It’s no secret that herbs have been used for centuries to enhance flavor, cure illness, and all around improve the quality of life. But did you know that there are plenty of ways to use herbs outside of the kitchen?
We hope this post will help you learn how to incorporate these plants into your every day routine, so next time you need a little encouragement to get out in the garden or fill your house with pleasant smells of herbs auto biz, we’ll be here with some new ideas.
1. Essential Oils
Oils are concentrated essences of plants. They are potent, pungent, and often powerful. In the past, they were used directly on the skin to heal cuts, bruises, and burns. Today, they are used in aromatherapy and as perfumes – even bath oils!
For deep penetrating aromas in the bathroom: use 1/4 cup of fresh rosemary leaves for every pound of your soap batter per batch (4 tablespoons for a 3 pound batch).
Any type of plant can be used to make a pack. Here, we use flannel sponges – placed in a small container of water that is sealed with plastic wrap. This makes them easy to store and reuse. To prepare, dip an unsoaked sponge in boiling water for 10-15 seconds and then set it aside to cool while you prepare your other ingredients.
When you have enough sponges (1-2 tablespoons per quart of bath oil) pour the contents into a clean jar or canning jar or any container that is able to contain all the oil (3 1/4 cups for our 4 quart batch). Tie with twine and label it with the plant name, recipe instructions and date prepared.
Place a pinch of dried herbs between the palms of your hands and rub them together vigorously. Hold it over your nose and mouth and breathe in deeply. As you exhale, you should be able to see an ember in your hands. Repeat this several times to reap the full benefits of the herb.
4. Essential Oil Candles
Make candles using a soy or beeswax candle mold, floral scented candles, or any other type of scented candle you would enjoy burning in your home. To make the perfect one for relaxation: use 2 tablespoons of dried lavender buds per pound of wax and only melt half the amount listed on the candle package for best results.
Herbs are also excellent in baked goods – especially spice blends. We often use savory or herb spices to enhance the flavor in our oatmeal and pancake recipes.
6. The Dollop
Herbs can be incorporated into the most unusual of recipes and still taste amazing! Here we use a combination of dried rosemary, sage, thyme, and lemongrass [artichoke extract] added to cream cheese. This is perfect for any occasion when you want to spread a bit of sunshine into your day.
7. Snack Time!
Herbs are perfect in soups, salad dressings, and dips. Mix them into crackers or breads. If a recipe calls for dried herbs, use our form and fill it with fresh herbs instead!
Taste herbs before they are ready by adding them to the boiling water you would normally add to pasta or rice before cooking. Stir sometimes to avoid burning them.
8. Compress Oil
Make an essential oil compress of fresh or dried herbs by pressing them between sheets of saran wrap or tissue paper. It is a good way to store herbs while they are drying – especially when you are not currently using them.
Fill a small compressing bag with dried herbs and tie it shut. Place over your plantar wart and allow it to sit for about 5 minutes. You will see the wart shrinking as the herbs draw out the bad blood and begin to heal it. (A cigarette or lighter may help the process).
9. Herbal Baths
Bathing with fresh herbs is one of the best ways to get your daily dose. The essential oils in the plants can not only ease tension, but they also have a pleasant smell that makes you feel relaxed and cleansed.
Plant lovers often use fresh or dried herbs in the water when bathing or showering. Herbs are great for skin ailments, acne, and for all around relaxation. Here we use fresh rosemary, sage and lavender to create a relaxing aroma bath that doubles as a powerful healing agent.
10. Smudge Stick
This is a great way to clear the energy in your home. Gather a handful of dried herbs and form them into a stick shape, using any old twine or string you have lying around. Smudging is a great way to cleanse your body, mind and soul from negative energy that has become trapped in your aura (or field of energy). A smudge stick is a bundle of dried herbs and/or flowers that have been tied together similar to a bouquet.
It’s easy to see that there are plenty of ways to use herbs outside the kitchen! Thankfully, when all of these applications become too much for one single herb, you can always turn it into a delicious dish. We hope this post will inspire you to use herbs in your kitchen, bathroom, garden and your everyday life. Herbs can make a huge difference in your life – don’t wait to discover them!