The history of herbal pillows dates back to Egyptian times when they were used to induce sleep. Through the ages they have also been used to help people sleep, induce dreams, alleviate depression and relieve headaches. During Medieval times their main use was to serve as air fresheners and deodorizers in poor sanitary conditions.
For centuries herbs have been used in pillows and small bags to scent the home and purify the air. The filling often contained a mixture of herbs dependant on the type of pillow that was being made. In Victorian times they were used to reduce the odour of the sick room and dispel bad dreams caused by the medication of the time. Below are a few suggestions of herbs with their properties:
Lavender – restful and peaceful sleep
Hops – promotes healing
Marjoram – relieves depression
Anise – repels nightmares
And finally my favourite!
Thyme – attracts fairies, promotes peaceful sleep and gives psychic powers
Making a Herbal Pillow
These are really simple to make and make great presents
You will need:
2 pieces of fabric 20cm square (Cotton or linen is best as it allows the herbs and petals to ‘breathe’
Cotton for sewing
Herbs of your choice to fill the pillow – 200g approx
1. Place the 2 square of fabric with right sides together.
2. Sew around three edges of the fabric leaving a 1.5cm seam allowance
3. Turn the right sides of the fabric outwards and press
4. On the open edge press a 1.5cm hem inwards
5. Fill the cushion with the herbs and petals of your choice
6. Slip stitch the open edges together to form a cushion
7. Refill with herbs as required or refresh with essential oils
You can buy dried herbs and hops from http://stores.ebay.co.uk/thealchemistsapothecary
Where to buy lavender bags
If you prefer to buy your lavender bags (these are personalised hearts or stars). I would recommend these from Milly & Pip – they are made locally to me and are beautiful!