Holy Basil

Lavender Dream Pillows and Home Made Tea


‘Tis the season! And what’s better than some home made gifts? Here are two really easy and fun ideas for home made gifts that are economical, pretty, and will give the receiver lots of joy. 


The first idea is for a lavender dream pillow. This is quite simply a piece of cloth, like a nice handkerchief, that is filled with lavender and then tied off with string. We have a few around the house and in our cars, but they are best kept in your pillow case, where you can smell the lavender as you fall asleep. Lavender is great for relaxing and promoting a feeling of calm, so it’s really nice to breath in the scent of lavender at bedtime. We grew all the lavender ourselves and found some vintage handkerchiefs at the Goodwill to use for this project. 



The other idea is to give your friends and loved ones some home grown tea. You can make tea from just about anything, mint, holy basil, raspberry leaves, stinging nettle, the list goes on and on. We grew lots and lots of mint and holy basil this year and have been drying it in the pantry since harvest time. To make the tea, you simply remove the leaves and flowers form the dried stems and give them a buzz in a food processor. Place them in a jar and make a nice label, and presto, you have a gift of home made tea! To drink, just put some of the dried leaves in a tea ball or tea bag, add some hot water and steep till it’s the strength you like. 


As a kid living in Africa, we would drink lots of mint tea that was really really sweet. The guys making it would pour it back and forth between cups, holding their arms at great lengths from each other, to properly mix and aerate the tea. It was super tasty and really cooling and energizing on a hot day. 


Holy basil is really healthy and kind of amazing, as it’s an adaptogen, meaning that it will help you adapt to both physical and mental stress!  Holy basil, also know also Tulsi, imparts strength, energy, mental clarity, and stamina. Overall it's an amazing tea to drink whenever you are feeling stressed or you just need a bit of a pick me up.