Hakka-Yu: Mint Bath For Midsummer

Hakka-Yu: Mint Bath For Midsummer

August has come, and with it, midsummer heat. Other than moving to a colder climate, is there anything you can do, wa-style, to survive? There is, and the answer might take you by surprise: take a bath!

Onsen, Sento, and Ofuro: Japanese Love of Bathing

Taking a hot bath might sound like the last thing you want to do in the middle of summer, but if you want to get through the heat Japanese-style, warm up your core by taking “ofuro” お風呂 (a bath)! Westerners, especially Americans, are used to jumping in and out of the shower. But the Japanese love of bathing goes all the way back to the 6th century. What started as a Buddhist purification ritual became part of the common people’s culture during the Edo Period with the opening of “sento” (銭湯) or public baths. “Onsen,” hot springs, are an ever-popular vacation destination, and even at home, many Japanese take a soak every day.

If you grew up in Japan, you might remember taking “yuzu-yu” 柚子湯 (Japanese citrus bath) in the winter, but did you know there is a “yu” 湯 for every month of the year? Even in mid-summer you can take a bath to sweat, detox, and warm up your A/C-chilled core.

August is the month of “hakka-yu” (薄荷油) or mint bath.

How To Take Mint Bath

1. Steep a 30g (~1oz) mint leaf tea bag in hot water for 15 minutes

2. Transfer to your bathtub

3. Relax, refocus, and refresh!

Health Benefits of Mint Bath

Aside from its refreshing aroma, mint promotes blood circulation, is a good moisturizer, and helps sweat to dry quickly.

If you can’t quite bring yourself to take a steamy bath after sweating all day, you could try a footbath instead. And while you’re at it, why not have a cup of soothing mint tea?

For your bath time–

Mighty Leaf Organic Mint Leaf

Twinings Mint Tea

Foot bath basin

Yuzu Bath Salts

Soft Bath Towels

Japanese Hand Towel (Koi Pattern)

For your tea time–

Mint+Japanese Matcha Tea

TAZO Mint Tea

Yuzu Marmalade/Tea

One Comment
  1. What a WONDERUL article Erika! You know all the right things that people would like to find out. How lovely there's a bath for each season, wow! The mint bath sounds fantastic. I must try it!

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