The healing power of herbs has been documented since the dawn of recorded history, and they can help with everything from whitening teeth to improving moods.
There are many fun, creative ways to spruce up your wellness routine with herbs. Here are some of my favorites:
1. As a beverage garnish
You’ve likely dropped herbal garnishes into your mojitos, so why not extend this technique to other drinks you enjoy, like iced tea or lemonade? Some herbs that can freshen up any drink—even plain water—include rosemary, basil, and lavender. You can also lightly crush these herbs to release their flavors and add them to any drink for a tasty, healthier alternative to sugary beverages.
2. As an ice infusion
Have some herbs lying around you’re not sure what to do with? Throw rose petals, mint, sage, or rosemary into your ice try, place it in the freezer, and allow it to freeze. These infused ice cubes will make any drink Pinterest-worthy in mere minutes. They’re also a super easy way to sneak herbs into any picky kid’s diet!
3. In a bath
Taking a hot bath can be one of the healthiest things we do with our day. Throw in some healing herbs and you’re well on your way to combating everything from sore muscles to stress and anxiety right from the tub.
Add herbs like lavender, camomile and dandelion directly into the bathwater to promote healthy, happy skin, or boil these herbs in water first and then add the herbal water into the tub as it fills up. There are also soothing herbal tea bags that are made to soak through bathwater and can help combat everything from headaches to arthritis. Full of calming plants like lavender, camomile, and dandelion, these tea baths are great stress fighters.
4. As a DIY steam
If you’ve ever tried a steam facial at your spa, you know that this kind of self-care can get pricey. So why not save your skin—and some serious coin—by trying out these treatments from home?
To prepare a steam facial in your own kitchen, add some boiled water into a bowl with healing herbs for the skin, such as jasmine flowers, chamomile, peppermint, rosehips, lavender, or bergamot. Wash your face with an organic cleanser (without exfoliating). Drape a towel over your head and hold it over the steaming water for about 10 minutes. Breathe deeply, allowing the heat to relax you and awaken, open, and rejuvenate your pores.
5. As a nightly mask
One of my personal favorite ways to use herbs is in a nightly face mask that you can make at home. Start this ritual by combining a few tablespoons of French green clay, a few tablespoons of Rhassoul clay, and a teaspoon of Himalayan salt. Then add a few drops of your favorite essential oils made from herbs like lemongrass, lavender, cinnamon, or garlic. Add a tablespoon of filtered water and mix until muddy, not runny. Apply as a face mask with your fingers or a fan brush and leave for 10 to 15 minutes. Then rinse with warm water.
Clay works as an aggressive absorbent to soak up all the oil and toxicity that clogs pores and causes breakouts. Combined with herbs, it becomes a skin-cleansing concoction that “zaps” the affected area and achieves naturally clean, clear skin.
For more tips on how to use herbs to live your healthiest life, check out my book, Cured by Nature, available where books are sold.
(Originally shared on Mind Body Green.)