We have seen that herbs are wonderful for alternative medicinal uses, fantastic for recipes and can be used and grown easily. What else can you do with herbs?
Wreaths and Centerpieces
Fragrant herbs make a wonderful entrance to your home or office, or grace your family table. Some great fragrant herbs are lavender, rosemary, santolina (which is a pretty dullish-gray green color) and scented geraniums, which can be found in a host of scents.
Dry your herbs by air drying, using silica gel or drying in a microwave, and use them in floral displays.
Herbs provide color that can be used as dye. You can dye cotton, wool, silk, linen, but not polyester, spandex or nylon. You can dye the threads or fiber or finished fabric. To achieve colors (these are just a small sampling of the herbs you can use and the colors they achieve):
- blacks, use black walnut or yarrow
- blues, indigo, Oregon grape (fruit)
- browns, comfrey (leaves), fennel (flowers, leaves)
- golds, amaranth, safflower (flowers)
- grays, raspberry, sunflower
- greens, bayberry, foxglove (flowers), (be careful as this herb is what they make digitalis from. Some people are sensitive to even touching the leaves and can get heart palpitations.)
- oranges, sunflower, chicory
- pinks, sorrel, bloodroot (roots)
- purples, blackberry, grapes (fruit)
- reds, dandelion (flowers), hops (fruit)
- rusts, safflower, pokeweed (fruit)
- tans, onion, black tea
- yellows, dandelion, tansy (young leaves)
Creams, Lotions, and Balms
Herbs, especially the medicinal and aromatic ones, make wonderful creams, lotions and balms. You can use the creams in facials or as soothing relief from sunburn and minor skin irritations. Herbal vinegars can be used to soften the skin and tighten skin pores.
Utilizing the best known herbs, rosemary, sage and chamomile, you can concoct a hair rinse that will leave your hair shiny or lighten it. For brunettes, use rosemary or sage. Pour into the herb rinse into a bowl so you can rinse several times with it. For lighter hair colors, use chamomile. You can use it as a rinse or add it to your shampoo.
Make the rinse by boiling your herbs in water for 5-20 minutes, then strain out plant matter.
Sachets and Potpourri
Nothing is as wonderful as opening up a drawer and breathing in the scent of lavender or herbs. Sachets are easy to make and can be tucked in a lingerie drawer, in with stored blankets and sheets, or with stored clothing. You can use cheesecloth or netting and put in your combination of fragrant herbs, such as lavender and rosemary, sage for a masculine pine scent, dried orange peel and anise for an orange and licorice effect, the possibilities are endless. Tie with a pretty satin ribbon to close.
You can make a room smell wonderful and homey by leaving out dishes or bowls of potpourri. Rejuvenate your potpourri by switching out the old matter with new potpourri. In the meantime, put the old potpourri in a Tupperware container with a closely fitting lid. Refresh with herbal or aromatic oils and leave tightly closed for about a week. You can use potpourri over and over again with this method.
These are just a few creative ideas to get you started working and enjoying herbs!
SHARON BLOOM is a multi-award-winning artist, photographer, recycled artist,mother, author and editor of a free family-oriented daily blog called “SHARE OUR GARDEN”, which shares beautiful flower photos, inspirations, recipes, garden ideas, recycled art and humor. You can sign up for free at shareourgarden.blogspot.com.