Make a Soothing Lavender Eye Pillow

| December/January 1998

  • Snatch a few moments to give your eyes a rest beneath this lavender-filled ­pillow.
  • Snatch a few moments to give your eyes a rest beneath this lavender-filled ­pillow.
  • Snatch a few moments to give your eyes a rest beneath this lavender-filled ­pillow.
  • Snatch a few moments to give your eyes a rest beneath this lavender-filled ­pillow.

Soothing Eye Pillow

Why aren't eye pillows standard equipment in today’s world? Whether you’re a harried business executive or an overwrought homemaker, taking a few moments to sit back and slip this lavender-filled pillow over your eyes can transport you beyond the cares of the daily world.

This eye pillow is easy to make, but it can look as lavish as you’d like. For a gift, make it from luxurious fabrics such as silk, brocade, or satin. Embellish it with ribbons, delicate beading, or bits of fine lace.

The popularity of lavender as an aromatic and healing herb spans centuries. Greeks and Romans added it to their bathwater. During the Middle Ages, housewives strewed lavender stalks on floors to mask household odors, and the British herbalist Gerard prescribed lavender to alleviate a “light migram or swimming of the braine.”

More recently, research has confirmed the wisdom of these traditions. Lavender indeed calms the nerves and relaxes the muscles, helping those who need a short, restful interlude or an introduction to quiet slumber. Those who use it also report a brighter mood and improved spirits after combining a short rest with the scent of lavender.

The gentle, long-lasting aroma of lavender released from our eye pillow can help soothe tired eyes and calm an anxious mind. Silk or cotton on one side feels pleasant next to the skin while the sheer fabric on the other side reveals the pretty lavender buds. Flaxseed adds just enough weight to keep the pillow comfortably in place and helps block the light for better rest during daylight hours.

We chose lavender for our eye pillow, but a number of other herbs can be mixed to create soothing scents. You may wish to try a lemon-scented eye pillow, substituting equal parts of dried lemon verbena, lemon thyme, and lemon balm for the lavender. Another traditional favorite is a combination of dried rose petals with dried rose-scented pelargonium leaves in place of the lavender. Both dried sweet woodruff and dried hops are long-time friends of the weary.

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