How to use dried herbs

How to use dried herbs

Hello friend!! Today I am so grateful to be able to chat with you about herbal uses. Honestly, I get soo giddy when someone says "I love the look of these herbs, they smell so fresh!... But what would I do with them??"

While this won't be an exhaustive list of every use or every herb (that would be a long article), I hope you find some practical applications you can experiment with TODAY.

As we speak I am drinking some homegrown herbal tea. My go-to tea these days starts with a base of yarrow, mint, and lavender. Most people enjoy the relaxing effect of a cup of herbal tea, but the same infusion can perform double duty as a surface-cleaning sprayIf you keep those herbs in a bag, also try rubbing your face with the tea bag after you've finished your tea. This could help soothe acne and reduce inflammation. I can remember a friend, while backpacking, always rubbing his face with green tea bags in the morning and evening. He always had a clear complexion.

Many herbs (such as rose, mint, yarrow, calendula, cedar, and lavender) contain antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties making them great for DIY skincare applications. You may have already seen me at the local farmers market and tried some of my skincare products. Thank you! Some of the most popular items have been the calendula rose salve, western red cedar salve, lavender lotion, rose lip balm, and yarrow-infused apricot-seed massage oil.

Don't be afraid! Making your own skincare is super easy. I started making my own for holiday gifts, with herbs I had grown in my front yard. Overwhelming positive feedback was validation for launching this biz at the end of 2020. 

The key is to infuse/impart the herbal properties into an oil base (typically apricot seed oil, olive oil, coconut oil, almond oil, or a combo). Moving forward with this herbal oil you have so many options.

Add some beeswax and make lip balms, add coconut oil and beeswax for more of a body lotion/salve consistency, or leave it as is and apply as a massage oil. *****Quick note it's best to not use industrial oils like Canola, Corn, Cottonseed, Soybean, Sunflower, Safflower, Grapeseed, and Rice bran as they may trigger the body's inflammatory response. 

A super easy soap recipe is 1/2 lye 1/2 oil. Level up your soaps with an herb-infused oil base and garnish with dried herbs. 

Speaking of garnish, do you like to cook or bake? Pair your next dish of salmon, chicken, turkey, or lamb with marjoram, rosemary, savory, oregano, and/or lavender. Lavender pairs really well with rich and fatty foods because it cuts through and lifts the overall flavor. 

Speaking of rich and fatty, have you thought about making herbed butter? Fresh herbs are typically perferred in this case, but dried herbs also work well. 

Do you have a really good self-care routine? How about adding some herbal bath soaks or sugar/salt scrubs into the shuffle? Google has so many easy recipes. I really  enjoy making a calendula, lavender, mint, rose bath soak - just the right about of stimulation from the mint, calming from the lavender, and skin soothing from the calendula and rose.

Ive loved my homemade calendula, rose, lavender sugar/salt scrubs. You won't need to fill a bath tub to use these but they could be of use in or out of the bath. Be careful to not over-exfoliate. These could be cool date or craft ideas. Make em and enjoy em alone or with a partner.

Do you like burning incense in your home or have a personal ceremony with some herb? The use of burning herbs to cleanse a space has a long historical use. My roommates love to come home to the smell of lavender or cedar burning & cleansing the air. 

Don't forget about candles. Infusing herbs into the oil used for candle making may be unnecessary as you won't be directly applying the candle to your body. you can put your dried herbs as a garnish when the candle has dried though! Using essential oils for smell would be the best bet. 

Dried herbs can also be a great source of eco-friendly dye. Marigold, yarrow, are great medicinal herbs as sources for a natural yellow. Indigo grows in the PNW climate and can supplement your need for blue dye.

A lesser known activity practiced around the world, yoni (Vaginal) steaming is an age-old natural remedy that gently and effectively cleanses the vagina and uterus. This can help to  prevents BV and infections, help with healing after childbirth, regulate menstruation, and ease period cramps and bloating. This involves sitting over a steaming pot of water with herbs of your choosing. 

Ok lets recap what weve learned so far. Many herbs have so many uses, and how you choose to use them is entirely up to you. You can use dried herbs in tea, surface-surface cleaning spray, salves, lotions, lip balms, massage oil, soaps, for cooking and baking, bath soaks, sugar/salt scrubs, burnt for incense, candles, eco-friendly dye, yoni steaming AND SO MUCH MORE. A good rule of thumb is to do some research with each herb as there may be contraindications with some uses. 

Thanks for stopping by to learn a bit more about How to Use Dried Herbs! I wish you the best in your herbal journey. Feel free to take a look at the herbs I have available, and maybe be inspired by the products Ive made with them thus far. Contact me if you have any questions and also shout me out on instagram or Facebook that your reading this!

My name is Kyle, Founder/CEO of PDX Urban Gardens. I am an herbalist, urban farmer, photographer, and so much more. I basically wear all the hats here at PUG. I hope you join me in another article. See you l8er alligator.

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