by Kelly Jacobi
Herbs are commonly used in gardens, cuisine, teas and tisanes, and other purposes where the palate is concerned. Outside of culinary arts and the garden, and within the walls of the home, herbs can find many uses. There are ways to incorporate herbs throughout your home, whether in strictly aesthetic roles, to lend aromatic ambience, or to serve purposes beyond these.
Keep in mind when using herbs throughout your home that you’ll want to be aware of any that could have harmful effects if ingested or those that might present choking hazards. Then you should take steps to ensure children and pets cannot access the herbs. There are plenty of safe ways to bring herbs into play in parts of your home life in ways that are safe for everyone.
Some of the uses listed below involve topical applications of herbs. While you might love the taste of a particular herb, it is not safe to assume your skin will love it-or that it will love the combination of an herb with any other ingredients. Experts recommend you do a test patch of all skin products before using them on a large area of your body. If all goes well with the test patch, you should be safe to incorporate the herb you tested with your other beauty products and begin using it more extensively.
Herbs In the Kitchen
Given that herbs are both edible and common in the culinary arts, it is no surprise that you’ll find many uses for herbs in the kitchen. As the heart of the house, your kitchen runs on good things, and spicing up your routine with herbs is a good way to bring some fresh flavors to the ins and outs of daily goings-on.
Some herbs contain antiseptic, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties. Infusing cleaning mixtures with these herbs gives these solutions an extra germ-fighting boost. You can also make your own cleaning products using herb-infused ingredients. Consider finding recipes for herb-infused dish soap and cleaning formulas.
Herbs can also be used to combat the unpleasant smells that may arise in the kitchen. Creating sachets of aromatic herbs to place in the bottom of garbage cans, in refrigerators, and even in cabinets can help freshen the air. Similarly, you can combat a stinky garbage disposal with the help of herbs.
Freeze herbs and lemon slices inside of ice cubes. Once the ice has set, you can move the cubes to a freezer-safe bag or container to keep on hand. When the eau de disposal begins to verge on less than savory, toss a treated ice cube into it, and let the disposal chop and grind it up. The frozen botanicals will thaw shortly after the ice breaks and quickly release their aroma into the offending drain.
Using Herbs In Living Space
Throughout the home, sprigs and bunches of dried herbs can be placed as decorative elements to add visual interest. Some herbs are more visually appealing than others, and choosing a favorite plant to feather your nest boils down to a matter of personal preference.
Live herbs, kept in pots, can function decoratively as well. There’s a great deal of charm that comes from having living plants in living spaces. Windowsills lined with small pots of fresh herbs are another cute way to bring some extra life into your home.
And cuttings from herbs can add charming detail to a variety of spaces. Consider placing rosemary and lavender sprigs in a vase for an aromatic accent on a shelf, or arrange fresh herb sprigs to create a centerpiece on a table. Many herbs have beautiful flowers and interesting leaves that can form delightful bouquets.
Large bushels of lavender in baskets or vases make for a quaint countryside influence in any space. As you explore decorating with herbs, you’re sure to encounter others alluring to the eye that you can use in lavender’s place. You’ll find other favorites attractive in their aroma, which you could incorporate in similar ways. For extra charm, try tying the bundles of lavender with ribbon or raffia. Long-stemmed herbs can also be formed into a wreath, and then smaller ones, or the flowers of the herb plant, can be used as dainty accents on an already-existing wreath. If you intend to have the wreath up for more than a day or two, use dried herbs.
Herbs can be incorporated into fire starters. Imagine camping on a chilly January evening-the kind of night perfect for a warm drink in front of a lazily crackling fire. Before heading out on your trip, you can create small fire starters with herbs inside. As the fire catches and the herbs burn, you’ll be treated to an aromatic delight. Experimenting with different combinations can be fun, and making the fire starters is an easy project the whole family can enjoy helping with.
Using Herbs In Washrooms and Bathrooms
Washrooms and bathrooms present a surprising array of ways to make use of herbs. Treating yourself to an indulgent bath can be transformed into a spa-like retreat with the clever incorporation of herbs. Mixing herbs with various kinds of salts and oils is a great way to have a luxurious bath. Another good idea for gifts or self-pampering is to create bath teas. Use large tea bags with drawstrings to hold your bathing concoctions. This way, there will be no herbs clogging the drain or sticking to the side of the tub when the water recedes. The salts will dissolve well on their own, and any botanical elements from the herbs will filter through the tea bags to infuse the entire bath.
Creating refreshing hydrosols is another fun way to make use of herbs. The whole family can get involved in this creation process. Instructions abound online for creating hydrosols, and it’s good to do a bit of reading on the steps you’ll take before following them. Hydrosols can be incorporated into your skincare routine, or they can be used as air fresheners.
Infusing water with herbs is another simple way to create some treats for your skin using herbs. Simply soak fresh herbs in water overnight, then filter out the herbs-but retain the water. Peppermint-and-lavender water makes for a refreshing scented spritzer in the heat of summer.
Oils, lotions, and creams can all be infused with herbs to create botanical skin care products. You may well find that some herbs bring a glow to your skin or are useful in treating certain skin conditions. It’s always good to research the particular attributes of an herb before beginning the process of infusing that herb into a lotion or cream. Doing a test patch with a freshly made concoction to make sure your skin loves the plant is always a good idea.
Using Herbs In Bedrooms
Because herbs are so strongly associated with the kitchen, very few people imagine they can find a use for them in the bedroom. You may be surprised to learn that incorporating herbs in the bedroom is easy, and these plants can serve purposes beyond mere decoration.
For linens and pillows, mixtures of water and alcohol can be infused with herbs, then used as a linen spray. This scented spritzer keeps things fresh and can also help with relaxation before sleep, depending on which herbs are used. Lavender is a fabulous go-to for soothing away the day’s stresses.
Taking dried herbs and putting them in small sachets makes for an easy way to keep drawers and closet spaces fresh. Linen bags work perfectly and can are available in craft supply stores. For a more elegant touch, you can also use colorful organza bags and ribbon to create fancier sachets.
Moths dislike lavender, mint, cloves, thyme, and rosemary. You can use one of these herbs individually, or you might experiment with various combinations and proportions until you find a mix that delights your senses. To make use of these repellent herbs and protect your clothing, use a sachet, and place it near your clothes.
Similar to infusing herbs into skin care products, you can create soothing herb-infused balms or wax melts to help you unwind and relax. Recipes abound online for both homemade skincare goods as well as wax melts. With wax melts, you can custom-craft an aroma that delights your senses and matches your mood.
As you can see, bringing the garden into your home is a beautiful and practical way to liven up a space. There are many simple methods for incorporating herbs into your living areas, intimate spaces, and self-care routines. Have fun exploring herbs by themselves, in various combinations, and in various places. Using herbs around the home can be a lot of fun, and you just might surprise yourself with your craftiness and creativity.
You’ll find as you delve into exploring the different types of herbs that tickle your fancy and suit your space that there are dozens of possibilities and combinations. Not only are these fun ways to spruce up your home and routine, but a lot of these are also opportunities to have fun with family and friends. In addition, homemade gifts featuring herbs are sure to delight, no matter the occasion, so don’t keep the secret to yourself.
Want to learn more about using herbs in your home?
See these resources:
Hello Glow covers 10 Uses for Herbs Besides Cooking
Mama Rosemary explains How to Make a Hydrosol
The Balance covers How to Get Rid of Moths with Herbs
how to use herbs at home