I'll tell you two woody things about sauna.
- You want to be careful about the wood you use for the seats. On no account recycle floorboards or use pine Pinus sylvestris boards. These will have some residual resin which will leak out of the wood when the temperature gets up to and beyond 80oC. Sit on a gobbet of boiling resin and a) it will stock to your skin and b) raise a blister. My contacts recommend alder Alnus glutinosa boards. This tree, whose roots are considered a delicacy by badgers Meles meles, grows along the margin of our property where the river forms the county border. The tissue of the tree is so soggy, from the environment it thrives in, that there is no rooms for resin. It lasts for a long time in a damp environment with radical temperature changes.
- The other piece of advice is the optimum species for use as a vihta - a sauna whisk. Irish saunas don't offer this but in traditional Finland you go out into the forest and cut some small branches of Betula pubescens the downy birch and Betule pendula the regular silver birch, make them into a bouquet - a vihta -with the leaves fanning out and baste yourself up as you roast. One species is flexible and robust, while the other produces a frothy mix of saponins which helps clean and stimulate the skin. Science does not confirm this theory.
Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing
because he could do only a little.