HERB - RECIPE: Jasmine's Herbal Sniffy Bags (long)

Gaylin Walli g.walli at infoengine.com
Wed Nov 4 06:56:20 PST 1998

My husband saw me making these last October for Christmas
presents (I have 7 siblings all in different countries; I start
very early). Innocently, he asked when we were going to be able
to keep some. I told him we could have whatever was left over
when I was done packaging up the gifts. At one point during
construction of the packages, I got up to go change laundry in
the basement.

Came back, didn't really think much of the rearrangement of
my finished bags (I have cats), and continued. The next
morning I spent 20 minutes in my walk-in closet trying to
figure out why all the clothes smelled like the Christmas
presents. I suspected it was the work shirt I had been
wearing, but it turned out to be the bags my husband had
snitched out of the pile because he was afraid I'd give them
all away without sharing some with him. Goof.

So, the reason these are called "sniffy bags." The herbs that
are in them have been used traditionally throughout history as
treatments for colds, to repel bugs, or in some other form as
antiseptics. I actually keep one of these in my drawer at work
and "sniff" it any time I'm feeling particularly stressed or
just generally yucky. Any standard herbal book can probably detail
the herbs' qualities pretty well, so I'll leave it up to you to
look them up on your own. And I highly recommend you research
anything on herbs I post! Don't trust me. I'm no expert!.

Enjoy -- Jasmine, jasmine at infoengine.com or g.walli at infoengine.com

PS: If anyone needs supplier names for sources of equipment or
herbs in general, I'll happily provide them privately. E-mail me.


Jasmine's Clothing & Sheet Herbal Sniffy Bags

Equipment for one sniffy bag:

   a 3x5 muslin drawstring bag
   a tablespoon measure
   a mixing bowl (optional)

Common sense equipment suggestions:

   hospital gloves -- these are helpful if you feel you might be
        allergic to any of the herbs you work with. I nearly
        always use the hospital variety because they give me
        the best dexterity. Look for these gloves in bulk at
        you local drugstore or medical supply warehouse.

   breathing mask -- highly recommended if you're working with
        large quantities of herbs that you might be allergic to.
        Drywalling masks are cheap and easy to obtain at any local
        hardware store.

   safety glasses -- with cats in my house, I never know when a
        major race through the house will occur. Rather than be
        sorry later, I wear safety glasses to avoid any "upsets"
        if the "Kitten 500" comes racing past the kitchen table
        when I least expect it.

Dried Herbs to fill one muslin bag:

   ~8 tablespoons of any dried herbs that suit your purposes

   I use the following combination for scent, antiseptic, and bug
   repellant properties (and cause my husband likes them)...

   4 tablespoons dried lavender blossoms
   2 tablespoons dried thyme leaves
   2 tablespoons dried lemon balm leaves

Hints & Tips:
   Increase the amount of herbs as necessary to make however many
bags you need. Approximately 8 tablespoons of cut and dried leaves
will fill a standard 3x5 muslin drawstring bag to the top, with
only a little amount of compaction necessary.
   If desired, mix the herbs in a mixing bowl prior to placing
them in the muslin bag. I sometimes just scoop the herbs right into
the bags from their shipping containers, but some people like to
mix the herbs up a little more.
   Remember to use dried herbs that have been stemmed and crushed,
especially if they normally come in large pieces (for example, my
home-grown lemen balm or wildcrafted catnip). Do not use herbs that
are powdered or otherwise so finely cut that they would sift through
the fabric of the bag.
   Tie the bag's drawstring tight, but not in a knot. I try to
replace my herbs every 12 months. Instead of throwing away what's
in the bags or composting the ingredients, I lock my cats up,
strew the herbs on the carpeting, put on some old tennis shoes,
and walk around on the herbs for a little while. Then I vaccuum.
This keeps my vaccuum smelling fresh and my capret and house smelling
wonderful. I can also reuse the bags.
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