Herbs can be beneficial as health aids used internally or topically to aid in bug bites, stings, cuts and abrasions. Always research the herbs you intend to use, so that you know how they can be of benefit to you and your family and always use caution when using herbs that may cause an allergic reaction in some individuals. It is never recommended that herbal concoctions be used by pregnant or lactating females or young children. Consult your health provider before starting any herbal regimen for your safety and the safety of family members. Over-use of any herbs is not recommended.
Herbs can be frozen in oil, or water. Just place the clean chopped herbs in an ice tray and cover with your favorite cooking oil or water. The herbs can also be frozen by placing just the clean herbs in freezer containers or sealable bags to use in soups and stews or casseroles.
Herb Vinegar. Use plastic wrap between metal lid and bottle when capping or use plastic lids or bale type lids, to prevent any corrosion from contact with the vinegar.
Uses: Salad dressing and marinades Herbal vinegar can be made with apple cider vinegar, or wine vinegar infused with any culinary herbs, such as basil, rosemary, dill, thyme, tarragon, nasturtium, chives, sage, lemon balm, Oregano or mint. Mix and match herbs with other culinary additions, such as citrus peels, zest, peppercorns or berries to create unique flavors.
All Purpose House or Coop Cleaner: Use regular, inexpensive white vinegar. Use lavender-infused vinegar in your laundry as a fabric softener. Lemon balm or Lemon verbena infused vinegar can be used as an inexpensive floor cleaner, or infused rosemary and thyme vinegar can be used to disinfect in the kitchen and bath, leaving behind a fresh herbal fragrance.
4 Thieves Vinegar: A combination of Rosemary, Sage, Thyme and Oregano is the basic formula for 4 thieves vinegar. You can add other herbs and spices to this basic mix to create your own special flavored vinegar. This can be used as a disinfectant around the house or used in culinary preparations.
Hair Rinse A mixture of half water and half herb vinegar can be used as hair rinse after shampooing, to help remove any shampoo residue.
Bathing. Herbal vinegar in bath water, along with Epsom Salts will help with relaxation and relief from sore muscles after a work out or day of gardening.
Beverages A small amount added to hot or cold tea, water or lemonade adds flavor along with the added nutritional benefits.
Facial Exfoliator: Herbs combined with other common ingredients are healthy and soothing for the skin.
Refer to the link to make a beneficial Exfoliator:
Tisane/Herbal Tea: Tisane's go back to ancient times, when the herbs were blended for medicinal purposes. You can enjoy a tisane to de-stress, ward off cold and flu symptoms, treat digestive issues or as a sleep aid or simply enjoy your favorite blend of herbal flavors. Tisane's are called tea, however they are made with herbs, citrus, and edible flowers, rather than common tea leaves.
Refer to the link for a soothing cold or flu tisane:
Raw Honey, or simple syrup can be combined with herbs in a mason jar. The syrup can be used in your favorite recipes calling for a sweetener, such as lemonade, tea or soda, or make an herbal tea by pouring a teaspoon or so into a cup, then topping with hot water for a soothing tea.
Herbal syrup can be used to treat flu or cold symptoms or used along with brandy or vodka as medicinal syrup that can be taken 1 T. at a time up to 4 or 5 times a day to help relieve flu or cold symptoms. Garlic, Rosemary and Sage are all know to be beneficial as antibacterial and anti-viral herbs that help build immunity.
Refer to the link for making Simple Syrups:
Refer to the link for making herbal infused honey:
See my link to making Herb infused oils.
Uses: As salad dressing and marinades and in place of other oils in cooking.
In addition, you can use the infused oil for salves, lotions, soaps and lip balm instead of other carrier oils.
Herbal salts are easy to make and make great gifts. Just mix a 1-3 ratio of herbs to sea salt, and allow to sit in a pantry a couple of weeks until the herbal flavor has permeated the salt. Either fresh or dry herbs can be used.
Uses: For cooking, use your favorite herbs or combinations of herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, sage and Oregano or use Lemon Balm, Basil or garlic cloves. Add colored peppercorns if desired. It's easy to experiment with flavors and to adjust to personal taste.
These can be used in any of your favorite recipes in place of plain salt to add a burst of herb flavor.
Note: If using fresh herbs, loosely chop, add to the salts, then spread out on a cooking sheet to dry over night or place in the oven or dehydrator on low heat until thoroughly dry. You may need to break up the salt with a mortal and pestle or run through your mini processor until any clumps are removed.
Pour into air tight mason jars or spice jars and use in place of plain salt.
Refer to the links to make your own Herbal Salts:
Vanilla Salt-Fleur de Sel
Smoked Hickory Salt: justfowlingaround.weebly.com/seasoning-and-sauces/diy-smoked-hickory-salt
Bacon Salt: justfowlingaround.weebly.com/seasoning-and-sauces/diy-bacon-salt
Lemon Seasoning Salt
Herbal extracts can be used in the same ways you use commercial extracts, to flavor baked goods. Fill a jar with prepared herbs, then pour Everclear, Vodka, Brandy, or Bourbon over the herbs and cap. Allow the flavors to blend for up to 6 weeks. Strain through cheesecloth and pour into bottles or jars with tight fitting lids.
Uses: Replace the extract called for in the recipe using the same amount. Lavender extract can be used in Lavender and Lemon Bars or used in soap making, for lotions and salves and astringents. Or used like essential oils in bath water and hair rinses. Experiment with a variety of herbs or combinations of herbs.
See the link for making your own Rosemary-Vanilla Extract:
Tinctures have medicinal benefits and can be used internally to treat minor illnesses, or used topically to treat cuts and scrapes.
Just mix your favorite herbs in full strength Everclear, Vodka, Bourbon or Brandy. Allow the mixture to infuse for 4-6 weeks, strain and pour into clean, sterilized mason jars. There is no need to use an expensive brand of alcohol to make the infusions, but you do want at least 40 proof for the most benefit.
Uses: Depending on the herbs used, they can be used as antiviral, sleep aids, or used for pain. Lemon Balm and Rosemary are known for effective calming, relaxation and sleep aids. Lemon Balm is also know as an ant-viral aid. Mint is known as a pain reliever for soar throat or tooth ache and the tincture can be used as a mouth wash. Mint varieties are also beneficial for stomach issues and to aid in digestion.
Note: Glycerine can be used in place of Alcohol for those preferring non-alcohol tinctures. These are called Glycerites. Glycerine is available in pharmacies and Health Food stores.
Place the herbs in the glycerine up to 4-6 weeks then strain through cheesecloth or plain muslin, squeezing the cloth to extract as much of the glycerine as possible.
Use: Add to tea or other beverages as a natural sweetener with herbal benefits.
Caution: Always use common sense when using herbs. Most culinary herbs are safe to use, in normal consumption, however some can interact with supplements or medications that you may currently be taking. If you are on blood thinners avoid all members of the extensive mint family (Oregano, Basil etc.), they can cause an interaction with that type of medication. Always consult your primary medical care provider before using any herbs and before giving to children or those with compromised immune systems or allergies. Pregnant and lactating females should always use caution and consult their maternity professional. No medical advice is given or implied in this article. You are solely responsible for doing your research through professional sources and responsible for your own health care.
Chicken Coop Chatter© All Rights Reserved 2011-2017
CREDENTIALS: Certified Oregon State Master Gardener since 1999. Horticulture degree 2001. Study of Herbs and Horticulture Therapy, heavy research and study of all plants and herbs. Gardening a lifetime