Potpourri is, beyond all doubts, the most common domestic use of herbs. It is prepared using dried up or partially dried leaves, flower buds and petals of aromatic plants. Currently, you may also purchase off the rack potpourris in a variety of herbal combinations; in fact they are being extensively marketed by the florists and gift shops. While an easier alternative is to purchase a potpourri blend, preparing one personally at home definitely has its advantages. In this case you are able to select the precise ingredients that go well with your individual liking. In addition, it is also very pleasant to aromatize your room using natural fragrances compared to the synthetic scent of a contemporary air freshener available in a spray can.
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If you so desire, when fresh flowers are in short supply, you may also use dried up herbs as well as flowers to beautify your home. Small clusters of aromatic flowers and herbs are packed into baskets, collectively to make tussie-mussies (cone-shaped bouquet holders) to decorate the tables. Alternately, these dried aromatic flowers and herbs may also be arranged in the form of seasonal garlands to adorn the walls. These dried up collections also have a longer life compared to the fresh flowers and herbs.
While these days we generally consider herbs for decorating homes simply in the form of a sensual delight, either gratifying the eye or the nose, there was a time when herbs were used in homes for more sensible and realistic reasons. Like in the case of medicines as well as cosmetics, herbs were used to produce domestic items to clean as well as refresh the home, in addition to keep germs and pests away, which has become a large commercial industry.
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Nevertheless, this was never the case always. In fact, there was a time (prior to the advent of the contemporary sanitation) when hedgerow, herb garden or field supplied the raw elements for the therapeutic as well as cosmetic preparations that people relied on also made available means to keep their homes hygienic and sweet-smelling. A very widespread practice among the people was to scatter specific herbs, such as, catmint, lavender or tansy, in certain places that might have undesired infestation of pests. Conditional on which herb was used, this practice helped them to put off undesirable intruders like fleas and rats.
One more practice prevalent in those times was keeping sachets filled with herbs in drawers or wardrobes with a view to aromatize the things kept in the wardrobe or drawers, and also to ward off pests. During the reign of Queen Elizabeth, people placed lavender bags along with domestic linens and blankets to keep off moths. There are several herbs which were effective in repelling insects and these included a mint species and pennyroyal for warding off fleas; southernwood for a variety of insects, counting moths; rue for keeping fleas and other insects at bay; and tansy to put off flies. In addition, herbs were also used to treat various health conditions. While the stems of lavender were burnt in the same way as fumigant in sickrooms, rue was also burnt in the form of an air cleanser. The tussie-mussies were initially employed during medieval period to protect against infection as well as objectionable smells caused by plague as well as different ailments.
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One delightful means to coalesce the sensual as well as practical utilities of herbs for domestic purposes is to prepare a cushion or pillow using aromatic herbs - fill the cushion or pillow covers with dried up herbs and use them to support sound sleep. When you place your head on them, its weight as well as warmth will help to release the aroma of the herbs helping you to get rid of all feelings related to pressure as well as anxiety. If you include a few drops of essential oil of aromatic herbs in any oil burner, it will also produce a comparable result. To do this, you need to place the essential oil in some amount of water in the burner's upper container; apply heat from a burning night lamp in the compartment below to warm the water and release the aroma of the oil zephyrs on the vapour formed by the water. Nevertheless, you should never leave the oil burners untended for a prolonged period - and definitely not when you go to sleep at night, as the water may evaporate amazingly fast, while the candle continues to burn.
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The inclination for doing things in the more conventional as well as natural manner is definitely healthy and it never harms the ecology or any other living organism present in the foods we consume, medications taken by us as well as the cosmetics we employ. Without an iota of doubt, this increasingly encourages us to utilize herbal products in our homes. As the consciousness regarding the health as well as ecological issues increases, more and more people will be worried regarding the detrimental consequences of some of the products we generally use at home, such as domestic fly or flea sprays. At the same time, they will increasingly try to find out alternatives that are additionally safe. This is precisely where the use of herbs can be useful, like they were useful for our predecessors for several centuries as well as in many dissimilar spheres of their lives.
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The ideas mentioned below ought to make eye-catching as well as unique gifts. They would be even more gratifying for the receiver, as he/ she would be aware of the fact that you have taken pains to make these gifts yourself.
As the unique fragrance exuded by the herbs will delight the nostrils of the humans, it also possesses properties that ward off undesirable visitors at your home, for instance, fleas, mosquitoes, moths as well as rodents. Compared to using the usual moth balls, use of herbs is definitely a nicer way to keep away moths from the garments as well as linens stored in your wardrobe. When you use the conventional moth balls for this purpose, the pungent odour left behind by these synthetic substances linger for a prolonged period of time.