Herbal Dream Pillows & Tea


Throughout history, dreams have had a special significance in many cultures. There is written record of dream interpretations dating back to over 5,000 years old. Ancient Egyptians, for example, highly valued dreams, especially vivid ones, as they believed they were messages from the gods. The ancient Greeks also felt that dreams were divine messages and used interpretations of their dreams to help them make decisions, predict the future, and solve problems.
Today, dreams are still a bit of a mystery to us. Some researchers claim that they help to store memories, while others feel that they are important for resolving conflicts and regulating mood. While the specific benefits of dreams are still uncertain, it is clear that healthy sleep patterns are important to health and well being.

Insomnia and difficulty with dream recall can make it hard to benefit from sleep and dreams. Herbal dream pillows and teas, however, promote vivid dreams, peaceful sleep, and dream recall. They are simple to make and are a natural, non-habit forming way to promote healthy sleep and dream cycles.

The herbs in these dream blends are naturally calming and dream boosting. Mugwort is used to enhance and promote lucid dreams. It has also traditionally been used for protection and was woven into necklaces by Native Americans to help keep away dreams about the dead.

Lavender and chamomile are calming herbs. They promote relaxation and restful sleep. Passion flower is soothing and naturally reduces stress. It aids in easing anxiety and quieting a busy or worried mind.

Oats are a natural sedative and are well-loved by herbalists for their soothing effect on the nervous system. They have been used traditionally to help calm anxiety and alleviate insomnia.

 

Dream Pillows

Ingredients:

  • 3 parts lavender
  • 3 parts roses
  • 2 parts mugwort
  • 1 part chamomile
  • 1 part rosemary
  • 1/2 part eucalyptus

Directions:

Combine all dry herbs in a large bowl and mix well. Scoop this herbal mixture into pouches sewed from fabric scraps of your choosing. Sew the pouch closed.

To use: tuck the herb sachet under your pillow to promote peaceful sleep and enhance dreams. Drink a cup of sweet dreams tea before bed for an added effect.

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Natural Goat Care: Soothing Herbal Tea

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Herbal teas are wonderful for goats and my girls love them. This particular blend is one of their favorites and is a good all-purpose tea to help tone and strengthen their systems. I like to make up a batch for them periodically, especially during more stressful times- like heat, baths, hoof trimming, or transport- or during the changing of seasons to help give their bodies a boost during wet or cold periods.

The ingredients in this tea are naturally soothing and nourishing. Chamomile is a gentle sedative and anti-spasmodic. It also tones the digestive system and helps to relieve constipation and expel gas and worms.  It is a natural pain reliever, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory and helps to heal wounds (making it great for external use too!). While it is a very mild, safe herb its use should be limited with pregnant goats.

Lemon balm is an uplifting, tonic herb that helps to soothe anxiety, depression, heart palpitations, and insomnia. It is also beneficial to the digestion system and relieves gas and cramping. It makes a lovely tea and can be fed fresh by the handful.

Nettle is a very nutritive, toning herb that helps to cleanse the blood. It is rich in iron and other important minerals. Herbalist, Juliette de Baïracli Levy, used this herb for her animals to help prevent contagious diseases and worms. She says that nettle makes animals more spirited and gives them shinier, fuller coats. It can also be used to treat poor appetite and arthritis, making it a good herb for older animals.

Oats are very nutritious and are rich in vitamins and minerals. They are important for strong bones, teeth, hooves, horns, and hair. They are soothing and toning to the nervous system. Oat tea is a good tonic for sick animals.

Honey boosts energy, soothes coughs, and reduces stomach and throat inflammation. Goats also love the taste so it makes a great addition to herbal teas to help make them more enticing.

As an added bonus, this tea is great for humans too! It’ll often enjoy a cup myself when I make up a batch for the girls.


To make this tea, you will need –

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon chamomile blossoms
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon balm leaf
  • 1 Tablespoon nettle leaf
  • 1 Tablespoon milky oats
  • 1/2 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 quart boiling water
  • 1/2 to 1 quart water, room temperature

This makes enough tea for two adult Nigerian dwarf goats (a small breed). If you have big goats or more goats you will want to double (triple, quadruple, …!) this recipe. You can also make a bigger batch and keep some in the fridge for a day or so. It won’t keep for very long though, so don’t make too much at once. 

To save time, combine equal parts of each of the dried herbs in a clean glass jar with a lid and just add 4 tablespoons of the tea blend per quart of boiling water when making tea. 


Directions:

Add herbs and to a glass quart jar. Pour boiling water over them, cover, and let steep till tea is warm, but the jar is not to hot to hold. Strain out the herbs using cheese cloth or a fine mesh strainer, pouring the tea into another jar. Press out all the liquid from the herbs and compost them. Add honey to the tea, cap the jar and shake well. Let cool to room temperature.

Once the tea has cooled, dilute tea with 1/2 to 1 quart water. See what your goats like and adjust it to their tastes. You may have dilute it with a bit more water if your goats aren’t keen on trying new things, but once they get a taste for teas, they will likely drink them down happily. Mine sure do!

Teas are just one great way your goats can benefit from herbs. Our girls also love fresh herbs and homemade herbal treats. To learn how to make your own natural goat treats, click here.

Have fun crafting your own herbal teas and treats to keep the goats in your life happy and healthy!


Resources:

The Complete Herbal Handbook for Farm and Stable by Juliette de Baïracli Levy

Molly’s Herbals: Natural Care for Animals. www.fiascofarm.com 

Natural Goat Care: Calming Herbal Treats

These calming herbal treats are perfect for toning a goat’s nervous system and will help them better cope with situations that normally cause them stress. I like to feed these to my girls before trimming their hooves, doing any other type of grooming, or while they are in heat. They would also be helpful for goats during transport as this can often make them anxious.

Making treats is simple and my goats absolutely love these. I feed them each two daily when I know I will be trimming their hooves, or when they are going into heat. I’ve also used these treats to help calm them during a tick removal, which is actually pretty painless for them (I just put a drop of tea tree essential oil on the tick and it falls right off), but they aren’t keen on any type of grooming. That’s another reason these goat treats are perfect. My goats are very resistant to topical methods of treatment, but they will happily take medicine in a food form. Putting medicinal plants into food is a great way to get healing herbs into a stubborn or skittish goat.

These goat snacks were specifically formulated with herbs that heal and aid the nervous system. Lemon balm is a natural anti-depressant that also helps ease anxiety. Skullcap relaxes nervous tension and calms goats (and people too!). Oats are a good nutritive, tonic herb. Toning the nervous system is important because it helps prevent depression  and other nervous disorders. This can be especially important for goats that are prone to being high-strung or anxious.

The herbs in these treats can be substituted out for other herbs to serve different purposes in your goat care. I like to make these treats with a blend of herbs that supports immune function and general vitality to give the girls during cold or damp weather to keep them healthy. You could also substitute herbs that expel internal parasites for a natural de-wormer. To make these calming, nerve toning treats you will need the following:

Ingredients – 

  • 2 cups dried lemon balm
  • 2 cups dried skullcap
  • 1 cup dried milky oats
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp cayenne powder
  • 3 Tbsp slippery elm powder
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 4 cups water
Sage is ready for a treat!

Directions –

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the water and molasses. Stir well. Let the mixture sit for about 30 minutes or until the water has absorbed.

When the water has been absorbed, stir this mixture well. Form into small patties and place on dehydrator racks lined with parchment paper. The mixture will not hold together very well, so you will want to smush it into your desired treat shape on the racks.

Dehydrate at 160°F until patties are dry and firm. The exact time this will take will depend on your dehydrator and the size of your patties, but it will probably be several hours. Finished patties will not be sticky or damp and can be stored in a jar at room temperature. Patties that are still wet will go bad at room temperature after a few days.When patties are done, feed to your goats and enjoy their head butts of gratitude.

Brightening Winter Herbal Tea Blend

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Around this time of year, it’s easy to get a bad case of the winter blues, especially if you are feeling under the weather. I like to drink this tea when I first start feeling like I’m getting sick to give my immune system a boost. This blend is sure to warm you up, keep you healthy, and brighten your spirits.

The rosemary and St. John’s wort in this blend help to fight winter blues and boost spirits while lemon balm brings a calming effect. Thyme and Echinacea help to prevent and fight infection.

 

To make this tea blend you will need:

-Rosemary
-St. John’s wort
-Thyme
-Echinacea
-Lemon balm
-Honey (optional)
-Lemon juice (optional)

 

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