Monday, February 27, 2017

Herbal Home Fresheners for Spring

     Spring is just a month away, but here in Florida it feels almost like Summer.  I don’t know about you, but I’ve been hit pretty hard with the “spring cleaning” bug, wanting to organize my storage, clear out things I don’t need, etc.  I figured that if I’d been feeling this burst of clean energy (sorry for the pun), you might be feeling it too.  So here are a few recipes I turn to when I want to freshen up my home. 

A Quick Word on Ingredients

Lavender is one of my favorite herbs to use around my home because it helps to repel bugs.  Mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, just about anything.  Lavender is also very calming, stress reliving, promote healthy and restful sleep, and its antiseptic, so it literally cleans the air while deodorizing!  I am very cautious about it, however, because I have a cat.  Cats do not process lavender well and over time a harmful build-up can occur in their livers.  So I do my best to keep my cat out of direct contact with lavender as much as possible.   

Lemon Balm also helps repel bugs and helps to clean the air.  The scent uplifts the mood, and to harmonize the body and mind.  It has been known to help those who feel pressure easily and have a tendency to emotionally shut down. 

Hops is not the most pleasant of scents, but for people who have problems getting to sleep (and staying asleep), hops can be invaluable.  Hops is an amazing sedative that also works to duce anxiety, relieve pain, reduce respiratory distress, relieve headaches, soothe menstrual pains, and many other things.  This is a great herb to include in a sleep sachet to help with sleep apnea.  I do have one major caution when looking at this herb.  If you are prone to depression, please do not use hops.  Its sedative effects can also increase symptoms of depression. 

Rosemary is another herb that is amazing to include in just about everything.  It helps to uplift the mood and energize your mind, it improves memory, relieves stress, lowers anxiety, improves concentration, and is such a powerful antibiotic that it can help purify the air and prevent the spread of bacterial infections.  There is a major caution to think about with this herb, however.  If you or someone in your home is prone to seizures, rosemary essential oil (as well as eucalyptus and camphor) is so stimulating to the brain that it may bring about a seizure.  I have actually witnessed this first hand.  So please use caution if you know someone who is prone to seizures.  However the herb itself is typically safe to use as long as you do not use too much of it at once (it takes 70 lbs of rosemary leaves to make 5 oz of essential oil).

Pine is a great, fresh smelling scent.  It’s also very cleansing!  It has amazing antiseptic properties and helps to promote improved circulation as well as immune function.  Pine helps to boost mental energy and reduce the symptoms of stress.  It also removes anxiety and tension while refreshing the spirit which makes it an excellent mood enhancer.  It can also help to improve memory and concentration.

Citrus of all kinds are great at keeping your home smelling fresh.  Citrus is also an excellent mood booster and energizer.  It helps to improve focus and alertness while calming and relaxing.  Citrus, in general, helps to open up creativity, calm the occasional restlessness, and increase joy. 

Other Herbs to consider using for these recipes include basil, thyme, anise, cinnamon, clove, or really any culinary herb you can think of.  You can also consider using rose petals, jasmine flowers, chamomile flowers, lemongrass, and sprigs from aromatic trees (spruce, juniper, etc).

Baking Soda is a deodorizer, not a cleaning agent.  It will help remove ugly scents from your carpet and furniture, but it will not remove stains.

High Proof Alcohol of any kind can be used in the room sprays, but I prefer vodka as it is virtually scentless.  It also helps to preserve your spray and it evaporates quickly preventing residue from forming when it lands on surfaces.  You can also use a good quality vanilla extract in place of the vodka.  This will sweeten the scent and mellow out harsher/stronger smells.

Essential Oils not only make your home smell great, but they can also help balance your emotions and improve your mood.  I’ve included a few good mixes at the bottom but feel free to experiment and try your own!

Carpet and Furniture Freshener

½ cup Baking Soda
1-2 tsp ground, Dried Herbs (I prefer to use Lavender, but there will be some good mixes below)
10-15 drops essential oils of your choice (I’ve listed some good blends below)

Combine ingredients and sprinkle the powder directly onto your carpet 5 minutes before vacuuming.  You can also sprinkle the powder after vacuuming as well, or even on your furniture.  It works particularly well to help get the musty smell out of your mattress.  Just sprinkle the powder directly onto your mattress and cover with a fresh, fitted sheet.  You’ll experience the fresh and wonderful scent every time you get into your bed.  Depending on the herbs you use, you can even use this powder for your pet bed.  Cats do not respond well to lavender, so for this use, I would recommend leaving lavender out.  Lemon Balm or Mint might be a good substitution.

This powder is good as long as you can smell the herbs well.  As far as containers go, some people use recycled parmesan cheese containers, some people use salt and/or pepper shakers, some people use mason jars with holes punched in the top.  I almost always prefer glass storage containers, but for this I just use a stainless steel spice shaker that you can find just about anywhere, and it’s pretty darn cheap.

  Fresh Scented Room Spray

¾ cup Water
2 tablespoons High Proof Alcohol or Vanilla Extract (for a sweeter scent)
20-30 drops essential oils of your choice (I’ve listed some good blends below)

Combine ingredients in an 8 oz spray bottle.  Shake well and spray away!

These sprays should last for several years as long as the water is pure (distilled is the best, but if you have access to good quality tap water, feel free to use it) and the oils are good quality.  This is not an internal use product, so feel free to store/use in a plastic bottle.

Herbal Sachets

What you need:
Muslin or Cotton Bag (you can make your own, or buy them)
Dried Herbs of Your Choice (whole herbs, not ground)
10-15 drops essential oils of your choice (I’ve listed some good blends below)


Combine herbs and oils in a bowl.  Carefully pour them into a bag.  Secure the bag well (sewing works best, but you can buy a strip of iron-on tape if you are not interested in sewing).  Place your sachets in a sealed container in a warm, dry, dark place for a few weeks to cure.  You can put the sachet in your pillow case to help you sleep, in your linen drawer to help keep your linens smelling fresh, in the pocket of a winter coat during the long summer, you can even put them in your bath to help relax you after a particularly stressful day.  There are so many possibilities for these little bags.  You can also use the herb and essential oil mixture as decorative potpourri.  

Essential Oil Blends to Start With:

1.Invigorating Citrus                                             2.Simply Clean
    10 drops Mandarin Essential Oil                           5 drops Lavender Essential Oil
    5 drops Peppermint Essential Oil                          5 drops Grapefruit Essential Oil 
                                                                                         5 drops Rosemary Essential Oil
3.Essentially Citrus                                              4.Lavender Citrus
    5 drops Mandarin Essential Oil                             10 drops Lavender Essential Oil
    5 drops Grapefruit Essential Oil                             5 drops Lime Essential Oil
    5 drops Lemon Essential Oil                                   5 drops Lemon Essential Oil
    5 drops Lime Essential Oil   
5.Spring Flowers                                                 6.Focus and Clarity
    10 drops Jasmine Essential Oil                             10 drops Lemongrass Essential Oil
    5 drops Geranium Essential Oil                             5 drops Rosemary Essential Oil
    5 drops Lavender Essential Oil                              5 drops Pine Essential Oil
7.Woodland Mist                                                8.Cheerful Chai
    10 drops White Fir Essential Oil                            5 drops Cardamom Essential Oil
    5 drops Juniper Essential Oil                                  3 drops Cinnamon Essential Oil
    5 drops Pine Essential Oil                                       3 drops Clove Essential Oil
    5 drops Frankincense Essential Oil                       2 drops Ginger Essential Oil
9.Stimulating Living                                         10.Romance
    10 drops Grapefruit Essential Oil                           10 drops Sandalwood Essential Oil
    5 drops Lavender Essential Oil                                5 drops Jasmine Essential Oil
    5 drops Basil Essential Oil                                       5 drops Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
    2 drops Peppermint Essential Oil                            2 drops Patchouli Essential Oil

    Dried Herb Mixes to Start With:

1.Simply Citrus                                                        2.Spring Flower Garden
    ½ oz Grapefruit Peel                                                 ½ oz Rose Petals
    ½ oz Lemon Balm                                                     ½ oz Jasmine Flowers
    ¼ oz Lemongrass                                                       ¼ oz Lavender
    ¼ oz Lime Peel                                                           ¼ oz Hops
    ¼ oz Orange Peel

3.Soothing Sleep                                                       4.Spice It Up
    ½ oz Lavender                                                           ½ oz Cardamom
    ½ oz Hops or Lemon Balm                                       ¼ oz Cinnamon
                                                                                           ¼ oz Clove
                                                                                           ¼ oz Ginger

5.Eastern Influences                                                 6.Lavender Citrus
    ½ oz Jasmine Flowers                                                 ½ oz Lavender
    ¼ oz Anise                                                                    ¼ oz Lime Peel
    ¼ oz Cardamom                                                           ¼ oz Grapefruit Peel
                                                                                             ¼ oz Lemon Balm
7.Bug Away                                                             8.Fresh Linen
    ½ oz Lavender                                                            ½ oz Juniper Berries
    ¼ oz Lemongrass                                                        ¼ oz Lemongrass
    ¼ oz Lemon Balm                                                      ¼ oz Lemon Balm
    ¼ oz Basil                                                                    ¼ oz Mint
    ¼ oz Thyme
9.Creative Inspirations                                             10.Simply Relaxation
    ½ oz Orange Peel                                                          ¼ oz Lavender
    ¼ oz Lime Peel                                                              ¼ oz Rose Petals
    ¼ oz Rosemary                                                              ¼ oz Cinnamon
    ¼ oz Pine                                                                        ¼ oz Lemon Balm
    ¼ oz Mint

         I hope you enjoy making your home smell fresh and inviting!  Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Experience Essential Oils: Citrus Fresh Essential Oil:
Experience Essential Oils: Lemon Balm or Melissa Uses:
Mother Nature Network: 8 Health Benefits of Rosemary:
Organic Facts: 7 Proven Benefits of Lavender:
Organic Facts: Health Benefits of Hops Essential Oil:
Organic Facts: Health Benefits of Pine Essential Oil:


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     Welcome to Bat Lady Herbals.  I have been fascinated by herbs and various herbal uses for quite a few years now.  Plants are amazing t...