Making Healing Dolls From Herbs

healing poppet

I think the ability of plants to support health can come in many forms.

Healing, Healing, Water

Healing, Healing Teas

Bidding Goodbye’

To the hurt in your eye.

Farewell to the pain

Hello gentle rain.

Bring me healing ointment

Bring me herbs to smell

But mostly bring a gentle kiss

To soothe and make me well. ( I don’t know the author)

I have these words written down on a very old piece of paper that is in my medicine cabinet. I did not write them. I found them in a book. They are supposed to accompany a wooden poppet (homemade doll) that chants the poem when a child is sick or injured. My girls always found this a great distraction. Soon they were smiling and laughing, their upset quickly forgotten, tears dry.

That memory was the inspiration for this project. A little doll made of herbs to cheer up a child having a rough moment. Something sitting on the nightstand to care for and protect you while you sleep off an illness or struggle with nightmares.

To make this doll you will need. 1 wooden clothespin, 1 large wooden bead, 4 medium wooden beads, 2 small wooden beads, 1 doll’s straw hat/felt cap, 2 pipe cleaners, decorations.

1)Glue the large wooden bead onto the clothes pin to be your head. A glue gun works well for this

2)Thread two medium beads onto each pipe cleaner. Bend the pipe cleaner around each bead and re-thread. Twist the extra to secure. You can add the small beads last as you do the feet or not.

3)Glue the arms and legs to the clothespin

4) Pick some fresh herbs leaving the long stems. You can tie leaves together to make hair, wings, skirt panels etc.

5)Tie your leaves onto the doll with sewing thread. Use a yarn “belt” or other materials to form a tunic (one leaf on the front, one on the back) and tie. Add the hair by securing it around the neck with thread. Put on the hat. You can draw a face or not. Decorate with other found materials (seed pods, pinecones, flowers etc.).


For my doll I used……

Lady’s Mantle-to heal tissues, reduce pain and calm the spirit.

Yarrow-to reduce inflammation, stop bleeding, and break a fever,

Hollyhock-to clear heat and move trauma out of the body. Thought to support the digestive system to deal with diarrhea, constipation, or an upset stomach. Has been used to moisten chapped skin, reduce swelling, and heal the site of bug bites and splinters.

Lemon balm-for anxiety, insomnia, childhood illnesses, colds/flu, gas, colic, headaches, nightmares, teething, sunburn, wounds, and skin infections.

Obviously you would not want a child to eat these or any herbs in this form. The doll works psychosomatically or energetically as you tell your child a “story”.

If you are not into fairies maybe a gnome

What rituals or idea do you use to support your child when they are not feeling well?

Published by blackbirdsbackyard

My backyard botanical pharmacy is located in Boulder Colorado. I began studying herbal medicinewhen I was 12 years old. In college I studied subjects like anthropology, microbiology, anatomy and physiology, After graduation I decided to go to midwifery school. I attended births and had a small practice until I retired early in order to be a mother full time. I have always had an herb garden, gathered plants and made my own healing formulas with plants. Over the last 30 years there have been many teachers and I have attended dozens of workshops. I am one of those people who is always reading, studying and learning. In 2019 I was called to practice as an herbalist professionally, using "plant spirit medicine" and bio-energetic ( 5 element)healing techniques. I feel that there is a big need in the community for my skills and talents. I hope to inspire others to start their own backyard pharmacies as a solution to species extinction and the healthcare crisis in America. Healing has also become a spiritual practice and way for me to feel balanced and connected with nature. I consult with clients in person, teach classes (adults and kids), give tours of my garden and offer apprenticeships. Health, joy, meaning, and support are everyone's birthright.

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