Lime bast is the fibres (inner bark or phloem) of the lime tree. It was one of the first materials used in old Russia to make a large number of items: shoes, fishing tackle, ropes, threads, etc.). When more durable materials and items started to come from Europe, bast items lost their popularity in Russia and gradually went out of use. If not used in the Russian bath, lime bast items would become a history and would only be found in gift shops.
Notably, the phloem is only removed from the lime tree, but not any other wood, as the lime tree is almost equal to the oak by the trunk diameter and wood strength. Besides, the lime tree may live for up to 400 years. But the main reason is the durable and at the same time easily processed inner bark. Lime wood is used to make many steam room items (benches, headrests, wall planks, etc.). And it's no wonder, because lime does not emit resins unlike pine or cedar, it is not prone to deformation unlike aspen or birch, it does not darken, and it gives a peculiar pleasant fragrance to the steam room.
At high temperatures and steaming, lime bast emits phytoncides that have an invigorating and relaxing effect on the body. It is also valued for its cold-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. Lime bast solution is used to strengthen weak hair and lighten the skin tone. Besides, lime bast is used in the beauty industry to clean the skin, treat acne and other rashes and even remove freckle. When steamed, lime bast becomes soft and silky and fills the steam room with a healthy and unforgettable fragrance.