Herbs and spices are essential to any kitchen because they provide flavor and spice to your cooking. But that’s not the only thing they’re used for. There are many alternative uses for herbs and spices you probably never knew about, such as providing a natural alternative to common household products. Here are some ways you can use your herbs and spices that don’t include food seasoning.
Make Natural Dyes
Herbs and spices can be used as a natural dye for fabrics, textiles, and for dying eggs. Actually, before chemical dyes were available, this was one of the only ways to dye fabrics. Although many natural dyes are made by boiling flowers or roots from plants, these ingredients won’t give you the same rich pigment that using spices and herbs will provide. Since spices are dried and ground plants, they often dye deeper and more permanently than fresh plant materials. For the best results, be sure to use your handcrafted dye on natural fibers like cotton, wool, linen, or hemp. Here are some of the best herbs and spices to use for creating natural dyes:
- Turmeric: Yellow
- Rosehip: Pink
- Lavender: Pale-Light Pink
- Chili Powder: Orange
- Paprika: Orange
- Black Tea: Brown
- Chamomile Leaves: Green
- Hibiscus: Red
Naturally Repel Bugs
When it comes to repelling bugs and insects in and around your home, you need to be cautious about the products you use. Harsh chemical solutions can be very dangerous to use around children and pets, but using natural repellents can ensure their absolute safety. And some of the best natural insect deterrents come right from the spices and herbs found in your kitchen cupboards. Not only are these wildcrafted ingredients natural and safe to use in your home, but they’re also cost-effective. Consider using these herbs and spices to repel various types of bugs and insects:
- Rosemary: Deters mosquitos, moths and flies
- Cinnamon: Keeps ants and spiders at bay
- Bay Leaves: Repels moths, roaches and earwigs
- Black Pepper: Also deters ants
- Garlic: Repels beetles and spider mites
- Cloves: Also keeps ants, moths, and flies away
All you have to do is sprinkle some of the spices and herbs around the areas of your home when you’re noticing bugs and insects, and let the wildcrafted ingredients work their natural magic.
More alternative uses for herbs and spices is to utilize them for making natural home cleaners. Many spices and herbs carry added benefits that can be extremely useful for you, and for your home. For instance, cloves have antifungal properties which make it a great natural option for combating mold. Another herb that can be used to create a natural all-purpose cleaner is rosemary. Rosemary is full of antioxidants which makes it helpful for neutralizing harmful particles known as free radicals. To create this all-purpose cleaner, put orange peels and sprigs of rosemary in a jar filled with white vinegar, let it sit for two to four weeks, and then strain it. Now, you have some natural all-purpose cleaners that are not only safe for your home but also smell fresh and are cost-effective.
Not only do spices and herbs provide great flavor in cooking, but they also have sensational aromas which make them perfect for creating natural home deodorizers. They’ll help mask the unsavory scents you notice around your home. To make your own natural deodorizer you’ll need water, a small pot or saucepan, containers (such as mason jars), fruit (such as oranges and lemons) and your choice of herbs and spices. Start by cutting the fruits, and then place them in your pot. Next, add in herbs and spices and then fill your pot 3/4 of the way full and cover with a lid. Once the water begins to boil, remove the lid and reduce your solution to a simmer for 1-2 hours.
Suggested herbs and spices:
- Star Anise
Make Natural Soaps
Alternative uses for herbs and spices also include making your own, homemade natural soaps. Flowers, herbs, and many wildcrafted ingredients are used in naturally made soaps to provide texture, color, scent, and even therapeutic properties. These bars of soap are unique because they can be personalized specifically for you. Some of the best herbs to use in soap making are parsley, peppermint, rosemary, sage, thyme, lavender, rosehip, and chamomile.
Shop Prairie Herb Farms Herbs and Spices
Prairie Herb Farms is dedicated to providing its customers with the best quality herbs and spices available. Not only are they great for cooking, but they’re also useful for other aspects of your home such as creating natural homemade cleaners and soaps. You can trust that all of our products are free of harmful additives and are crafted with sustainability in mind. Shop our products to find the best quality ingredients, and start using your herbs and spices for more than just cooking.