Gardening

Uses For Herbs You Might Not Know About

I’ve often been asked about uses for herbs, since I love to grow them. I love them for the fragrance primarily.

But I will often step out the French doors and snip chives for soup, a baked potato or a salad.

But there are many other uses for herbs that don’t include food. For instance, did you know you can clean your toilets with thyme?

Did you know you can freshen your floors with lavender?

Lavender: In Medieval times lavender was used to refresh stale or sickly air. You can use it on carpet for bad odors and to fight bacteria.

Make your own floor deodorizer with 8 drops of lavender oil to 1/2 cup of baking soda. Sprinkle it over your carpet. Let sit for a few minutes and then vacuum.

Did you know that rosemary deters mosquitoes?

Rosemary

Rosemary: Rosemary can be used to keep mosquitoes at bay, and it can also be a hair rinse.

To strengthen your hair and eliminate dandruff, rinse your hair in a cooled solution of boiled rosemary leaves and water.

Did you know that lemon balm is a great all purpose cleaner?

Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm: Lemon balm makes a fantastic homemade all purpose cleaner. It is both antiviral and antibacterial.

Mix equal parts water and white vinegar in a glass bottle with a few drops of lemon balm essential oil to clean.

Did you know that peppermint can soothe your headache?

Peppermint

Peppermint: Peppermint is a popular herb used in aromatherapy to sooth headaches and relieve tension.

To sooth a pounding head, add 5 to 7 drops of peppermint oil to a small bowl of ice water. Dip a washcloth in the mixture, wring in out, and then apply the washcloth to your forehead for 10 to 15 minutes.

You could also put several drops of peppermint oil on a washcloth and bring it in the shower with you for a minty steam.

Did you know that basil can be used as an anti-bacterial and acne treatment?

Basil: Basil is great for treating acne and other infections because of its antibacterial and ant-inflammatory properties.

Below I have lemon basil along with pineapple sage and lemon verbena, my two favorite scented herbs.

Charlie loves to snack on pineapple sage when his tummy is upset.

For a natural acne treatment solution, simply soak fresh basil leaves in hot water for 20-30 minutes. After the water has cooled, apply the liquid to problem spots using a cotton ball.

Did you know that thyme is a natural disinfectant?

Thyme: Thyme is a natural disinfectant and antiseptic due to the oil called thymol, which it contains.

Rather than using harsh, toxic chemical cleaners around your house, try using thyme instead.

Simply add fresh thyme to boiling water and then mix with a light, vegetable-based soap. Pour the solution onto a spray bottle and use it to clean hard surfaces in your bathroom, kitchen, or other areas of your house.

Did you know that parsley can remove dark circles from under your eyes?

Parsley: Parsley is often added to beauty products. This is because it contains vitamin K, chlorophyll, vitamin C, and other active compounds that help to lighten and tighten skin.

It also works great as an anti-inflammatory agent. Next time you have dark circles under your eyes, try spreading crushed parsley on your skin.

Did you know that mint will keep mice away?

Mint mixed with shasta daisies

Mint: Although most humans love the smell of fresh mint, mice absolutely hate it. Keep mice away from your home by scattering crushed mint or mint oil around problem areas of your house.

I’ve used mint essential oil dabbed on a cotton ball, which I then put under the kitchen sink. It will dry out, so I have to keep reapplying the oil.

How do you use herbs?

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9 Comments

  1. Thank you for all the great information. I need to get a rosemary plant to put on my front porch. Mosquitos are abundant in the hotter months.

  2. I love herbs and essential oil. Most of these tips I knew about, others I didn’t. Thanks for sharing!

    You can also make herbal salts and vinegars from fresh herbs. There’s lots of recipes online and on Pinterest.

  3. Thanks for sharing this Brenda. All good information, most I knew nothing about. I like the smell of Rosemary, but had no idea that it repels mosquitoes. I’m going to buy a few small plantings at Menards this week, and place the plantings in a pretty pot on the deck, where we sit often in the evenings. We don’t have many mosquitoes, but can’t wait to see how this works. Hope you are doing well, Hugs from rainy (this week) Wisconsin

  4. I swear by the mint for mice. Years ago we developed a bad mouse problem. I think they came from the pet door. We used traps but the problem was too big for that. I didn’t want to use poison or a pest control service because I’m sensitive to chemicals and we had kids, grandkids and pets in the home.
    It got so bad that all I could smell when I walked in my house was mouse urine and I would just cry. It was just so gross.
    So I did a search online and 2 remedies came up as a good solution. One was mothballs, the other was peppermint.
    I didn’t want my house to smell like mothballs so I gave the peppermint oil a try and it worked! I just waited until I couldn’t smell the peppermint anymore before I changed out the cotton balls.
    It’s been about 7 years and the mice never came back. But if they ever do, I know what to do.
    The only downside is your house smells like Christmas but there are much worse things it could smell like.

  5. I don’t use herbs around the house for anything other than cooking, but I do use a Vitamin C serum to combat dry skin and treat sores on my legs caused by poor circulation, and it works well – better than other creams I’ve tried. I haven’t been successful yet in growing lavender for more than one season, they die over the harsh winters here even though the varieties I’ve purchased were said to be Zone 5 hearty. Not true! I love lavender sachets. They remind me of my paternal Grandmother and the smell of her country house guest bedroom where I stayed many summer vacations as a child. I love the scent and taste of sage, rosemary and thyme and all three are usually used in some degree when I make a pot roast, a hearty stew or my easy beef burgundy. I didn’t know about the medicinal and disinfecting qualities of many of the herbs we use in cooking, but our female ancestors did. In ancient times, the lady or women of the household kept journals with “receipts” in them for how to use different herbs and a variety of other things, including cob webs, to treat a variety of illnesses and injuries. Many of the expensive prescription drugs we used today were based on those ancient “receipts” discovered by enterprising women who were charged with taking care of the health and medical and even dental needs of the household and if they were wealthy land owners, the tenants/workers on the land. We’ve got it easy today – and of course we pay for that convenience too. In a way it’s sad because we’ve lost touch with knowledge we used to have and pass from generation to generation of women.