A fun project for the young (or for the young at heart): Try making your own herbal bean bags. Dried herbal mixtures added to the beans give off a great scent as you throw the bags back and forth. In her book A Kid’s Herb Book (Robert Reed, 2000), Lesley Tierra, L.Ac., explains how to make the bags.
- Cut a piece of cotton fabric into a 7-inch-by-7-inch square. Then fold the cotton in half, wrong-side out. Stitch along three of the edges using very small stitches.
- Turn the bag inside out and fill half-full with beans (such as kidney or lentils). Add 2 tablespoons of dried (not powdered) herbs—see suggestions below.
- Finally, turn under the edges of the open end and sew the bag closed using very small stitches. Have fun!
Sweet: Try fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), anise (Pimpinella anisum)and/or vanilla.
Spicy: Use cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum), cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum), cloves (Syzygium aromaticum) and/or ginger (Zingiber officinale).
Relaxing: Try lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and/or chamomile (Matricaria recutita).
Source: Tierra, Lesley. A Kid’s Herb Book. San Francisco: Robert D. Reed, 2000.