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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DIY Bloody Mary Kit

This Bloody Mary Kit is a perfect gift for the cocktail lover in your life. It’s easy to put together and makes several tasty & unique bloody marys.

Below is what I put in my Bloody Mary kits, but you can customize yours however you please.

Bloody Mary Kit

  • Black peppercorn infused vodka
  • Garlic & fennel infused vodka
  • Smoked paprika infused vodka
  • Horseradish infused vodka
  • Salt rimming mixture
  • Bloody Mary mix
  • Homemade pickles
  • Other additions: olives, skewers, hot sauce, lemons, or limes

Infused Vodkas

I like to make the infused vodkas a pint at a time so there some left over for more bloody mary kits or personal enjoyment, but you can easily scale these recipes up or down based on how much flavored vodka you want to end up with. Infused vodkas are shelf stable and will keep indefinitely.

Use good quality vodka, spices, and herbs. The vodka certainly doesn’t have to be top shelf, but you don’t want to buy the cheapest stuff at the liquor store either.

Black Peppercorn Infused Vodka

Garlic & Fennel Infused Vodka 

  • 1 pint vodka
  • 2-4 roughly chopped garlic cloves (this will depend on the size of the cloves and how much you like garlic)
  • 1 Tablespoon fennel seed

Smoked Paprika Infused Vodka 

Horseradish Infused Vodka 

  • 1 pint vodka
  • 1 Tablespoon of roughly chopped horseradish root

Directions: 

You will need one glass jar with a lid for each flavor of vodka you are infusing. For each flavor, add the herbs & spices to their separate jars and cover with vodka. Cap tightly and shake well. Label each jar. It helps to include the date on your label so you know how long your vodkas have been infusing.

Shake the jars daily, if you remember. After a week, taste each of your vodkas to test how the flavor is developing. If your vodka isn’t as flavorful as you’d like it to be, re-cap your infusion and let it go longer. Shake and taste it daily for up to a month until it tastes how you want it to. When the flavor is where you want it, strain out your herbs and re-bottle the infused vodka. When I give infused liquors as gifts, I like to put them in these pretty cork top bottles I get from Mountain Rose Herbs. As a finishing touch, label your vodkas.

Salt Rimming Mixture

A rimmed glass adds a little extra pizzaz to any cocktail. The herbs and spices in this mixture are well-suited to a bloody mary and are a tasty addition to the average salt rim. The below recipe makes roughly 1/4 cup of salt rimming mixture and can easily be scaled up or down depending on how much you want to end up with.

Ingredients: 

Directions: 

Powder celery seeds in a blender or in a spice grinder. A coffee grinder works great for powdering spices, but be sure to use one that has not been used to grind coffee beans as it will make your spices smell/taste like coffee, even if it’s clean. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Store in a labeled glass jar. If desired, add the below directions to your label.

To rim your glass when making a bloody mary, moisten the rim of the glass with a lemon or lime slice. Pour a small amount of salt rimming mixture onto a plate and dip the rim of the glass into the salt blend, twirling the glass to coat the rim.

Bloody Mary Mix

If you’re particularly ambitious, you can make your own bloody mary mix. Below are a few recipes to get you started:

If you don’t have the time to make your own mix, there are many options for bottled mixes available. Do take a peek at the ingredients list before buying as many pre-bottled bloody mary mixes are highly processed and can have some weird ingredients. Also, many mixes contain worcestershire sauce, which is made with anchovies, so this will be something to keep an eye out for if you have fish allergies or don’t want to eat fish.

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