External Applications in Anthroposophic Nursing

Rosemary Footbath (made by Klinik Arlesheim in this case, other manufacturers offer similar products)

Kind of substance

Rosemary Bath

Guiding principle for the application

Rosemary footbaths vigorously warm up the feet and lower legs. This enables the person to feel their lower limbs well. Their thoughts calm down and are brought into order. The aroma stimulates respiration. Rosemary warms and stimulates rhythmical functions, which has a stabilizing, rousing effect on the circulation.


  • Depression (see example case)
  • Circulation problems in the periphery
  • Exhaustion
  • Cold feet
  • Sleep disorders
  • Agitation



  • Footbath tub / large washing basin
  • Rosemary Bath additive
  • Water
  • Hand towel

  • Fill the footbath tub with warm water (38°C or 100.4°F max., the temperature should be pleasant, but not very warm), add 15 ml of the Rosemary Bath additive and stir, using a figure-eight pattern.
  • Cover the knees/legs of the patient during the application
  • Application time max. 10 min., followed by at least 10 min. bed rest

Well-proven in many patients
1 x daily in the morning
Onset of effect
The warming and rousing effect already occurs during the first bath.
Length of therapy
As needed
  • Exercise caution in cases of heart disease, high blood pressure and varicose veins
  • Keep an eye on any damaged skin

Case example

A woman in her late 40s, suffering from cold extremities, agitation, nervousness and sleep disorders, diagnosed with depression.
The rosemary footbath helps her to wake up in the morning and start the day with warm feet, beginning actively. She finds it easier to get up, since she looks forward to the bath. She is able to participate in the common breakfast more punctually than before.


Red., MM


  • Diego M, Jones NA, Field T, Hernandez-Reif M, Schanberg S, Kuhn C, McAdam V, Galamaga R, Galamaga M. Aromatherapy positively affects mood, EEG patterns of alertness and math computations. International Journal of Neuroscience 1998;96, 217–224.
  • Moss M, Cook J, Wesnes K, Duckett P. Aromas of rosemary and lavender essential oils differentially affect cognition and mood in healthy adults. International Journal of Neuroscience 2003;113(1):15-38.