I know most of the focus on the Mariposa Farms website is on cooking with herbs, but what if you don’t cook? No worries! There are many other uses for fresh herbs that you may not know about.

If you have read my blog in the past, you know that herbs have been used for hundreds, maybe thousands, of years. Fresh herbs have long been used for medicinal purposes from relieving a toothache to easing an upset stomach and more. They were also used as perfume and to make ‘love potions’ to attract a mate.

I have come across a few more modern day uses for herbs that you might find useful.

Pest Repellent:
Rosemary can help to keep insects away. Mosquitoes can’t stand rosemary, so while you are enjoying the outdoors this fall, place a few sprigs of fresh rosemary near you to keep those little buggars from attacking you. You can also place sprigs near your doors and windows to help keep insects at bay.

Mint is said to keep mice and spiders away. Place fresh mint leaves in problem areas and near doors and windows to deter mice and spiders from entering. You can also spread mint leaves in your garden to keep insects from eating your plants.

Use thyme to make your own cleaner. Thyme is a natural disinfectant and antiseptic due to the oil, thymol, that it contains. Boil thyme leaves in water. Mix 1/2 cup of the thyme water, 1/8 cup of liquid soap and 1/3 cup distilled vinegar or lemon juice. Place in a spray bottle and use to clean hard surfaces in your home.

Hair Rinse
Make your own hair rinse to help strengthen your hair and reduce dandruff. Boil rosemary leaves in water. Wash your hair as usual and then rinse your hair with the cooled rosemary solution.

Oven Cleaner
For this natural oven cleaner you will need an orange, a lemon, baking soda, distilled vinegar and rosemary. In a mason jar combine the orange and lemon peels and some vinegar. Add the rosemary to get rid of the vinegar smell. Place the lid on tightly. Let infuse in the jar for five days. After the 5 days, pour the liquid into a spray bottle. Apply baking soda to the places that need to be cleaned in your oven. Spray the vinegar solution onto the baking soda. It will start to bubble. Wait 20 minutes and wipe off with a clean wet sponge. No toxic fumes or horrible smells!

Herbal Salt or Sugar
Simply pair your herb with salt or sugar, i.e. lavender, mint, and rosemary go well with sugar while basil goes well with salt. Layer the fresh herbs with the salt or sugar in a seal-able jar and give it a few days to infuse. This is a great gift item.

Draw that hot bath you’ve been dreaming of all day, but don’t forget the mint! Place some mint leaves in the bath to aid in relaxation.

Simmer Pot
Bring some water to a boil in a saucepan and add your favorite fruit, spices and herbs. Simmer gently and add water as needed. You can also do this in a crockpot. I like this method so I don’t have to keep such a close eye on it.
Here are a couple combinations to get you started.
*Sliced oranges, cinnamon, cranberries and rosemary
*Grapefruit, rosemary and vanilla

If you enjoy crafting, think about using herbs in some of your projects.

*Paint the leaves and use them as a ‘stamp’ to make your paintings even more unique.
*Use fresh herbs as a centerpiece and add beauty and fragrance to any room.
*Press and dry herbs to frame with flowers.
*Make soap? Try adding some herbs to your soap.
*Herbs also make beautiful wreathes and swags. They can be used alone or add flowers or other decorations.

I hope I have given you some inspiration to try something new with fresh herbs! Have fun!