Herbal Stocking Stuffers

 

Give the gift of herbal healing this holiday season with simple and unique homemade gifts

Items purchased from a store never feel quite as good as giving gifts that have been lovingly handcrafted. Leave the usual stress of holiday shopping behind by creating these homemade goodies for your loved ones! Sipping on a comforting mug of tea and listening to some of your favorite tunes will help ensure that your gifting experience is much more enjoyable than a shopping trip to a crowded store could ever be.

Herb Sachets

Last year, I collected and dried wild Cedar tips from the woods and then packed them into small cotton muslin bags which I stamped with images of birds, owls, trees, and botanicals. They were a hit! Everyone loved them and the lingering herbal aromas that they imparted.

- Herbs or Spices: I used Lavender and Cedar Tips, but any fragrant herb or spice can be utilized. Some ideas include Cardamom, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, Frankincense, Myrrh, Peppermint, Lemongrass, Lemon Verbena, Rose petals, Rosemary, Star Anise, Spearmint, and White Sage.

- Bags: I used pre-made cotton muslin bags from Mountain Rose Herbs, but you can also make your own bags with cotton or muslin fabric.

Directions: Coarsely grind herbs and spices in a coffee grinder to release their scent.  The resins and spices will be too dense for a coffee grinder, but you can coarsely break them up using a mortar and pestle. Stamp the bags if desired, then stuff with herbs and spices. Simply add a few drops of essential oil if you wish for a stronger aroma.

Herbal Syrups

Simple to make, these sweet herbal syrups make a lovely, luxurious, and unique gift that anyone is sure to enjoy! Delicious atop pancakes, waffles, ice cream, cakes, strawberry shortcake, fresh fruit, crepes, or stirred into lemonade, iced tea, or cocktails. You can even mix them with soda water to create your own herbal sodas.

- Herbs and Spices: Fresh or dried organic Basil, Cloves, Cinnamon, Ginger root, Hibiscus flowers Lavender flowers, Lemon Balm, Lemon peel, Lemon Verbena, Lemongrass, Orange peel, Peppermint, Rose petals, Rosehips, Star Anise, Spearmint, Vanilla beans. If using fresh herbs, gather approximately 1 bunch. Dried herbs can be added to taste, but plan on using approximately ¼ cup per batch.

Directions: Bring two cups of water to a boil and then add two cups of organic sugar. Allow the sugar to dissolve, then remove from the heat and add herbs. Cover the pot, and allow the herbs to steep until the mixture cools. You can remove the herbs sooner if the syrup reaches the flavor that you desire before it finishes cooling. Or, you can allow the syrup to sit overnight if you prefer a stronger syrup. Once you are satisfied with the flavor, strain out the herbs and pour the remaining liquid into pretty glass bottles. Attach a label with recipes or ideas for usage (optional), and you are finished! The syrup should last for at least 6 months when stored in a refrigerator.

Herbal Infused Sugars and Salts

Herbal infused sugars and salts are a fun way to turn ordinary ingredients into something special! Use in the same manner as unseasoned sugar or salt, or use as a finishing touch to any dish.

 Just imagine Cardamom spiced sugar stirred into coffee, Cinnamon sugar sprinkled into a warm cup of Chamomile tea, Lavender sugar sprinkled over Crème Brule, Clove sugar atop homemade pumpkin bread, or Lemon Verbena sugar sprinkled over shortbread cookies.

Herbal salts are a versatile ingredient delightful in soups, sauces, stews, and roasted vegetables or meats.  Savory Rosemary salt may be sprinkled over homemade focaccia, Basil salt atop freshly sliced heirloom tomatoes, Sage infused salt on roasted root vegetables, or enjoy a margarita dressed up with a Chili Pepper salt rim. Yum!

- Organic sugar or sea salt (coarse or fine).

- Herbs for Sugar: Dried organic Basil, Cardamom pods, Chamomile flowers, Cinnamon sticks, Cloves, Ginger root, Lavender flowers, Lemon Balm, Lemon peel, Lemon Verbena, Orange peel, Oregano, Peppermint, Rose petals, Rosemary, Sage, Star Anise, Thyme, or Vanilla Beans.

- Herbs for Salt: Dried organic Basil, Cayenne, Chili Peppers, Chives, Coriander seeds, Cumin, Dill, Garlic, Ginger root, Lavender flowers, Lemon Balm, Lemon peel , Lemon Verbena, Marjoram, Mustard seeds, Orange peel, Oregano, Parsley, Peppermint, Rosemary, Summer or Winter Savory, Tarragon, or Thyme.

Directions: Use 1 part herb or spice to 4 parts salt or sugar. Crush the herbs in a mortar and pestle, or whirl in a food processor or coffee grinder. Mix the herbs with sugar or salt. When using hard herbs and spices like Cinnamon sticks, Cardamom pods, or Star Anise, simply place into sugar or salt and allow to infuse for 2-4 weeks, then remove the herbs and spices. The sugar or salt will be infused with the delectable flavor and aroma of the herb. Package in pretty, airtight glass bottles, jars, or tins. Add labels and a bit of decorative ribbons or twine, if desired. For a creative presentation, you can layer each herb separately into the jar, with instructions to mix the herbs together before using. To easily transform these into a main gift, give sets of the salts or sugars and include recipe ideas, or pair the salts with jars of whole pink, green, or rainbow peppercorns.  

Tea Samplers

A perfect gift for the tea connoisseur or budding tea enthusiast, tea samplers are a fun way to try new teas. They are so simple and inexpensive to create that you can easily give them to everyone on your gift list!

- Teas of your choice, or create your own tea blends.

- Glass jars or aluminum tins.

Place loose-leaf teas into containers and decorate with a label and brewing instructions. To make a set of tea samplers, simply stack the containers and wrap together with ribbon and raffia. You can easily turn this into a main gift by including a tea pot or tea set, tea strainers, and a book about tea.

Here are a few tea sampler set ideas:

Black Tea Sampler: Fill tins with English Breakfast, Earl Grey, and Mango Ceylon. Add aged paper labels, include a mesh tea infuser, and wrap the set in black raffia.

Green Tea Sampler:Fill containers with classic green teas of Genmaicha, Jasmine, Gunpowder, and Pu’erh. Include a little card describing the history of green tea and a bamboo tea strainer.

Herbal Tea Sampler:Fill glass jars with some of these favorite blends from Mountain Rose Herbs: Dawn Chorus Tea, Dream Tea, Echinacea & Roots Tea, Evening Repose Tea, Fairytale Tea, Firefly Chai, Hibiscus High Tea, Peace Tea, or Winter Spice Tea. Include a Celestial Tea Strainer and wrap with the jars with labels and colorful ribbons.

Other Stocking Stuffer Ideas:

- Packets of herbal and medicinal seeds.

- Homemade lip balm.

- Healing herbal salves.

- Natural incense.

- Essential oils (some good basics are Eucalyptus, Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint, and Rosemary).

- Herbal wreaths.

- White Sage, Cedar, Mugwort, or Sweetgrass smudge sticks.

- Bath salts.

- Beeswax or soy candles.

Supplies for these recipes and gift giving ideas can be found on our website: www.mountainroseherbs.com

I hope that you enjoy these recipes and gift ideas!

~ irene

13 Responses to “Herbal Stocking Stuffers”

  1. [...] the original post: Herbal Stocking Stuffers Enrich your life and the lives of others by learning Aromatherapy, Reflexology or Color/Crystal [...]

  2. avatar forestheart says:

    Those little sachets are really adorable! Now I’m contemplating making some of my own. Thank you for the idea.

  3. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by courtney, Brendita'sBodyWorks. Brendita'sBodyWorks said: Mountain Rose Blog: Herbal Stocking Stuffers –   Give the gift of herbal healing this holiday season with simple and… http://ow.ly/1ahsMb [...]

  4. avatar weloveoils says:

    I really like the idea of these herbal syrups. I will be making them soon.
    I so appreciate your videos and tutorials. Great ideas!

  5. avatar Rene says:

    Hi,
    Love your sachets! Have a few questions. I want to do a dog friendly pillow–what scented herb would you recommend to attract a dog?

    Once I crush the herbs in a grinder–about how long does the sachet stay fragrant? Is it necessary to crush the herbs? I used orris root to strengthen the staying power, but I found this did not work. Recommendations?

    Thanks!

    • avatar Kori says:

      Hi Rene~What a lovely idea! Perhaps, you’d like to check out our blog post on “Sleep and Dream Pillows” as it lists several herbs that are great for pet herbal blends?

      The strength and “shelf life” of each herb is really going to depend on the herbs you use–some are just stronger and more potent than others. You might consider using a few drops of essential oils to your mixture for extra oomph. It also helps to have something as a fixative–cinnamon bark, rose buds, etc. that can absorb the fragrances to help it last longer. I sure hope this helps get you on your way with your project.

      Thank you so much and good luck!
      ~Kori

      • avatar Rene says:

        What about patchouli leaf–that is bark like and I can add a patchoule orange blend of essential oils.

        Thanks re the dog attractor.

        • avatar Kori says:

          Hi Rene~Well, you know, I don’t know how dogs feel about patchouli leaf, but you sure could give it a try! As a person who likes patchouli, I think a blend of that and orange essential oils sounds lovely. Good luck! ~Kori

        • avatar Rene says:

          This would not be for dogs:) Just for people!

      • avatar Rene says:

        Was actually thinking of putting in a fragrance oil that smells like peanut butter into the herbal mix commented on in the pet pillow post. This way the dog likes the scent and gets the benefit of the herbal blend. Hopefully, dogs wont bite it to shreds:)

        • avatar Kori says:

          Hi Rene~Hmmm…I wonder what natural fragrance or essential oil would smell like peanut butter? I agree with you that I might be concerned the dog would try to eat and not find it particularly restful. You’ll have to let us know how it goes. Thanks for giving it a try! ~Kori

  6. avatar Rene says:

    Hi Kori,

    I had minimal results with the blend suggested on your dream pillow post. The test dogs shunned the pillow–whimpered and ran away. As these herbs are beneficial for them, I thought perhaps a peanut butter or some other dog attractor oil would make sense to lure the animal to the pillow. There are no natural peanut butter essential oils, only fragrance oils. Guess my idea is doomed.

    Rene

    • avatar Kori says:

      Awww, Rene~I think dogs are like people–they all have their own preferences and likes and dislikes and it can be tough to introduce something new. Good for you being so creative, though! ~Kori

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  • ErinErin (362)
    Erin is the Marketing Director at Mountain Rose and studied herbalism, botany, and ethical wildcrafting at the Columbines School of Botanical Studies. She spends her days making botanical illustrations, playing in the garden, creating culinary gems, and formulating medicine in the magnificent Oregon Cascades.
    ChristineChristine (139)
    Christine is our Product Manager here at Mountain Rose Herbs and our Certified Aromatherapist on staff. She's a longtime Mountain Roser with nearly a decade under her belt and assists with selecting new and exciting herbal and herb-related products. She also makes sure our current products are the best they can be!
    KoriKori (74)
    Kori is our Public and Media Relations Coordinator! A West Coast native, Kori is a seasoned nonprofit activist and community organizer. Having launched six adult kids, she spends her free time in her burgeoning organic and very urban “farm”—taming Heritage chickens, building top-bar beehives from reclaimed materials, baking, brewing, and preserving.
    IreneIrene (53)
    Irene Wolansky is the Customer Experience Director at Mountain Rose Herbs. Born and raised on the Oregon coast, her interests include crafting body care products and herbal medicine, harvesting mushrooms, gardening, brewing herbal mead, fermentation, and exploring wild areas.
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    Alieta is our Marketing Assistant! An Oregon native, she studied philosophy, Spanish and graphic design at Portland State University and has a natural affinity for the natural foods industry. She spends her time outside of work playing her 54 key Rhodes piano, hanging out with her cat Penelope, and cooking delicious gluten-free and dairy-free meals to share with friends.
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