Beautiful Yarrow- the grey-green leaves are lacy and often described as feathery. Its species name is “millefolium”, meaning “thousand leaves”, referring to the thousands of tiny leaflets. The flowerets (little flowers) gather in a rounded bouquet of white extending up from the stem. Yarrow has been used since ancient times to treat wounds. The crushed leaves can stop bleeding but is also excellent for burns, bruises, toothaches and nosebleeds, just to name a few. A poultice, which the children previously made with Plantain, can easily be made of the leaves. We hadn’t explored dream pillows yet and although yarrow is not strongly scented, it is traditionally included in a dream pillow. In folklore it is thought to have a protective quality.
A dream pillow is a pouch filed with dried herbs and put under the pillow at night to enhance gentle sleep. Dream pillows seemed like an excellent project to explore. The herbs that A Kid’s Herb Book suggested to use were yarrow, lemon balm, rose petals, lavender, and chamomile (chamomile is tricky – when it is dried it can sift through the weave of the bag so a fine grade muslin is recommended). A good size is 6” x 8” although ours were somewhat smaller.
After the children had a chance to touch and smell each herb individually, they were given their own bags to fill. We set up an assembly line of sorts for them to spoon each herb into their dream pillow bags. A note was sent home to explain what these were to be used for and a notation about another lovely book as reference: Making Herbal Pillows , the Spirit of Aromatherapy by Jim Long.
Sweet dreams, everyone!