Monday, December 14, 2009

Dream Pillows Soothe Nightmares of War


Dream Pillows Soothe Nightmares of War
Copyright©2009, Jim Long

 The voice on the other end of the phone I’d just answered said, “Hello. I’m Mary. I’m a member of a motorcycle gang, and I want to order some dream pillow materials.”

The caller went on to tell me that her group consisted of several men who had served in Vietnam in the 1960s. Her husband, she said, suf-fered from persistent nightmares from that war and seldom slept through the night without waking in terror. Mary had bought my book, Making Herbal Dream Pillows, at a bookstore, found my website listed and had ordered a dream pillow from my company. “I wanted one from the source,” she said with a laugh.

 I was imagining a motorcycle gang, dressed in their leathers, riding the roads on big Harleys, sleeping on the side of the road, roaring through dusty desert towns. How could a sweet little dream pillow fit into that scene?

Without hesitation, Mary began to describe the events that led up to her phone call. She’d ordered the Restful Sleep Pillow, willing to try anything that might help her husband sleep, placed the tiny pillow in-side his pillowcase as they camped, and didn’t tell him. Since the pillows are intentionally made to have a very subtle fragrance, he wasn’t tipped off to its presence.

The first morning after the dream pillow was placed, she said he came to the campfire seeming very relaxed and mentioned that he’d slept through the night. Nothing more was said.

After the second night, she said her husband came to the morning campfire and, as he visited with fel-low road hogs, said, “I’ve slept two nights in a row without nightmares. This fresh air is really good for sleeping!” Mary kept quiet, happy to be seeing results, but not yet certain of the source.

More mornings followed without comment, then on the fifth day her husband said out loud that he’d been almost a week without a flashback nightmare and didn’t know why. Mary sheepishly said it was the dream pil-low she had placed in his pillowcase five nights before. He didn’t believe it, and Mary said, “I’ll prove it,” and dragged his pillow out of their tent. She directed him to fish around in the pillowcase and bring out whatev-er he found as their friends watched.

He was dumbfounded. “I have no idea what this is,” he said, “but it’s amazing and it works, so keep it in the pillowcase.”

The reason for Mary’s call was to say that the six other Vietnam veter-ans in the group all wanted their own dream pillow, and she needed to order materials to make dream pillows as they traveled across the country.

My Restful Sleep Pillow recipe is good for soothing nightmares of all types, and it’s simple to make. But remember, never use any oil, fragrance or essential oil in a dream blend because they can cause very unpredictable dreams. Always wash the cloth you use to make the pillow, as the dye and sizing can cause headaches or nightmares. Finally, use the best, well-dried herbs and flowers (not any that have been stored with other fragrances).

(We sell this blend in individual, ready made pillows, as well offering the Restful Sleep blend in the bulk, just to to our Dream Pillows page).

Restful Sleep Pillow
(This is the same blend I learned from a pharmacist over 30 years ago).


1 tablespoon dried rose petals (any color as long as they are fragrant and not chemically treated)
1 teaspoon dry, chopped mugwort
1 teaspoon dry, chopped marjoram
1 teaspoon dried hops (broken up a bit with your fingers)
Fabric
Thread
Fiberfill

Mix herbs together. Sew cloth to make a 5-by-5-inch pillow, into which you’ll place some fiberfill, herb mixture and a bit more fiber-fill, and sew the pillow closed. To use, simply place the pillow any-where inside your pillowcase — it doesn’t matter where since most people move their heads around during sleep anyway.

We sell the bulk herbs for making dream pillows on our Bulk Herbs page of our website.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Story of Herb Tea Healing Pillows


I wanted to share this letter from one of our customers with you because it includes a surprising formula. I asked permission of Sarah before posting this and she said, "I am honored that you enjoyed my story about the Healing Tea Pillows! You may publish or use my story...I want to share it in any way possible." Here's Sarah's story.

The Story of Herb Tea Healing Pillows

To all those at Long Creek Herbs, I would like to pass along my true story.

I got the news one grave night at a book store. As I rounded the corner I came face to face with my best friend. We had worked together at the sheltered workshop before my frequent panic attacks had made me unable to work.

"My mom died, " she said plainly.

My heart sank; we had been through so much together, including suffering through verbal name calling and abuse from workers at the workshop. I recalled one girl who tried to work there who was in tears her first day.

Later that evening I my mind kept racing back to the many unpleasant incidences at work including one that involved my friend in which she was verbally attacked by a worker. I felt a panic attack beginning.

My heart raced - what could I do? I didn't want to sink into the depths of panic. I immediately thought of making myself an herb pillow. I looked in my herb cabinet and found that all my herbs had been used up in other pillows I'd given away to friends.

I didn't have time to get more, I needed to do something right away. I knew from past experience that once my mind starts racing into panic, I would be lucky if I had five minutes before a full panic attack set in. I focused on what I know about culinary herbs, wondering what could I use for an emergency dream pillow for myself?

I thought maybe something for memory would help and immediately thought of green tea which is supposed to have a reputation for helping with that. And I needed something for calming, too. I saw spice tea on the shelf and took out some of that. Maybe something to remind myself o happy times from childhood would be good, and I spotted some cinnamon sticks on the shelf.

Rapidly I stitched a little pillow together, focusing my mind on the task. When I'd sewn up 3 sides of a little pillow (about five inches by five inches), I filled it with my new-found herb blend, and to help calm myself, breathed in the aroma as I worked. After a few minutes I began to yawn, crawled into bed and drifted off to a soothing, deep sleep. When I awoke I felt refreshed and all the bad memories were gone!

I had no one to pass on what I had discovered, so I decided to give this story and my blend recipe to Long Creek Herbs in hopes it would help someone else. I hope it does not offend anyone, I just know what it did for me.

Soothing Blend recipe:
1 package green tea (I'm guessing this is loose tea)
1 package Sleepy Time Blend Tea (loose tea here, also)
1 tablespoon cinnamon (I'd use a cinnamon stick, broken)

Thank you for your support,
Sarah

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Dream Pillows Soothe Nightmares of War

The voice on the other end of the phone I’d just answered said, “Hello. I’m Mary. I’m a member of a motorcycle gang, and I want to order some dream pillow materials.”
The caller went on to tell me that her group consisted of several men who had served in Vietnam in the 1960s. Her husband, she said, suf-fered from persistent nightmares from that war and seldom slept through the night without waking in terror. Mary had bought my book, Making Herbal Dream Pillows, at a bookstore, found my website listed and had ordered a dream pillow from my company. “I wanted one from the source,” she said with a laugh.

I was imagining a motorcycle gang, dressed in their leathers, riding the roads on big Harleys, sleeping on the side of the road, roaring through dusty desert towns. How could a sweet little dream pillow fit into that scene?

Without hesitation, Mary began to describe the events that led up to her phone call. She’d ordered the Restful Sleep Pillow, willing to try anything that might help her hus-
band sleep, placed the tiny pillow in-side his pillowcase as they camped, and didn’t tell him. Since the pillows are intentionally made to have a very subtle fragrance, he wasn’t tipped off to its presence.

The first morning after the dream pillow was placed, she said he came to the campfire seeming very relaxed and mentioned that he’d slept through the night. Nothing more was said.
After the second night, she said her husband came to the morning campfire and, as he visited with fel-low road hogs, said, “I’ve slept two nights in a row without nightmares. This fresh air is really good for sleeping!” Mary kept quiet, happy to be seeing results, but not yet certain of the source.

More mornings followed without comment, then on the fifth day her husband said out loud that he’d been almost a week without a flashback nightmare and didn’t know why. Mary sheepishly said it was the dream pil-low she had placed in his pillowcase five nights before. He didn’t believe it, and Mary said, “I’ll prove it,” and dragged his pillow out of their tent. She directed him to fish around in the pillowcase and bring out whatev-er he found as their friends watched.

He was dumbfounded. “I have no idea what this is,” he said, “but it’s amazing and it works, so keep it in the pillowcase.”

The reason for Mary’s call was to say that the six other Vietnam veter-ans in the group all wanted their own dream pillow, and she needed to order materials to make dream pillows as they traveled across the country.

My Restful Sleep Pillow recipe is good for soothing nightmares of all types, and it’s fairly simple to make. But remember, never use any oil, fragrance or essential oil in a dream blend — they make for a very unpredictable dream blend. Always wash the cloth you make the pillow from, as the dye and sizing can cause headaches or nightmares. Finally, use the best, well-dried herbs and flowers (not ones that have been stored with other fragrances).

Restful Sleep Pillow (from my book, Making Herbal Dream Pillows, Storey Publishing, $14.95, available from http://www.Long CreekHerbs.com).

1 tablespoon rose petals (any color as long as they ‘re fragrant and not chemically treated)
1 teaspoon mugwort
1 teaspoon marjoram
1 teaspoon hops (broken up a bit with your fingers)
Fabric
Thread
Fiberfill

Mix herbs together. Sew previously washed cloth to make a 5-by-5-inch pillow, into which you’ll place some fiberfill, herb mixture and a bit more fiberfill, and sew the pillow closed. To use, simply place the pillow any-where inside your pillowcase — it doesn’t matter where since most people move their heads around during sleep anyway.

Jim Long is a contributing editor to The Herb Companion magazine.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Garden Dreams Do Come True

Garden Dreams Do Come True, 2003


My gardens were featured in the June, 2003 Southern Living magazine. It was the second time we'd been featured in that magazine. Why have I been willing, even eager, to get such publicity over the years, you may wonder?

It all leads back to the first day of May, 1979, the day I moved to the farm that became Long Creek Herb Farm. That time, my two daughters, ages 4 and 5, were with me for their regular weekend visit. The three of us planted peas, late in the season for our area, but we planted with a lot of hope for my first garden in this location. My daughters were very close to me, and I to them. They were my life. That was one of the last times I saw my daughters.

They disappeared from my life, and from the Ozarks. My ex-wife took them out of state and kept them hidden from me by remarrying and changing her name and moving several times. Those events led to difficult years for me, years that I wasn’t sure I could survive without my children. The garden, though, was comforting and healing and I threw myself into my work.

Over the years I tried various unsuccessful methods for finding my children. Without money, the legal system was useless. Legal Aid wouldn't get involved in custody issues back in those days. I struggled, trying to find some way to locate my children and to have contact with them.

I tried everything I could think of and eventually I settled on the idea that publicity and writing might be the answer. I started writing books, magazine articles, newspaper columns. I sought publicity and found it, through a wide range of feature articles in national magazines and on syndicated television shows. Friends accused me of being a publicity hound. I was. I hoped that one day, one or both of my children might see an article about me in my garden, or see me on television and remember that day when they helped me plant peas, and want to contact me.

In June, twenty five years after losing my daughters, my dreams came true. My oldest daughter, now 29 and living in Chicago, saw the Southern Living article. In it she saw one of my books, Making Herbal Dream Pillows, featured, went to her local bookstore and bought the book. Upon opening it, she read the dedication, which said, "..and to Lori and Traci, who are always in my dreams." The book was written many years ago, so she saw that I had, indeed, wanted them in my life all of these years.

Lori contacted me and we began eagerly communicating by phone and email. In August I drove to Chicago to see her, a long awaited reunion, and to meet my grandson, now three years old. We spent many hours over several days catching up on each other’s lives. My younger daughter, also contacted me during that time by email.

There is no making up for the lost years, but out of those times some very good things have come about. That first garden we planted together did grow, and continues to do so today. The loss of my daughters prompted me to write and polish my gardens, always planting new hope. My grandmother's advice of, "Do what you love most and the rest will take care of itself," proved to be true. I love gardening and writing, both of which led me to establish my business, which in turn, led me back to my children.

My dream of finding my daughters some day, really has come true and I just wanted to share it with you, my readers. Thank you!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Valentine's Day, a Time to Dream

What are Dream Pillows?
For hundreds of year people have used herb mixtures to effect their dreams. In the same way that certain fragrances (like baking bread or fresh roses) evoke a pleasant memory for you, herbs also evoke pleasant associations of memory. Our noses are said to be the most direct route to our minds and recollections. The subtle fragrances in the Dream Pillow blends are mixed to give you pleasant, interesting dreams. Yes, they do work, and each pillow or kit is our own unique blend. We offer kits, finished pillows, three excellent books on Dream Pillows, and Bulk Dream Blends. Each ready-made Dream Pillow is approximately 5 x 5 inches and is to be placed in your pillowcase. Instructions are included.

A fragrance can instantly take you back in time in your mind. The brief smell of cologne or perfume, not experienced in years, can, in an instant, remind you of a first date in high school. The fragrance of roses may remind you of your great aunt, or the smell of fresh bread baking can transport you to the pleasant Holidays of your childhood. Dream Pillows are a form of aromatherapy, a means of making dreams more interesting, more soothing or colorful.

"Yes, I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world." - Oscar Wilde