Heated briefly in a microwave, herbal bean bags can provide relief from menstrual cramps, back pains or neck aches. Use these bags to comfort a colicky baby or freeze a bag for an easy ice pack. Make a simple bag from muslin or broadcloth and fill with grains like flaxseed and rice or dried beans. Add dried herbs or essential oils for a bit of aroma therapy.
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Things you need
- Sewing machine or needle and thread
- Rice, flaxseed or beans
- Essential oils or dried herbs
Cut a strip of muslin 12 inches long and 6 inches wide. Fold the muslin in half lengthwise, and hand sew or machine sew one short side and the long side. Keep the remaining short side open. Turn the muslin inside out to position the seams on the inside.
Fill the muslin bag with 1 to 2 cups of rice, flaxseed or beans at the opening. Use more or less filler, depending on how firm and heavy you want the bean bag to be. Leave room at the top to sew the final seam.
Add a handful of dried herbs or even an herb tea packet to the beans or rice. Sprinkle a few drops of essential oils directly on the fabric or on the rice. Purchase dried herbs and essential oils at natural food stores or some craft stores. Choose scents that appeal to you. Lavender and chamomile are often considered particularly relaxing.
Finish the last seam. Turn the fabric down 1/4 of an inch into the inside of the pillow so you have a smooth, finished edge. Machine sew or hand stitch the top closed. Make sure you securely stitch the edges so it doesn't come unravelled later.
Heat your bag by heating it in the microwave for 30 seconds or up to two minutes. Times vary depending on microwave strength. The bag should be warm, but not hot. Herbal bean bags retain their warmth for about one hour.
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