Herbs in the Home

One year ago, I was putting up “Going Out of Business” signs in the windows of the little store I had for 9 years.  I carried a lot of organic herbal products that I made and packaged myself. Many of the ingredients were grown in my own gardens.  It was a LOT of work making it all on a large scale and adhering to strict, high quality, organic and sustainable standards that I wanted to maintain. I gave up the whole business and selling part of things, but I still make everything for my home and my family. I thought it would be nice to start sharing some of the recipes of the things I make on this blog.

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This time of year, I used to sell a lot of herbal sachets. They are little bags filled with dried herbs that naturally repel mice and insects, particularly moths. They are used in dressers, linen cupboards, closets and packed among clothes and blankets in storage. They can also be used in suitcases, tossed in a sleeping bag or sent off to college in the clothes bins.
I make them with dried herbs from the garden. Lavender is one of the main ingredients because I love the fragrance and it is a natural moth repellent. I use lots of peppermint and pineapple mint. Any type of mint is fine. It acts as a fixative and is an insect and mouse repellent. Ground orris root is a fixative as well. It has a subtle, powdery floral scent and one tablespoon of orris root is added for every 5 cups of dried herb.  If orris root isn’t handy, no worries, mint will set everything up just fine. Dried rose petals go into the mix too. Dried citrus peels or chamomile flowers add a nice note. There is no set recipe here, the key is to make mint about 1/4 of the total mix.


Mix all the dried herbs in a bowl. Essential oils can be added, if you like. A tablespoon of vegetable oil for every 5 cups of ingredients can be added to enhance the natural fragrance of the herbs. Loosely fill muslin, drawstring bags. They can be used multiple times. Little bags are easily made using fabric scraps too.

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34 thoughts on “Herbs in the Home

  1. Cynthia, I like how you think! Many people do not realize how much work something is, when they do not do it!!! I am an artist. I also do calligraphy. I remember people asking me to frame things (with mats) and to do them long pieces of calligraphy. I do appreciate your hard work and am sorry your shop went out of business!

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  2. I’m sorry to hear about your business. I know how tough it is when people only see the end product and don’t appreciate the effort behind that product. Thankyou for sharing the sachet recipe 🙂

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  3. Sorry to hear about your business – your little satchets are gorgeous – I would love to have a go at some. I do happen to have Orris Root powder as each Christmas I make pommanders with oranges and cloves and a dusting of orris and give them away as little gifts. I have some which are about 15 years old and I refresh them with cinnamon powder and orris root each year. How do you dry rose petals – I have a beautiful scented rose called Gentl Hermione and would like to preserve the petals to use?

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    • Pomanders are so pretty and they smell so good. Such a nice gift! They gobble up so many cloves and take a toll on the fingertips but they are so worth it. Great idea, dusting them with cinnamon and orris root. I will try that, thanks!
      I pick the roses after the dew has dried, on a dry day. I then spread the petals out on cookie sheets lined with paper and let them sit inside or outside, out of direct light. They dry rather quickly and the darkest reds and pinks hold color the best. The scent holds surprisingly well. When they are completely dry and crunchy, I store them in glass jars in a cool, dark place.

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  4. Cynthia,
    I know how much work goes into anything that is handmade. Herbs need the right soil, the right amount of water, the weeding, the sorting, cleaning, drying. Wow. In my shop I try to help people see the difference between a handmade quilt with 12 stitches to the inch versus a quilt from Target. Honestly, people don’t know. I have been washing a Victorian solid walnut chest of drawers for hours this afternoon. I changed the water in the bucket 8 times…to get two drawers clean. When they are dry, I’ll hand-rub a coat of Tung Oil on the inside and outside of the drawers, the parts that don’t show and then I’ll clean and wax the fronts. No one will ever know and if I put 120.00 on it, they’ll say will you take 60.00? Your post is a good reminder that we should live consciously and respect each others work. There isn’t an herb shop anywhere near here that I know of, but there is a nursery that sells herbs. I read something the other day that said that financial investors usually discount anyone who wants a loan if they haven’t had a business go out. It is a valuable piece in the education of being an entrepreneur and business owner. To have a shop for nine years is a success story.
    -Ginene

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    • There are so many valuable things I have learned and become sensitive to, having had a business. I have an increased appreciation for integrity, something that I have always strived for and value so much in others. I love reading what you did with that chest. I love that you didn’t take shortcuts with the parts that don’t show. These things often go unappreciated and unrecognized to the point of being insulting sometimes. You are right, we should live consciously. Rather than being affronted, a good positive response would be to acknowledge our own blind spots and focus on respecting others. Thank you, Ginene!!

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  5. Like everyone else I am so sorry to hear about your business. =(
    As I was looking at your sachets I was thinking about how in the middle ages and renaissance everyone was surrounded by herbs. Food was more highly spiced. People ealked on herbs instead of carpets. Linen boxes included lavender. Pillows and mattresses were stuffed. We usually think of those times as being nasty and dirty but on the days when the rushes were swept out and renewed with fresh herbs the world must have smelled heavenly.

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    • That is a nice image! Also reminds me of earlier times when homes had a ‘stillroom’ where they made all their herbal preparations and there were big herb and kitchen gardens.

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  6. Great recipe and as I have trouble with little mice every winter I will get to making some of these sachets. Thank you so much. 🙂

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  7. Thanks for your lovely post Cynthia, I will try to do a bit more work with the herbs as you suggest. Its great to be in touch with other people doing similar things, and to learn from them

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  8. I’ve never even heard of ground orris root. O_o But, other than that, I use the lavender, rose petals, and chamomile (if it’s handy). Also, the mint is an excellent addition and gives the whole mixture a completely different aroma. I always add essential oils (even if only a drop or two). I’ll not be making the bags anytime soon, though. 😉 Not very good with the sewing machine. Such a great post — thanks!

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