October 20, 2011

Herbs Are Not Just For Cooking Nerds

Gone are the days when a handful of store-bought herbs thrown into a nearly cooked meal was ‘exotic’; people are now growing their own herbs and adapting them, not only to obtain their maximum flavor in cooking but for other household uses as well.

One of the main reasons for this is because people are becoming more health conscious and trying to adapt to new ways of being sustainable and green (which is beneficial to the money side as well).

One culinary lecturer from Brookville who believes strongly in the benefits of herbs uses two techniques, decoctions and infusions, to prepare her herbal concoctions.

For decoctions, seeds, bark and/or roots are placed in water, boiled and then left to simmer for 15 to 30 minutes.

Infusions, on the other hand, use the flower, leaf and stem part of the plant which is placed in gently heated water and slowly brewed, a bit like making tea.

You can make your own organic, fragrant, herbal sugar scrub by placing one cup of sugar and one tablespoon each of lavender flowers, calendula petals, basil and chamomile into a blender and blending. Then place the mixture into a plastic jar or tub and add 4 to 6 tablespoons of almond oil. This scrub is great for use in the shower and will exfoliate, energize and hydrate skin leaving it clean and smooth.

It is popular practice to use herbal concoctions for health and beauty purposes but less well known are the house cleaning properties that they offer.

Adding a few drops of essential oil such as eucalyptus, lemon, lemongrass and citronella to a bucket of water and Murphy’s soap oil and using as a floor cleaner can not only make your home smell wonderfully fresh and fragrant but also keep insects away especially when used near doorways and patios. Another tip for when you clean windows is to add some lemon scented essential oil to vinegar to give them a good shine.

Rather than resorting to harsh chemicals to prevent bug problems, try a plant based alternative next time. Bay leaves are also very good for keeping meal moths at bay; place dry bay leaves in jars of flour, couscous, beans and lentils and they should stay out of your food pantry.

Gardeners can also benefit from these natural mixes – rubbing herb infused essential oils over clothing and footwear before heading into the garden acts as an insect repellent.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...