There are some things about China that mystify me, and this is one of them.
Putting silkworm poo (excrementum Bombycis Mori) into pillows is definitely high on my list of odd things. I have discovered that many Chinese think that babies and the elderly should have these special pillows which will help them sleep well and also aid various medical conditions.
Pillows made with buckwheat hulls are extremely popular in Japan and the US as well as in China, they are hypo-allergenic and don’t harbour dust mites. But in China they usually come with extra ingredients. Camomile, wild Chrysanthamum flowers, dried Mint, Honeysuckle flowers, something called pueriaroot are just some of the many things that are put into these pillows but they always include SILKWORM POO! This is gathered from June to August every year, dried in the sun and then cleaned (?).
‘Silkworm excrement pillow improves eyesight and promotes brainpower. It also can dispel heat, remove toxin and cool blood heat. With the help of our silkworm excrement pillow, your baby would have a sweeter sleep. Our silkworm excrement pillow is an excellent gift for the aged to relieve rheumatic pains. Our silkworm excrement pillow is especially appreciated by those with hypertension and tinnitus.’
I’ve been buying some new baby gifts recently, but somehow I felt that silkworm poo pillows would not appeal to the mothers of Alia-Maria, Isaac and Rachel.