The pleasant woody aroma of rosemary often brings thoughts of roast dinners to our minds, however, this Mediterranean herb also has many uses outside of cooking. Here are seven surprising ways to put your rosemary to use.
DIY Rosemary essential oil
Rosemary essential oil can be used to add fragrance around your home, bath, or to add to homemade natural cleaners. The best part is that you can easily make a rosemary essential oil at home with just a sterilized bottle or jar, fresh rosemary, and olive oil. According to this recipe from Viva, all you have to do is:
- Sterilize a bottle or jar by rinsing them thoroughly in hot soapy water, then boiling them in a large saucepan for 20 minutes.
- Put as much fresh rosemary as you can into the jar or bottle.
- Pour olive oil over the rosemary, filling the container right to the top. A rough rule of thumb is to use two cups of oil to one cup of herbs, but this may vary depending on the container being used.
- Tightly secure the lid of the container and place it in a warm spot. This could be a sunny place on the veranda or windowsill. Let the oil infuse for two to three weeks, or until you notice the rosemary beginning to brown. Take the cap off and do a sniff check to see if the rosemary fragrance is strong enough for you. If not, then strain the liquid, replace the old rosemary for fresh plant material, and leave for another week or so. Repeat this step until the oil smells as aromatic as you like.
- Once the oil is ready, strain the liquid thoroughly and pour it into a clean bottle. The aromatic oil can be stored in a cool place for up to six months.
Instead of using store-bought deodorant with harsh chemicals, try making a natural rosemary deodorant at home from rosemary oil, lemongrass, and coconut oil. Here’s a recipe from Delicious Obsessions that you can try out.
Rosemary has many medicinal benefits, including antimicrobial properties that may help to rid your mouth of bacteria responsible for tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. To make your own breath-freshening mouthwash, boil or steep four rosemary sprigs and four whole cloves in two cups of water.
Mosquitos don’t like the smell of rosemary, which makes it an excellent mosquito repellent. You can plant your own rosemary around the patio to keep the bugs away, or you can make your own natural repellent by boiling a cup of dried rosemary into a quart or liter of water for 20 minutes. Strain the liquid and pour it into a spray bottle and you’re ready to go.
Keep your home smelling fresh with a DIY rosemary stovetop potpourri. All you need is one lemon, sliced, two fresh rosemary sprigs, a teaspoon and a half of vanilla extract, and a couple (optional) cinnamon sticks. Throw all the ingredients into a large saucepan along with two quarts of water. Keep the saucepan on medium to high heat until it begins to boil, then you can reduce the heat to low, allowing the ingredients to simmer. Replenish the water as it evaporates and enjoy the fragrance as it permeates your home.
Rosemary’s antibacterial and antiseptic properties make it the perfect candidate for an all-purpose cleaner. Just add a few sprigs of rosemary with lemon peel and white vinegar to make a safe and cheap household cleaner.
Rosemary doesn’t just smell good, but it looks great, especially on a holiday wreath. All you need are fresh rosemary, floral wire, and ribbons, or other decorative ornaments.