20 Unusual Uses for Everyday Herbs


More than just a garnish.

Take these 10 herbs and you’ve got yourself 20 different ways to tackle everyday issues, from keeping mice away to treating the common cold. This list gives you reason to chew shamelessly on fresh tarragon leaves, re-establish Mojito Monday, and pass up your expensive and toxic perfume for slightly green-tinted wrists. Enjoy!


1. Toothache Treatment

Back in the day, Greeks used to chew on tarragon to numb their mouths from toothache. Instead of reaching for a painkiller, try easing the pain the natural way. If anything, at least your breath will be refreshed!

2. Internal Cleanser

Clean yourself from the inside out with tarragon. Tarragon consumption has been linked to increased bile production, which contributes to the elimination of toxins from the body. Tarragon is packed with tannins, bitters terpenes, flavonoids and coumarin, which are the backbone to its cleansing properties.



3. Mojito Makin’

Make a mint mojito with a kombucha base. With or without alcohol, the herb is the star of this show stopping drink.

4. Keep Mice Away

Despite our predilection for the fresh aroma of mint, mice beg to differ. They despise the smell mint so much, they will avoid all areas – even a block of cheese – where mint is scattered.


5. Natural Perfume

According to mythology, the goddess of love Aphrodite grew marjoram. Because of this, marjoram has been used in many a love potion. Take fresh marjoram leaves and rub them on your wrists and behind your ears. The aroma is sweet and light but with a spicy edge that makes it fitting for both males and females.

6. Bone Building

Marjoram offers some 520% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin K, making it one of the richest herbal sources of the vitamin. Vitamin K contributes to healthy bones and preventing the onset of osteoporosis.


7. Mosquito Deterrent

Rosemary is a great way to turn an itchy Summer evening into a bug-free one. Grow rosemary in your garden or near an area of your porch where you like to entertain guests or hang out most. Mosquitoes are averse to rosemary and will stay clear.

8. Hair Rinse

Rosemary has been associated with hair re-growth and strengthening as well as the elimination of dandruff. Boil a handful of rosemary leaves in two cups of water, let the water cool, and then rinse your hair with the rosemary-infused liquid.


9. Common Cold Fighter

Oregano is an effective treatment for the treatment of colds and to relieve sinus pressure. Oil of oregano, which is available at most health stores, is especially effective. Place a few drops under the tongue or place 2-3 drops in a glass of water or juice before drinking. The oil drains sinuses and reduces inflammation.

10. UTI Treatment

Oregano has anti-microbial properties that can fight off E-Coli, the bacteria responsible for urinary tract infections. Oregano oil is the most potent forms of this treatment.


11. Lung Booster

Thyme contains an oil called thymol that acts as an antiseptic and disinfectant. Add a sprig of thyme to hot water with honey and lemon for a soothing drink that prevents bronchitis and clears lung passageways with each sip.

12. Household Cleaner

Because of thyme’s disinfectant properties, the herb can be used to clean around the house in place of toxic, harsh chemical cleaners. Brew fresh thyme in water. Mix water with a light, vegetable-based soap and pour into a spray bottle. Use the liquid to clean kitchen and bathroom surfaces.


13. Fatigue Support

Basil is known to help treat adrenal fatigue. Place a few drops of basil oil on clothing to carry the effects with you all day or include some fresh basil at mealtime for a pick-me-up.

14. Acne Treatment

Because of its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, basil is great for combating acne. Steep fresh basil leaves in hot water for 20-30 minutes. Let the water cool and use a cotton ball to apply the basil-infused liquid to acne-prone areas on your skin.


15. Headache Healer

Coriander is regarded as a natural way to help get rid of a headache. Grind coriander leaves to release their juices and rub the paste on your forehead to relieve an aching headache. Or, sleep with a coriander leaf on your pillow.

16. Immunity Strengthener

Coriander leaves are packed with magnesium, potassium, and fiber. Eat coriander regularly and you will surely boost your overall immunity.


17. Dark Under-Eye Circle Remover

Crushed parsley is a great remedy for ridding dark circles under the eyes. Parsley contains vitamin C, chlorophyll, and vitamin K and many other active compounds that cause it to reduce inflammation and tighten and lighten the skin.

18. Breath Freshener

Chew on parsley after dinner, especially if garlic was involved, to remove the stink and leave behind a fragrant and pleasing scent.


19. Memory Booster

Saffron contains a compound called “crocin” that contributes to faster learning and better memory retention. This is especially helpful for those with age-related mental impairments.

20. Colorant

A little goes a long way with saffron. Whether it’s to color a grain dish red or even stain fabrics, adding saffron to the mix will ensure a dark rosy tint. This is a much better option than the overused red 20 coloring, which is derived from crushing red ants.

Aylin Erman currently resides in Istanbul and is creator of plant-based recipe website GlowKitchen.

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