Tag Archives: Lavender

Make Dream and Sleep Pillows

Make dream and sleep pillows from dried herbs.

General instructions:

Simple Dream and Sleep pillows can be made with soft fabric with fairly tight weave. Wash the fabric using natural soap such as borax and do not add any fabric softener or dryer sheets. Washing will wash the sizing and smell out of the fabric.  Some bags may be filled with batting along with the herbs. Use 100% natural fabric.

Dream and Sleep Pillows

Herbal Dream and Sleep Pillows

Cut two pieces of 5” x 8” rectangles or any size you like to use. This is a great project to use up leftover fabric. What’s important is what inside not the shape. Lay wrong size together and sew one long side seam using about ¼” seam allowance. Hem the top of the bag. Sew the other sides of the bag leaving the hem size open. I use a piece of ribbon to tie around the bag to close.

Casing bag: The top of the bag can fold over top for a casing with the seam open just enough to pull a draw sting through.

Fabrics might include: lining fabric, broadcloth, flannel, soft decorative fabric, and cotton.

Place a small amount of fiber fill inside the bag. Add about ½ to ¾ cup of the herbs.

Closed Bag: You can also make a bag with no opening. Just stitch around the four corners of the bag and leave an opening for filling and turning. It is best to use an inner lining of washed muslin for pillows. Just cut two pieces of muslin slightly smaller than the outside fabric.

Be sure you can get you material inside so the opening should be about 4 inches. Turn the bag inside out, iron and fill with herbs. Stitch the opening close. Place the inner bag inside the outer fabric and stitch close. I like to top stitch all around to catch the inner to the outer so the inner pillow does not shift around.

Place either of the bags inside your sleeping pillow or lay beside you head.

A variety of combinations can be used for these little bags. Some are used to help you sleep, or to dream, or help with headaches, or help you recover from an illness.

Dream Pillow may work because the fragrance activities the memory of the brain.

When making these mixtures, use two or three of herbs mentioned.

For example a classic mixture for Nightmare be-gone is equal parts of rose petals, rosemary, lavender, and hops. Sleep mixture is equal parts of lavender, mugwort and hops, or equal parts of lavender, chamomile, hops, mugwort and rose.  Amounts for pillow are about ½ c. herb in each pillow.

Making sleep pillow

Herbs used in sleep pillow

  • Stress Mixture: Hops, mugwort, sweet marjoram, and lavender
  • Get Well mixture: lavender, catnip,
  • Dream lover pillow: yarrow flowers, dill leaves, basil, and roses
  • Remember dreams: lavender, rosemary, mugwort, catnip, and bay
  • Nightmare be-gone: Rosemary, valerian, lemon balm, rose petals, hops, mullein, or lavender.
  • Headache be-gone: rosemary, mint, betony, or bay, bee balm flower, roses, lavender, nutmeg or cloves, and a small amount of marjoram.

To retain scent, can add some cellulose chips or vetiver root, a little essential oil may be added as well. Orris root which is used in potpourris is usually considered too sensitive for close breathing. Many are allergic to orris root. Also store bag when not in use in a plastic zipper bag.

Herbs used in making dream and sleep pillows:

  • Chamomile: rest, sweet dreams
  • Cloves: repel bad dreams
  • Dill is known to help with cranky babies
  • Hops: restful sleep and healing, sweet dreams
  • Lilac (old fashioned garden variety) good for dreams
  • Lavender: headaches easing, purification, calming
  • Marjoram: relieves depression
  • Mugwort: visions and predictive dreams, aids in remembering dreams
  • Mullein: repel bad dreams
  • Rosemary: avoid nightmares and headaches, folk lore says it retains memory, use sparingly
  • St. Johns Wort: banishes spirits
  • Lemon Grass: predictive dreams
  • Marjoram: relieves depression
  • Mint: vivid dreams, alertness
  • Rose: Clairvoyance, love
  • Thyme: peaceful sleep
  • Valerian: deep rest

Word of warning: If you allergic to ragweed you may have reactions to chamomile. Common sage and clary have been used in pillows but other sages should be avoided. Avoid tansy and Artemisia such as wormwood.  We do not claim these pillows actually help you sleep or will induce sleep. They are just fun.

Lavender has a strong scent and if strong may not induced sleep, but is used for headaches. Strong herbs such as rosemary and mugwort should be avoided in children pillows. Many pillows are made from hops alone, but hops have an unpleasant smell by itself and smell better with other herbs flowers mixed in equal parts.

These little pillows make great gifts and is a fun way to use many of your dried herbs. If you do not grow all the herbs you can usually purchase them form a good herb store. Just be sure herbs are organic. Always label the pillow with all ingredients. They are not intended as a primary sleeping pillow, but an addition.


Homemade Laundry Rinse

Ingredients and Supplies for making homemade laundry rinses

  • 1 part each of dried lavender, peppermint, and rose petals
  • 1-1/2 cup of white distilled vinegar
  • Stainless steel pan or glass pan
  • Jar with lid, I used a pint
  • Wax paper
  • Funnel
  • Measuring cup, preferably glass
  • Strainer lined with coffee filter or cheesecloth
Homemade laundry rinse

Homemade laundry rinse ingredients

About ingredients:

White distilled vinegar has 5% acidity and the smell of vinegar will dissipate in the rinse cycle. White distilled vinegar is good to clean the washing machine as well as help to remove mildew, and to soften fabric.

The dried herbs I chose are mild and if your baby is not allergic to any of these herbs, will help to refresh baby clothes. The vinegar will naturally break down uric acid and soapy residue thus leaving the clothes fresh smelling and soften. Lavender is known to help with sleep.

Rose is relaxing, and has a great smell. Peppermint is cooling and refreshing and smells wonderful.

Clothes rinsed using white distilled vinegar in the rinse cycle will help to dissolve soap buildup and maintain the color in your clothes, and reduce or eliminate deodorant stains on clothing.

Cotton towels and blankets rinsed in vinegar will yield fluffier results and less lint. The vinegar removes the soap and leaves them fluffy as new.

Vinegar is also better for the environment than many of the chemicals found in purchase fabric softeners. Saves money as well, a gallon jug of vinegar can be purchase for just a few dollars and it will make numerous products for the home. Check out some of my previous blog on cleaning with herbs and hair rinses.

Heating vinegar

Heating vinegar for laundry rinse


Vinegar and herbs

Pouring boiling vinegar over herbs

Measure out about ¼ cup each of the herbs, and pour boiling vinegar over the warmed jar using a funnel.  Cold glass jars may break. Allow the vinegar mixture cool before capping. If using a metal cap, line the cap with a piece of wax paper before capping. Leave the mixture alone for 24 hours at least, before straining into a jar or jug for use in the laundry. I like to use plastic, to eliminate danger of broken glass. Save your old vinegar bottles for this laundry rinse.

Herbs and vinegar

Laundry Rinse herbs and vinegar

Stain using a fine mesh strainer lined with coffee filter or cheesecloth. Compost the herbs. This is a strong mixture so I fill up the rest of my bottle with white vinegar.  Gather up the herbs in the cheesecloth and squeezed as hard as you can to release as much liquid as possible. Use this vinegar in the rinse cycle of the washing machine.

Straining herbs

Strain laundry rinse using mesh stainer & cheesecloth

Laundry rinse liquid

Squeezed herbs for laundry rinse

Use about ¼” of the infusion vinegar with laundry such as towels, pillowcases and sheets. This may not a mixture you may want on your personal clothing. Plan distilled vinegar maybe better.


Laundry rinse

Laundry rinse

Just a note I fill the bottle up with white distilled vinegar to finish the rinse. Use about 1/4 c. with each load.

Homemade Air Freshener Spray

homemade air freshener

Ingredients for homemade air freshener

Making your own homemade air freshener spray is easy and makes the whole house smell wonderful. You can tailor the essential oils to your needs and favorite smells and combination of smells.

If you have any allergies, or anyone in your household have allergies, use essential oils right for your home and family. Essentials oils may bother anyone with perfume allergies so check with any guests before using the homemade air freshener spray.

The smell is wonderful and stays in the air for some time. Essential oils can help to clean the air and even help with some medical problems such as headaches.

If you are having trouble with sleeping, try using just lavender essential oil in the homemade air freshener spray in the bedroom a couple of hours before bedtime. For the homemade air freshener spray in this blog, I used sweet orange essential oil, lavender essential oil, and rosemary essential oil.

In aromatherapy orange essential oil encourages cheerfulness, and a sunny disposition.

Peppermint essential oil is invigorating, antiseptic, cooling, and a pain reliever.  It is used to treat fatigue, travel sickness, digestion, headaches, and irritations. It has a refreshing scent and also helps to keep those pesky bugs away.

Lavender essential oil is cooling, relaxing scent, refreshing, soothing, antiseptic, and help to get rid of those pesky creatures.  Lavender is used to relieve pain, insomnia, headaches, infections, and helps when mentally or physically exhausted.

Some other essential oils you might try for the homemade air fresher spray include:

  • Anise, has a licorice scent
  • Basil, relieves mental fatigue and nervousness
  • Cinnamon, spicy scent and freshen air
  • Clove, spicy scent
  • Eucalyptus, disinfects the air, aids nasal congestion caused by colds or sinus problems, effective as an insect repellent, stimulating, antiseptic, antiviral and good for respiratory problems
  • Juniper, light, stimulating and said to relieve fear, disinfectant, clears the mind, and depression
  • Lemon, fresh scent with a citrus smell, relieves mental pressure, insect repellent, relieves pain
  • Pine, fresh clean scent, helps with emotional stress, fatigue, refreshing, antiseptic, and disinfectant. Good for respiratory problems
  • Rose, relaxing, antidepressant, antiseptic, good for stress, headaches and digestion

Ingredients for Homemade Air Freshener Spray

  • Dark colored spray bottle
  • Distilled water
  • Essentials oils of your choice, I used orange, lavender, and rosemary essential oils.
  • Glass jar for mixing the essential oil with distilled water

Measure how much water will fit in plastic bottle. Mine used 1 cup. Heat tap water to boiling and pour in and over warmed glass jar to help sterilize the jar. Allow to sit for at least 10 minutes. Pour off water, heat distilled water to boiling and pour into warmed glass jar. Allow to cool.

Once the distilled water has cooled, add the essential oils. I use about 1 tsp. of sweet orange and about 15 drops each of rosemary and lavender essential oil. Cap the jar, and shake to distribute the oils in the water. Allow to sit for a few minutes and pour into the spray bottle using a funnel.

Homemade air freshener

Pouring the air freshener into spray bottle

Spray in the air with the homemade air freshener spray. Be sure and use the mist setting on spray bottle and don’t spray on any surface, water might harm. If any adverse reactions occur, discontinue use.

With the right combinations of oils, your house can smell like you just bake a spice cake. Try adding vanilla to the mixture.

Insomnia Natural Cures

Insomnia is a problem many face and herbs might be the answer to your sleeplessness.

Night after night we lie awake and try and count sheep. We hit a 1000 and we realized we are still wide awake and the alarm clock is telling up to get up and face the world.

Over half Americans suffer from insomnia, which means we simply cannot get to sleep.

Some triggers for insomnia include:

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Too much activity right before bed time
  • Mentally challenging work just before bed
  • Stress
  • Low production of female hormone estrogen, premenstrual or during menopause
  • Emotional problems
  • Medication
  • Smoking within two hours before bedtime

The National Sleep Foundations estimates 40% more women have trouble sleeping compared to 30% men.

Drugs to help you sleep can do more harm in the long run than they do well; while the help you sleep sometimes we experience a hangover like system the next morning. We have trouble getting out of bed, even more so than if we had no sleep.

Some of these aids can also cause dependency of these drugs and we can’t get to sleep naturally.


Natural methods of getting to sleep include the use of herbs and meditation. Herbs have been used for thousands of years to help induce sleep gently.

Lemon balm helps to aid in sleep and the treatment for sleep disturbances. Chamomile has been used successfully for the treatment of insomnia.

Drink a tea make out of chamomile or lemon balm about 30 minutes before bed time.

Valerian root is the most widely used sleep aid in the world. Valerian is safe and effective substitute for sleeping pills and sedatives. Valerian can be found in pill form, teas, tablets and tinctures. The tea can taste bad and smell of feet. No kidding.

Lavender has a mild sedative effect, spray the oil mixed with water in the air just before bedtime. A little lavender oil can be rub on the temple area, just keep it away from the eyes. Lavender is one of the essential oils gentle enough for the skin. Smelling lavender may help to you to get the rest you need.

Lavender, rose petals, and catnip will help to ease insomnia.

Combinations of herbs such as chamomile, skullcap, oatstraw and catnip have been used in folk medicine for treating insomnia. Use equal parts, either fresh or dried. Drink a tea with about 1 Tbsp. of the mixture 30 minutes before bedtime.

A good bedtime tincture includes equal portions of the tinctures of passion flower, hops, skullcap, wood betony and catnip. Take about 20 drops of the mixture before bedtime and again right before you retire.

Passionflower and hops have been used in folk medicine for years for sleep. In fact try it in pillow to help induce sleep.

Wood betony is known as a relaxant and tonic for the nervous system.

A future blog will on making and the ingredients of dream and sleep pillows.

Change your lifestyle:

  • Exercise a few times a week, early in the day
  • Set a routine before bed such as making a cup of tea and relaxing
  • Try meditation to manage stress or positive reinforcement
  • Drink relaxing aids and stress aids during the day to help relaxation
  • Stop and smell the roses, take time for yourself
  • Go to bed at the same time, and get up at the same time
  • Don’t nap during the day
  • Keep your bedtime dark and quiet
  • Avoid watching TV
  • Read boring books
  • Reduce salt in your diet
  • Get massages or biofeedback before bedtime

Some other aids in getting to help with insomnia:

  • Image a calm setting as you lie in bed, mentally feel yourself relaxing and calming down.
  • Slowly count to 100 and if you lose your place just start over.
  • Take a calcium/magnesium tablet about one hour before bedtime.
  • Drink a cup of warm milk mixed with honey and nutmeg.
  • Drink some warmed grapefruit juice mixed with raw honey
  • Drink some orange juice or pineapple juice mix with lemon juice
  • Yellow onions are suppose to help, so smell one before going to bed
  • Elderberry juice at room temperature, may help you get to sleep
  • Keep the temperature of the room cool, but keep the feet warm
  • Avoid eating two or three hours before bedtime
  • Take a warm bath with baking soda an hour or two before bed
  • Take a multi vitamin daily with cooper, iron, manganese, calcium and B-complex
  • Eat cucumbers, lettuce, and yogurt in your diet

Tryptophan is an amino acid that is a relaxant and found in milk, yogurt, bananas, milk, figs, dates, tuna, turkey, and nut butters. Tryptophan is directly involved in the production of serotonin which is a sleep inducer.

As a child we are told we need eight hours of sleep a night, and maybe as children we did. But as an adult, we may not need the same amount as children, or we may need more. Get the sleep your body needs and you will feel rested in the morning. We can dwell on the need for eight hours, relax some simply do not, in fact I met a women who in her life she had never slept more than five hours a night. I never knew a women who was as talented in such a large variety of crafts.

So relax and get the sleep you need, maybe with the help of herbs or routines established.




Homemade Bath Oil

These little bottles of homemade bath oil are wonderful for relaxation are easy and fun to make. With just a few ingredients you can have wonderful gifts for your family and friends.


  • Almond oil
  • Safflower oil
  • Vitamin E oil
  • Rose essential oil (optional)
  • Dried rose petals
Oils and herb flowers

Ingredients for bath oil

Use a new glass or plastic bottle or a recycle glass bottle. Glass jars should be sterilized in boiling water for 10 minutes and allow to thoroughly dry.

Plastic and glass bottles, perfect for the project can be found at your local hobby store in the cosmetic/soap section. They usually run about $1.00. Just remember what ever size you choose, you have to fill it with oil.

A 16oz. bottle of almond oil runs about $9.00. Safflower oil runs about $4.00 for 24 oz. and a 4 oz. of rose buds runs about $4.00. You will have enough to make several bath oil gifts.

Some other blends for bath oils can be made out of lavender flowers or a mixture of rose and lavender. If you are not allergic to ragweed try chamomile. Other herbs include geranium, jasmine, lemon grass, sage, or rosemary.

 Other oils used in homemade bath oil might include: 

  • Apricot kernel oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Olive oil, it has a fairly strong scent
  • Avocado oil
  • Wheat germ oil
  • Jojoba oil, which never goes rancid

Another gift idea:

A massage oil can be made with a combination of any of these oils and essential oils of your choice. A massage can improve circulation, is good for relaxation, helps relieve stress, tension and in the elimination of waste from the body.

Breakdown of ingredients used in homemade bath oil:

Almond oil is almost orderless oil, very nourishing and slow to become rancid. Vitamin E, is not only good for the skin but will help to preserve the bath oil.

Essential oils are antibacterial as well as adding a wonderful addition to the scent.

The rose buds add scent but also looks great in the bottle. The scent of roses have a calming action to the brain and may help develop a positive mood. Homemade bath oils leaves the skin soft and smooth.

Bottle ready for oil

Pour in the oil

Rose bottle

Bottle with rose buds

How to make homemade bath oil:

  • Pick your bottle, herb’s buds and oils
  • Once your bottle is picked, add rose buds to the bottle filling about 1/4 to 1/2 full
  • Add vitamin E oil and any essential oils, about 5 drops each depending on size of bottle
  • Fill the bottle half way with almond oil or oil of your choice
  • Fill the rest of the bottle with safflower oil
  • Allow the mixture to set a minute or two to allow the bubbles to come to the top
  • Cap

To seal homemade bath oil:

melt wax in double boiler

Melting wax in double boiler

  • Place wax with color of your choice in a glass jar in a pan of water, the opening of the jar should have a wide enough mouth to accommodate cap of homemade bath oil
  • Do not heat wax directly on the stove, it can catch fire, Always melt wax in a double boiler
  • Watch carefully and don’t leave the room, or answer the phone.
  • When the wax is melted, dip the capped bottle in the wax and allow the excess to drip back in the glass jar. Dip again several times until the wax has sealed the bottle.
Sealing bottle with wax

Dip the bottle in the wax to seal

  • Allow to cool
  • Add a label or tie a card with information on the bottle using ribbon or raffia
  • Programs like Publisher will make nice labels, I use the business card size, or hand write a label
  • Shake gently before each use.

On the label I add the date, the ingredients list and how to use the oil.

Bath oil gifts

Bath oil gifts

To use the homemade bath oil:

Add about 1 to 2 Tbsp. oil to the bath water while it is running. Be careful when entering or leaving the bath, the oils can cause the tub to be slippery.

Another recipe for homemade bath oil:

Add 1 Tbsp. vegetable glycerin to the bottle, add essential oil of your choice and fill with oil of your choice. For every 1/2 c. oil use about 10 drops of essential oils.

Other things you might include is pure vanilla, small amount of castile soap, dry milk and or honey.

Enjoy your own version of homemade bath oils.


Headache Remedies from A to Z

Headache remedies are usually treated by taking a pill and waiting for it to work.But do we know the side effects of these pills?

Is there anything more annoying than having a headache? I don’t mean the headaches we have when we don’t want to be bother.

Some of the herbs used in headache remedies include, feverfew, lavender, ginger, cayenne pepper, and peppermint.

Some doctors are becoming more in tune with using non drug methods of relieving headaches. The side effects from most headache drugs can cause more problems in the long run. Always check with your health care professional before trying any headache remedies.

White willow bark was the original ‘aspirin’ before it became chemically produced. White willow bark can be found in capsule forms at your favorite health store. Its main ingredient is salicylic acid which is what works on the pain.

Medowsweet a bitter tasting herb contains methy salicylate which when dried turns into salicylic acid. If using as a tea be sure and cover when brewing as the steam contains the salicylic acid.

Many have used fresh feverfew for migraines and headaches. One leaf eaten once or twice a day on a daily basis may prevent migraines. Be careful, some have reported mouth irritation when using feverfew, start slow.

Feverfew, an anti-inflammatory, dilates the cerebral blood vessels, easing the migraine associated with constricted blood vessels. Feverfew can be found in capsule form.

Another type of headache may be caused by overindulging especially with alcohol and/or sugar. Success has been found in drinking a tea of 1 tsp. alfalfa seed and 1 tsp. orange leaf and steep for five minutes in almost boiling water. Stain and sip for this headache remedy.

Rosemary tea and peppermint tea may help with food-related headaches. Peppermint oil has been used for years. When using peppermint essential oil, mix it with a carrier oil such as almond oil or grape seed oil. The proportion of essential oil should be about 10% essential oil to the carrier oil.

Other types of headache oils include Lavender oil with the same proportion of essential oil to carrier oil. Lavender is a sedative, analgesic with antispasmodic action, cooling bitter remedy useful for migraines and tension headaches.

It is never a good idea to use essential oils straight from the bottle, they can cause burns. Do not take internally unless aided by a health care profession with the knowledge of essential oils.

Tension headache are usually at the back of the neck and travels up the head. Try chamomile flower tea in 1 c. almost boiling apple juice. Steep for 5 minutes and sip.

Other headache remedies:

Relax and use acupressure for headache remedies. Press on the back of the neck at the indention where the neck attaches to the skull. At the same time press gently on the bridge of the nose between the eyes. Press gently and increase pressure if you can tolerate the pressure.

Ginger tea is folk remedy for headaches and a ginger bath may reduce the tension causing the headaches. Another folk remedy is gently rubbing a cut lemon on the affected area, or used well diluted lemon oil with a carrier oil. Only about 5 drops should be mixed in 25 ml of oil.

Cayenne Pepper may help; one way is to smell the spice and another way is to rub capsicum cream on the affect area.

Sometimes laying down with an ice pack on the top of the head or back of the neck with feet elevated above the heart may help, be sure and keep warm by covering with a blanket and adding something warm to the top of the feet such as a heated towel.

Headaches may respond to relaxing and drinking a strong cup of black tea. Some food can cause headaches. Keep a food diary and when a headache occurs take stock of what you had to eat.

Always start slow when trying any herbal headache remedies and take time to smell the roses or maybe the cayenne pepper.