When I first started working with herbs I was always amazed at all of the diverse ways herbs could be used. From cooking with home-grown herbs to creating lozenges and pessary's there is so much information out there on how to use herbs in everyday living. I tried to do it all and it was a little exhausting, yet I felt empowered and it was really exhilarating to experience a tonic I created working in my life. Over time I've realized incorporating herbs in little ways every day and over longer periods gave me a great foundation to work with when it comes to promoting healthy living on a more day to day basis.
Here are 4 ways you can add herbs to your lifestyle and even share herbal living with friends and loved ones.
#4 Cook with Herbal Infused Butters
Herbal infused butters are a great way to add flavor and nutrition to your meals. They can be used as an alternative to butter in baking, cooking, and even as a spread on toast. To make your own herbal infused butter at home, you'll need a few simple ingredients: butter, herbs of your choice, and a saucepan. Start by melting the butter in the saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add your chosen herbs and stir to combine. Allow the butter to simmer for about 10 minutes, then remove from heat. Strain the herbs from the butter into a clean jar and allow it to completely cool. Now you're ready to use the herbed butter in your cooking! This butter is now infused with the medicinal properties of whatever plants you used to create it.
Depending on the herbs used I often enjoy leaving the herbs in the butter and enjoying as is. I love a good garden blend so sage and basil are a couple of my favorites herbs to infuse into butters. Sage has relaxing, stimulant, carminative, diuretic, and hormone balancing properties; while basil is highly anti-oxidative and stress reducing.
#3 Make Herbal Infused Cocktails
Herbal infused cocktails are a great way to add a unique and flavorful twist to your favorite drinks! They can be as simple or as complex as you like. To get started, you'll want to pick your favorite herbs and infuse them into a simple syrup, liquor, or liqueur. For a simple syrup, combine equal parts water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add in your chosen herbs and simmer for about 10 minutes. Strain and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. For a liquor or liqueur, steep your herbs in the alcohol for a few days until the flavor is strong enough. Be sure to strain out the herbs before using. Once you have your infused liquids ready, you can start creating your herbal cocktails! I love a good elderberry lemon drop, they are excellent for entertaining and fun to make.
Rosemary is great for poor appetite and a weak digestion, traditionally rosemary was valued for its antiseptic qualities. Rosemary pairs well with oranges and spices like nutmeg and cinnamon in elixirs and tonics.
#2 Make Herbal Potpurri
Herbal potpourri is a great way to add a natural scent to your home or workspace. You can make your own herbal potpourri by combining dried herbs and flowers, essential oils, and dried citrus peels. To start, gather some of your favorite dried herbs and flowers, such as lavender, rose petals, chamomile, and peppermint. Then, add a few drops of your favorite essential oils, such as lavender or citrus, for a pleasant scent. Finally, add some dried citrus peels for a refreshing and uplifting scent. Arrange the herbs and flowers in a decorative bowl or jar, and add the citrus peels and essential oils. Your potpourri is now ready to enjoy! Another way to create the aroma of potpourri is by diffusing the fresh plant in boiling water on your stove top, cinnamon sticks and citrus lift the mood in a space.
#1 Cleanse Your Space with Herbs
Cleaning with herbs is a great way to make your home smell great and keep it clean without using harsh chemicals. Herbs like lavender, lemon, rosemary, and tea tree oil can be used in a variety of ways to disinfect and deodorize your home. For example, you can make a natural all-purpose cleaner by combining lavender and lemon essential oils with white vinegar and water. You can also use lemon, lavender, and tea tree oil to make a natural bathroom cleaner. Rosemary can be used to make a natural air freshener. To get the most out of your herbs, try experimenting with different combinations and recipes to find the one that works best for you.
6 Tips on Cooking with Herbs.
Cooking with herbs is a great way to add flavor to your meals! Here are a few tips for cooking with herbs:
Start small - add a little bit of herbs at a time, and taste as you go. This will help you find the right balance of flavor.
Use fresh herbs whenever possible - they add the most flavor and aroma.
Add herbs at the end of cooking - this will help to preserve the flavor and aroma.
Use dry herbs in marinades, rubs, and dressings - they will help to infuse flavor into the dish.
Toast dry herbs before adding them to a dish - this will help to bring out the flavor.
Don't be afraid to experiment - try combining different herbs to create unique flavor combinations.
I hope these tips help you add more herbs into your everyday living and to create delicious dishes!