Herbs for Heart Strength, Emotional Resilience

When you strengthen the heart, you strengthen every part of you and find relief from problems that were not responding before.

To strengthen a weak or tired heart, on every level, herbs can help. They’re living beings like us. They open our sub-conscious tunnels and caves and cupboards, awaken deep things in us and help us see and hear what we need to to find our way.

When the physical heart is weak or unstable, it is a clarion call from our consciousness to repair ourselves from deep deep within.

Borage for disappointment with no silver linings
Cactus for nervous instability, recovery from shock
Damiana for uterine, sexual and reproductive system blocks
Violet for lymphatic sluggishness
Milk Thistle for congestion in the body such as after a large meal
Dandelion for tightness around the diaphragm, solar plexus
Mistletoe for when you’re too cold or too hot
Rose Petals and Rosehips to release blocked up energy

Borage for disappointment with no silver linings

Imagine a flower wilting in harsh dry weather. Do you feel like that emotionally and physically? Do you feel overwhelmed by all you have to do and like you would like to give up the fight? Borage is the plant that will pull the focus of your consciousness down to simpler things, to the center of your body where the complications that confuse our heads don’t matter that much, and where what we need to do in the moment is clear. This clarity is relaxing and strengthening for the heart.

Physically the heart rate normalizes and the production of stress hormones in the blood begins to reduce.

When you have Borage, after about thirty minutes, flush your system with water, to get the stress hormones out.

 

Cactus for nervous instability, recovery from shock

Do you feel like you’re standing on the roof of a shaking building? Or like you’re being pulled and jerked about in different directions? Like one part of you is in one place and another in quite the opposite direction? Like your heart is being torn wanting opposite things at the same time and with equal desperation?

Desperation is the keyword here. We feel emotional desperation when we are torn in different directions and cannot seem to find harmony.

A physical heart in the throes of such feeling has an unstable heart rate, flutterings, fibrillation and does not pass the blood through the chambers smoothly. Overall, the heart is weaker as a result and the entire body suffers the effects of this instability.

Cactus helps us find emotional and physical energetic balance. As a result, the heart is able to gather its energy up rather than have it splayed and splashed in different directions. This heals the physical heart,calms the nervous system and therefore the entire body.

It relieves the troubled emotions by consolidating them so we can face what it is that is really troubling us instead of being distracted by a million little things that would resolve on their own if we would just look at what really is the matter.

Damiana for uterine, sexual and reproductive system blocks

Do you feel like you cannot feel the sweetness of life anymore? Like you cannot even feel your own self anymore?

When a person rejects their own sexual being sub-consciously, the reproductive organs go static, something like playing statue in front while struggling to keep functioning at the back because it’s necessary to keep living.

Now, our sexual being is our primal being. And believe it or not, our heart is the center of our sexual energy.

When the organs of the reproductive system go energy static or tense, the heart feels it immediately and reacts by going into a sort of freeze, waiting for the situation to resolve. Blood circulation slows, hormonal release reduces to a trickle, slowly, life itself comes to a freeze.

An obvious symptom of this condition is not feeling turned on sexually or otherwise as much as usual, as much as you need to feel fully alive.

If you feel frozen, numb, static, stuck, Damiana will help relax the organs of the reproductive system which hold and express our primal being, and this in return releases the heart’s static, allowing it to beat fully and get blood moving around the system.

Several acute cases of circulation inefficiency have been relieved by Damiana where the usual circulation support herbs failed to make much of a difference.

On a physical level, if the heart does not beat FULLY, seems like it stops or is constricted and the chest in general feels constricted, Damiana is the herb.

Violet for lymphatic sluggishness

Do you feel like there are blank spaces in you that noting gets through? Like you keep hitting a wall and all the momentum you had is suddenly gone and you don’t know why?

When we have ‘numb’ zones in our consciousness, it manifests in areas of our body’s lymphatic system becoming sluggish. Our lymphatic system is simply the places between our bodies, the drainage areas. Sluggishness here makes the whole body feel weighed down, slow, heavy, inflexible, numb.

On an emotional level we feel like we have too much baggage and not enough strength to really let go or what we know deep down, we have to let go of, to be free and light enough to move on.

Heaviness, is the key word here. Too heavy? Get Violet to help.

The physical heart feels strengthened by the Violet’s ability to make the consciousness rest. This sort of rest means, the relaxation of all that which is holding in what should be let go of. Tiny little nerve endings relax. The whole body on a deep deep level feels able to let go.

Everything feels a lot easier. Movement itself becomes easier.

When you take Violet, you will feel like moving more than usual. It doesn’t have to be about exercise. You have things to do, and you will feel like doing them. You might even feel frenetic. Just do whatever you feel like doing from your heart.

Fenugreek seed tea, Quis Qualis Indica and other herbs for lymphatic cleansing will help clear out what’s now ready to be cleared out.

Milk Thistle for congestion in the body such as after a large meal

Do you feel morose and morbid? And pessimistic and dark? And cynical and pissed off about everything? Milk Thistle will comfort you.

When a person’s most simplest desires, like the simple primal desire of a baby for his or her mother’s milk, has been denied and this pattern plays out again and again in life, the person often becomes the perpetrator of this disappointment, denying themselves their primal and little desires, finding logic and rationality to deny themselves pleasure.

This makes the body confused in its management of fat, oils and other substances which nourish us. The body begins to throw out what we need, keep what we don’t need and then when the mess has gone beyond the scope of a one day clean up job, the garbage just tends to start piling up all over wherever.

Milk Thistle’s message on an emotional and on a physical level is “I can be happy and satisfied again, like I was at my mother’s breast.”

Physically, instead of rejecting nutrition or not knowing what to do with it, the body begins to work with it. That which was stored up out of confusion is now slowly thrown out.

No, it is not a quick process, but it works.

The heart that physically was strained, pushing and pushing and then lapsing into fatigue, the condition called ‘cardio myopathy’ is relieved by the change brought about by Milk Thistle – or Silybum Mariana or Carduus Mariana.

Emotionally we stop being a struggler, straining for love, and begin instead to allow ourselves to experience the simple pleasures of life. This changes everything.

Dandelion for tightness around the diaphragm, solar plexus

Do you feel like the world’s problems are your problems? Do you feel the weight of responsibility beyond your capacity to carry? Do you feel alone in carrying your burden?

Dandelion is the herb to help.

When you feel burdened, it’s most often because you feel like you have lost some form of support or strength you counted on, without which you feel lost and bereft.

Loss is the keyword here. A deep sense of loss, perhaps from long ago, maybe even from early childhood, makes the consciousness and the body feel like a loser. The perception that we don’t have the support we need to make it through life pervades, making the body under function.

Little puppies separated from their mothers, the young student in a new city, the newly weds who find themselves no longer as much part of their old family or community, anyone who feels isolated from support, could use Dandelion’s help.

Dandelion looks up to the sky, and believes in God. “Someone made me. The force which made me, will sustain me.”

It’s that simple.

The physical heart which was struggling to function, it’s beat becoming more and more feeble, then making a bid for normalcy before sinking again, now begins to beat calmly and without the struggle.

Mistletoe for when you’re too cold or too hot

Do you feel uncomfortable, like the sheets are too warm close to you, but too cold on the other side? Like the grass is greener on the other side, but you know if you go over there, you’ll only want to come back here?

This weird feeling of wanting something, a LOT, but not enough to making you actually go towards it, is helped by Mistletoe.

A consciousness that is in a state of self denial because of having a split opinion or because of desiring what seems like two opposite things, and therefore being unable to move in either direction, is usually in that situation because of unresolved emotional pain.

Unresolved pain messes with our perception on many levels making us unable to look at what we really want in life. To compensate for this lack of emotional perception, we develop a personality and a life based on logic, on the advice of others, on books that tell us what to do, when to do it, how to do it.

A most simple form of healing is to let go of all the learning in the head, and do what we feel like doing.

Releasing rigid mental control and assessment of our life energy, of our lives, allows the body and the consciousness to find its own balance and resolve old emotional pain.

Mistletoe lives like that… simply. “I’m here, you’re here, hello.

The physical heart, which is also the center of the hormonal system, stops going into frenzies and panic followed by the general debility and slump that comes after being so worked up. Adrenal exhaustion lessens and the body slowly becomes stable and functional again.

Rose Petals and Rosehips to release blocked up energy

Suppressed anger, repressed rage, but unable to come out to the surface. “How can I ever be angry enough?” is the feeling here, “I might as well seethe or simmer or just forget about it for now. What can I do about it anyway?”

We are taught in so many ways through life, that the ‘use’ of an emotion is to make some action happen. If you fall in love, you must kiss, you must have sex. If you like drawing, you must become an artist. If you like dancing, you must go to dance lessons. If you like cooking, you should open a restaurant.

It’s good to use our talents, but this attitude when taken too far, makes a person begin to feel impotent and incapacitated over time. Like the limbs are tied up.

Good things become a pain.. who wants to hear the whole ‘you draw so well, you should develop this talent’ rhetoric all over again even if it’s only in your own head?

The Rose is about feeling what we’re feeling without stopping it because we cannot see where it’s going. It’s about freedom to feel, without judgment. This is the basis of courage and bravery.

The warrior is not the one who yells on the battlefield and charges at the energy. He is the one who allows his feelings, his love, his anger, his desire, to shape his life and his destiny. Before the battle, he knows he has won, because his feelings have brought him to this moment, because he walked the path his every day feelings led him on, and just how he wakes and sleeps moved by those feelings, so he will know how to fight the battle.

The heart is FED by feelings. A physical heart that is weak and insufficient, tired and hopeless, jaded, and which turns away from sunshine and hope, benefits from the fearless Rose – whether the petals or the fruit.

———————————

There is another aspect to strengthening the heart, resolving identity crises. Hawthorn, Oleander, Nettle are some of the herbs which help, but there is so much to say there, so we will talk about how they work another time.