H for Herbs

reading time: 5 min

It's been ages since I last posted an article for this little trivia series that I call the ABC of Health, and I apologize for that. This series is where I share my knowledge of food and nutrition*. click here for the previous episode.

Episode 8: H for Herbs.

Herbs are green gold. They are packed with essential nutrients, and add flavour to every meal! Herbs are also an easy addition to your garden or windowsill. Either sprout seeds and grow your own herbs, or buy a fresh herb plant from the store (basil, chives, oregano, rosemary, sage, lavender, mint...) and repot from its cheap plastic container into a proper clay pot. It's important to fill it with fresh soil so they can grow and produce an abundant supply of fresh herbs :)

First off: What is an herb exactly? 
The loose definition of herb is any plant that is used for its culinary, medicinal, or fragrant properties. Herbs are such a diverse group of plants that it is very difficult to separate them into logical groups. Some disguise themselves as wildflowers, some are fragrant ground covers, and some are weeds that we try to eradicate from between the pavers in our driveways. 
For my overview of herbs and their benefits and uses I chose the most common herbs that you might find nearby in your garden centre or supermarket!

Herbs and their benefits

Basil is one of the best loved culinary herbs for good reason. Like other herbs in the mint family basil settles the stomach, improves appetite, and is a natural disinfectant. All basils are antibacterial and act as good insect repellents. It is used in Ayurvedic medicine for common colds, headaches, stomach disorders, inflammation, heart disease and various forms of poisoning.
- Crush the leaves and rub a bit on your skin to make a handy remedy for insect bites when you are out tending to the summer garden. 
- To remove a wart, rub basil leaves on the nub daily and cover with a bandage.
- Use it to make your own pesto by blending it with pine nuts!
- Make herbal tea using basil, lemongrass, lemon verbena and lemon thyme.
- Basil also makes for a great water infuser, i like to pair it with lemon slices.
- Add leaves to soups, stews, salads, pasta sauce, on top of tomatoes, bruschetta, pizza, sandwiches...
- Combine with: garlic, parsley.

Chervil is closely related to parsley, its fragrance is reminiscent of anise. For medical use, chervil is used for fluid retention, cough, digestion problems, and high blood pressure. The juice from fresh chervil is used for gout, pockets of infection (abscesses), and a skin condition called eczema. 
- Add fresh leaves toward the end to preserve the flavour.
- Chervil can be used in flavoured vinegars.
- Add to salads, soups, sauces, butters, stews, dressings, vegetables...
- Combine with: parsley, chives, tarragon.

Chives are perennials in the onion and garlic family with leaves that have a hot, oniony, honey-like, garlic taste and a mild, delicate aroma. They can be used fresh, or chopped and frozen in ice cube trays. They do not dry well (commercially they are freeze-dried). Toss chives into a dish at the last minute, because heat destroys their delicate onion flavour. Thinly slice them to maximize their taste, or use finely snipped chives as a garnish. The flowers are also edible and make a nice garnish.
- Chives can be used as a substitute for garlic. 
- Add leaves to baked potatoes, yoghurt dressing, soups, scrambled tofu, salads, stir-fry, butter/margarine along with dill and garlic (to make herb butter), dips, quesadillas, spreads...
- Combine with: parsley, chervil, tarragon.

Coriander (cilantro)
Cilantro (leaves) and coriander (seeds) are names for different parts of the same plant, Coriandrum sativum, a naturally healing food in both forms. Cilantro is an excellent culinary herb that adds flavour to foods and improves digestion. Chances are you either love it or hate it (personally, I hate it; i only like the coriander seeds). It has a pungent flavour with a faint undertone of anise. The leaves are often mistaken for flat-leaf parsley, so read the tag.  
- To bring out the fragrance in coriander, toast the seeds. Put them in a dry heavy skillet and set over medium heat for a few minutes until they become fragrant.
- Add cilantro leaves to rice wraps, Mexican and Asian rice dishes, curries, salsas, guacamole, soups, stews, salads, vegetables...
- Add ground coriander seeds to starchy-foods, squash, root vegetables, curries, mashed potatoes, glazed carrots (with maple syrup and margarine or oil)...
- Combine with: cumin, curry seasoning, tomato, avocado, garlic, lemon, lime, olive oil, onions, basil, mint.

Dill looks like a smaller version of its relative, Fennel, with feathery silver green leaves. It is not a major medicinal herb, though often used for its stomach-soothing qualities, but most popular as a flavouring for many dishes and in pickling.
- Dill can be used to flavour vinegars, mustard-based sauces, and dressings.
- Add to yoghurt dressing, tomatoes, salads, vegetables, butter/margarine along with chives and garlic (to make herb butter), cold yoghurt soups, dips, potatoes, potato salads, cucumber, pickles and all kinds of cucumber dishes...
- Combine with: cucumber.

Quite a number of clinical trials confirm the conventional wisdom that lavender relaxes the body in the presence of pain, most likely by reducing anxiety levels. A calm mental state makes pain more bearable, lessening it's impact by reducing the perception of pain. Lavender is also approved by the German Commission for internal use for insomnia, restlessness and nervous stomach irritations and for external use in baths for the treatment of functional circulatory disorders.
- Soaking in a lavender scented bath relaxes away mild depression and anxiety and may even lower high blood pressure and improve circulation.
- Lavender is anti-inflammatory and antiseptic. A tea made from the fresh or dried flowers can be applied as a skin wash for both pets and people to relieve itching due to flea bites and rashes, or the essential oil can be used.
- Lavender is a wonderful sleep aid. Combine with dried valerian, or chamomile for a relaxing tea.
- Add dried lavender flowers to sleep pillow mixtures.
- Make your own lavender sachet bags to protect clothes against moths by stuffing little bags with dried lavender flowers. Also flies and mosquitoes dislike the fragrance, use the oil in insect sprays, or add the cut flowers to flower vases.
- Lavender adds a unique flavour to foods, such as baked goods, and lavender sugar can be used to decorate baked goods, but use a light hand, too much lavender can overwhelm a dish.
- Combine with: citrus, mint, berries, ginger, figs and vanilla, or other strong Mediterranean herbs such as marjoram, oregano and fennel.

Lemon Balm
Lemon balm - or melissa - is an aromatic mint with a venerable reputation for having calming properties. It can be very helpful for those times when nerves, headaches and/or mild depression are preventing you from relaxing and getting a good nights sleep. Combined with valerian, it may even be more beneficial than many prescription sleep aids. Lemon balm's sedative and analgesic properties make it a favourite remedy for women having cramping, painful periods or any kind of stomach upset. Lemon balm has antibacterial and antiviral properties, and like all of it's mint family relatives, a cup of hot lemon balm tea induces perspiration to help break a fever making the herb useful for treating colds and flu. Above that, lemon balm extracts are also effective against herpes, cold sores and mumps viruses.
- As a member of the mint family, it has a light, lemony scent with a hint of mint.
- Similarly to lavender, lemon balm can be used as a calming bath additive. Simply fill a bath bag with lemon balm leaves (and rose petals if you're feeling fancy). Hang from the spigot and let the water run through as the tub fills. (No bath bags handy? Try a thin white sock with a knot tied at the top!)
- Make a relaxing, tummy soothing tea: Fill a jar with fresh leaves. Pour simmering hot water into the jar then cover the top with a saucer so that none of the vapours escape. Let steep until cool enough to drink. Sweeten to taste. (Spice up your lemon balm tea by mixing it with dried elderberry and spearmint)
- Add to teas and iced drinks, soups, stew, vegetables, salads, sauces... (basically, you could use it in any recipes that call for a lemon type seasoning; for example, add some finely chopped leaves and lemon zest to a lemon cake recipe)
- Combine with: asparagus, broccoli, corn, beans, olives. 

Marjoram is a close relative of oregano (which is sometimes called "wild marjoram"), its taste is reminiscent of mild oregano, and it can be used as an oregano substitute. In fact, oregano and marjoram are so similar in looks and flavour that they are often confused. However, oregano has a more potent taste and aroma; marjoram is sweeter and more delicate. Marjoram is an excellent culinary herb, subtly perfumed and calming. The leaves can be used dried or fresh. It retains much of its flavour when dried, but should be kept away from bright sunlight to preserve the colour and taste.
- It can also be used in herbed butters and flavoured oils and vinegars.
- Add to potato dishes, mushroom dishes, hearty vegetables, soups (e.g. potato soup), legumes, stews, dressings, sauces, salads...
- Combine with: sage, rosemary, thyme.

Mint is important commercially as a source of flavour and menthol. Peppermint is widely used in chewing gum, toothpaste, candy, and other sweets, but is too strong for most other home culinary uses. However,  it can be used to make tea and garnish fruit drinks, etc. Peppermint is a first herb of choice for treatment of colds and flu because it acts to relieve multiple symptoms at once: congestion, headaches and muscle aches, nausea and fever. You can drink a hot cup of peppermint tea, diffuse the essential oil in the sick room to ease the breath and kill germs, and use the oil in chest and throat massages. Peppermint also makes a good additive for a foot bath. Peppermint's uplifting aroma wafting up from a hot cup of tea can start to settle an upset stomach even before you drink it. Its antispasmodic effect calms nausea and helps prevent gas and bloating after a heavy meal. Peppermint is often combined with caraway to help indigestion.
Spearmints are milder and more versatile culinary mints. Spearmint's bright green leaves are fuzzy, very different from the darker stemmed, rounded leaves of peppermint.
- For cramps try boiling peppermint leaves in hot (soy) milk.
- Soak cotton balls or rags with peppermint (or clove) oil and place them where ants may be entering or hiding out.
- Take a quick whiff of peppermint oil to clear your stuffed nose.
- Diffuse peppermint oil in aroma lamps to clear the air in stuffy rooms.
- A few drops of peppermint essential oil in a cold compress cools the body and relieves a tension headache.
- Infuse green tea with fresh mint leaves for a refreshing taste.
In culinary use, mint isn't just a little sprig that garnishes your dessert plate. It is extremely versatile and can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes.
- Add Spearmint to all kinds of vegetable dishes, soups, peas, sauces, fruit and vegetable salads, carrots, ice cream, (iced) tea, mint juleps, mojitos...
- Combine with: yoghurt dressings, watermelon, chocolate, desserts, vegetables, bread, iced tea, soup, desserts, chocolate.

You might be surprised to learn that oregano is ranked first among the culinary herbs in antioxidant power. Many of the medicinal properties of oregano can be attributed to the anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antioxidant compounds it contains, including carvacrol, thymol and rosmarinic acid. These compounds have shown strong indications both in practice and in clinical studies that they offer protection against cancers, heart disease and stroke.
- Oregano tea made from the fresh plant will relieve nervous headache or upset stomach. 
- The leaves can also be used in poultices to reduce pain and swelling. 
- Oregano extracts provide the same benefits of the whole herbs in a concentrated, easy to use form, as does the essential oil. A few drops of oregano oil can be put in the hollow of an aching tooth to relieve pain. 
- Add chopped oregano to vinaigrette.
- Add to vegetables, stuffing, pasta, pizza, Italian sauces, soup, bread, tomato dishes, chili con carne, vegetables... when using the dried herb, respect it's potency, it's really strong taste can easily overwhelm other flavours in a dish.
- Combine with: basil, Italian herbs, cumin, chili, garlic, onions.

Even though most people probably have some parsley in their freezer, not many may know that it is packed with nutrients, including vitamin A, more vitamin C then an orange, several B vitamins, iron, calcium, and more. Parsley's mild, grassy flavour allows the flavours of other ingredients to come through. Curly parsley is less assertive than its brother, flat-leaf parsley (often called Italian parsley). Flat-leaf parsley is preferred for cooking, as it stands up better to heat and has more flavour, while the more decorative curly parsley is used mostly for garnishing. 
- Add to vegetables, potatoes, pasta, salads, stews, soups, sauces, salad dressings...
- Combine with: chives, chervil, tarragon, basil.

Ramson (wild garlic, wood garlic, bear's garlic, hog's garlic)
Bear's Garlic or Ramson is a relative of the chives and member of the onion family. It bears white flowers in early spring season and fills the air with a fragrance similar to garlic. Beware, as the silky leaves resemble those of the toxic "Lily of the Valley", so rub a leaf between your fingers to make sure that it releases the characteristic garlicky smell! The plant leaves are high in vitamin C and also contain vitamins A and the minerals, manganese, copper, iron, magnesium and traces of selenium. The leaves also contain adenosine which is believed to play a key role in regulating high blood pressure and tachycardia. Throughout history the plant has been used as a spring tonic to cleanse the blood and boost the immune system, as it is believed to work to boost the functioning of the internal organs. Bears are said to seek out the plant in spring for digestive cleansing, hence the name.
The leaves can be added to hot or cold food but lose much of their essential oils and value when dried. The fresh leaves are used as a seasoning like chives, onions, and garlic. Ramson bulbs can be used like common garlic, and are considered even stronger.
- The leaves are best added to piping hot food and stirred into it just before serving. Cooking it like spinach or leeks rather diminishes the flavour.  
Apply ramson directly to the skin for ongoing rashes.
- The plant has antifungal and antiviral actions and has been used in the past as household disinfectant - the juice from the plant is good for this, although you still have to deal with the odour. The plant itself is useful in gardens as it repels insects and burrowing moles.
- The dainty white star-like flowers are great for adding into any salad, as they not only look pretty, but also share the plant's garlicky flavour, which is perfect when you are looking for a new way to enhance the taste of your salad. 
-  For a good ramson pesto, blitz ramson leaves with pine nuts or hazel nuts and olive oil to make a soft sauce, about the consistency of cream cheese.
-  For an imitation tzatziki blitz a large handful of ramson and sorrel with a good splash of olive oil. Then add thick (soy) yoghurt to make a bright green, strong garlic dip.
- Add to salads, soups, hummus, tzatziki, gnocchi, potatoes, sandwiches, bread, risotto, scrambled tofu, cornbread, quiche, pizza, pasta, pesto, yoghurt, herb butter.
Combine with: basil, oregano, garlic, olive oil, onion.

Rosemary is one of the most aromatic and pungent of all the herbs. Its needle-like leaves have pronounced lemon-pine flavour, so use a light hand when cooking with it. Unlike milder herbs, rosemary can withstand longer cooking times. Rosemary is such an extremely useful herb, with so many culinary, medicinal and aromatherapy attributes that it deserves a treasured place in your home! Even the twigs, stripped of their leaves find use as kindling and as a aromatic addition to barbecue fires.
- Rosemary stimulates the central nervous system and circulation making it beneficial for low blood pressure and sluggishness. 
- Rosemary oil and rosemary essential oil are used to alleviate the pain of sprains, arthritis, sciatica and neuralgia. Rosemary has also been used traditionally to ease asthma.
- Rosemary also has a long herbal tradition as a herb that improves concentration and memory, Greek students would braid Rosemary into their hair to help them with their exams. Modern science attributes much of rosemary's action on the central nervous system to it's potent antioxidant, rosmarinic acid. The uplifting aroma of a fresh sprig of rosemary in the summer air will confirm both the science and history with your own senses.
- Rosemary is one of best hair tonics available - whether you are worried about hair loss, or just want healthy, happy hair, rosemary extracts used in shampoos and herbal hair rinses will work wonders. A few drops of the essential oil can be applied directly to the scalp or hair brush to restore dry, flyaway hair and make it shine. Rosemary essential oil stimulates hair follicles and circulation in the scalp, which may help prevent premature baldness. Use rosemary on a continuing basis for a healthy scalp that encourages healthy hair growth and slows hair loss. 
- Rosemary essential oil helps alleviate water retention and increases circulation when used in massage blends.
- Pinch some fresh sprigs and add to a bottle of vinegar to make some rosemary vinegar for your salad.
- Make tea with dried rosemary, lemongrass and thyme. 
- Add rosemary essential oil to your bath or in steam inhalation.
- Add leaves to potato wedges, tomato sauce, pizza, barbecue vegetables, squash, salad dressing, bread... (a few teaspoons of chopped rosemary lends a tangy taste to biscuits as well)
- Combine with: chives, thyme, chervil, parsley, bay, garlic, olive oil, Italian herbs.

Sage is excellent for colds, sore throat, cough, bronchitis, and overall inflammations in mouth and pharynx. It is also recognized in Germany as a treatment for excessive sweating. Studies show that it can help reduce menopausal hot flashes and night sweats. You can easily make your own sage tea by drying the leaves, crumbling them and storing them in an air-tight container. Then just pour hot water on it (1/2 - 1 tsp sage leaves per serving), not boiling hot though, and let steep for about 10 minutes.
The anti-inflammatory properties of sage are also great for your teeth: Pestle some of your dried sage leaves and sprinkle some powder on top of your toothpaste before brushing your teeth.
- Add to potato wedges, bread, gnocchi, ravioli (especially pumpkin ravioli), pasta and olive oil, white beans (i.e. in white bean hummus or an open sandwich) and bean dishes in general, pesto, tomato sauces (along with fresh parsley, basil, thyme, and rosemary), polenta... Use it with discretion; it can overwhelm a dish!
- Combine with: parsley, rosemary, thyme, potato, asparagus, carrots, corn, squash, beans, leeks, onions, brussels sprouts, oranges, lemons, apple, pineapple, garlic, onion (i.e. in stuffing).

Also commonly known as estragon and dragon herb, tarragon is an aromatic herb that is considered one of the four finest seasoning ingredients in traditional French cooking. While many people are familiar with the culinary uses for tarragon, most may not be aware of its unique medicinal qualities: tarragon can be used as a natural treatment for many ailments, such as toothaches (chew on the leaves, it will numb your mouth due to its high levels of eugenol), it can be used as sedative, appetite stimulant and digestive aid (to relieve common digestive problems like an upset stomach, irritable bowels and dyspepsia or to rid the bowels of intestinal worms), it supports cardiovascular health and overall eye function because it is rich in potassium and the Vitamin A precursor beta carotene. In addition, tarragon is a superb supplement to any diet because it is high in vitamins, potassium and other nutrients that have been proven to provide health benefits.
Fresh tarragon isn't always easy to find, but when you get it, you'll love the bitter-sweet, peppery taste it imparts. It's often added to white wine vinegar, lending sweet, delicate licorice-like perfume and flavour. Heat diminishes its flavour, so add tarragon toward the end of cooking, or use it as a garnish. A little goes a long way.
- Steeped fresh sprigs in vinegar or soft drinks to impart their unique flavours into the surrounding liquids.
- Add to mushrooms, vegetables, sauces, salads, soups...
- Combine with: parsley, chervil, chives.

Thyme is another member of the mint family that has been used since the earliest times as a medicinal herb, and the old saying "When in doubt, use thyme" certainly still applies today (because "thyme heals all wounds", amirite?!, pun intended). Thyme is one of the best herbs to use as a cough and cold remedy. It acts both as an expectorant to clear the lungs of congestion and as a anti-tussive, calming coughing spasms. Thyme tea will also settle the stomach, help you sleep, soothe a sore throat, relieve aches and pains, and encourage your body to sweat, helping to eliminate toxins and bring down a fever. Drinking a warm thyme tea sweetened with thyme honey is a pleasant and tasty way to get these benefits. This long list of medicinal actions is attributed mainly to the essential oil components, thymol and carvacrol which are highly antiseptic.
- Thyme essential oil can be used in room diffusers. 
- Thyme oil can be used to treat cuts and wounds to prevent and treat infections when diluted with a carrier oil.
- Place sprigs of thyme among clothes or linens to dispel musty odours and deter insect pests. Both the leaves and flowers can be used to stuff sachets.
- Use to make tea, combined with lemongrass and rosemary.
- Add to salads, rice, chowders, and just about any casserole, stew, soup, or vegetable dish...
- Combine with: tomatoes, lemon, garlic, basil, bay, rosemary, parsley, sage, savory, oregano. 

Uses & Tips

Herbs have various different uses: culinary, medical, or simply as decoration.

- Wash herbs just before using; pat dry with a paper towel.

- To revive limp herbs, trim 1/2 inch off the stems, and place in ice water for a couple of hours.

- In most cases, heat kills the flavour of fresh herbs, so they're best when added to a dish at the end.

- If a recipe calls for dried herbs, you can substitute fresh herbs but make sure to use more because fresh herbs generally aren't as strongly flavoured as dried herbs.

source: dreamteamboutique

- Keeping Fresh Herbs Fresh: 
(1) Loosely wrap herbs in a damp paper towel, then seal in a zip-top plastic bag filled with air. Refrigerate for up to five days. Check herbs daily, as some of them lose their flavour after a couple of days.
(2) Store herbs bouquet-style when in bunches: Place, stems down, in a jar with water covering 1 inch of the stem ends, and change the water every other day. This actually looks quite pretty, too! - To elongate the durability, enclose the herb bouquet a large zip-top plastic bag. Most herbs will keep for up to a week this way.
(3) Many supermarkets carry herb plants in their produce sections. Repot from its cheap plastic pot into a nice ceramic flower pot with fresh soil, and the plant will last for weeks or even months, providing you with fresh kitchen herbs.

source: brit
- If you don't want to dry your fresh herbs, another great way to conserve them is to freeze them in ice cubes for summer drinks (e.g. mint, sage, basil, lavender - along with fruits, if you like!)

source: thekitchn
- Or freeze them in butter/margarine/oil for cooking (e.g. basil, chives, parsley, dill, rosemary), then you also won't have to add any extra oil to the pan! Win win.

Ramson Gnocchi
- Use fresh herbs such as basil, sage or bear's garlic for flavourful gnocchi!

source: icecreamandgiggles
- Why not make the food you cook look as amazing as it tastes? Fresh edible flowers make incredible decorations for food. Use pansies, violets, borage flowers, nasturtiums, chives, and the tiny flowers of rosemary, sage, and lavender to add beauty and flavour to your favourite dishes. They make fabulous cake and muffin decorations for tea parties, too!

source: theviewfromgreatisland
- Toss whole herb leaves and flowers into salads for a special treat! Your salad creations can be savoury with a veggie base or sweet and fruity. Herb leaves and flowers for salads include sage, lemon balm, violets, mint, anise hyssop, nasturtiums, borage flowers, rosemary, and more! 

source: toriavey
- Use chocolate covered mint leaves as garnish for dessert (cakes, ice creams...)

source: nowfoodsblog
- The same can be done without freezing: Simply mix some soft butter/margarine with fresh herbs (basil, chives, parsley, dill, rosemary, sage, garlic) and place in the refrigerator to firm up. So yummy on bread, especially baguette!

Speaking of herb butter: It doesn't have to be savoury! You can just as well whip up some herbs with margarine and honey (vegans: maple or agave syrup) and have that as a topping on pancakes, muffins, biscuits, and more! Simply smash a bit of margarine up with around 1/2 cup of herbs and a bit of sweetener. Good herb choices are rose petals, violet and pansy flowers, and lemon balm.

source: cookieandkate
- For an extra tasty treat, add fresh savoury herbs to dips like guacamole and hummus. Chop up cilantro, basil, chives, and parsley and toss them into the bowl along with your other dip ingredients.

source: lulus
- I already mentioned it above: add herbs and fruits to your water and let everything infuse for at least an hour. Great pairs are: rosemary + pear, watermelon + mint, berries + mint, thyme + peaches, cilantro + cantaloupe...

- Herbal ice cream? Yes, please! You can either sprinkle the herbs right into the ice cream before freezing or you can steep the herbs in coconut milk for about 20 minutes and then strain them out before freezing your ice cream mixture. Here are some ideas:

Peppermint Ice Cream
Lavender Vanilla Ice Cream
Strawberry Basil Ice Cream
You can also try adding a bit of lemon balm, sage, rosemary, thyme, or even rose petals or to your favourite vanilla or chocolate ice cream recipe!

source: Sincerely Kinsey
- Make your own hand soap using herbs such as basil, mint, lavender, rosemary...

source: whatscookinchicago
- Lemonade is so refreshing for summer - and it's even better made with herbs. Lavender, lemon balm, mint, basil, tarragon, and rose petal are some beloved herbal lemonade flavours. It is so easy to make your own tasty herbal lemonade using an herbal infusion in place of the water in your favourite lemonade recipe, yum!

source: vitacost
- Moving on to liquids that aren't drinkable: scented linen and room sprays are great to calm your mind if you have trouble falling asleep at night. For example, a mixture of bergamot, lavender and a touch of basil and rose might be a nice scent to try. It will help as a natural night-time sleep aid to bring about a more restful dreamy state of mind.

source: adventures-in-making
- Another great way to use decorative herbs such as lavender and rosemary is to use them in homemade candles. That way they don't only look gorgeous, but also emit a fragrant smell.

- Fill a little bag with dried lavender blossoms and place it in your wardrobe between the woollen sweaters in order to fight off moths. Here's my DIY for the Sleepy Bunny Bags!

source: adventures-in-making
- Similarly to my sachets, you can use herbs like lavender, chamomile and lemon balm to make aromatherapy eye pillows to relax your eyes, your head and your mind.

source: buzznet
- Make your own bath salts! Its easier than you think: All you need is 1/4 cup Epsom salts and 1/4 cup sea, kosher, or rock salt stirred together in a glass bowl for one unscented bath soak. Of course, you can stir in the amount of scent strength you desire of your favourite "pure essential oil" and you're good to go! Favourite assorted scents are eucalyptus (stimulating), jasmine (relaxing), lavender (calming), orange (refreshing) and rose (relaxing), as well as lemon balm, chamomile, valerian root and lavender for a good night's sleep, or sage, thyme, tea tree oil and eucalyptus to fight a cough, cold or a fever. - This also makes for a great gift for Mother's Day, birthday or Christmas! 

source: bluepurpleandscarlett
- Use herbs (such as rosemary, thyme, lavender) for decorating gifts!

source: thegatheringgarden
- Last but not least: get crafty with an herb wreath! Fragrant herbs such as lavender, marjoram, sage, purple oregano, thyme, chile de arbol, tansy and bay are a feast for the eye and give a pleasant herbal scent. Dried wild flowers go great with this.

I hope you got some ideas what to do with your herbs in the future! I actually inspired myself with this post, haha :)

See you next time

* note: i am not a nutritionist nor dietician. however i did spend four years reading up on nutrients, dietary needs, various forms of nutrition and eating disorders, and do consider myself quite an educated food friend. if there's anything i misrepresented or missed out, feel free to correct me.  

Next up we got I for…? i-don't-know-you-tell-me!


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