White Baths: fighting Anxiety, Depression and PTSD with African Traditional Medicine
At this rate I'm hard pressed to find a friend or community member that is not experiencing some symptom of Anxiety and Depression. And the factors are endless for us; racism, poverty, rape culture, cis-heteronormativity. Its exhausting, it interrupts your sleep, it keeps you on edge, always anticipating what you may have to endure next. So many of us are in constant survival mode which often manifests as panic disorders. We're out here, over-heated, overworked and often times under-insured if insured at all.
So what do you do with that? How do you fight the longterm mental health effects of survival mode?
To be honest, I didn't know for a long time. Spiritual washes are an inherent part of the Conjure/Hoodoo tradition, prayed over cool water, river washing, submersion, herbal baths. I've been Conjuring since I was a kid and didn't have a spiritual-wash recipe that attacked all the symptoms of this particular condition. Trust me when I say I've tried many. Lavender and more fragrant types would pull me out of a panic attack but its effects weren't sustained.
Fast forward to the present. I was going to a misa and met a Priestess of a neighboring tradition and fellow medium there that gave me a recipe for White baths and omg did they work. Simple, inexpensive and extremely effective. (you can check out her personal site here)
What are White baths? White baths are a spiritual wash specifically formulated to cool the head and improve mood and behavior. Calming any *hot* energies including anxiety, anger, fragmented thought and stress, and restoring and refreshing the head and mind.
Ironically enough White baths are not actually Conjure, odd choice for a first entry to a Conjure blog but if it works we use it. White baths are more heavily used in Yoruba traditions and the neighboring Fon traditions, and are based in the concept of feeding your Ori (spiritual and physical head).
1. Cold water
2. Coconut Milk or Goats Milk
(half & half and cows milk work also but coconut and goat have worked best for me)
4. White flower petals
Get a large mixing bowl or basin, fill with cold water, 1/4 cup or less of milk(just enough to make the water white), add a single spritz of fragrance/perfume and white flower petals. Put your hands in the water and pray
"Ancestors known and unknown, spirit guides who walk with me, please come and be present, please bless this bath and allow it to calm and feed my head, uplift my spirit and restore balance to my mind and mood"
Dump over your head after your regular hygiene routine, do not rinse. Do consecutively for 3 days. Or do consecutively for 9 days alternating White baths with green baths of basil and spinach. Air dry as much as possible. Wearing white clothes, avoiding dark colors and wrapping the head in white is suggested.
If you choose to do a full 9 day cycle, which I highly suggest, the Green bath recipe is below.
Additional Ingredients and Instructions:
1. Cold Water
2. Fresh Basil
3. Fresh Spinach
Fill a basin with cold water, add a handful of fresh basil and fresh spinach(raw), rip up the leaves in the water as small as possible, letting the juice from the leaves saturate the water. Pray as you rip. Strain out left over herbs. Dump Green bath over your head on alternate days from your White baths.
I hope that this simple recipe provides you or a loved one with relief
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Bless up <3
***disclaimer*** none of the info provided on this site is meant to replace the advice or prescriptions of a licensed medical professional.