Welcome to the Apothecary

To go to my website click the link: apothecarygreens.weebly.com

NOTE: The information in this blog does not constitute the practice of medicine, and does not replace the advice of your health care provider.

Friday, 28 March 2014

DIY: natural all purpose cleaner

Commercial cleaners are becoming increasingly expensive, there are wonder bottles for surfaces, super sprays for walls, and miracle cleaners for the bathroom. Look at the ingredients, many toxins and nasties, also all very similar despite being packaged for different uses, and expensive.. did i mention expensive?

I have just mixed up an all purpose stain removing, deodorising, non-toxic, disinfecting cleaner, poured it into a spray bottle, and a week's supply of this cleaner, cost me less than 30 C.

What you need:

An old trigger spray bottle (remove old labelling)
White vinegar
Eucalyptus essential oil
Tea Tree Essential oil
Boiled and left to cool tap water

What you do:

Label the spray bottle! (this is VERY important, it is a safety mechanism to ensure things are labelled correctly, and also provides you with information on how to mix the cleaner the next time, as well as pointing out that its for multi purpose use)

Pour into the bottle: 
(this is for a 500 ml bottle)

  • vinegar 50 ml
  • Water 400 ml (then top up after the bicarb has finished fizzing )
  • Add 5 drops each of the two essential oils
  • slowly sprinkle in the teaspoon of Bicarb (it will fizz, which is why you do this slowly)
  • wait till it stops fizzing then add the trigger nozzle 

Label it: Multi Purpose surface cleaner: caution do not spray directly onto grout (this is because of the acidic quality of the vinegar you need to be careful to use the cleaner sparingly and diluted near grout)

Ingredients(then add what the ingredients are )
this is the label i made for my cleaning solution!
I had run out of tea tree oil so my latest version doesn't include it.

You can make the label pretty, or just scribble on the bottle.

Either way you are now good to go.

It cleans, disinfects, and deodorises hard surfaces, and can also be used as a spot clean stain remover on soft surfaces (always test in an inconspicuous area of fabric before you use it )

I bought uber cheap generic supermarket vinegar and bicarb, re-used an old trigger bottle, and my only real expensive outlay was for the essential oils, which at 100% strength are used sparingly and will last for a long time.

So my all purpose cleaner costs me less than 30c a bottle.

What are your DIY cleaning products, I'd love to hear about them in the COMMENTS below.

NOTE: The publication of information in this blog does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your health care provider.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Spotlight on Herbs: Catnip

Tonight's spotlight is on Catnip.

Catnip is a perennial herb from the mint family and is known by many names, including:

  • cat mint
  • catnep
  • catrup
  • cat's heal all
  • cat's wort
  • field balm

The essential oil in cat nip is nepetalactone which is similar in structure to the valepotriates found in the herb Valerian. Catnip acts upon the human nervous system as a calmative, although some people react in the opposite manner as they can with Valerian.

Cats are known to respond to the nepetalactone in catnip, although not all cats react to it.

Catnip is a powerful insect repellent and there is public domain research suggesting that it is at least ten times more effective than DEET (N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide) a toxic chemical commonly used in commercial insecticides.

Catnip is a herbalist treatment applied to colds, respiratory infections, sinus issues, and digestive problems. 

Catnip is also a pretty plant that can grow up to 1m in height, with serrated oval leaves, and very pale blue or white flowers.

A versatile and pretty addition to your herb garden!

NOTE: The publication of information in this blog does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your health care provider.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Spotlight on Herbs: Sage

In tonight's blogpost, I'd like to put the spotlight on a herb that is well known to many for culinary purposes throughout the ages: Sage.


Sage is a native plant to the Mediterranean region, its scientific name of Salvia officinalis originates from the Latin word "salvere" which  means "to be saved." 
Sage from my herb garden. (Apothecarygreens.blogger.com.au)


  • In 2001 The International Herb Association named sage the herb of the year.
  • The ancient Greeks and Romans used sage to preserve meat.


It has a strong flavour and is often used in stuffing for meat dishes. Sage and onion is a combination often used in stuffing  in traditional English cuisine.

Some great recipes using sage can be found on the BBC food site at this link
close up of Sage leaf

Sage is also used medicinally

Sage contains phytosterols which are thought to assist in reducing cholestrol in humans.It also acts as an astringent and as an antiseptic and healer for mucous surfaces.

Used as a gargle  Sage can assist in the healing of minor throat irritations such as a sore throat caused by a common cold. 

Sage in a tea form is also thought to act upon the body to alleviate night sweats and excessive perspiration, as well as to assist regulate hormones in females including being used to help ease some symptoms of menopause.

Sage can also be used to dry up lactation, which is why large quantities of it should be avoided by nursing mothers!

CAUTION: using SAGE medicinally should be avoided in pregnancy.

NOTE: The publication of information in this blog does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your health care provider.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Review: Galaxy Aromatherapy

I am hoping that the owner of  Galaxy Aromatherapy will be able to fit intime to create a guest post here soon about her business and aromatherapy. She is very passionate about aromatherapy and very knowledgeable about essential oils.

Galaxy Aromatherapy has different specials each Thursday between 7pm -8pm Melbourne Australia time

In the meantime please visit my other blog to read a review I wrote about Galaxy Aromatherapy:   Link is here

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

What is Herbalism?

When you think of herbalism, what comes to mind? Odd looking eccentrics boiling up unidentifiable plants to create pills, powders and unguents?  Scholarly serious people with large dusty tomes peering short sightedly at a leaf?  Hags with warty noses cackling while they pound down some herbs to make a potion?

Herbalism is about the study and use of herbs and encompasses a wide variety of activities  such as: herbal medicines, using plants to create aromatherapy oils, using plants in decorative craft (think pot pourri and pomanders), botany... herbs are very complex and there are so many different things to study about them!

All sorts of people are interested in herbalism from a variety of occupations, cultures, and countries.
It is a fascinating subject and one I am currently studying in the form of Western Herbal Medicine, as I want to learn more about using plants to heal.

This blog has been created to discuss the things I have learned, to explore different ideas about the 'green' apothecary of nature, to provide DIY to use herbs and other natural ingredients for craft, and to have guest bloggers in to talk about their part in this green apothecary the planet has provided!