There are many aromatic herbs that not only have medicinal or cooking value, but also serve up a treat for the nose. Some aromatic herbs are also used in incense preparation. Aromatic herbs have value as far as aromatherapy is concerned, and their extracted oils are often used in fragrances.
It is long believed that inhaling certain smells can bring about therapeutic effects on the mind, such as calming it down and inducing sleep. Most scents are produced from extracting the essential oils from the herbs. So what are some good aromatic herbs that you should plant?
Chamomile is the one of the first herbs that will comes to mind. The smell of Chamomile is akin to fresh apples, and inhaling it can certainly calm down your nerves. Chamomile is better known as a sleep herbal tea, but there is no reason you can’t use its fragrance for relaxation.
Garden Sage is another famous aromatic herb that has been used as incense in many cultures throughout history. Just gather some sage leaves, dry them, crush them, and put them into a little pouch, and you will have its essence wherever you go.
Lavender with its small purple flowers is another herb that will delight many, although some may find its smell nauseating. Actually, although aromatic herbs may be sweet smelling, many are actually repellent against certain life forms, and some aromatic herbs like Lavender may even be used as natural repellent against moths, fleas and ticks. However, Lavender flowers in the garden will naturally attract Black Swallowtail butterflies.
Peppermint is another strong scented herb that is easy to grow and perennial in nature. According to a study, peppermint aroma can improve memory and help with sleeping problems. Its crushed leaves have a slight orange flavor. On its own, essential peppermint oil is a natural insect repellent.
Yet another aromatic herb for your herb garden is Thyme. Thyme was used in the past as incense, and placed underneath pillows to aid in sleep. In the garden, Thyme naturally attracts bees even though it has small flowers. Its aroma is warm and refreshing, good against fatigue and depression.
Finally, consider Rosemary herb. Its essential oil is used as an antiseptic and deodorant, which at the same time is revitalizing and invigorating. Inhaling its aroma can benefit meditation sessions. However, pregnant women and asthmatics should avoid it, as it can cause negative side effects.
Freshly cut herb stems can be stored short term, in water or oil. If storing in water, keep them in the fridge, where they will keep for a week or more, depending on the type of herb. If stored in preserving oil, the herbs can last longer, at several months. Or you can freeze the herbs. Simply wash and dry the herbs, chop them into smaller pieces, and put them in a zip lock bag in the freezer.
Herbs can also be stored in room temperature for long periods, as long as they are dried and kept away from light. Don’t dry them out too much though, because that will also remove most of the oils, which is what gives the herbs their aroma. Also, you can consider using vinegar. Storing herbs in vinegar can keep them fresh for many months.
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