Color Therapy

Color Therapy

Cayla Zelanis

Many medicinal healing plants can also provide soothing hues. In this case, creating an eye pillow using hues made from fresh turmeric root and rose petals which both can be calming to skin and filled with rejuvenating and relaxing herbs. Lavender, mint, and passionflower leaves all have therapeutic properties to help soothe, ease sleep and anxiety by calming stressed nerves. 

The process, as well as the product of creating this eye pillow works holistically with the many ways to use these herbal plants and to nurture beauty and self care, encouraging “color therapy” through and through

What You Will Need

  • Two 5” x 11” pieces of clean 100 percent natural silk fabric (can also be a wonderful way to repurpose or upcycle undyed scraps!).
  • Sewing needle and thread, or access to a sewing machine.  
  • 1 cup flax seeds for filling eye pillow.
  • A selection of dried calming herbs -dried rose petals, passionflower, mint, and lavender all work wonderfully for relaxation, sleep, and rest and can be easily found in health food stores, or herbal shops. 1/4 cup blend of dried petals and herbs will blend well with the flax for eye pillow filling. 
  • 2-5 fresh organic turmeric roots. Can often easily be found in produce sections of health food or grocery stores. You can save what you don’t use for later projects- be it natural hues, teas, or salves,
  • 2 cups organic fresh or dried red rose petals- for rose water hydrosol, rose petal dye, and steaming petals into fabric.
  • pH-neutral washing soap (eco-friendly dish soap works great).
  • Non reactive stainless-steel food grade cooking pot- as you will be working with ingredients for aromatherapy and skin care. 
  • Cutting board and knife. 
  • Measuring cup. 
  • Stainless steel or bamboo steamer to fit inside the pot with lid. 
  • Single chopstick and cooking string for wrapping your steam dyed bundle. 
  • Glass spray bottle for rosewater hydrosol. 

Healing Hues - Fresh Turmeric Root and Rose Petal Steam Bundle

Getting Started

  • Pre-wash 100% natural- fibered silk with pH neutral soap and warm water. 
  • Let fiber soak until ready for projects.

How To

  • Gather fresh turmeric root and rose petal materials for patterning your silk.
  • Cut fresh turmeric root to create small circular pieces.
  • Using one of your two pieces of 5”x 11” silk pieces, arrange turmeric slices and rose petals in desired pattern.
  • Using a singular chopstick - carefully roll silk fabric with turmeric and rose petals arranged as tightly as able. With cooking string roll around the bundle and secure tightly that it won’t fall off. 
  • Place your bundle in a steamer pot and with enough water at base to steam-typically 3-4 inches will do. 
  • Steam your bundled silk with fresh turmeric roots and rose petals for 20-30 minutes. 
  • Remove pot from heat and if desired, before unrolling and while still warm and steaming, place towel over your head and enjoy rose and turmeric facial steam. 

Rose Petal Dye and Rosewater Hydrosol 

Rose is wonderful for cleansing, hydrating, as well as for headaches and even tired eyes. Distilling organic red rose petals can work beautifully for an antique blush-pink hue.

When done with only petals, clean silk, and no additional mordants or modifiers the distilled rose water can also be used as a healing hydrosol.  As there are no harsh ingredients and only rose petals in this color recipe you can double the duty with your color creation.  The most aromatic hydrosols are made from roses that are organic and in season when they are most fragrant. You can also use dried organic rose petals that have been harvested at their peak as well. 


  • 1 cup organic red rose petals fresh or dried (for deeper colors remove any additional leaves or stems and choose darkest hued flowers)
  • Enough distilled water to cover the petals and allow room for your silk piece to absorb the color.

How To

  1. Add red rose petals to a cooking grade pot with lid and enough distilled water to just cover the petals.
  2. Over medium low heat bring water to a boil and then simmer.
  3. Let petals simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the rose petals have lost their deep color and are now a translucent pink. 
  4. Add your pre-washed 5” x 11” silk piece for your eye pillow and let simmer in rose petals for 15- 20 minutes. For deeper color you can also turn off heat and let steep overnight.
  5. Remove silk piece.
  6. Gently rinse silk with pH neutral soap.
  7. Dry out of direct sunlight and save to use with turmeric and rose petal piece.
  8. With leftover rose petal water strain out and compost petals.
  9. Rosewater can be stored in a glass spray bottle and used as an aromatic hydrosol spray for home, face and body.

Sewing your Herbal Eye Pillow

  1. With your two dry dyed pieces of silk, place together so that they overlay each other and sides match.
  2. If you have access to a sewing machine, sew three sides leaving a 1/4 “ on all three sides from edge, and leaving the fourth 5” side open to fill with flax seeds and dried calming herbal blend.
  3. If you do not have access to a sewing machine,  you can handstitch with a needle and thread.  Sew around the two 11” sides and one 5” twice (for extra strength and to not let the seeds fall out) and leave the fourth 5” side open to fill with flax seeds and herbal mixture.
  4. When you have the three sides sewn with no gaps, turn the pillow inside out to hide the seams and to provide more strength.
  5. In a measuring cup mix 1 cup flax seeds, and 1/4 cup blend of dried rose petals, lavender, passion flower leaves, and mint. Or, customize with dried calming healing herbs of your choice. Make sure the mixture is blended well.
  6. Using the measuring cup carefully pour flax seed and herbal mixture into the eye pillow. When finished you can fold both edges of the open side inwards and pin to sew closed with a sewing machine or carefully hand sew (twice for strength) to fully close your pillow.
  7. Rest well and enjoy!

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