I hate tossing out herbs after using them to make oil infusions or medicinal teas. It’s so frustrating to see them going to the bin or a compost pile when they seem barely touched on the surface. Here are three ways to reuse spent herbs and enjoy them just a little longer.
1. Add them to a cloth sachet and throw them into a bath. You can use them as is in your bath for a luxurious herb (or oil and herb) soak. If you want to add a bit more oomph to it, you can mix in some Epsom salt or powdered oatmeal and slip in for an impromptu spa night. Just make sure not to soak past 20-30 minutes if you opt in for Epsom salt! If you have a bunch of oily herbs left over, you can store them in a sealed container in the fridge, keeping an eye on them for any mildew or mold growth. I’d toss after two weeks either way just to be safe! Remember to be cautious with herbs in every area, and ensure they are skin safe before using!
2. In the case of tea, you can add them to a batch of homemade paper. There’s something incredibly fulfilling about making your own paper, and adding a bit of your herbs only adds to the magic of making. You can also let the herbs dry and use them in paper at a later date. I make paper by blending up a variety of paper scraps, cardboard boxes, and the remnants of other paper batches. I fill up a bucket with them and plenty of water. Then, using a splatter guard, catch the fibers and sift them up before flipping them over on a towel and blotting with another. If you have an exorbitant amount of a particularly fibrous herb, you may be able to make paper with them alone! Another option includes adding seeds to your fibers and creating seed paper! The herbs would act as a delicious source of compost once planted!
3. Before lighting an outdoor fire, add the herbs to your wood pile. Allow them to dry out as much as possible beforehand. If they’re particularly aromatic, you may still get some lovely whiffs of their fragrant oil as they burn. If not, they’ll contribute to the fire and may even make a great starter if fully dried and bunched together! Just make sure the herbs are safe to burn!
I hope you all are enjoying your Friday, or whatever day it is when this post finds you. Let me know what you like to do with your spent herbs!