4.7 Potpourris and other non-culinary uses for herbs / flowers.

Meaning non-culinary uses, in this culinary herbfaq.

4.7.1 Stovetop potpourri

From: clayton2.ix.netcom.com (Jeffrey Clayton):
My favorite potpourri recipe is:
dried orange peel, dried pine needles, dried mint, cinnamon sticks (broken into pieces), cloves
This is a stove top potpourri -- the kind you put in water and simmer.
Aromatherapy says this combination of scents is supposed to keep colds away.

4.7.2 Dry potpourri

From: hag.aisb.ed.ac.uk (Mandy Haggith):
I've been making pot-pourri since I was about 7 and still use the same method I used then - shoe boxes under the bed. I find that the number one ingredient is rose petals, best of all from wild dog roses, but any smelly rose will do. You'll need MASSES of rose petals. Lavender is also wonderful. Pick the flowers (and herb leaves) when they're warm and dry and smelly, stick them loosely in the shoe boxes (either mixed up or not, depending on what you want to do with them) and stir them with a warm dry hand a couple of times a day (or more). The petals will gradually dry out and you can use them in pot-pourri recipes after a few weeks. Under the bed is a good place because it is usually pretty dry, it's dark (so the petals keep some of their colour) and the smell of the drying petals gives you sweet dreams! I find the airing cupboard is too hot and dries the leaves out too fast leaving them shrivelled and not so sweet smelling.

From: christopher.gn.apc.org (christopher hedley)
Ideas for Christmas:
Potpourris made by mixing 20 drops of essential oils into 2 teaspoons of Orris root powder added to a couple of handfuls of dried flowers - remember you can use aromatic woods as well.

4.7.3 Drying flowers whole for potpourri

From: diana.politika.tenforward.com (Diana Politika):
If you want to dry the peony intact, either bury it in silica gel or use a 50/50 mixture of borax and cornmeal. Leave it buried for about 2 weeks and then tilt the container to get the mix to shift off the flower. Silica works best, but the other is a lot cheaper. If using the borax mix, use a small soft paintbrush to get all the dust off. I've used many of these in arrangements and everyone goes nuts over them.

From: baker.325.magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu (gwen baker):
When drying flowers using silica be careful. It can speed the drying process, but it can also cause discoloration and leave a residue behind. In about the same amount of time the flowers can be dried naturally. Silica does allow you to keep a flower whole or to preserve a shape. There is also a liquid ( I think it is a glycerine) that will preserve greenery and keep it soft and flexible.

4.7.4 Bath salts

From: christopher.gn.apc.org (christopher hedley)
Bath salts made by mixing 10-15 drops of essential oils 'personally selected' in 2 teaspoons of baking soda, mixed well with 3 handfuls of sea salt.

From: Ken Fitch <docfitch.telis.org>
Here is my recipe for bath salts. It is simple and great:
Mix 2 cups Borax, ⅛ cup Sea Salt, and ⅛ cup White Clay together. Use a fork or fingers to thoroughly mix. Shake in about an ounce of essential oil. Cover with a cloth for at least an hour. Mix the bath salts again to distribute the oil. Store in glass.

I hope you enjoy. You can experiment with various essential oils, or pick up a book on aromatherapy for some recipes.

From: Henchpa.aol.com (donna):
To one box of epson salt mix ½ cup baking soda, 12 drops of lavender essential oil, 3 drops each of red and blue food coloring. Add a scoop to the bath water after the tub is filled, not during filling.

From: JoAnne Hildebrand <hildebra.europa.umuc.edu>
While running warm water in the tub, add ½ cup baking soda. After filling the tub, add a few drops of essential oil to the water, allowing it to float on top where you can most enjoy the fragrance.

This is a most soothing bath. Easy too!

From: SuseB.aol.com
These are recipes I have for bath salts and herb crystals, respectively, although I have not tried making them myself as of yet:

Basic Bath Salts:

Put 1 cup rock salt in a container with a lid. Drop essential oil or fragrance oil (about 20 drops) onto salt and stir or shake well. Next add food coloring, if desired (approx. 15 drops per cup).

Herb Crystals:

½ c. sea salt
½ c. Epson salts
½ c. fresh herbs or flowers
¼ c. baking soda

Blend the above in food processor. Add a few drops of food coloring. Spread mixture onto cookie sheet to dry. Add essential oil and stir well. Try several drops of spruce, lemon, patchouli, rosemary, ylang ylang and eucalyptus.

Good luck, and let me know how they come out!

4.7.5 Rose beads

The rose beads have moved to the Best of the Herbal Forums: http://www.henriettes-herb.com/archives/best/1996/rose-beads.html

4.7.6 Misc.

From: baker.325.magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu (gwen baker)
Dried herbs can also go into herb pillows and sleep pillows.