Oil dispersion bath

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Oil dispersion bath with brush massage

The oil dispersion bath (or Junge bath) is a hydrotherapy of anthroposophic medicine. It was developed by Werner Junge, inspired by statements of Rudolf Steiner. Oil and water usually don't mix. By purely physical principles a mixture of oil and water is achieved. For this purpose, a swirling apparatus made of glass is flowed through by the incoming bath water. The pear shape of the glass creates a vortex in the center of which oil flows in through a fine inlet. The oil is atomized into very fine droplets and forms a dispersion with the water, which remains stable for the duration of the bath and for a certain time beyond. Oil and water are present at the same time as such without a chemically mediating emulsifier, as Werner Junge used to point.
The oils used as a base are various vegetable oils such as olive or linseed oil, to which essential oils or other additives such as metals are added. Often the oil dispersion bath is performed by a bath therapist who performs a brush massage. The temperature of the bath water should be approximately equal to the body heat and should not provide a heat or cold stimulus. After the bath there is a rest about the length of the bath. Wrapped in a cotton cloth and (wool) blankets, the aim is to warm the body by stimulating its own heat. The oil dispersion bath is used in addition to other therapeutic measures, especially in chronic diseases.

Filling a Jungebad apparatus with oil


The oil dispersion bath was developed by Werner Junge in 1937 as a medical therapy. Based on a note by Rudolf Steiner on the treatment of sugar dysentery (diabetes mellitus) (I. Medical Course, 1920, Dornach) "on the effect of finely atomized oils,"[1] he designed the first oil dispersion bath apparatus. [2] The name oil dispersion bath goes back to the anthroposophical physician Hans Klett, who called the oil-water mixture dispersion.[3] Werner Junge worked all his life with his wife Franziska Junge in relation to the oil dispersion bath. He introduced the oil dispersion bath therapy on many trips also worldwide. In 2001, bath therapists joined forces in the International Association for Oil Dispersion Bath Therapy according to Werner Junge.[4]


Brushes for the oil dispersion bath

The oil dispersion apparatus is installed in the water inlet of the tub. The incoming water flows through a pear-shaped chamber, the shape of which creates a vortex. A pipette runs from the top of the oil tank into the center of the vortex. The vacuum created there sucks in either air or oil, depending on how full the oil container is, and thus mixes with the water in finely atomized small quantities. The water-oil mixture flows out of the apparatus into the tank in the form of a funnel.

The temperature of the water should be approximately the same as the body temperature of the person bathing, feeling neither hot nor cold. According to the classifications of balneology, this temperature of 34-36 °C is called indifferent.[5] However, depending on the constitution of the person being bathed, care is taken to ensure that the heat of the water is perceived as pleasant.[5] Usually the body temperature is being measured before and after the bath.

The bath is usually done unclothed.

If the bath is performed by a therapist, a brush massage with a specific sequence of brush strokes is performed.

After the bath, there should be a post-bath rest about the length of the bath. The person bathing is wrapped in a cotton cloth and woolen blankets, so that a kind of moist warm full body wrap takes place.

The bath can be performed 1-3x per week, exceptionally more often. Partial baths are also possible.


The oil usually has a fatty base oil such as olive or linseed oil. This may contain plant extracts or an addition of essential oils or other substances. Examples of extract oils are calendula, oxalis, or arnica. Essential oils are, for example, lavender or rosemary. As admixtures you can find e.g. metals like copper or gold. Approximately 5 ml of olive oil-based oil is used per bath.[6] The choice of oil is made according to the clinical picture. A schematic classification based on the threefold system is: root oils strengthen the nervous-sensory system, flower oils promote the metabolic/metabolic-limb system, seed oils are said to have an effect on the heart, and fruit oils are recommended to promote circulation.[7]

Incomplete list of oils with added essential oils: angelica, lavender, rosemary, sage, thyme, wintergreen.

Difficulties can arise if oils contain components such as lanolin or particles that are too large, such as in the case of some metal oils, which clog the nozzle of the oil dispersion apparatus.

Brush massage

Brush massage of the hand

Brush massage is performed according to a fixed pattern typically in two sequences. First on the front, then in prone position on the back of the body. It begins on the feet, on the lower person, and proceeds to the upper person.[5] It was developed by Werner Junge from elements of classical massage and rhythmic massage according to Wegman/Hauschka.[5]


After the bath, a post-bath rest should take place about the length of the bath. The bathing person is wrapped in a cotton cloth and woolen blankets, so that a kind of moist-warm full-body wrap takes place, which has a sleep-promoting effect.[5] A tight application of the wrapping promotes the perception of the body's boundaries.[5] The bathing person is wrapped in a cotton cloth and woolen blankets.

The aim is to deepen the phase of engagement with the substances absorbed from the oil.[8] Post-rest can also be seen as a time when the organism forms a response to the stimulus set by the bath.[5] The period of post-rest is considered an essential part of the therapy.[8]

During the after-rest, there is often a reactive increase in body temperature. It should not feel cool in the resting pack, nor should the person sweat. Depending on the person and the oil, the person being bathed may sleep for part or all of the after-rest.

Oil dispersion bath apparatus

Oil dispersion bath apparatus

The oil dispersion bathing apparatus is a pear-shaped glass device that swirls incoming water and adds oil, sucked in from an inserted pipette, drop by drop to the outgoing water at the point of the vortex's highest rotational speed. This development was a synthesis of various ideas that Werner Junge had formed from his own observations and research, based on the knowledge of Rudolf Steiner's data and the scientific writings of Goethe.[9] In this, occupations with the nature of water and its vortices, lemniscate and projective geometry played a role.

The Jungebad apparatus is distributed by the company Wala. Wandil also offers a similar apparatus for the oil dispersion bath.


  • A study on the absorption of ingredients in the oil dispersion bath compared with other bathing methods.[10]
  • A 2008 systematic literature review[7] found a small number of studies (1 prospective clinical study, 3 experimental studies with healthy subjects, 5 case reports, and 3 experience reports). The studies described improvement in almost all cases, although the methodological quality of most studies was weak. The main indications were metabolic/internal, and psychiatric/neurologic.

Physical fundamentals

  • In 2016, a study was conducted using high-speed camera on the nature of droplet formation on the oil dispersion bath apparatus. The droplet size tends to increase at higher flow rates. A maximum is about 10µm at 5l/min and about 15µm at 10l/min.[11]
  • A 2018 study investigated that droplet size is minimal at 5l/min. When compared to a manual process, the June bath apparatus consistently produced a similar droplet distribution.[12]
  • A 2011 paper examined droplet sizes not with the oil dispersion bath, but with oil bath emulsions.[13][14]



  1. Steiner, Rudolf. Geisteswissenschaft und Medizin [Spiritual Science and Medicine] (PDF). Rudolf Steiner Complete edition(a) (in Deutsch). 312. Dornach: Rudolf Steiner Verlag.GA 312
  2. Boschan, Erika. "Das Oeldispersionsbad" [The oil dispersion bath]. Website of the International Verein for Öldispersion bath therapy (in Deutsch). Retrieved 2020-11-09.
  3. Junge, Franziska (September 1990). "So entstand das Öldispersionsbad" [How the oil dispersion bath was created] (PDF). Der Merkurstab. 43 (5): 338 - 339. ISSN 0935-798X. (url in Anthromedics: https://www.anthromedics.org/DMS-15685-DE)
  4. "Die Öldispersionsbadetherapie entsteht". 100 Jahre Zukunft (in Deutsch). Retrieved 2020-11-09.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 Warning, Albrecht; Krüger, Markus (March 2014). "Das Öldispersionsbad nach Werner Junge" [The oil dispersion bath according to Werner Junge]. Der Merkurstab Zeitschrift für Anthroposophische Medizin (in Deutsch). 2 (67): 108-115. doi:10.14271/DMS-20288-DE.
  6. Erika Boschan. "Was ist das - ein Oeldispersionsbad?" [What is it - an oil dispersion bath?]. Wasser & Wort (in Deutsch). Retrieved 2020-11-14.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Büssing, Arndt; Cysarz, Dirk; Edelhäuser, Friedrich; Bornhöft, Gudrun; Matthiessen, Peter F.; Ostermann, Thomas (2008-12-04). "The oil-dispersion bath in anthroposophic medicine - an integrative review". BMC complementary and alternative medicine. 8: 61. doi:10.1186/1472-6882-8-61. ISSN 1472-6882. PMC 2612644. PMID 19055811.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Oral communication during oil dispersion bath therapy course 2021, B. Motte, R. Schön.
  9. Warning, Dr. Albrecht (2016). Das Öldispersionsbad nach Werner Junge eine Hydrotherapie als Körpertherapie der Anthroposophischen Medizin. Als Chronik verfasst im Sommer 2016 [The oil dispersion bath according to Werner Junge a hydrotherapy as a body therapy of anthroposophic medicine. Written as a chronicle in the summer of 2016.].
  10. Römmelt, H. (1981). "Perkutane Resorption ätherischer Öle während eines Öldispersionsbades" [Percutaneous absorption of essential oils during an oil dispersion bath.]. München: Institut für medizinische Balneologie und Klimatologie der Universität München. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)Briefliche Mitteilung an Werner Junge vom 14.7.1981 [Letter to Werner Junge dated 14.7.1981]
  11. Höffmann, Ann; Lakshmanan, Peter; Ehrhard, Peter; Ostermann, Thomas (2016-10-01). "The Jungebad apparatus for the production of oil-dispersion baths: The Jungebad apparatus". PAMM. 16: 599–600. doi:10.1002/pamm.201610288.
  12. Höffmann, A. K.; Lakshmanan, P.; Hollmann, C.; Ostermann, T. (2018 12). "An experimental study on oil-dispersion baths generated by the Jungebad apparatus". Complementary Therapies in Medicine. 41: 147–153. doi:10.1016/j.ctim.2018.09.014. ISSN 1873-6963. PMID 30477831. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  13. Krüerke, Daniel; Gruber, Esther; Urech, Konrad; Alles, Armin; Kunz, Clifford (2011-09-14). Development of rosemary emulsions for balneological diabetes treatment.
  14. Krüerke, Daniel; Gruber, E; Urech, Konrad; Alles, A; Kunz, C (2011-11-01). "Development of rosemary emulsions for balneological diabetes treatment". 64. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)