It is common that the water, which is splashed over the heated stones, is saturated with special herbaceous aroma. Often some beer or kvass (Russian yeast drink) is added to water to produce a gorgeous aroma of newly-backed bread. Adding a bit of coffee has a stimulating effect.
Using medicinal herbs reinforces therapeutic and sanitary effect of banya. In medicine, aerosols are used for faster medicinal substances absorbance through the lungs in the blood. Pouring herbaceous decoction together with water on stones works as aerosols in medicine.
For example, eucalyptus-water is widely used in banya. Eucalyptus is famous for its bactericidal properties especially against such diseases as dysentery, diphtheria and typhoid.
Another interesting ingredient that can be added to the water is horseradish, which is great to prevent or treat common cold or flue. To produce a horseradish-water, green dry or raw horseradish leaves should be soaked in hot water, steamed for half an hour and then strained so that part of the leaves do not remain in it. The aroma is indescribable and very much stimulating.
There are other useful plants such as mint, lime flowers, thyme, marjoram, St.-Jones’s wort, coltsfoot, chamomile, and sage. One can make his own banya “bouquet”:
• “steppe aroma” – blend of chamomile, marjoram and thyme;
• “forest tale” – decoction of the birch, juniper and lime-tree leaves.
Some people may add to these cocktails a bit of wormwood, which is very useful for respiratory system. The “bouquets” can be combined according to individual preference. The plants and herbs should be taken in little dosages and then the decoction must be diluted (70-100 gr. of decoction for about 10 lt. of water). If the quantity of the herbs exceeds the necessary amount, the smell of burning will appear.