10 Apr 2020

A Heart-Warming Herbalist Day

April 17th marks Herbalist Day — a celebration of the many teachers, peers, and herbs that have guided you through your journey as a herbalist thus far. As we all navigate a time of uncertainty, one thing that remains vital is the need to tend to the heart, both physically and energetically. 

This Herbalist Day, we invite you to honor the heart space of you and your community with a free Heart-Opening Herbs Poster and recipes for some of our favorite heart-benefiting herbal drinks. We encourage you to use these resources to recharge the light that is within you and to shine some of that light on others that need uplifting during the many hardships we are all facing at this time.

As herbalists, so much of our hearts are infused in the work that we do. Be it the love that goes into creating a tincture for a friend or the passion that learning herbalism brings out in us, herbalists bring so much warmth into a world that is deeply in need of compassion and unconditional love. 

Woman with Hands Over Heart

On Herbalist Day, take time to visit your own energetic heart. In times of chaos, we often forget to slow down and check in with ourselves. Fill your heart with love and gratitude, and if you have enough, share that love with others. Reach out to someone who you think needs some radiant energy or create a recipe kit for our Red Heart Tea (recipe below) and drop it on their doorstep as a sweet surprise. Send a message of love in any way that feels good, even if it’s just to your own heart center.

Community is the heart of herbalism. Taking a day to heal our hearts and the hearts of our loved ones is the perfect way to celebrate Herbalist Day. Our hearts are not only vital to life, but it also serves as the seat of our emotional center—a place that needs gentle tending to in times like these. 

We are so grateful for the love you bring to our community, and we hope these resources help refill your heart with deep love and sweetness.

A Resource to Guide You

A teacher of mine once told me to create herbal guides for myself for days when I needed them most. Whether a sick day reminder to take out elderberry syrup for immune support or a reminder on what adaptogens to lean on in stressful times—these guides have served me greatly when I needed a gentle nudge on what to reach for. Right now, the resource that our world needs is a guide on how to heal our hearts.

A Heart-Warming Herbalist Day | Herbal Academy | April 17th marks Herbalist Day — a celebration of the many teachers, peers, and herbs that guide an herbalist through their journey.

That is why we have created a beautiful Heart-Opening Herbs Poster featuring bios on motherwort, hawthorn, linden, holy basil, rose, and lemon balm in celebration of Herbalist Day that is FREE for you to download. All of these wonderful herbs are like a care package for the heart and can be used to calm, gladden, or strengthen the heart center depending on what is needed. This resource is perfect to keep in a section of your house where you can go to unwind. If that space doesn’t exist yet, choose any space, small or large, that serves as a refuge where you can tend to your emotional needs. 

Download your free heart-opening herbs poster here!

Heart-Centering Herbs

Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) aerial parts

Motherwort’s (Leonurus cardiaca) energetics are like a warm hug. With a Latin name that translates to “lion-hearted,” this herb is used to nourish and support the heart and nervous system—providing a sense of courage when needed. Motherwort has spiky leaves and stalks that are lined with delicate pink flowers. It also has a bitter flavor, but don’t let that deter you! It quickly soothes anxiety sitting in your heart center making it a lovely herbal ally to call upon when the heart is feeling heavy and you are in need of a nurturing, mother-like energy.

Hawthorn (Crataegus spp.) aerial parts

Hawthorn (Crataegus spp.), with its thorny, shrub-like structure, has been used for centuries to support nearly all facets of heart health, both physically and emotionally. The leaves, flowers, and berries are all used—what a gift! For the emotional heart, hawthorn serves as a relaxing and gladdening nervine. For  the physical heart, it’s rich with antioxidants and can benefit people with cardiovascular issues (Forêt, 2017). This herb is divinely intertwined with the heart and is often referred to as the herb of the heart.

Linden (Tilia spp.) flower and bract

The heart-shaped leaves of linden (Tilia spp.) smell and taste like sweet honey. It tastes delightful as a tea and has a long reputation of relaxing the heart. It’s sometimes referred to as the “tea of happiness.” In addition to its soothing properties, linden is rich in antioxidant compounds that can aid in reducing  stress-related hypertension (Groves, 2016).

Linden flowers growing on tree

Holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum) aerial parts

Holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum), the great protector, is an herb best enjoyed as a daily tonic. The zen-like aromatics of this herb are potent and soothing. For cardiovascular health, holy basil promotes good circulation and can help optimize cholesterol levels and lower stress-related high blood pressure (Forêt, 2017).

Rose (Rosa spp.) petal

Rose (Rosa spp.) is a deeply loved herb, for good reason. Simply smelling  a rose can connect us directly to our energetic heart. Early studies suggest that roses tone the heart and have antihypertensive, antidiabetic, antianxiety, and mood-boosting effects (Groves, 2016). All the more reason to stop and smell the roses!

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) leaf

How could we not mention sweet, sunny lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)! This heart-friendly nervine is profoundly relaxing and provides a bright, uplifting energy. Rich in heart-aiding antioxidants, lemon balm can help your body ease inflammation and lower blood pressure (Hoffmann, 2003), all while tasting like liquid sunshine.

Heart-Warming Recipes to Enjoy With Your Community

Send a heart-warming recipe on Herbalist Day to a friend, like a warm cup of tea or a glass of herbal infused red wine, both rich with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds to benefit the heart. Here are some of our favorites. 

Woman Holding Cup of Red Tea

Red Heart Tea

Adapted from Body in Balance by Maria Noel Groves

Ingredients

1 teaspoon hawthorn (Crataegus spp.) berry
1 teaspoon hawthorn (Crataegus spp.) leaf and/or flower
1 teaspoon hibiscus (Hibiscus spp.) calyces
1 teaspoon linden (Tilia spp.) leaf and/or flower
1 teaspoon rose (Rosa spp.) hips

Directions

  • Combine all herbs together in a glass canning jar.
  • Pour two cups of boiling water over the mixture, and steep, covered, for 20 minutes.
  • Strain your tea through a layered cheesecloth, composting the herbs and transferring the liquid to your favorite mug. Add honey to sweeten, if desired.
  • Sit back and enjoy sipping on your tea, as you drop into your heart center!

A Heart-Warming Herbalist Day | Herbal Academy | April 17th marks Herbalist Day — a celebration of the many teachers, peers, and herbs that guide an herbalist through their journey.

Wild Heart Red Wine Infusion

The deep red and purple hues of pomegranates, cherries, and red wine contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that are deeply nutritive to the heart (Groves, 2016). Make this recipe to warm you and your community when a nourished heart is desired.

Ingredients

1 bottle of medium-bodied red wine, like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot
1 empty, glass canning jar with lid
1 tablespoon cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum) bark
1 tablespoon dried reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) mushroom
1 teaspoon rose (Rosa spp.) hips
1 teaspoon whole cloves (Syzygium aromaticum) buds
1 teaspoon orange (Citrus sinensis) peel 

Directions

  • Combine all of the herbs in your clean, glass jar.
  • Pour the wine over your herbs until the jar is full. Secure tightly and then shake to combine. 
  • Shake your wine once a day for 2 to 3 weeks to keep the herbs fully submerged. Begin tasting the infusion after 2 weeks.
  • After you’re happy with the taste, strain your wine to remove the herbs and then enjoy with a loved one or have a quiet, reflective moment to yourself!

Whether sending our Heart-Opening Herbs Poster or having a virtual cup of tea or glass of wine with friends, we hope you have a truly beautiful Herbalist Day—one that is spent honoring your heart. 

Here at the Herbal Academy, we remain deeply grateful for you for being a part of our family. We learn so much from you—just as much as we teach! Please accept our heartfelt thank you for bringing so much love into our world. Happy Herbalist Day!

REFERENCES

Forêt, R. (2017). Alchemy of herbs: Transform everyday ingredients into foods and remedies that heal. New York, NY: Hay House, Inc.

Groves, M.N. (2016). Body into balance: An herbal guide to holistic self-care. North Adams, MA: Storey Publishing.

Mountain Rose Herbs. (2018). DIY: Herbal infused wine. [Blog Post]. Retrieved from blog.mountainroseherbs.com/diy-herbal-infused-wines

Hoffmann, D. (2003). The complete illustrated holistic herbal: A safe and practical guide to making and using herbal remedies. United Kingdom: Element Books, Ltd.