Since I spent the morning making household cleaner I thought I would share the process.I start with pine needles. Right now I am working on using up the tree which we got at the tree farm for the holidays. Pine is an under-rated herb in my opinion. Few people give it credit due for its nutritive value (contains enough vitamin C to ward off scurvy) or its disinfectant qualities. It also makes a great herb to keep brewing away in a pot on the stove. When the woodstove was in commission, I would have a pot of pine simmering all winter long. Now, I use one those little crockpots. Pine needles also make good strewing herbs. They work as a natural repellent against creepy things that like to live in your bed or under your appliances.
Brewing a pine beverage….
Because it needles are a little tougher I like to make pine decoctions. I toss some 1/2 cup of pine needles into a pan of with 2 cups of water and I decoct them until I get a nice strong brew. The picture to the left shows the deep almost rosy color that results. It is a very refreshing beverage.
When I am using it for cleaning solution, I just turn off the heat and let the liquid cool down. I pour it into spray bottles which are half full of white vinegar or use it full strength as a room freshener. The blue bottle sits on the back of the toilet in the upstairs bathroom. You can add other essential oils if you’d like but I really don’t bother. When I have some pine resin solution (pine resin dissolved in strong alcohol) I like to add a half-teaspoon of that to each bottle. The final product smells amazing and I can use it for cleaning just about everything. There is very soothing about cleaning with herbs. It purifies the home and the psyche; one more of those things that keeps me smiling during the winter.