Thursday, October 29, 2009


Chamomile is one of those herbs most people are familiar with. Because it is so common, I sometimes forget just how useful it is. The active ingredients in chamomile are anti inflammatory, antispasmodic and a smooth muscle relaxer- which makes it a good choice for gastrointestinal woes. A nice cup of chamomile tea will go a long way towards soothing the following complaints-
  • indigestion
  • heartburn
  • diarrhea
  • colic
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • sleeplessness
  • canker sores
Externally, chamomile infusions can be helpful for eczema and skin irritations. You can make a compress to apply to a specific area or put a handful in a muslin bag or piece of cheesecloth and run the water through it as you are filling the tub. It makes a lovely smelling, skin softening bath!
Chamomile is also good for gardening! Plant it near an ailing plant to help revive it. Make an infusion to spray on seedlings to ward off damping off or add to your compost to help activate it.
While generally safe, there have been rare instances of allergic reactions to chamomile. If you have an allergy to the Asteraceae family- ragweed, asters, mums- it is best to avoid chamomile.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Head Lice- Eeew!

It's that time of year again! The kids are back in school and head lice are looking to expand their territory. Most of the commonly available treatments are harsh and rather toxic. The best way to deal with lice is to discourage them from taking up residence on your or your child's head to begin with. Fortunately, this can be done safely and fragrantly!
These essential oils are suitable for people of all ages-
  • lavender
  • rosemary (should NOT be used during pregnancy)
  • lemon
  • eucalyptus
  • geranium
Pick one or two of your favorites and blend equal parts of each. Add 2-3 drops to the final rinse after shampooing or put a couple of drops in the palm of your hand and massage into the scalp and hair after washing. The oils add a subtle shine and a pleasant fragrance that lice just don't like!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

How To Make A Sleep Sachet Mix

Little pillows filled with fragrant, sleep inducing herbs have been used for hundreds of years to help encourage a restful nights sleep. It's easy to make your own and they make a thoughtful gift.
One of my Farmers Market friends had the wonderful idea of making the project at her little girl's sleepover! The girls mixed the herbs and filled the little pillows Lisa had stitched up ahead of time. As the children sewed the fourth end of their pillow closed, the herbs worked their magic, everyone got a good sleep and the guests had a pretty favor to take home!


Start by adding 1/4 teaspoon each of bergamot and lavender essential oils to a fixative such as oak moss or cellulose fiber chips. Shake well and let set in a glass container with a tight fitting lid for at least two days. This allows the fixative to fully absorb the essential oils so their scent will last longer.
Next, mix your dried herbs. I usually use 2 cups of rose petals, 2 cups of lavender, one cup of chamomile,one cup of lemongrass, one cup of lemon verbena and 1/2 cup of peppermint. Other herbs you can use are sweet woodruff,marjoram, thyme, rosemary, cinnamon chips and hops. Use care with the hops. The scent can become a bit unpleasant if you use too much!
Add your scented fixative to the herbs and blend thoroughly. You can add the mix to the pillows at this point or let it age in a container with a tight fitting lid for 2-6 weeks to let the scents blend. If you age it, the scent will last much longer.
The pillow can range in size from 6"x6" (which is a good size to tuck into your main pillow) to 12"x16" (for the serious insomniacs in your life!) The larger pillows can be used on top of the main pillow or tucked underneath.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

By Special Request

I have been getting quite a few e-mails asking where to buy some of the items required to make the projects I have been sharing. I didn't realize they aren't readily available at a reasonable cost everywhere. So, I have started to add them to my website. They available quantities will be limited as I want to make sure you get fresh, fragrant herbs and spices. Look for more selections in the coming weeks as I get my stock built up. Here is some of what is currently available. Click on the name to get a full description and pricing. If you have a special request, drop me a line and I'll see if I can get it for you!



Sunday, October 11, 2009

Mug Mat Directions- Part 2

Now that your mix has aged, it's time to make the cover for your mug mat. This one has a removable cover so you can wash it as needed. You will need fabric as follows-

~lining- one piece of muslin 9 inches by 4 1/2 inches (7 x 13 for a 9 inch trivet)
~cover- one piece of cotton fabric, pre-was
hed and preshrunk, 5 1/2 inches by 10 1/2 inches (10x 24 for trivet)
-Fold short ends of muslin over 1/4 inch. Pin and press
-Fold muslin in half, matching fold
ed edges then stitch raw edges.
-Trim corners, turn to
the right side and press.

-Fold short ends of fabric over 1/4 inch then an additional 1/4 inch to make a narrow finished hem. Press, pin and stitch close to edge of fold.
-With right sides together, fold cover into thirds overlapping finished edges in the middle. -Pin and stitch raw edge
s to form an envelope.
-Trim corne
rs, turn and press.

-Add about 1/4 cup (One cup for trivet) of you
r aged spice mix to the muslin liner. Don't be tempted to overfill or your cup will tip over!
-Pin and press. Y
ou are done!