External Applications in Anthroposophic Nursing

Oil Dispersion Bath with Lavender Oil

Kind of substance

Lavender 10% oil

Guiding principle for the application

In oil dispersion baths according to Werner Junge, oil is so finely dispersed in water that the body can absorb it through the skin.
As a rule, the temperature of the bath water is not higher than body temperature, so that the body’s warmth organism is stimulated. During a subsequent rest, the patient's body is actively confronted with the substance, which stimulates it to generate its own warmth.
The choice of oil depends on the symptoms of the patient.

Guiding Principle for the substance


  • Exhaustion
  • Inner coldness
  • Convalescence
  • Sleeplessness


Oil dispersion bath therapy can be learned in a detailed training course. See also the section on “Fundamentals of External Applications”
However, a simplified procedure at home is possible after instruction by a therapist.

If you do not have an oil dispersion apparatus, shake the oil in 10 ml cream and then add it to the bath water. The effect is not so intense, but the oil can be broken down and does not merely float on the surface of the water.


  • Bathtub
  • Oil dispersion device
  • Massage brushes, if needed
  • Fever thermometer, bath thermometer if necessary
  • 5 ml lavender oil
  • A flannelette bed sheet (ca. 250 cm x 150 cm)
  • 3 large terrycloth hand towels

  • Fill the bathtub with water and oil using the oil dispersion device
  • The patient gets into the filled tub
  • Bathing time: ca. 20 minutes for a resting bath or ca. 45 minutes for one with underwater brush massage
  • After the bath, wrap the patient still wet directly out of the water in a preheated cloth and cover well in the prepared bed so that he does not freeze despite the humidity
  • During the subsequent rest, which should last at least half an hour to an hour, it is important that the patient get warm

  • Clean the bathtub and oil dispersion device.
  • Hang up the cloths and towels to dry

Well-proven in many patients
1–3 times a week, can also be daily, if needed
Onset of effect
The effect may be immediate in acute cases. Long-term treatment may be required for chronic illnesses
Length of therapy
As long as needed
  • In the case of weakened patients, it may be necessary to accompany the patient during the rest, especially in case of a lack of warmth generation.
  • Do not use the oil dispersion bath as a cleansing bath, i.e., do not use soaps and shampoos!

Case example

A 55-year-old woman suffered a severe flu, from which she recovered only very slowly, leaving behind an inner coldness, which she had not been able to influence with external measures. On the advice of her doctor, she made herself an oil dispersion bath with lavender 10% oil. A single oil dispersion bath brought back the warmth and the woman felt strengthened in her recovery.


Red., US


  • Büssing A, et al. The oil-dispersion bath in anthroposophic medicine – an integrative review. BMC complementary and alternative medicine 8.1 (2008): 61
  • v. Rottenburg T. Öldispersionsbäder. In: Lehofer M, Stuppäck Ch. Depressionstherapie, Thieme Verlag 2005.
  • Warning A, Krüger M. Das Öldispersionsbad nach Werner Junge, Der Merkurstab 2014:67(2): p. 108–115