“…Cleopatra is renowned for being an incredibly beautiful woman, many people put this down to her habit of bathing in fermented mares’ milk and modern research has discovered the benefits of lactic acid on cleansing skin and smoothing wrinkles. One thing that is not generally stressed when mentioning Cleopatra is that she was also a brilliant strategist on many levels.
With our recent understanding of the importance of beneficial micro-organisms in brain and nervous system functions, perhaps this is another reasons that Cleopatra took the time for a daily soak in a tub of fermented milk and honey.
Over the past couple years regular bathing has been my life-saver, my liver and kidneys are not so hot at removing toxins from my body so I have had to rely on my skin to help with this process while they recover. My body, after being infested with a toxic mold and then getting typhoid, was full of dangerous micro-organisms constantly pumping toxins into my system. Epsom salt baths helped to remove these toxins through my skin, greatly assisting my healing process.
I have found that adding a cup or so of homemade yogurt or kefir from raw enzymatic-rich milk to the bath along with a half cup of honey and some essential oils is a very practical and necessary method to assist the re-population of my exterior skin with beneficial probiotics. I have found that this naturally assists all the effort I put into cultivating the beneficial flora of my internal skin (my digestive tract, mouth, etc). In our modern world our skin (both external and internal) gets such a pummelling from all of the man-made toxins that there isn’t enough we can do to protect it. One of the best things we can do to boost immunity, prevent cancer and other illness as well as to delay the aging process is to get to know the micro-organisms that assist us on a daily basis. (See this article on using yogurt instead of anti-bacterial lotion for hand sanitising)
When I take a probiotic-rich bath at night I feel I am in intimate communication with these friendly micro-organisms. Bath time for me is a powerful healing and meditative ritual. I light candles and sink into the supportive waters and feel I am incubated from everything–it is as if I have returned to the womb. This space is a time for me to let go of everything and to just feel deep love for myself–every bit of my body from my toes to my nose–which I generally have trouble doing in daily life. If I have just seen the latest disaster news, if someone has asked for my help with a dietary issue and then ignored my advice, or if I have just had a powerful craniosacral session and am trying to understand what is going on with the client’s system, it is often hard to let go of these niggling thoughts and concerns. I worry about my family, my world and my friends too much in general, so for me the bath is a time to just take the time to love myself, to listen to my body and to let the outside world wait outside the bathroom door until I am rejuvenated. This incubation helps me connect with my higher self and to get new perspectives on life….”