Fresh herbs from the garden are a culinary staple that can take your meals to a whole new level! While you may be well versed in cooking with the herbs you grow in your garden did you know that you can use them in other areas of your life too? Today, Sabrina of Vigor + Sage is here sharing easy tips for using 5 of the most popular culinary herbs in other parts of your life too.
- Basil: Sweet basil is a garden staple. Both fresh and dried basil provide the body with nutrients like calcium and vitamins K,C, and A. Chew up basil leaf and apply it topically to an insect bite or sting to relieve the itching and swelling. Ingesting basil has been known to ease an upset stomach and you can even add a handful of basil leaves (or a tablespoon dried) to boiling water to make a facial steam that can help relieve headaches.
- Lavender: Lavender is one of the most recognized herbs in the world for good reason. The scent alone helps ease tension and promote a state of relaxation and peace. There are far more uses for lavender than just its aromatic fragrance though. Lavender can be used fresh, dried or as an oil and has a long list of benefits. Try adding a few buds to a cup of hot (not boiling) water for a calming herbal tea that will help you wind down after a long day or to relieve a headache. Once cooled, the tea can be used as a spray to help ease burns or as a scalp rinse to remedy dandruff.
- Peppermint: Like other members of the mint family, peppermint is an invasive plant and can take over your herb garden. Knowing how to use it will not only benefit you, but will also give you a reason to keep trimming it! Consumed as a simple tea, peppermint soothes the digestive system and may help relieve symptoms of morning sickness, motion sickness, gas, upset stomach and heartburn. Try rubbing a few peppermint leaves between your fingers and enjoying the smell before a test to help with focus and concentration. You can even sprinkle some peppermint leaves in the back of cabinets to deter pesky ants.
- Rosemary: Rosemary needs little attention and can grow large very quickly. Popular as a culinary herb, there are many ways to enjoy the benefits of rosemary outside of the kitchen as well. Rosemary is known to boost memory and improve your mood too, simply tie a few springs together and place them in the shower. Enjoy breathing in the aromatic steam to reduce migraine symptoms or as a gentle way to wake up in the morning. The antibacterial properties of rosemary make it a great breath freshener too. Steep rosemary in hot water, let cool, then gargle or swish around the mouth to help prevent cavities and fight bad breath all night long.
- Thyme: Thyme is a member of the mint family but its flavor and aroma are truly unique. It's no wonder the herb is used in kitchens across the world! Digesting thyme can help fight against intestinal issues such as ulcers and infections. It boosts the immune system and aids in the prevention and treatment of respiratory ailments. Make your own tincture by infusing thyme leaves in olive oil overnight. Add a few drops to a bath to help fight bronchitis. You can even burn dried thyme to help repel insects.