Tag Archives: Rosemary

Make Dream and Sleep Pillows

Make dream and sleep pillows from dried herbs.

General instructions:

Simple Dream and Sleep pillows can be made with soft fabric with fairly tight weave. Wash the fabric using natural soap such as borax and do not add any fabric softener or dryer sheets. Washing will wash the sizing and smell out of the fabric.  Some bags may be filled with batting along with the herbs. Use 100% natural fabric.

Dream and Sleep Pillows

Herbal Dream and Sleep Pillows

Cut two pieces of 5” x 8” rectangles or any size you like to use. This is a great project to use up leftover fabric. What’s important is what inside not the shape. Lay wrong size together and sew one long side seam using about ¼” seam allowance. Hem the top of the bag. Sew the other sides of the bag leaving the hem size open. I use a piece of ribbon to tie around the bag to close.

Casing bag: The top of the bag can fold over top for a casing with the seam open just enough to pull a draw sting through.

Fabrics might include: lining fabric, broadcloth, flannel, soft decorative fabric, and cotton.

Place a small amount of fiber fill inside the bag. Add about ½ to ¾ cup of the herbs.

Closed Bag: You can also make a bag with no opening. Just stitch around the four corners of the bag and leave an opening for filling and turning. It is best to use an inner lining of washed muslin for pillows. Just cut two pieces of muslin slightly smaller than the outside fabric.

Be sure you can get you material inside so the opening should be about 4 inches. Turn the bag inside out, iron and fill with herbs. Stitch the opening close. Place the inner bag inside the outer fabric and stitch close. I like to top stitch all around to catch the inner to the outer so the inner pillow does not shift around.

Place either of the bags inside your sleeping pillow or lay beside you head.

A variety of combinations can be used for these little bags. Some are used to help you sleep, or to dream, or help with headaches, or help you recover from an illness.

Dream Pillow may work because the fragrance activities the memory of the brain.

When making these mixtures, use two or three of herbs mentioned.

For example a classic mixture for Nightmare be-gone is equal parts of rose petals, rosemary, lavender, and hops. Sleep mixture is equal parts of lavender, mugwort and hops, or equal parts of lavender, chamomile, hops, mugwort and rose.  Amounts for pillow are about ½ c. herb in each pillow.

Making sleep pillow

Herbs used in sleep pillow

  • Stress Mixture: Hops, mugwort, sweet marjoram, and lavender
  • Get Well mixture: lavender, catnip,
  • Dream lover pillow: yarrow flowers, dill leaves, basil, and roses
  • Remember dreams: lavender, rosemary, mugwort, catnip, and bay
  • Nightmare be-gone: Rosemary, valerian, lemon balm, rose petals, hops, mullein, or lavender.
  • Headache be-gone: rosemary, mint, betony, or bay, bee balm flower, roses, lavender, nutmeg or cloves, and a small amount of marjoram.

To retain scent, can add some cellulose chips or vetiver root, a little essential oil may be added as well. Orris root which is used in potpourris is usually considered too sensitive for close breathing. Many are allergic to orris root. Also store bag when not in use in a plastic zipper bag.

Herbs used in making dream and sleep pillows:

  • Chamomile: rest, sweet dreams
  • Cloves: repel bad dreams
  • Dill is known to help with cranky babies
  • Hops: restful sleep and healing, sweet dreams
  • Lilac (old fashioned garden variety) good for dreams
  • Lavender: headaches easing, purification, calming
  • Marjoram: relieves depression
  • Mugwort: visions and predictive dreams, aids in remembering dreams
  • Mullein: repel bad dreams
  • Rosemary: avoid nightmares and headaches, folk lore says it retains memory, use sparingly
  • St. Johns Wort: banishes spirits
  • Lemon Grass: predictive dreams
  • Marjoram: relieves depression
  • Mint: vivid dreams, alertness
  • Rose: Clairvoyance, love
  • Thyme: peaceful sleep
  • Valerian: deep rest

Word of warning: If you allergic to ragweed you may have reactions to chamomile. Common sage and clary have been used in pillows but other sages should be avoided. Avoid tansy and Artemisia such as wormwood.  We do not claim these pillows actually help you sleep or will induce sleep. They are just fun.

Lavender has a strong scent and if strong may not induced sleep, but is used for headaches. Strong herbs such as rosemary and mugwort should be avoided in children pillows. Many pillows are made from hops alone, but hops have an unpleasant smell by itself and smell better with other herbs flowers mixed in equal parts.

These little pillows make great gifts and is a fun way to use many of your dried herbs. If you do not grow all the herbs you can usually purchase them form a good herb store. Just be sure herbs are organic. Always label the pillow with all ingredients. They are not intended as a primary sleeping pillow, but an addition.


Spicy Hot Pad for under the Tea Pot

Spicy Hot Pad for under the Tea Pot

Place this spicy hot pad under a warm teapot or hot casserole. The heat releases the aroma of the herbs and spices used inside the hot pad. As an added bonus the quilted fabric will protect your table form the heat of the teapot.

Spicy hot pad

Making spicy hot pad


  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine or needle or thread
  • Iron
  • Bowl or jar for mixing spices and herbs
  • Measuring spoons
  • Plastic zip bag
  • Two 8” pieces of quilted fabric
  • Two 7-1/2” pieces of muslin for lining
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon sticks, crushed
  • 1 Tbsp. rosemary needles, dried
  • 1 Tbsp. whole cloves
  • 1 Tbsp. allspice berries
  • 1 Tbsp. anise seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon thyme, dried

Optional ingredients: Dried crushed lemon peel, or orange peels, or make the mixture you like. Try just one of the ingredients such as cinnamon, allspice or cloves to fill the pocket.

I used quilted fabric I purchased from the fabric store, or you can quilt it yourself. To make a quilted piece: Just lay a piece of outer fabric on a low loft batting and pin and mark the fabric in one inch squares. Sew on the lines for your own quilted fabric. Repeat the process for the other piece of fabric.

Spicy hot pad with tea

Tea pot on top of spicy hot pad

Quilted Top: Lay the two quilted pieces right side together and sew around leaving an opening for turning. Clip the corners to reduce the bulk. Turn inside out and work a pointed stylus in the corners to pull them out as much as possible. Iron paying attention to the opening and turn under the edges for easier closing.

Pocket: Lay the two muslin pieces together right side together, if they have right sides, and sew repeating the process above. Don’t forget to iron once they have been turn right side out. Top stitch around three sides of the piece before filling, it makes it easier to top stitch the last side after filling.

Spciy hot pad and tea pot

Hot pad ready for your tea pot

Filling: Mix the spices and herbs in a glass jar and shake to mix. Cap the jar and allow the filling to intermingle the fragrances.  You will have enough filling to make two spicy hot pads.

Fill the pocket with about 3 Tbsp. of filling.  Before stitching, lay the spicy hot pad flat and check to see if it is too full to allow the tea pot to stay flat. May need to crushed the filling a bit more.  Top stitch the fourth side of the spicy hot pad close. The stitches should be fairly close together to keep the powder the filling may create inside of the pocket.

Place the pocket inside of the quilted pieces and top stitch close on the forth side. I found I need to hand stitch the opening close before top stitching, because of the quilted fabric. Try and catch the pocket inside with the top stitching to keep the pocket from bunching.

Store the spicy hot pad inside of a plastic zip bag to keep the aroma fresh and to show off your work.

To Use: Place a hot tea pot on the spicy hot pad and allow the aroma to be release. Use an aromatic herb tea and the whole room has a wonderful fragrance with a spicy undertone. The spicy hot pad should not be washed. If the pad gets dirty sponge the stain off and allow to dry. You may use a small zipper in the quilted piece to remove the inside pocket to wash the quilted cover.

Spicy hot pad

Mom’s Hot pad ready for mother’s day or birthday


Hair Loss, A to Z of Herbal Remedies

Hair loss is not just for men anymore, women suffer from hair loss as well. We lose hair due to pregnancy and childbirth. But if it continues, it may be a serious problem. Hair usually grows back when the child is six months old.

Our hair grows about 25 feet in a lifetime and on average we lose about 100 hairs a day from our scalp. Most of our baldness is attributed to hereditary factors. In other words we inherited it.


It is normal for women going through menopause to have thinning hair and the hairs grays. Menopause thinning hair usually has a hormone link and they are ways to prevent or reverse it.

Radiation around the head or chemotherapy for cancer will cause hair loss, but should re-grow after treatments are finished.

Outside of the above reasons, sudden loss of hair loss in women’s hair in large numbers or in patches is called alopecia and can be cause by a number of things.

Deficiency in nutrition, vitamins such as B-Complex, poor scalp circulation, illness or surgery, diabetes, too harsh shampoos, hair dyes, hot dryers, fevers, heavy metal poisoning, anemia, alcohol and smoking can be factors in hair loss.

Glandular imbalances are found to be major reason women lose their hair, such as an imbalance in the adrenals, thyroid or pituitary glands. Imbalances can be caused by stress, emotional or physical trauma or shock.


To counteract, add a multi vitamin and B-complex to your daily vitamin routine. Take about 50-100mg of B-complex three times a day. Your vitamin routine should also include pantothenic acid.

Minerals and amino acids are important to hair growth such as calcium/magnesium, biotin, folic acid, zinc, and iron.

Essential fatty acids which can be found in evening primrose oil, fish oils, or wheat germ oil are good for both growth and helping your hair retains its natural color.  Try adding kelp to the diet, which is great for thin, falling or brittle hair.

To help control hair loss, avoid harsh shampoos that contain dyes and chemicals, avoid using hot dryers, harsh brushing, and harsh conditioners.

Other herbs good for hair is horsetail which is rich in calcium and silicon. Sage tea is used for dark hair and chamomile tea is good for blond, comfrey is good if you hair is dry and lavender for oily hair.

Good hair nutrition includes whole foods, fish, onions, garlic, eggs, greens, carrots, nuts and seeds such as sesame seeds and wheat germ. These foods contain the necessary vitamins and minerals to help with the problems of hair loss.

Herbs known to help with hair loss include:

  • Dried nettle
  • Yarrow
  • Rosemary for light hair
  • Black walnut for dark hair

Hair Loss formula:

Mix the three herbs according to your hair color, make a strong tea by bringing the water to a boil, pour over herbs and allow to cool completely. Strain out the herbs and place the liquid in a pint plastic container, adding just enough water to fill. Use as a hair rinse every time you shampoo. DO NOT RINSE out the mixture.  This mixture is known to encourage growth; make the hair shine and control dandruff. Over a period of a few months it may even re-grow your hair.

When washing hair, alternate using both hot and cold water ending with cold, do this three or four times.

According to James A. Duke the author of “The Green Pharmacy” Sal palmetto for men helps with baldness and tincture of stinging nettle can help prevent balding in those with thinning hair.

Oil Treatments:

Rubbing an oil in the scalp can help to stimulate the hair frolics, these include; castor oil, aloe vera gel, olive oil, or wheat germ oil. Rub oil in your scalp the night before you plan on shampooing your hair. Wrapping your hair with a turban before bed will help to prevent the oil from staining your pillowcases.

According to Dr. John Christopher, massage the scalp with castor oil and apply hot wet toweling over the head and leave for thirty minutes. Leave the oil on the head until morning and wash with tar soap or a good bio-degradable soap and rinse. Repeat a second wash and rinse with a tea made of sagebrush, chaparral and yarrow. Leave the rinse in the hair. Repeat this same process except one night use olive oil and the next night use wheat germ oil.

Folk Treatments:

Another oil treatment is make an olive oil infusion with garlic and rub this formula on the scalp and leave overnight, repeat this for several weeks until the hair has stopped falling out or you just give up. Or make a rosemary olive oil infusion and use on the hair.

Mix onion juice with honey, ¼ c. to 1 Tbsp., and massage it into the scalp every day. Make an infusion with olive oil and rosemary and rub this mixture in the scalp every day.

Mix 2 tsp. of cayenne pepper with 1 c. olive oil. Massage into scalp every day.

One formula I found mixed onion, garlic, cayenne, and honey, rub into scalp and rinse with rosemary tea.

Rub the bald area with apple cider vinegar using a soft brush two times a day. Vinegar is good for the scalp and can be used for all kinds of problems with the hair.

Southernwood is a traditional remedy for hair loss. It can be taken internally in a tincture and made into an infusion as a hair rinse.

Hair loss especially in women can be a traumatic and affect the ways we feel about ourselves. Some of the remedies may sound a little far fetch but the problem is not. Maybe some of these will help you, and if nothing else, by increasing nutrition in your diet you will feel good even if you don’t like the way you look in the mirror. All of us have some problem or other we are self conscious about.

Here to your good health! Sharon K

Making Face Masks and Astringents

Making face masks and astringents is a great ways of making your face feel wonderful and clean.

When using herbs for these homemade cosmetics, use the powdered form and pass it through a sieve to make sure all large particles are remove.

Following are several recipes. Make sure you are not allergic to any of the ingredients. Try different ones until you find the right combination for you and your skin type.

Directions for each mask: With a blender, mix all the ingredients well. Make only enough to use for one mask. About 1 Tbsp. for each is enough for one mask. Apply to clean face and leave for about 10 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and use moisturizer afterwards. Any leftover masks store in refrigerator.

Mint Face Mask, equal parts each

  • Spearmint
  • Oil such as almond oil, grape seed oil, apricot kernel oil or olive oil
  • Raw honey
  • Add a couple of drops of lavender oil, or patchouli oil, or chamomile oil

Yogurt Facial Mask

  • ¼ c. plain yogurt
  • ½ tsp. honey
  • ½ tsp. green clay, or white clay
  • 3 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Finely chopped cucumber
  • 1 Tbsp. Yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp. Finely chopped parsley or calendula powder

Almond face Mask, equal parts each

  • Almond meal
  • Calendula powder
  • Chamomile powder

Herbs good for oily skin include:

  • Lady mantel
  • yarrow

Healing herbs for the skin:

  • Fennel
  • House leek
  • Marshmallow
  • Comfrey

Cleansing Herbs:

  • Chamomile
  • Fennel
  • Lady’s mantle
  • Lovage
  • Nettle
  • Parsley
  • Plantain

Herbs for Acne:

  • Burdock
  • Clover
  • Horsetail
  • Lavender
  • Southernwood

Chamomile is a great skin cleaning herb, and rosemary will increase circulation. Elder flower, horsetail, and spearmint will tighten the skin at the same time it will stimulate the skin.

Astringents can be made from any of the herbs listed below by adding dried herbs to apple cider vinegar and allowing steeping for two weeks. Strain and dilute 2 Tbsp. vinegar in a pint of water.

Vinegars will help both dry and oily skin and will tighten skin pores. It establishes a natural acid balance and softens the skin. Use unfiltered apple cider vinegar. Add about 1 cup of fresh leaves and stems for each pint of vinegar and allow steeping for two or three weeks. Shake every day and strain and re-bottle in glass bottle with cork or plastic lid. Save your vinegar bottles. Use this in a diluted form for astringents and facial steams.

Astringents are used for cleansing and a refreshing feeling.

Astringents herbs:

  • Bay
  • Chamomile
  • Comfrey leaf
  • Elderflower flowers
  • Frankincense
  • Lemon
  • Mint
  • Myrrh
  • Nasturtium
  • Raspberry
  • Rose
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Witch hazel
  • yarrow

Astringents for oily skin:

  • Sage
  • Yarrow
  • Plantain
  • Lemon balm
  • Lemon grass
  • Rose
  • Witch hazel
  • Lavender

Astringents for normal to dry skin:

  • Chamomile
  • Comfrey
  • Elderflower
  • Fennel

Herbs to help stimulate the face:

  • Bee balm
  • Calendula
  • Elderberry flowers
  • Lavender
  • Lemon verbena
  • Mint
  • Nettle
  • Plantain
  • Raspberry
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Savory

Sage astringent recipe:

  • 3 Tbsp. dried sage, powdered
  • 3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. witch hazel liquid
  • ¼ tsp. borax powder
  • 1/8 c. glycerin

Finely minced sage and added to apple cider vinegar and allow steeping for two weeks. Stain. Dissolve borax in the witch hazel. Stir into apple cider vinegar and mix in glycerin and add to a glass bottle with tight lid. Shake before use.

Change the herbs in the above recipe to match your skin type. If your skin is oily, or dry will dictate what herbs to put in the above recipe.

Always check to make sure you are not allergic to any of the herbs before adding them to your face. Mix small amount of crushed herbs with water and put on the underarm and cover with bandage and keep in place for 24 hours. If no reaction occurs from the herbs you properly are not allergic.




Rosemary Orange Coffee Cake Recipe

Rosemary Orange Coffee Cake Recipe

Coffee cake and tea

Orange and Rosemary Coffee cake

  • 1-1/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • Rounded ½ tsp. baking powder
  • Rounded ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • ½ c. sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp. fresh finely minced rosemary
  • 3 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter
  • Juice and rind of one medium size orange
  • 1 egg, large
  • ½ c. buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of  8” cake pan. Spray with vegetable spray.

Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, rosemary and orange zest. To grate orange zest, use a fine grater or rasp and grate only the orange part of the outside of the rind. Avoid the white part, it is bitter. Need about 1 to 2 tsp. of orange zest.

Add the cold butter in small pieces and cut in with two knives or pastry cutter. When the mixture resembles small pebbles or coarse sand, set aside. Save about ¼ cup of this mixture for the crumb topping.

In a small bowl mix the buttermilk, egg, and orange juice (should equal about scant ¼ c.). Beat the egg mixture until blended. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix. The batter will be lumpy.

Pour the batter into prepared pan. Add the save topping and spread over the top of the cake before baking.

Bake cake about 25 minutes to 30 minutes depending on the amount of orange juice used. Allow to cool a few minutes in the pan before turning out. Place on pretty cake plate and cut into wedges depending on if you used a round pan or square pan.

Garnish with fresh sprigs of rosemary and slice of orange.

I have made this several times and I love the mixture of rosemary and orange. This combination of orange and rosemary also makes good herbal jelly. If all you have is dried use about ½ of the fresh amount. Check out my blog on growing rosemary. You can grow rosemary in pots and brings indoors if you live in a cold climate with ice and snow.


Growing Sage

Sage plants

Garden sage and purple sage

Growing Sage ( salvia officinalis)

“How can a man grow old who has sage in his garden” was a proverb used in China and Persia and parts of Europe. Sage was much prized by the Chinese as money and would trade three chests of tea for one chest of sage leaves. The ancients claim sage increase mental ability.

Today we can grow garden sage in our gardens and it is used in a number of ways, such as decorative, culinary, around the house, cosmetic and medicinal. If you have cooked a turkey you may have heard of sage.

Growing Sage:

Site: Hardy soft evergreen silver shrub which grows about 1 to 2 feet and likes full sun to part shade and likes light, dry, alkaline and well drained soil. Zones 4-8 and is drought-tolerant and low maintenance with soil pH 6.0-6.7

This Mediterranean plant has pretty little blooms in pink, lavender, purple, and white. Usually blooms in late spring or early summer. Garden sage has violet blue flowers which attract bees, and humming birds.

Growing: Garden sage can be grown from seed; most of the sages that are variegated should only be grown from cutting, layering and division.  Sage seeds do not store well, so use fresh seeds. Sage should be cut back after flowering, to keep it bushy and replace every few years as it get too woody.

Uses: Around the house, use it in wreaths, herbal hair rinses, astringents, toothpowders, dusting powder and in mouthwashes. It is added to homemade perfumes, soaps, and cosmetics. Sage is one of the herbs used in hair rinses for dark hair.

Culinary: Most of us like sage with poultry, but it is wonderful with so many other dishes. Great with rich, fatty meats, pork, sausage, cheese, butters, and fry the whole leaves as an appetizer. Sage has a lemony but camphor like bitter taste. Young leaves can be eaten in salads or cooked with eggs. Flavored sage such as clary and pineapple sage can be substituted for most culinary dishes. Dried sage has a different flavor than fresh; it is less lemony and may even taste a little musty.

mixtures of sage plants

Golden sage along with tri-color sage

Garden sage is the one most cooks used because it will retain its flavor through longer cooking periods and dries great.

Harvest: Snip fresh leaves as needed or bunch them together and hang to dry inside of a paper bag with holes punch in the bag. Or you can freeze the leaves. Avoid harvesting fully the first year. Pick sage leaves just before flowers appear and dry leaves slowly to preserve the flavor.

Medicinal: Sage will aid in digestion and is antiseptic, antifungal, and contains estrogen. Suffers of diarrhea may want to make a tea of sage. Just be aware, sage does not make a great tasting tea. Sage in dishes is strong and favorable and will help to digest fatty foods. Sage is said to help with sore throats, mouth irritations and cut and bruises. Research has revealed sage may lower blood sugar.

There are dozen if not hundreds of sage both perennial and annual. Some of my favorite includes tricolor sage, clary sage, purple sage, golden sage, pineapple sage, Mexican blue sage and blue sage.

Sage and Rosemary

Sages and rosemary

Companion plants: Sage is good with rosemary, lavender, marjoram and thyme. It may repel the cabbage butterfly. Plant with cabbage, carrots, strawberries, and tomatoes; avoid planting with cucumbers and onions.


Homemade Air Freshener Spray

homemade air freshener

Ingredients for homemade air freshener

Making your own homemade air freshener spray is easy and makes the whole house smell wonderful. You can tailor the essential oils to your needs and favorite smells and combination of smells.

If you have any allergies, or anyone in your household have allergies, use essential oils right for your home and family. Essentials oils may bother anyone with perfume allergies so check with any guests before using the homemade air freshener spray.

The smell is wonderful and stays in the air for some time. Essential oils can help to clean the air and even help with some medical problems such as headaches.

If you are having trouble with sleeping, try using just lavender essential oil in the homemade air freshener spray in the bedroom a couple of hours before bedtime. For the homemade air freshener spray in this blog, I used sweet orange essential oil, lavender essential oil, and rosemary essential oil.

In aromatherapy orange essential oil encourages cheerfulness, and a sunny disposition.

Peppermint essential oil is invigorating, antiseptic, cooling, and a pain reliever.  It is used to treat fatigue, travel sickness, digestion, headaches, and irritations. It has a refreshing scent and also helps to keep those pesky bugs away.

Lavender essential oil is cooling, relaxing scent, refreshing, soothing, antiseptic, and help to get rid of those pesky creatures.  Lavender is used to relieve pain, insomnia, headaches, infections, and helps when mentally or physically exhausted.

Some other essential oils you might try for the homemade air fresher spray include:

  • Anise, has a licorice scent
  • Basil, relieves mental fatigue and nervousness
  • Cinnamon, spicy scent and freshen air
  • Clove, spicy scent
  • Eucalyptus, disinfects the air, aids nasal congestion caused by colds or sinus problems, effective as an insect repellent, stimulating, antiseptic, antiviral and good for respiratory problems
  • Juniper, light, stimulating and said to relieve fear, disinfectant, clears the mind, and depression
  • Lemon, fresh scent with a citrus smell, relieves mental pressure, insect repellent, relieves pain
  • Pine, fresh clean scent, helps with emotional stress, fatigue, refreshing, antiseptic, and disinfectant. Good for respiratory problems
  • Rose, relaxing, antidepressant, antiseptic, good for stress, headaches and digestion

Ingredients for Homemade Air Freshener Spray

  • Dark colored spray bottle
  • Distilled water
  • Essentials oils of your choice, I used orange, lavender, and rosemary essential oils.
  • Glass jar for mixing the essential oil with distilled water

Measure how much water will fit in plastic bottle. Mine used 1 cup. Heat tap water to boiling and pour in and over warmed glass jar to help sterilize the jar. Allow to sit for at least 10 minutes. Pour off water, heat distilled water to boiling and pour into warmed glass jar. Allow to cool.

Once the distilled water has cooled, add the essential oils. I use about 1 tsp. of sweet orange and about 15 drops each of rosemary and lavender essential oil. Cap the jar, and shake to distribute the oils in the water. Allow to sit for a few minutes and pour into the spray bottle using a funnel.

Homemade air freshener

Pouring the air freshener into spray bottle

Spray in the air with the homemade air freshener spray. Be sure and use the mist setting on spray bottle and don’t spray on any surface, water might harm. If any adverse reactions occur, discontinue use.

With the right combinations of oils, your house can smell like you just bake a spice cake. Try adding vanilla to the mixture.

Growing Rosemary

If you think growing rosemary is a mystery read the following blog and hopefully it will answer your questions on growing the perfect and happy rosemary.

Rosemary is a tender woody evergreen perennial, which needs to be brought in for the winter if you live in zone 6 and lower. Zone 7 can usually winter over rosemary especially if it is in a protected area.

Growing rosemary

Growing Rosemary

When bringing rosemary in for the winter just remember rosemary like humidity, does not want to dry out, and hates wet feet.  I know confusing. One way to ensure humidity is to mist it daily and only water about once a week or when the top layer has dried out. Another way to achieve humidity is to place it on a bed of gravel and keep the gravel wet. The gravel will keep the rosemary from setting in a wet saucer, which it does not like.

I like to grow rosemary in pots and bring it in for the winter.  A pot of rosemary can be sunk in the ground with the top of the pot above ground level and “dug” up for the winter.

How to Grow Rosemary:

Site: Sunny, protect rosemary form cold winds, and it can tolerate light shade.

Soil: needs good drainage. Rosemary likes a lime soil, which will increase its fragrance, but may keep it from growing very tall. Add eggshells to the soil and around the plant. Soil should be about 6.5-7.0 pH.

Propagating: Rosemary does not grow well from seed. The best way is layering or by taking cuttings. If you try  seeds, make sure the soil is warm about 70°F.

Growing: Transplant when the plant has several leaves and large enough to take the stress.

Two cultivars: Prostrate and upright. Prostrate Rosemary will grow low to the ground and makes a great plant to grow where it can trail over a wall. The upright will grow about 3 to 6ft. depending on where it is grown.

Harvesting: Pick leaves all summer long, but may want to avoid picking during the winter months. If your are like me and you like to cook with fresh rosemary, take only enough leaves for the dish. For some reason it does not like to be cut much during the winter months.

Preserving: The leaves can be dried either by hanging up or in a food dehydrator. It also works well frozen. The leaves can be tough when dried or frozen so it should be crushed before using. When cutting the branches for harvest always leave about 1/3 of the stem from the base. Cut the stem at an angle just above a nodule. (a nodule is where a new branch or leaf will grow).

Companion planting: Rosemary likes to be planted near cabbages, carrots, sage, broccoli, onions, and beans.

Rosemary may help to repel cabbage worm butterfly, bean beetles, and carrot worm butterfly.

Uses: Rosemary has many uses, one is culinary check out my blog on “Fresh herbs in the Kitchen” or “Fried potatoes with Rosemary and Garlic.” or the article about making vinegar hair rinse.

Use the rosemary stems as skewers when barbecuing.

Rosemary is used in shampoo, hair tonics, facial scrubs, and the essential oil is used in “Hungary water”.  Used in cleaning products just to name a few uses of rosemary.

Decorative:Upright Rosemary makes a great plant for topiaries or bonsai. It can be trim especially during the summer to about any shape you like. Use in potpourri and to fragrant linens.

Medicinal: The leaf will stimulates circulation and increases blood flow. When adding to cooking it will aid in the digestion of fats.

Try this wonderful plant with it pungent, pine-like scent and a pepper flavor. The ancient Greeks believe rosemary improve memory and wore wreaths on their head while studying. In the middle ages, sprigs of rosemary was placed under the pillow to ward off evil spirits and to prevent nightmares.

It is known as the herb of Remembrance.

Happy Gardening!







Rosemary and Roasted Garlic Fried Potatoes

Rosemary garlic fried potatoes

Rosemary garlic fried potatoes

Potatoes and Rosemary just seem to go together like Tomatoes and Basil, and Oregano and Pasta, and Sage and Turkey. For this recipes the ingredients are simple.

  • Sliced Potatoes, 5-6 small I like to use red
  • Sliced onions, 1 small red or white
  • roasted garlic 4-5 cloves
  • Olive oil
  • water
  • rosemary, 1/2 tsp. dried, 1 tsp. fresh or to taste

In an iron skillet pour some olive oil about 4-5 Tbsp. in pan and heat. Add sliced potatoes and sliced onions. Fry for a few minutes until onions start to soften. Add chopped roasted garlic. At this point add a little water to keep from adding so much oil. Cover and let steam for about 5-8 minutes until the potatoes start to soften.

Rosemary should be added about half way through the cooking time. Dried rosemary needs time to soften. Fresh rosemary should be added about 5 minutes before the dish is finished. Cook until all water is gone and the potatoes start to fry. May need to add a little more olive oil. Cook until desired tenderness.






Herbal Vinegar Hair Rinse

This wonderful vinegar rinse is great for the hair and will bring life back to your tresses. Herbal vinegar hair rinse can be made from different herbs depending on your hair type and color.

Choose the right herb for your hair type. Listed below are some of the herbs used in herbal rinses.


  • Chamomile
  • Lemon
  • Mullein flowers
  • Orange flowers
  • calendula
  • Turmeric


  • Sage
  • Rosemary
  • Yarrow
  • Clove
  • Henna
  • Marigold

Red Hair

  • Marigold flowers
  • Witch Hazel Bark
  • Henna
  • Clove
  • Red Hibiscus

Dry Hair

  • Comfrey root and leaf
  • Red Clover
  • Geranium
  • Sage
  • Orange Peel

Oily Hair

  • Lavender
  • Lemon Balm
  • Rosemary
  • Lemon Grass
  • Lemon Peel

For Luster

  • Parsley
  • Basil
  • Rosemary

Before using any herb solution on the scalp, dap some on the inside of your arm and cover with a bandage and leave for 24 hours. If nothing happens, it is properly safe to used on your head.

For the rinse featured in this blog, I used chamomile, comfrey, calendula, and rosemary. These herbs were chosen because I have blond, dry hair. The chamomile and calendula can be replaced with sage and rosemary for dark hair.

Chamomile and calendula are for blond highlights, rosemary for luster and hair growth and comfrey for dry hair.

Herbs used in Hair rinse

Herbs used in Hair rinse

Chamomile Herbal Vinegar Hair Rinse


  • About 1 cup of dried chamomile flowers
  • 2-4 Tbsp. each of rosemary, comfrey and calendula
  • 3 cups of apple cider vinegar plus more if needed to cover
Equipment used in Hair Rinse

Equipment used in Hair Rinse

Equipment used:

  • Glass, enamel, or ceramic pot for heating vinegar, stay away from aluminum
  • Quart jar with lid lined with wax paper
  • Measuring cup
  • Funnel
  • Plastic container with plastic lid (Note: use plastic in the shower, glass might break)
  • Fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth lined strainer
  • Labels
Chamomile Hair Rinse

Chamomile Hair Rinse

Heat vinegar in glass pot to almost boiling. It is good idea to stay away from aluminum pans, they react to the vinegar. Some suggest staying away from all metal, but I have used stainless steel.

Vinegar heated to almost boiling

Vinegar heated to almost boiling

Place herbs in glass jar.  Have lid ready and lined with wax paper. The wax paper is to prevent the vinegar from coming in contact with metal lid. Plastic lids works best, but they are hard to fine to fit glass jars.

Cover the herbs with hot vinegar and allow to cool before adding the lid. Don’t forget to label and date. Chamomile will soak up a lot of vinegar, so allow room in jar. May need to add additional apple cider vinegar in a few days.

Hair rinse Ready to be stained

Hair rinse Ready to be stained

Shake every day for 1 to 2 weeks which allows the herbs to infuse with the vinegar. After the time has passed, strain the vinegar using a coffee filter lined mesh strainer. Squeeze out as much of the liquid as possible. Compost the herbs. Pour into plastic container with plastic lid to use in the shower. The part full container is what is left from the last batch I made. This size plastic container will not hold all the vinegar this recipe makes.

How to Use:

Mix about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of vinegar with 2 cups of warm water. After shampooing, rinse hair with vinegar/water solution and massage into scalp. Watch your eyes, vinegar will sting. I like to keep a plastic cup in the shower for mixing the vinegar solution.

The vinegar solution can be left in hair or rinse with warm water followed by cool water. Use about once a week to every other week.

Vinegar removes soap film and excess sedum oil from the hair. Sedum oil is needed in moderate amounts to promote healthy skin and hair.Too much can cause oily hair and skin.

Vinegar helps with all the abuse we put our hair through and it will help to restore, soften and condition the hair.

Beautiful hair is a result of what we put on our hair as well as what we put in our body. A balance diet and hydration will result in great hair.