I am amazed at the ideas I find online sometimes. This is such a simple and easy project to do with older children. Just be aware that beads can be a choking hazard and that these ones should not be teethed on either. Depending on your ingredients they may break or crumble over time or with lots of use. I do not recommend sealing them but you can add more essential oils if the scent starts to fade.
Dried Herb Beads
Start with 1/2 cup of dried herbs, use a coffee grinder to reduce them to a powder of about 1/4 cup. Place in a large bowl.
Add 2 TBSP of bentonite clay.
Add 3-4 TBSP of flour
Starting with 1 TBSP of warm water add it to your dry ingredients a tablespoon at a time ,kneading it into the mixture until you have a workable dough. Almost the consistency of homemade play dough.
Add 5-15 drops of essential oil (very optional)
Add food coloring (optional, I actually used a lot of liquid water color to get a dark purple).
Knead into the dough until well mixed. You can add flour or water if not right. You don’t want it to be crumbly or sticky.
Dampen your hands, Pick up a bit of gum ball/large marble size dough and roll into a smooth ball. Push it onto a metal or bamboo skewer. Metal works better especially if you grease it a bit. Repeat the process, beads should not touch. You can rest the ends of your skewer on a narrow cookie sheet so that beads do not deform as they dry. Excess clay can be formed into shapes for a center bead. Rotate the beads and let dry 24 hours. Remove the beads from skewer and let dry completely.
I glued my center bead to the two adjoining beads to make it more stable.
Ideas for dried plants to use-rose , bergamot, citrus peel, chamomile, sage, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, star anise, nutmeg, lemon balm, peppermint, lavender and thyme. I felt the lavender and thyme really worked well together for lots of reasons.
Does anyone remember reading about the Black Plague-people would put sweet smelling herbs on their body to keep away “bad vapors”. My daughter loves holding her necklace close to her face and inhaling its scent. As a mother I can only hope it affords her some kind of protection at this time. If anything the lavender works as aromatherapy to calm her.
Lavendula is in the mint family (square stems). Its long history includes the use against all kinds of microbes, including flu like viruses. It is thought to be a good antiseptic for washing surfaces and dressing wounds. It can be used as both a nervine and sedative, good for stress, anxiety, and depression. I enjoy it in my Earl Grey Tea as it settles the digestion. In plague times it was burned in sick rooms to slow the spread of disease.
Thymus has been used against all manner of fungi, parasites, bacteria, and small critters. It is thought to strengthen the immune system and support the lungs by warming them and helping to remove phlegm . Very helpful for stopping a dry hacking cough. Herbalists use it to clear infection and help with tissue repair. A great addition to the bath when one has a sore muscles, a cold, a fever or the flu. I like using it as a tea, in a throat gargle at the first sign of illness, or in chicken soup as a nourishing food when someone is recovering.
I wish you health this week and for those still to come.
What are you doing to protect and support yourself or family members?