Saturday, October 11, 2008

Harvest Festival #5: Herbal Households


While community and personal food security skills are crucial in hard times, this home-based business, East Hill House Herbals, produces balms for the skin and cleaners for the house. At the Harvest Festival, they generously demonstrated how they produce a strongly lavender-infused vinegar for household cleaning. I bought a bottle, and now appreciate the difference in the air when I clean the stove top or toilet. No more chlorine gas, or even more mysterious vapors. Lavender oil has a long history of use as an anti-septic, and grows easily in this climate.

14 comments:

Dina said...

Sounds good. And anti-septic as you wrote it reminds me of the real meaning of the word.

Ineke said...

must indeed be nice.

Wayne said...

It may not apply to hospitals and such but we've always been able to clean the house with a few basic, non-toxic items such as borax, vinegar, baking soda, castile soap.

We've been bamboozled for years by Proctor and Gamble and Unilever.

An example I find particularly annoying is Fabreze. Cover up odours. Huh?

Virginia said...

So now your house smells like a day in Provence ! Great idea. Hope they do well.

Hope said...

Oh, the lavender smell must be so nice!

Marylène said...

Lavander oil and vinegar are among the oldest natural ways to cure, clean and even renovate.
I can imagine what a lavander infused vinegar can do !
I would certainly have bought a bottle myself.
I started using old fashioned cleaning methods a couple of years ago, using vinegar, "bicarbonate de soude (?), soft soap...
A cheap, safe and satisfying way !!!

Saretta said...

I can imagine the wonderful scent! I can't stand the smell of those commercial cleaning products. They do not smell "clean" to me!

Laurie said...

I made my own lavender infused vinegar back when I used to grow lavender. It wasn't made with lavender essential oil but with fresh lavender. It was great in salad dressing!

I have used essential oils for many things. Cedarwood and peppermint helps repel ants and other creepy crawlies -- and it smells divine, like Christmas in an ancient forest. I'm still a big advocate of tea tree oil for scrapes and other minor skin irritations. Mixed with a little calendula cream, it's a nice salve.

I have a burgeoning herbal section in my personal library. There is so much to learn about this subject -- something that used to be common knowledge to many of our grandparents.

Laurie said...

Oh, and another interesting thing: Lavender has estrogenic properties, so much so that babywash makers are being forced to cut down the use of actual lavendula essential oil in their baby products because of the possible feminizing effect -- growth of breast tissue -- in some boy babies. I think tea tree was also implicated.

Marie Reed said...

That's pretty nifty! Maybe something like that would convince my husband that he could clean the toilet too... nahhh!

USelaine said...

Thank you all for coming around. I'm running behind myself, but I can report that I now have my bike! Yay!

I agree about "air fresheners"! They usually are worse than the smells they are intended to hide! Now if they could come up with a truly "unscented" shampoo that rinses completely off, I'd be happy. I read that hospitals in WWI used lavender oil for cleaning. We might have fewer "superbugs" if they still did. Laurie, Wayne and Marylène are way ahead of me! I have gotten a few herbal books since seeing some information about how the local Pomo people used native plants. Last winter, I used oregano and thyme fresh from the garden for some tea, and my cold felt much better. I have lavender and lemon balm growing as well. I've used cayenne powder to keep ants and snails from my violas, and it worked too! There's so much we can do for ourselves.

These East Hill people list their ingredients, and it certainly is nice to be able to recognize everything they've used.

It's great to learn what everyone is doing in this area.

Ming the Merciless said...

I love the smell of lavender. I used it as aromatherapy to help me sleep and relax. I rub a little lavender lotion under my nose and close my eyes.

Hilda said...

That's another thing I promised myself I'd do when I retire: have a big herbal garden and teach myself their many uses (and how to make them). The few times I go to 'bazaars' and markets, I go ga-ga in the herbal stalls.

pasadenaadjacent.com said...

What, not a fan of PiNe S0L? I have lots of lavender on my hill. I guess I could go on the net to figure out a way to extract the oil. I need a hobby.