yuzu bath

DIY Relaxing and Healing Japanese Yuzu Bath

Friends, have you ever heard of a yuzu bath? It’s a simple warm bath you can take with yuzu fruits that’s relaxing and at the same time, therapeutic.

What is a yuzu and a yuzu yu?

yuzu oranges

A yuzu is a citrus fruit that grows in Japan and Korea. It was brought over to those countries from farflung Tibet and China.

The yuzu looks like a cross between an orange and a grapefruit. It starts out green and yellows when it starts to ripen. Its skin is very bumpy and wrinkly.

Unlike oranges and grapefruits though, it isn’t eaten as a fruit. Rather, the juice is used in preparing food, the rind for zest, and the bright outer cover for food plating and decoration.

One of the things that makes the yuzu special though is how aromatic it is. I’d say it smells even stronger than a lemon and indeed, the Vitamin C content is actually double that of a lemon. That’s most likely why there are so many benefits when you put it in bath water.

Yep, a yuzu yu is a bath where you throw in some fresh yuzus in the warm water in your tub. This is actually an old custom in Japan. It’s done during Toji, the winter solstice to brace the body for the cold winter. It’s also a great remedy for fighting off the flu and cold. You can find some great pictures of the Japanese enjoying their DIY yuzu baths at home in this nice blog.

BTW, a lot of hot springs also offer yuzu yus and the experience is different because they are usually open-air facilities.

Benefits of a yuzu bath

yuzu citrus bath

A yuzu bath has the following benefits:

  • aromatherapy due to the refreshing and rejuvenating citrus smell
  • great for colds and the flu due to its high Vitamin C content
  • brightens and softens the skin because of its citric content and Vitamin A properties
  • good for fighting off skin problems like acne and fungi
  • recommended for those with arthritis, rheumatism, and other muscle and body pains
  • good for those who are feeling the effects of anxiety and nerves

How to draw yourself a yuzu bath

I’m a bit embarassed to add this section in as it’s very simple. Simply draw yourself a warm bath then chuck in a handful of yuzus into the water.

You can choose to put them whole so they bob around nicely in the tub. Or, you can slice them up before putting them into make sure the juices mixes in with the bathwater. And lastly, other folks put them in cloth bags which they immerse.

I’ve tried asking if other citrus fruits would work as well as yuzus but purists seem to be one in agreement that only yuzus work best for this type of bath. I’m guessing because its fruit cousins aren’t as aromatic and as bursting with Vitamin C?

I guess I’ll have a chance to try when we finish renovating our bathroom with our new clawfoot tub and kitschy bathroom shelves. Sure I can buy bath bombs from Lush or some other store but somehow, trying out this old Japanese fruit bath has its own charm.

Make sure to try it too when winter rolls back into town and tell us how it goes!