Strewing Herbs

Rushbearing ceremonies honour the ancient practice of strewing rushes in churches
Rushbearing ceremonies celebrate the old custom of STREWING

Strewing is an ancient practice to get rid of unwanted smells. Communal living can be a very smelly business!  What do you do if something in your home smells bad?

Do you strew nice smelling herbs around? .. probably not. But you may use herbal essences.  But are  they natural or synthetic?  And what’s the difference?

Unicorn Emoji freshens cars!

We may gaze at the shelves of cleaning and anti-smell products in our shops and we each maybe have our favourite to make our homes smell nice.

And then there’s smelly humans. That’s definitely not acceptable. Bad breath, smelly armpits, and the urge to attract the opposite sex all require us to buy shower gels, deodorants, mouthwashes, perfumes etc. Attractively decorated plastic bottles full of manufactured potions line the shelves with a bewildering array of artificial aromas.  Billions of pounds a year down the drain (literally) just to make our world smell better.

Up to a hundred or so years ago, all humans had were what grew around them.  Their noses distinguished between nice smell and nasty smell!  So they joined the great cover-up. They would use plenty of the nice smelling herbs (including flowers) to hide smells.


Go back further to the early Middle Ages.  Bathing had become less popular in England

Sweet smelling meadowsweet

As people naturally became smellier, the use of fragrant herbs became more popular! The herbs were laid on the floors in all areas of the house along with reeds, rushes, or straw, so that pleasant aromas would be released when people walked on them.  Queen Elizabeth I was known to be very fond of Meadowsweet.



Just a few of the most popular strewing herbs to choose from!

Herb Properties
Sweet Flag (leaves) A sweet rush like aroma
Lavender (leaves and flowers) All part very fragrant
Hyssop Sweetly fragrant
Mint Strongly pungent
Meadowsweet Sweet smell
Sweet Woodruff Sweet  fresh aroma
Rosemary Strewn often in churches
Rose (Petals only) Very sweet lingering aroma
Southernwood (Artemesia) Thought to be an aphrodisiac!

Insect repellents too!

Certain plants Our Lady's Bedstrawwould also help keep pests such as fleas at bay such as Chamomile and Sage.

Strewing was an invention of necessity as in a typical medieval English monastery, for instance, the floor of the dormitory would have been strewn with rushes that were swept and replaced just once or twice a year.

Think where that has all led … to experiencing the joy of AROMATHERAPY

To find out more about AROMATHERAPY CLICK HERE