It’s really easy to make homemade herbal gifts. Trust me, the recipient will love them. Especially if he or she wants to lead a more natural lifestyle.
You only need a handful of basic ingredients. (In addition to the herbs.) Then, using different combinations of these ingredients you can make different types of gifts.
Natural gifts are so appreciated. That’s because more people are waking up to the fact we’re surrounded by chemicals. Some of these chemicals irritate our skin. Others work as hormone disruptors. The worst of the bunch may even cause cancer.
We can reduce our toxic burden by switching to plant-based cosmetics and cleaning solutions.
There are plenty of good plant-based products on the market. However, they generally cost more than comparable items made with chemicals.
One option is to make your own natural solutions. DIY is trendy right now. It’s also fun. Plus you can save a lot of money. If you have extra, put some in a pretty decorative container and give it away as a gift.
Easy Homemade Herbal Gifts
(This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase anything, I receive a referral fee, at no extra cost to you.)
Herbs can also be used as folk remedies for colds, flu and general pain relief. Used properly herbs are much safer than over-the-counter pain medicine. I learned about natural medicine when my children were growing up. When I saw how well it worked I decided it would be our first line of defense against common childhood ailments.
Please understand that I’m not a doctor. Nor am I a professional medical herbalist. I’m just a wife and mother who’s been using holistic remedies ever since my children were young. So I’m simply sharing information of how we use herbal remedies, which, by the way, make great gifts.
It’s very important to not take herbal remedies if you’re pregnant. Also, you’ll need to check with your doctor before using herbs if you have chronic health problems or take medication. Herbs and some medicines do not mix well. One more thing. Herbs are not meant to be taken indefinitely. Just short term.
Things to Make With Herbs
This post contains gift ideas to use with dried herbs. I’ve already written about DIY essential oil gifts in a post you can read here. It’s also fun to make gifts from essential oils.
Technically essential oils aren’t herbs, even though they may come from the same medicinal plant. They’re used differently, and don’t necessarily have the same effect on the body as herbal remedies.
However, in a couple of the recipes you see below I do call for a couple of drops of lavender essential oil. Because it smells so nice.
Elderberry Syrup for Flu
The cool weather ushers in cold and flu season. Elderberry syrup is widely regarded as a good cold and flu remedy. That’s because it’s believed that it stimulates the immune response, so you’re better able to fight infection.
Elderberry syrup is available at your local health food store. You may even find it at the grocery store. But elderberry syrup is expensive. Even more so if it’s USDA-certified organic.
But it’s really easy to make your own elderberry syrup. I was pleasantly surprised at just how easy it was. One advantage, in addition to saving money, is that you can make it in small batches. So you’ll always have syrup that’s relatively fresh. Anyway, here’s how to make your own elderberry syrup with organic dried elderberries.
1/2 cup of dried elderberries (You can find them here)
2 cups of water (I used bottled spring water because my tap water contains sodium fluoride)
1/4 to 1/2 cup of raw organic honey, depending upon preferred sweetness (You can find organic honey here)
1 teaspoon or Ceylon cinnamon (It’s available here)
Heat the water, cinnamon and dried organic elderberries in a sturdy saucepan on your stove top, on a low to medium low setting. Watch closely as it’s cooking. Add more water if necessary. Strain it with a small mesh wire strainer. While it’s warm add the honey. Stir it well and transfer it into a glass jar or other container. Decorative gift bottles with rubber stoppers are available online, as you can see below.
Ginger Syrup Recipe With Honey
Ginger syrup is another favorite for cold and flu season. Like elderberry, it’s believed that ginger gives the immune system a jump start, in order to help attack whatever pathogen is making the rounds.
It’s also believed that ginger contains natural anti-inflammatory compounds. That’s why it’s often recommended for natural pain relief. Plus, ginger syrup is delicious. You can add some to hot water to make a delicious tea, even if you’re not sick.
Last Christmas a family member gave us homemade ginger medicinal syrup. It came in a cool vintage style glass bottle with a rubber stopper, which can be reused after the syrup is gone.
Homemade ginger syrup is made almost exactly the same way as elderberry syrup, although the ratio of herbs to water is a little different. As is the cooking time. You can see how to make your own ginger syrup here.
Homemade Herbal Tincture Recipe
Tinctures are a great way to preserve dried herbs. Using a tincture also a convenient way to consume herbs. You make it once. It’s ready to use. It will also last a long time. If you’re traveling, tinctures are the way to go. Because you don’t want to prepare fresh herbal mixtures when you’re on the road. (If flying you’ll need to pack them in your checked baggage, since they may not make it through airport security.)
Generally, tinctures are made from alcohol. Dried herbs are steeped in alcohol (generally vodka) and the end result is a concentrated herbal elixir.
Tinctures are powerful and potent, just like a regular herbal remedy. Some people believe tinctures are the preferred way to take herbs. That’s because the warm water may help with absorption. Also, it’s possible the alcohol helps deliver the remedy into your cells.
You can use virtually any dried herb for a DIY tincture. In a previous recipe I used nettle leaf, because that’s what I had on hand. Nettle is a popular remedy for allergies. Like other medicinal herbs, it’s thought to have the ability to reduce inflammation.
Tinctures are really easy to make. You can find simple directions here, in an earlier post I wrote about How To Make Homemade Herbal Tinctures.
Homemade Tinctures With Apple Cider Vinegar
You can also preserve herbs with apple cider vinegar or non GMO vegetable glycerine. (Technically, the later will yield a glycerite instead of a tincture.)
I’m a big fan of using what you already have in the house. So I went with apple cider vinegar.
Non alcoholic herbal preserves are a good option for children, or for people who need to avoid alcohol.
Herbal tinctures are incredibly easy to make. You can use any medicinal herb. For sleep and relaxation dried organic lavender or passionflower would work really well.
All you need is a clean glass jar, dried herbs and apple cider vinegar. Use 1 part herb to 3 parts of apple cider vinegar. Keep this in a covered jar in a cool, dark place for two weeks. Strain before using. The mixture should last about six months.
Here’s an earlier post that describes how to make a vinegar tincture with a popular germ-fighting recipe.
Himalayan Salt Scrub With Dried Lavender Flowers
Himalayan salt scrubs are among the easiest herbal gifts to make. All you need are three ingredients, plus a jar.
Healthy pink Himalayan salt is the only type of salt we own. Unlike stripped down table salt, it’s pure and natural. It also contains a full compliment of trace minerals. Many of us don’t get enough of these in our diets.
That’s why Himalayan salt is considered so healthy. In recent years, it’s found its way into a number of natural beauty products, including scrubs made with herbs and essential oils. One Christmas my daughter gave me a Himalayan salt scrub as a gift. I used it to remove and moisturize cracked skin on my heels. It worked really well.
Then I realized I could make my own Himalayan salt scrubs. The next Christmas I gave a number of these out as presents, to people I normally don’t buy gifts for but still wanted to remember. So here’s how to make Himalayan salt scrubs for the people on your gift list.
Decorative glass jar (You can find them here)
1 cup of course ground Himalayan salt (You can get it here)
1/2 to 1 cup of sweet almond oil (You can get it here)
1/4 cup of dried lavender flowers (You can find them here)
10 drops of lavender essential oil (You can find it here)
Mix the ingredients in a bowl. Then transfer into a decorative glass jar with a cover. If you don’t own any pretty glass jars they’re available online. You can adjust the recipe to make more or less. Also, you can adjust it to make a drier salt scrub, or one that contains more liquid. The salt scrub recipe above will fill more than one of these 4-ounce decorative glass jars. So adjust accordingly if you only plan to make one scrub.
How To Make Non Toxic Balm With Herbs
A few months ago lilacs were blooming. So I made a non-toxic all natural herbal balm with dried lilac flowers. I used an easy basic salve recipe, and then added dried flower petals. I used dried lilac flowers because they were available. But you can use any kind of non-toxic flower petals, such as dried lavender flowers. If you pick the flowers yourself, it’s important to dry them thoroughly to prevent moisture from being released into the balm.
Anyway, here how to make basic salve with dried flowers. Dried lavender is available year round online, so that’s what I’m including in this recipe below. Adding a little lavender essential oil will help make it smell amazing.
1/4 c of organic coconut oil (It’s available here)
1/4 c of shea butter (It’s available here)
1/4 cup of beeswax pearls (You can get them here)
4 drops of lavender essential oil (You can get it here)
1/8 cup of dried flowers. These can be any non-toxic flower petals. Dried lavender flowers would be an excellent choice.
Melt the coconut oil, shea butter and beeswax in a sauce pain (make sure it’s a sturdy one) over low heat. You don’t need to use a double boiler. You can. But it’s not necessary, as long as you watch the mixture closely to prevent it from smoking. Stir the mixture as it melts.
When everything turns to a liquid, and the beeswax pellets have melted completely, remove the pan from the burner. Then, add the dried flower petals. Stir to distribute them evenly. Quickly pour into a mold and allow to cool. For gift giving purposes, you can find empty tins online. Or you can use amber glass cosmetic glass jars with lids. Amber colored jars will prevent too much light from reaching your DIY herbal salve.
DIY Aloe Vera Spray Recipe for Skin
Aloe vera is considered a good skin soother. This is something you’ll want in your natural medicine cabinet, to use for sunburns or minor skin irritations. Here’s how to make homemade aloe vera spray with lavender essential oil.
1/3 cup of alcohol free witch hazel. This is also considered a good skin soother. Mixing multiple herbal remedies together is considered good practice. It’s possible doing so creates a synergy, in which the sum total is more powerful than the separate parts. (If you can’t find it locally, it’s available here.)
2/3 c of aloe vera gel (You can find it here)
1/3 c of rosehip seed oil (You can find it here)
15 drops of lavender essential oil (You can find it here)
Mix these ingredients together. Then put them in a clean glass jar or a clean glass spray bottle. Store the aloe vera spray away from heat and light.
These statements have not been approved by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use herbal remedies or essential oils unless directed to do so by a licensed healthcare professional.