Herbal Helpers
Garden Design
Calimesa, CA

Photo by: Lake Austin Spa Resort.

Garden expert Trisha Shirey of Lake Austin Spa Resort shares recipes from the herb garden. 

Herbal Scouring Powder

A gentle and fragrant way to clean in the kitchen and bath.

½ cup baking soda

½ cup borax powder

¼ dried herbs, ground in a mortar and pestle

(Suggested herbs: basil, bay laurel, chamomile, lavender, peppermint, spearmint, scented geraniums, thyme)

Optional — add five to ten drops of essential oils, especially citrus oils for extra cleansing power

Combine all ingredients and place in an airtight container. Sprinkle on surfaces and scrub with a damp sponge.

Carpet Deodorizer

Add wonderful and naturally fresh fragrance to your home with these blends. If you use borax powder, the mix will also help to discourage fleas, as it acts as a desiccant to flea eggs and larvae that live in the carpet.

1 cup baking soda or borax powder

¼ cup dried herbs, crushed (mint, lavender, bay laurel, rosemary, eucalyptus, chamomile)

20 — 40 drops of essential oils (amount depends on oils used, some are stronger)

Combine all ingredients in a glass jar with a tightly fitting lid. Shake well to combine and store in a cool, dark place or use immediately. Be sure to label the jar!

To use, sprinkle lightly over carpets and leave several hours or overnight. Vacuum powder and discard vacuum bag if you used a lot of powder. Some vacuum manufacturers do not recommend using carpet powder so follow the directions which came with your machine.

For extra effect in controlling fleas, work the powder into the carpet with a broom and vacuum the excess visible on the carpet.

Suggested blends:

Citrus Dream — use dried lemon balm, lemon thyme and lemon verbena and add essential oil of lemon, orange and tangerine

Christmas blend — Use powdered cinnamon, dried rosemary and ground orange peel with cinnamon, fir, tangerine and frankincense essential oils

Herbal Floor Wash

 Add a fresh natural scent to floors while you get them sparkling clean.

 1 quart strong herb tea

½ cup herbal vinegar

2 tablespoons borax powder

To make the tea:

Steep one cup dried or two cups fresh herbs in two quarts water. Allow to stand until cool, strain before using.

Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle and spray on floors. Wipe with a sponge or terrycloth mop. On heavily soiled areas, spray and allow to rest for a minute before mopping.

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