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Last month I shared a post titled 13 Easy Herbs to Grow. I’ve enjoyed fun conversations with other gardeners about growing herbs. One question I’ve had repeatedly from those new to gardening is:
“What can I do with those herbs?”
It’s a good question. I use herbs primarily for tea, potpourri and cooking. However, there are many other ways to benefit from growing and harvesting herbs.
Using last month’s post as a guide, here are 13 Extraordinary Uses for Herbs.
Extraordinary Uses for Herbs
Using each of the easy to grow herbs from last month’s post, here are additional ways to benefit from these medicinal plants.
A favorite herb in Italian dishes, basil has powerful antibacterial properties that help to heal acne. Steep basil leaves in hot water for 30 minutes. Remove leaves and allow liquid to cool. Use a cotton square to dab basil water on acne.
This fragrant herb does more than flavor potato salad. Chew on the flowers or prepare a weak tea to use as a mouth wash for bad breath. Drink dill tea to relieve indigestion.
People love the distinctive aroma of mint. However, mice hate it. Keep mice out of the house by drying mint leaves, crushing them and sprinkling them along baseboards.
With its antibacterial properties, thyme makes an excellent household cleaner. Steep sprigs of thyme in very hot water for 30 minutes. Remove herb and allow liquid to cool. Pour into a spray bottle and add a small amount of plant based soap, such as Castile Pure Organic Liquid Soap. Use to clean hard surfaces in kitchens and bathrooms.
Pour boiling water over chive flowers and leaves and allow to steep until liquid cools. Strain and pour into a spray bottle. Spray plants in the garden to prevent mildew and mold.
This versatile plant has so many uses. Steep lavender flowers and leaves in hot water. After liquid cools use lavender water to soothe skin irritations such as burns, scrapes and cuts. Lavender’s antiseptic qualities relieves itchy bug bites as well. Store leftover water in refrigerator for additional cooling effect.
The anti-inflammatory properties in this soothing herb makes it great for skin irritations as well. Pour boiling water over chamomile flowers. Allow to steep as water cools down. Remove flowers. Use chamomile water to wash wounds and rashes and heal pink eye. Use chamomile water as a mouth wash for gum irritation.
Create lemon balm tea by steeping fresh leaves in hot water. Use tea as a mouthwash to heal canker sores and ease the pain of toothaches.
The antiseptic qualities in bee balm heal mouth and throat infections, including gingivitis. Brew a strong bee balm tea by steeping leaves and flowers in hot water. Gargle with tea and rinse mouth with it several times a day.
This lemon scented herb makes a great rinse for dogs, after a bath. The compound that gives lemongrass its citrusy scent repels lice and ticks. Steep lemongrass leaves in hot water. Strain after cooling and pour over dog’s fur as a final rinse.
This aromatic herb has powerful antiseptic properties as well. Pour boiling water over sage leaves and let liquid cool. Strain and use sage water to bathe wounds, skin irritations and scrapes.
Chew fennel seeds after a meal to freshen breath. Or prepare a weak fennel tea and use as a mouthwash.
For shiny healthy hair, free from dandruff, prepare a rosemary hair rinse. Pour boiling water over sprigs of fresh rosemary and steep for at least 30 minutes. Remove sprigs and allow rosemary water to cool. Pour over hair after shampooing.
Extraordinarily Helpful Herbs
There are so many wonderful ways to incorporate herbs into daily life. I’ll be posting a series of articles with DIY recipes and ideas as the growing season gets underway.
Herbal essential oils are available and they are excellent to use. However, growing your own herbs is fun and the health benefits and household uses make them so beneficial. I am grateful for nature’s bounty and the goodness that grows in my herb garden.
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