Sweet Dreams

I've been having a hard time sleeping lately. Either I can't shut off my brain and fall asleep, or I wake up an hour later and am awake for hours. Sometimes I've spent the entire night staring at the ceiling, which is not at all fun.

I began researching online and found a "sleep salve" for sale here. That made me wonder if I could make something similar myself, such as this one by Rosemary Gladstar. I gathered some herbs and essential oils that I had on hand that are supposed to be calming and relaxing. I didn't want to "make" myself go to sleep, just to help myself relax and unwind.

Disclaimer: If you're interested in making something similar, please research the herbs that you are planning to use. I am not a licensed herbalist or a medical practictioner. You are responsible for your own health.

I used about a half-teaspoon each of dried rose petals, rosemary, chamomile, catnip, and lemon balm.

I measured 4 tablespoons of olive oil into a half-pint canning jar, and put it in a small saucepan with enough water to reach as high on the jar as the oil was inside. I added the herbs to the oil, and let the water in the saucepan simmer gently for about 3 hours, checking it often to make sure the water didn't evaporate away.

Then I removed the jar and strained the plant material from the oil by pouring it through a clean white handkerchief over a funnel. I squeezed the fabric to get all the herbal goodness out.

I poured the herb-infused oil into a Pyrex measuring cup, set it in the water in the saucepan, added one tablespoon of beeswax pellets to the oil, and brought the warm water in the pot back to a simmer until the beeswax melted.

When the beeswax was melted and had mixed with the oil, I removed the measuring cup from the saucepan and added 15 drops of lavender essential oil and 1/8 teaspoon of Vitamin E as a preservative, mixed it with the end of a plastic spoon, then poured it into two small jars. It solidified as it cooled.

This can be rubbed on temples, wrists, under the nose. It can even be used in the middle of the night, when one wakes up and can't get back to sleep.

I've used it each night since making it, and I've slept quite well. It has a beautiful fragrance, fresh and very light. If you like a more-than-subtle fragrance, you might want to add a little more essential oil. Feel free to experiment with the amount of essential oils and with the variety of herbs you use. Other oils I've seen suggested are sandalwood, ylang ylang, rosewood, and tangerine.

 Sweet dreams!


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