A communal use of sauna besoms in sauna has been popular across Northern Europe since ancient times. A common origin for the tradition is supported by the fact that sauna in Finnish, Latvian and Lithuanian is called "pirts/pirtis".
HISTORY OF SAUNA BESOMS
Skillfully built stone furnaces from 6-7th Century found during archeological excavations leadto believe that saunas have existed well before any written records. The first written record of a sauna in the territory is found in the chronical of Livonia in 12th Century..
HISTORY OF SAUNA BESOMS
A sauna attendant first soaked a birch besom in a pot of hot water, then flapping the back and front of the person laying on the sweating shelf - this process being referred to as flapping.
THE HEALING POWER
Historically, any treatment procedures in saunas were performed by female sauna attendants (sometimes referred to as masseueses). During these procedures attendants made sure that the sauna room is sufficiently hot as well as flapped and rubbed the person to be treated.
Any leaves stuck to bare skin after flapping were used in the so-called love magic.
A saying exists that if one finds a besom leave stuck to one's skin after having returned from sauna, it must be eaten to retain one's good health.
SO THE LOVER DOES NOT LEAVE...
Girls were to flap themselves with juniper besoms in order to prevent a lover from leaving.
Each variety of a tree has its own unique qualities that are used during various sauna procedures. Furthermore, some types are suited more for one gender than for the other.
Ozols ir ilga mūža un dzīvības spēka koks. Pēriens ar ozola slotu ir stiprāks un karstāks. Vislabāk piemērots vīriešu dzimumam. Ozola slota kalpo enerģijas pieplūdumam un stabilizēšanai, garastāvokļa uzlabošanai, brūču un ādas slimību dziedēšanai, kā arī pazemina asinsspiedienu.
Oak is a tree of longetivity and vital energy. A flap with oak besom will always feel hotter and stronger. It is best sui
epa ir sieviešu un enerģijas slota. Liepa ir pazīstama arī kā attīrošā slota. Liepas slotiņu var izmantot enerģijas rezervju palielināšanai, iekaisumu mazināšanai, kā arī galvas sāpju remdināšanai.
Linden represents female energy. The besom is known for its cleansing qualitities. A linden besom may be used to increase once energy capacity, reduce inflammations and palliate headaches.
Maple is equally suited for use by both genders. It represents balance as it absorbs any excess energy the person has. Flapping with maple bsoms shall relieve one from negative emotions, restore one's bodily balanace as well as promote stamina.
Birch leaves contain a plethora of vitamns, essential oils, flavonoids and tannins. The evaporating essential oils gives a pleasant scent to air in sauna and relieves one's nervous system. Birch besom is used in the treatment of various colds, as well as it may help in case of depression and other mental illness. The substances containd in the leaves also cleanse the air.
Rowan-tree respresents security, family peace and happniness. Rowan barries dried along with rowan besoms are ideal for massage. Rowman besoms are used for energetic prortection, improvement of reproductive functions, as well as for treatment of digestive system problems.
COLLECTING BESOM MATERIALS
Materials for besoms must be collected at a correct time, which depends on the weather, the latency of spring, weather the trees have blossomed etc. In most cases, material collection commences right before Summer equinox and just right after. Oak is an exception to the rule, as the materials for oak besoms may be collected until the very end of August.
After being made, besoms must be stored in a dark and dry place for a period of 1 - 2 weeks. If the room is not dry enough, the besoms shall begin to grow moldy on the inside.