Something happened for me last year that made me realize that this is the era for heart medicine.
I couldn’t say exactly what it was. Maybe it was the different states of being I was observing around me: Some people seemed to be feeling pain, sadness, disappointment and numbness, while others were stressed out and anxious and another group radiated love, kindness and honesty.
I began feeling that—if I only had a certain amount of time in the week for gathering herbs—I needed to make sure to put my attention on the plants that nourished the heart, as this seemed like the medicine from which everyone could most benefit. It would bring souls from pain to love, from stress to ease, from numbed out to connected and feeling.
Most of us lead our lives from mind and body, but the heart holds the key to a vast and awakened path. Ancient sages and meditation masters have long believed that the mind is a mighty tool for human beings, but only as an ally to its chief, the heart.
The heart is connected to every cell in the body through heartbeat, biochemicals, blood flow and energy and is thousands of times more electromagnetically powerful than the brain. The heart is where experiences of unconditional love, patience, compassion, clarity and insight grow from. Simply put, when we take care of our hearts, we allow room for a happy, healthful and meaningful life.
WHOLE PLANT MEDICINE
Traditional plant medicine uses whole plants, rather than isolating particular chemical compounds that have been deemed active. Often, using isolated compounds results in leaving out important constituents in a plant, as well as throwing off the innate equilibrium held in a plant’s chemistry.
This distinction is significant, as plants and human bodies are constantly aiming for balance within their intricate make up. Whole plant medicine ensures that what is being received in our bodies is balanced and able to support our complex human design.
Here are a few of my current favorite heart herbs, so you can serve your heart right away:
Rose, the flower of love. The aroma alone opens your heart and offers ease and deep breath. Roses are known to lighten moods and mend broken and worn hearts. Bask in the scent of rose daily, as a water mist on your face, perfume on your neck, a fragrant deodorant or a soothing face crème.
Hawthorne berry, flower and leaf, tones the heart muscle and blood vessels, as well as supports the heart’s emotional state. Hawthorne tastes so wonderful that making it into a jam is a real treat, but it can also be taken as a tea, syrup or tincture.
Mimosa bark or flower, from the tree of happiness, helps maintain an uplifted and calm state of being. It is an invaluable companion for those wanting to shift out of mild stagnant emotional states and be refreshed. Taken by tea or tincture or made into a syrup, Mimosa supports shifts in your world.
Astragalus root is known as a cardiovascular tonic, and an adaptogen, supporting your body to remain non-reactive and less stressed. This is a wonderful remedy for your heart. This root is fantastic in teas, taken daily, mixed with other favorite roots.
Here’s how to combine these lovely plants in a potent syrup:
1 cup fresh or ½ cup dried plants
(1 part hawthorne, 1 part Rose, 1 part astragalus, ½ part mimosa)
3 cups water
1 cup raw honey
1. In a pot, cover the plants with water.
2. Bring water to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer on low for 45 minutes or until water has reduced by a third.
3. Strain out the plant material and truly squeeze the plants to make sure you get that potent juice they hold.
4. Add honey, and if you’d like it to store longer, you can add ¼ cup alcohol or glycerin.
5. Bottle the syrup and refrigerate.
Enjoy a tablespoon a day, straight or in your beverage of choice.
Cheers to your heart!
--Olivia Clementine Kirby. Olivia Clementine Kirby is a healer, farmer, herbalist and self-transformation teacher, who lives and works on a farm along the Hudson River in Staatsburg, New York. Her mission is to help people connect with nature and find the deep healing potential within themselves. Learn more about her at Olivia Clementine Kirby.
*Disclaimer: This article if for educational purposes only and not a substitute for advice from a healthcare professional.