3 Herbs for the Heart and Fostering Self-love
When we think of a flower that symbolizes love, most of us undoubtedly have rose come to mind. A long-time herbal ally, appearing in the myths, medicines, and perfumes of many ancient civilizations, rose often serves as a potent symbol of love and passion. With its delicately sweet blossoms and sharp thorns, rose reminds us to be open to love but to be sure to have firm boundaries.
As a medicine it is full of antioxidants, bioflavonoids, and rich in vitamin c (especially the ripe fruits of the rose, referred to as hips). With an herbal action that is astringent (constricts tissues) and slightly anti-microbial, rose is often used as a tonic for the heart and nervous systems. Cooling to heat and inflammation, soothing to the irritable and angry, rose is especially useful for those dealing with grief or loss. Alternatively, call on rose when you’d like work strengthening your sense of self-love.
How to connect with rose:
- Buy yourself a bouquet of roses, give one to a friend or loved one.
- Make an herbal infused oil by soaking rose petals in jojoba or coconut oil and using it as a body, massage, or bath oil.
- Eat some fruits of the rose family (especially with chocolate); raspberries, strawberry, apple, pear, and so many more!
Just try to imagine a rippling field of oats gently waving in the wind, and it will be hard not to find yourself instantly relaxing. Deeply nourishing to the nervous system and soothing to irritated or inflamed skin, oats are often used to help one find a sense of calm. But in our let us not forget oats underutilized ability to help us connect to our sensual side as well.
Oats increase tissue flexibility and encourage a healthy libido, thus helping us to “sow our wild oats”, if you will. By helping to stabilize blood sugar levels and emotional states, oats can be an incredibly sexy herb, helping us to feel liberated and free. With a soft and mellow taste, oats are high in vitamin b, calcium, and magnesium.
Connect to oats by:
- Eating a warm bowl of oatmeal, topped with your favorite fruits or spices.
- Powdering and taking a relaxing oat bath.
- Drinking a nourishing herbal infusion of oatstraw.
Hawthorn, the lesser-known and more modest cousin of rose, does indeed come from the same plant family. Used regularly and for an extended period, hawthorn is a superb tonic to the heart and cardiovascular system. While its actions are similar to rose, hawthorn is better known to heal the physical heart and the emotional one as well.
Medicinally, hawthorn helps to lower blood pressure by strengthening the heart and relaxing the blood vessels. As a food, it is often out into jams and honeys to “help sweeten the heart”. Hawthorn is a very safe plant to take with no known contradictions.
Ways to connect with hawthorn:
- Make an herbal honey or candy and share it with someone you are sweet on!
- Take as a tincture, morning and night, for several months to build and strengthen the relationship with your heart.
Each of these plants has a special connection to the heart, body, and love, and absolutely shine on their own. There is no need to combine them together to develop a dynamic relationship with each; in fact, I like to suggest using herbs simply when first starting out with them, so you really get to know how it works for you and what it affects on your body are. But, for those looking to connect more deeply with their heart center and relax into love this Valentine’s season, have a try of my tea recipe below!
Heart Opening Tea
2 tsp. Oatstraw
2 tsp. Rose Petals
1 tsp. Hawthorn
1/2 tsp. Cardamom Seed or Cinnamon Chips.
Place the desired amount in your favorite tea straining device, fill your cup with near-boiling water, cover to keep the steam in, and steep for 5-10 minutes. Enjoy!
Of course, as with any herb, it is best to consult your primary healthcare provider before incorporating a new herb into your regime.
Author Bio: My name is Katya Herb, owner of Fecund Herbals. I am an herbalist from Chicago with a passion for skincare, radical self-care, and all things plant related. I first came to herbalism to address some unresolved pelvic issues but grew to love the vast healing, and nourishing potential plants have on our bodies and minds.
My goal with Fecund Herbals is to promote radical healing and self-care through my herbal product offerings, as well as through education. Sign up for my newsletter and be the first to know about new posts, promotions, and more!
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