on your mood. Grapefruit, ginger, lemon, orange and thyme all have invigorating properties. Rosemary is known to increase concentration and attention, which can feel energizing. And pine is another essential oil that gives energy - just think of the boost you can get from a walk in the woods. With essential pine oil, sauna bathing becomes forest bathing in disguise.

grapefruit essential oil

Did you know

We have a collaboration with the Norwegian company Volant, which has both pure essential oils and mixtures with different effects
With the code KOK, you get 15% off your first purchase in their webshop.

Guess there's nothing left to do but pack swimwear, towels, water - and an oil in your bag, and book a mini-spa with good friends.