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- Use freshest herbs in your cooking. Many people use dried herbs for their convenience, but often keep them long after they have lost their best flavor. To ensure that you’re using freshest herbs possible, store them in a dry area away from stove, where heat will cause them to more quickly lose their flavor. Also, when measuring out herbs, pour necessary amount in your hand away from top of pot or pan, so steam rising from your dish doesn’t enter container, causing your herbs to spoil more quickly. Also, spend a few extra dollars on quality herbs. They always taste better, and you’ll end up using less. Most importantly, use fresh herbs whenever you can, either purchasing small amounts at market or growing a small windowsill garden in your kitchen for easy access.
- Decorate with nature. A few drops of your favorite essential oil in a warm container of oil can improve your mood and make house smell wonderful. Wreaths made from bunches of herbs can be both attractive and add color to your front door. Coming up with projects to make your home more lively, or giving gift of herbs and essential oils to friends and family can add an enriching element to your life.
- Prevent common illnesses with essential oils instead of using prescribed and over-the counter medicines. Prior to learning about essential oils, I had regular sinus infections and headaches that caused me to take frequent amounts of decongestants and aspirin. At time I was unaware that these drugs were really only masking my symptoms, and not really curing my problems at all. I later learned that many headaches come from dehydration; a glass of water and some eucalyptus oil usually did trick.
- Make homemade skincare recipes whenever possible. While natural skincare may not last as long without preservatives, fresh ingredients without inclusion of chemical ingredients will certainly show a difference on your skin. Ingredients such as fresh fruits and vegetables can easily be pureed or juiced, then added to milk, honey, and oatmeal to make delicious cleansers, scrubs and bath soaks. You can even use some of herbs and spices that you keep in your kitchen to prepare natural skincare remedies.
Burgundy Shank makes handmade personal care products using essential oils, dried botanicals and other natural ingredients. You can receive natural skincare recipes by joining her newsletter, “Beauty Secrets from Around the World” at http://www.burgundysoap.com