Ashleigh Smith + photo

Ashleigh Smith

Nov 25
2 min read
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herbs bundled together on a table

What are herb bundles and what are they for?

There are a few different types of herb bundles with their own individual purposes. They mainly center on healing, culinary, and decorative use. One of the most common in the healing category are smudge sticks / Cleaning stick bundles which are traditionally rooted in indigenous rituals. They are made with specific herbs favored for their healing and energy properties. These bundles are wrapped with twine and often burned as incense.

Herb bundles for culinary use are commonly used to benefit from both a plant's aromas and flavors. The traditional French bundle is called a bouquet garni which uses fresh herbs to prepare soup stocks, meat, vegetables and other dishes.

The herbs would be cooked into the stock or other dish and removed before the food is consumed. You can include whatever herbs you would like but some of the most traditional ones are bay leaves, parsley, basil, rosemary, and thyme.

Decorative herb bundles are probably the easiest and most versatile to make. If the herbs aren’t being burned or cooked you don’t need to worry as much about using something that is toxic, however the bundle could be used for cooking as the herbs dry. You will however want to be cautious of using something that a member of your household or visitors may be allergic to because the bundle will remain fragrant.

For this bundle simply gather together any herbs that you find visibly pleasing. Keep in mind they will dry over time. For this purpose you will also want to use something to secure the bundle together that can be adjusted as the bundle shrinks. I find the easiest things to use are either an elastic band or twine. Then hang in a warm, dry place.

Herb bundles that are used for healing or religious purposes are also made in similar fashions. Because they are usually burned the entire bundle will need to be securely wrapped. To do this the twine will need to be tied and then wrapped from the bottom to the tip of the bundle.

Some of the most common herbs to include are sage, lavender, rosemary, etc. After bundling them together, allow to dry completely. These bundles can also be used decoratively until you are ready to use them.

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