Monday, 12 August 2013

The stillroom

I have decided that I would really like to bring back the stillroom.  Does anyone out there still have and use one, I wonder?
As summer progresses, more and more of my house is taken up by drying herbs...
...for cooking, tea, medicine, sachets, cleaning vinegars, home remedies etc.  And I know I can't be the only one.  A quick browse on the internet (pinterest, anyone?) shows that so many people are learning the old (almost forgotten) skills of making their own salves, tinctures, and remedies to treat their families, not to mention making their own soap, cleaners, shampoos and detergents. It would be so nice to have a space dedicated to those tasks.
I have been growing herbs for years now to make sachets, teas, for cooking, and for "bath teas".  Last night, I made my very first salve.  I'm hooked! (The jar on the left is my first ever extract - too soon to tell how that will turn out.  I followed the directions for the comfrey ointment at Slow living Essentials
She doesn't mention whether she chopped her comfrey or not.  At first, I just put in whole leaves, but realized that wasn't going to work very well in my small pot.  Chopping the leaves allowed them to wilt much faster so I could add more in.  Also, rather than add the beeswax to the pot and then pour it into the jar, I strained the oil into the jar, added the beeswax to that, and then reheated it in a water bath until the wax melted...since I don't have tools dedicated to this process, I didn't want to add wax to my cooking pot.

Incidentally, I tried the salve (before it was fully cooled) on my hands.  For the first time since February, I went to bed without pain in my hands, and for the first time since February, I woke up without pain in my hands.  I need to make a vat of it.  Now, I will be looking for more homemade remedies that I can try out, particularly for cuts and scratches as N is always cut somewhere or other.  If anyone has a good link to share, please leave it in the comments.

Linking up with: Backyard Farming Connection 
                         Keep Calm Craft on over at Frontier Dreams
                         Wildcrafting Wednesday at Mind Body and Sole
                         Making your own Herbal at Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth

And:  This post was featured over here :


  1. You remind me that I should dry some herbs. I always forget then in the middle of winter I'm wishing for sage and rosemary.

  2. hi I found you through the Backyard Farming Connection hop. Nice post. I am just getting into making my own creams, sprays for bug repellants etc. Enjoyed reading about your salve.

  3. That is really neat about the resolution of pain. Thanks for sharing. I will have to check out this recipe. Thanks for sharing at our 100th Wildcrafting Wednesday.

  4. Must smell lovely in your home. :)

  5. Awesome post! I think you're right about having a room dedicated to our herbal preparations, hmmm, if I can only convince hubby. ;)

    Thanks for sharing with Wildcrafting Wednesday! :)

  6. I love your pictures and share your stillroom vision ;) Thank you for sharing this at Make Your Own Herbal Monday!!! Happy homemaking :)