Early this week, we were given our first glimpse of beautiful autumnal weather. The humidity was relatively low and the mornings were a bit slower. The beginning of this transitional time has planted a seed in my mind that I can’t quite shake: the holidays are coming and for once, I’m actually more excited than stressed. This is because I’ve gotten my family to agree to keep our holiday celebrations small and simple and they’ve all been given fair warning that I’m making all of our gifts (socially distanced evenings and weekends have allowed me to crochet so many ugly hats - all my nieces and nephews will stay toasty this year!). Of course, herbal gifts will take center stage in most of what I’ll be making this year and it’s for this reason that I wanted to share a few of my favorite herbal gift ideas in time for anybody else to feel inspired to make their own as well!
Herbal Eye Pillow: Eye pillows are a great way to disconnect from phones and tablets and take a little “me” time to focus inward. Additionally, you can customize your eye pillow for your recipient. Lavender and lemon balm are good for relaxing while rosemary and thyme are good for congestion as well as concentration. If this is something that interests you, follow this guide by Mountain Rose Herbs for more instruction: https://blog.mountainroseherbs.com/diy-lavender-eye-pillow
DIY Catnip Toys: Just take an old sock (without holes!), catnip, stuffing (you could use another sock, extra fabric, fake spider webs from Halloween decorations - whatever you’ve got!), and either a little jingle bell or some crinkly, noisy fabric, if you want/have. Fill the toe area with catnip, stuff in your stuffing, throw in a jingle bell or crinkle fabric and tie a knot at the top. Now you’ve got yourself a real quick and easy gift for a cat-lover in your life. Granted, it’s not a fancy gift, but it’s quick and sweet and it’s the thought that counts!
Bath Bags: Fill a muslin bag with your favorite dried floral and aromatic herbs. Tie a knot at the top of each bag to close tightly. When using, just tie the bag to the faucet and allow the water to flow through the bag until the bathtub is filled. After that, allow the bath bag to float in the water while you relax. Herbs should be replaced after each bath.
Aromatherapy facial steam: Much like a bath bag, you’ll want to fill a jar with your favorite floral and aromatic herbs. For this task, I like dried chamomile, lavender, and rose petals. I love giving this as a gift because it’s visually beautiful as well as customizable to what your recipient enjoys or may need! To perform a facial steam, place dried herbs in a heatproof bowl and add boiling water. With the bowl on a sturdy surface, lower your face to hover above the bowl. Add a towel over your head to create a sort of tent over the bowl to trap in the steam. Stay here breathing in the steam for 15 to 20 minutes.
Herbal foot scrub: For this gift, you’ll need either sea salt or Epsom salt, an oil (like olive or grapeseed), your favorite herbal essential oil, dried mint or lemon balm leaves, and jars. After mixing all the ingredients together in a bowl, add them to the jars and have on hand to give out as gifts for the holidays. To use: rub the scrub onto damp skin in gentle circular motions. Take the time to focus on tender spots and give yourself a nice foot massage. Wipe off scrub when done.
Like with most things we talk about here, it’s really important to focus on quality ingredients for all of these gifts. Your herbs and oils should all be either organic or come from certified naturally grown sources in order to ensure that you or your loved ones are not absorbing harmful chemicals and/or additives. The best part is, nobody said these gifts had to be for anybody else. You could always treat yourself and make all of these for you! Let us know what your favorite DIY herbal gift is!