According to Jim Long in his book “Making Herbal Dream Pillows”, dream pillows were once called comfort pillows, and were used in sickrooms to “ease the nightmares that may come with medicine, and the smell of illness.” Little herbal dream pillows were made with calming herbs such as lavender to help ease the sleep of crying babies.
There are many herbs that can be used in herbal dream pillows, and you may want to consider planting several of these in your garden to make your own. Each plant has certain properties, which, when blended with other herbs, can induce a more restful sleep, or help promote creative or romantic dreams.
Lavender is a common herb that promotes relaxation, and reduces stress. You can use alone or in combination with other herbs, such as in the blend for peaceful slumber.
Common herbs to use in herbal dream pillows include:
- Lemon Balm
- Lemon verbena
- Mugwort ( the only Artemisia that can be used. Others may induce nightmares)
Flowers are often used and these include:
- Mimosa Flowers
- Passion Flowers
There are a few herbs, flowers, and other things you should avoid when making your herbal dream pillows.
- Artemesia (except for mugwort) which may cause headaches and frightening dreams.
- Bay which may cause headaches and add a violent quality to dreams.
- Russian tarragon may cause frightening dreams
- Sage may cause a haunting feeling in dreams, but you may use the blossoms of sage and clary sage.
You will notice when you blend your herbs they will have a very subtle smell. Their scent is released when you move around on your pillow where you have tucked the dream pillow inside. This is why you want to avoid essential oils, and potpourri. They are too strong smelling and can overpower the herbs.
The pillow I am currently using is the Peaceful Slumber blend that you can find in Making Herbal Dream Pillows. It promotes a peaceful night’s sleep. I am one of those people who say they don’t dream, or can’t remember their dreams. I have found that when I use this blend I have dreamed, my sleep is deeper, and I wake less often.
- 1/4 cup roses or rose petals
- 1/4 cup rosemary
- 1/4 cup lavender flowers
- 1/4 cup sweet hops.
Place all the herbs together in a closed jar for 24 to 48 hours to allow the herbs to “blend”.
*** Remember all herbs are DRIED. You wouldn’t want to put fresh herbs in your pillow, or they would most likely mold.
Your pillow can be as simple as a muslin bag filled with herbs and closed with the drawstring. I taught a lavender class and we made this peaceful slumber dream pillow which includes lavender. I made the pillows without a sewing machine using fabric glue or fabric fusion. You can purchase from Hobby Lobby or other craft store, or order from Amazon here.
- Before creating your dream pillow wash and dry the material without using any scented dryer sheets or softener.
- Cut your material into a 6 inch wide, 12 inch long strip. Iron to make it smooth.
- Place on the table RIGHT side up.
On the Right side of the material place Fabric fusion, or Fabric glue on the long (12″) side of the material Fold over where it is now on the wrong side, and the right sides are glued down. Smooth the edges where you placed the glue being sure both long sides are glued. Leave overnight. Alternately, you can use a sewing machine, and sew together with the right sides together and turn right side out.
After completely drying, turn the pillow right side out. Be sure all the side seams are sealed. Fill with about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of your blend of herbs. You can either sew the short opening together, use a running stitch with needle and thread, or fold over and use the fabric glue or fabric fusion to seal.
TIPS FOR USING YOUR DREAM PILLOW
- Should everyone use dream pillows? If you have allergies or are overly sensitive to plants, you should be careful using a dream pillow. If you sneeze or have an allergic reaction to the herbs before using during sleep, then don’t use this particular blend. A lavender only pillow may be right for you.
- Dream pillows can last a few years or a few months. Personally. I don’t use mine every night. I may use it for a few nights, then store in a zip lock bag on my bedside table. In his book “Making Herbal Dreams Pillows”, Jim Long suggests dream pillows seem to work best when used for about 10 days, then storing in a bag, taking it back out of the bag after about 10 days. Keeping in a bag keeps it away from other fragrances.
You can buy Jim Long’s “Making Herbal Dream Pillows” here.
There are numerous Fabric Fusion, or Fabric glue options. The one in the picture I am using can be purchased here.
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