- Stephanie Phillips
Tea for broken hearts
Valentine’s Day can often confront us with our loneliness or pain, whether we are in a relationship or not. So rather than write about aphrodisiacs and love potions, this year I thought it would be more helpful to talk about teas for breakups and heartache. Plants can help us through these times of suffering and change. They can offer comfort, helping us to move through our grief rather than getting stuck there so that we may transform our suffering into lessons, growth and courage.
Wikipedia says it’s just a muscular organ that pumps blood around the body. But we all know it’s more than that. Our heart has feelings. Our heart skips a beat when we’re excited or nervous. Our heart feels joyful or morose.
In recent times, we have come to learn that the heart is far more than a pump. At least half of the heart is made up of neural cells - the same kind of cells that exist in the brain and spinal chord. The heart even has memory cells. And beyond circulating blood, it also secretes many of its own chemical substances that can impact our mood, thoughts and behavior.
All of us will experience heartbreak at some point. Someone abandons us. Someone betrays us. Someone dies. Someone doesn’t love us how we need to be loved. And we feel it so deeply, right there, smack in our heart.
Broken hearts wake you up in the morning. They remember your loneliness even before you open your poor puffy eyes. The pain can fold your body in half. Make you primal scream into your pillow or want to howl to the moon. Leave you feeling so weighted down that walking requires effort. food loses its taste, life loses its color. It can feel as though you are dying. But heartache is very much a reminder you are alive. Nothing is more integral to the human experience than the feeling of a broken heart.
Herbal Heart Soothers.
The idea isn’t to numb but to ease so that we may move through the pain. It is important to process our sadness, anger, loss and disillusionment so that it doesn’t just get stored in the body. Trapped trauma can manifest in many ways physically if we don’t tend to it.
Luckily there are some powerful herbs that can help with letting go. They help us relax our muscles, release our compulsive circular thoughts and help our bodies recuperate from the shakes, the loss of appetite and restless sleep that often accompany heartbreak.
Skullcap - this herb is considered a nervine, which means it relaxes the nervous system. It is also great for tending to the circular thinking that often goes with hearbreak.
Motherwort - this plant can ease even the most intense of heart palpitations caused by stress
Roses - they have long been associated with romance, but they are also deeply healing to the heart
Hawthorne berries- the herbalist’s favorite for treating conditions of the heart
Tulsi - my favorite adaptogen to help the body deal with transitions
1 part Rose petals
1 part Skullcap
1 part Tulsi
½ part Hawthorne berries
½ part Motherwort
Buy your herbs. Blend them together. Or order my Heart Soothing blend from me. Drink your tea every day until you start to feel better. Be gentle with yourself. Sweat it out in a sauna. Wear soft clothes. Eat warm food. Write. Sing loudly or very softly. Dance wildly, sensually to your favorite songs. And whisper gently to yourself that this too shall pass.
Where to get organic loose leaf herbs?
If you don’t have access to a herb store, there are some great online resources:
As I write this there seems to be an online shortage of organic rose petals. Must be the valentine’s rush.
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