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The Herbal Bear School of Botanical Medicine

June 2013 Newsletter

In this issue

  • Herbal Sleep Aids
  • How to Make an Herbal Dream Pillow
  • Our New Herbal Weekend Class
  • Last Call for the Botanical Medicine Program


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Herbal SleepHerbal Sleep Aids

Everyone has trouble sleeping now and then. There are a lot of prescription and over the counter sleep aids, but most are habit forming and have side effects. Utilizing natural sleep aids could be one of the smartest moves you could make. When your insomnia is caused by stress or by working too much, try a cup of tea made from one of these relaxing, non-habit-forming herbs.


catnip Catnip (Nepeta cataria), a gentle sedative and helps with anxiety. It is especially useful if your nervous energy unsettles your stomach





Chamomile (Matricaria recutita), helps calm the nerves and gently enhances digestion.  This herb is useful if you have trouble sleeping after a large heavy meal.



Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata), is a safe sedative particularly helpful for insomnia caused by worry or an overactive mind. If you are having trouble falling asleep because you are constantly replaying thoughts in your mind, this is the herb for you.



Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is the best-known and most-researched herbal sleep aid. It is a mild sedative herb that does not leave the user with a "hangover" feeling in the morning. Because the herb has an unpleasant taste and smell, many people choose to use it in capsule form. Take according to package directions.

Making Herbal Dream Pillows dreampillow

To prepare an herbal pillow, choose a piece of fabric (preferably a  natural fiber).  Wash and dry the fabric, and cut it into whatever shape you wish. Squares and rectangles are the easiest, but you can also make hearts, cresent moons or whatever shape you please.  Next create a blend of herbs for your dream pillow.  Be sure to choose herbs with a fragrance you find pleasing.   With the right sides of the fabric together, stitch along the edges, making sure to leave an unsewn space along one side. Once finished stitching, flip the pillow out through the unsewn space, and fill with your herbal blend. Finish the pillow by sewing the open area shut.    Dream pillows can be tucked between your pillow and the pillowcase where they will emit their scent throughout the night.

Here are a few herbal suggestions for your dream pillow

Catnip: Relaxing, helps bring deep sleep.
Chamomile: Calming, relaxing, and said to keep bad dreams away.
Cloves: Brings warmth and an exotic feeling to dreams, add only 2-4 per pillow.
Hops: Relaxing and brings peacefulness.
Lavender: Soothing, relaxing and eases headaches.
Lemon Verbena: Uplifting, used to add "lightness" to dream blends.
Mugwort: Greatly enhances lucid dreaming and helps with remembering of dreams.
Peppermint or Spearmint: Enhances clarity and vividness in dreams.
Rose petals: Brings warmth and love, may be used to evoke romantic dreams.
Rosemary: Traditionally used to bring deep sleep and keep away bad dreams.


 Our newest class

 Herbal Weekend in the Catskills

Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd 2013

at The Herbal Bear Catskill Location

Grand Gorge, NY

  see full program description here:

Want to learn about herbal remedies? The best place to learn about herbs is in the garden!

Join us for an Herbal Weekend in the Catskills - learning about Medicinal Plants and Botany.

Our instructors, Ursula Basch and Susan Pell will teach you the basics of plant identification, herbal remedies and medicinal plant preparations.
Our Catskills facility is located on 30 private acres in Grand Gorge, NY - 2 1/2 hours drive from NYC.

The class schedule is:
Saturday, June 22nd 9:30 am - 5:30 pm (lunch and dinner is included)
Sunday, June 23rd 9:00pm - 3:00pm (breakfast and lunch is included)

Please note this weekend is part of the 6-Weekend Herbal Bear Botanical Medicine Program.
Students interested in applying for the full program can apply the class fee for this weekend toward their full tuition.

The 2013 Botanical Medicine Program


 Don't miss this year's class. Our program starts in two weeks! We still have space available.

2013 Botanical Medicine Program
A six weekend intensive program for those interested in a well rounded education in herbal studies. This class is designed to give  students a solid foundation in herbalism.  Each class we will learn about herbs for the different systems including: the digestive, nervous, cardiac, reproductive, and immune system.  Students will learn plant identification, harvesting techniques, medicinal plant preparations and herbal formula development.   This class is held in the Northern Catskills on a private 30 acre property.  Many of the medicinal plants we study are growing in our gardens or found on our property.  Unlike other herbals classes, this class incorporates field work with the plants.  You will be able to see, study and harvest medicinal plants throughout the entire growing season.  This class is designed for beginning and intermediate herbal students. For a full description of this class - please follow
this link

If you have any specific questions about our programs, please feel free to contact us


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