Come April, the white world of snow in Japan will turn into a blanket of fresh green leaves and pink cherry blossoms. This moment signifies the beginning of Spring and it’s when a new term for school and business begins. Of course this also means we will have a chance of meeting a new person and falling in love. Let’s prepare for a new love with a cherry blossom bath!
It is well-known that most Japanese people love to visit a hot spring which we call an “onsen”, and the custom of soaking in a bath is also very common at home. In addition, we enjoy bathing with the changing seasons – this is ‘seasonal bathing’ which has been practiced since ancient times in Japan. We put seasonal fruits, plants and flowers in the water we bathe in.
At the beginning of summer in July, we add floating peach leaves which are good for tanned skin. The leaves, seeds and flowers of a peach has a lot of nutrition which works for the skin. It is an excellent plant because all parts of a peach can be used. Peach leaves, in particular, is good for our skin. Tanning has astringent action, anti-inflammatory and antipyretic effects to improve skin problems.
When it starts to get cold in October, we use a ginger bath as seasonal bathing. The pungent and essential oil components of ginger promotes blood circulation, heat-retention, antiseptic, antibacterial and antioxidant action. We can warm our body from the core and prevent ourselves from getting cold too early.
In the middle of winter when it gets severely cold, we depend on a radish bath to fight and survive the cold. Dried radish leaves are used for bathing because they are rich in vitamin A, B1, C, E, calcium, iron, minerals of sodium and chlorophyll. On top of that, they also contain chloride or sulfide ion which are an essential hot spring component as they promote metabolism.
When it’s April again and the weather starts getting warm in Japan, we prepare by wearing light clothes. We bathe with cherry blossoms to treat eczema and swelling as the cherry bark extract works to suppress inflammation such as eczema and bruises too.
This Spring, shall we take a cherry blossom bath and look forward to finding new love?