We all know that herbs are great for tasty meals and soothing teas, but did you know that herbs can be used for everyday tasks such as cleaning your house? We certainly appreciate the boost to our health that herbs can bring, but most of us are missing out on their more practical uses.
If that sounds like you, here are 6 surprising ways to use herbs for everything from housecleaning to pest prevention.
1. Natural Perfume
Modern perfumes are often jam-packed with unpleasant ingredients. You certainly want to smell nice, but you don't want to load your skin with toxic chemicals in the process. So what's a person to do? Use herbs, of course!
Herbs used for aromatic purposes date back centuries. In fact, marjoram is known in Greek mythology as a beloved natural perfume. Leaves of your favorite fragrant herb can be rubbed onto your wrist to leave your skin smelling sweet.
2. Acne Relief
Acne is the bane of every teenager's existence and many turn to stringent face washes and harsh soaps in search of clearer skin. The problem is that these drying soaps strip the skin of its natural oils, causing it to produce even more oil to make up for it.
Possessing antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, herbs such as thyme and rosemary are a more soothing and effective way to treat acne. Using a towel to trap the moisture, hold your face over herb-infused steam, giving it time to penetrate and cleanse your pores.
3. Green Cleaners
Many herbs act as natural disinfectants thanks to certain plant chemicals that are antifungal, antiseptic, antibacterial and more. Such herbs include basil, sage, hyssop, coriander, rosemary, peppermint and many others.
You can make your own all-purpose cleaning products by combining 15-20 drops of herbal essential oil with vinegar in a large spray bottle. Known for its antimicrobial properties, vinegar can disinfect surfaces as well as break through mineral deposits on bathtubs and sinks. While it's not the greatest smelling scent in the world, the drops of essential oil will help mask the smell while boosting its already powerful cleansing abilities.
4. Protect Clothing
If you live in an area where clothes moths are a problem, you can easily protect your clothing with the use of herbs. In a breathable sack of some sort, combine equal parts lavender, basil and rosemary and place it in your closet or clothes drawer. Moths hate the smell and will quickly leave the area.
5. Repel Pests
Just as moths hate the scent of lavender and basil, other pests also have certain smells that send them packing. The most popular herbs used for pest control include comfrey, rosemary and any form of mint.
An easy way to proactively prevent pests from invading your home is to plant these fragrant herbs along the perimeter of your home. For those who have already made their way in, rubbing peppermint essential oil along your baseboards will help repel fleas, spiders and other creepy crawlers.
6. Nourish Hair
Most modern shampoos and conditioners are loaded with chemicals that sound more like something you'd find in a science experiment than in a hair care product. Fortunately, a handful of companies are starting to infuse their products with herbs like sage and thyme. Popular for their ability to combat flaking and dandruff, these herbs also promote healthier hair overall.
While it's true that herbs are great for flavoring your favorite dishes and promoting overall health, they can also be used around your house to help you in almost every aspect of life.
So next time you reach for that store-bought cleaner or package of moth balls, remember that there may just be a better, more natural option lurking in your spice cabinet.