Ashland Natural Medicine

Cultivating Heart

Enter February, the month of chocolate, roses, teddy bears, and Hallmark cards. Although there are superficialities to the celebration of Valentine’s day, there are also sincere opportunities to cultivate heart and the qualities of love, courage, kindness, and joy.

The heart is both a physical organ tasked with maintaining rhythm and blood flow in the body, and a harmonious vibrational field that connects us to all beings and all things. By cultivating a connection to our own hearts, we learn patience, compassion, and humility. This is also supportive of our healing process as we come into contact with trust, calmness, joy and intuition. Many spiritual traditions teach us that the ultimate aim of our time on earth is to learn to live through, and in accordance with, the heart. I would agree.

In celebration of February, I would like to share some favorite herbs for supporting the heart – physically, emotionally, and spiritually. *All herbs should be taken under the supervision of a physician, especially if you have heart disease, circulatory dysfunction, a clotting disorder, or are on medications.

ROSE: This timeless beauty helps reduce irritation; it cools and tonifies hot, inflamed tissues. The rose hips contain Vitamin C which can be used to strengthen vasculature and stabilize allergic reactions. The flower essence helps soothe a broken heart, ease tension, dissolve worry, and encourages us to live our lives with openness and love.

HAWTHORN: A restorative plant for the heart, Hawthorn helps to stabilize high or low blood pressure, protects the smooth muscles of the heart, and helps it to beat strongly and more efficiently. The berries have incredible antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds and are great eaten as jam! Hawthorn tree has been esteemed by many traditional cultures and is often thought of as ‘protectress of the heart.’

ARJUNA: This Ayurvedic circulatory stimulant is an amazing heart tonic and is especially useful when recovering from a heart attack. It helps to tonify the heart in disease or angina, thins the blood, and maintains normal coagulation. Arjuna also gives us courage and strengthens the will, helping us to accomplish our truest life goals.

Practices:

  Circulation: Exercise and sweating, hot/cold contrast showers, lymphatic massage

  Eat a high fiber diet with plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables (especially berries!)

  Additional herbs to support the heart: hibiscus, linden, cacao, salvia

  Reading poetry, acts of kindness, laughing, friendship

Wishing you calmness, joy, and love! Dr. Lisa 

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