Medicinal herbs that support heart health and improve libido (i.e. sex drive) naturally enhance love and sensuality.
Let's take a closer look at some of these herbs by category.
- Dilate and strengthen blood vessels, improving circulation
- Help remove toxic substances and waste products from the bloodstream
- Examples: Hawthorn, Linden, Garlic
2) Circulatory stimulants
- Increase blood flow to and from tissues and organs
- Support delivery of nutrients and the elimination of toxins to/from these tissues and organs
- Examples: Cinnamon, Damiana, Ginger, Rose
- Improve the body's response to stress by building resilience over time
- Enhance stamina, endurance, cognitive function, and immunity
- Examples: Rhodiola, Shatavari, Ashwagandha, Maca
Many of the herbs I've listed above are ones that you can easily incorporate into your meals or tea blends. And when taken regularly, you can begin to notice their profound effects on your heart, body, mood, and overall well-being.
As we celebrate the month of love, I wanted to share with my own experience with herbs and their role in my healing journey, and how they've helped me fully experience love, especially self-love.
For most of my life, I operated in a state of fear coupled with constant mental chatter. While practices like meditation helped, I just didn't know how to love myself. It wasn’t until I began studying herbal medicine that an entire army of plant allies entered my life and taught me how to truly love myself, every flaw, and imperfection. Integrating herbs into my life, along with a daily meditation practice, help me foster a deeper connection with my heart.
Let’s explore the heart-mind connection a bit more.
Many of us have been conditioned to believe that the brain is the ultimate command center. And in many ways it is.
But what I told you that during the time a fetus develops in the mother’s womb, the first form of brain development occurs in your heart?
Incredible right?! So what does this mean?
Your heart has its own neural intelligence! It contains 40,000 neurons that can sense, feel, learn, and remember. These neurons allow your heart to communicate to your brain as well as throughout your body. (Source: heartmath.org)
For example, under periods of intense stress, the simple act of slow and intentional breathing can activate your vagus nerve -- which activates “rest and digest” -- to help slow heart rate. This, in turn, improves blood flow to your brain, allowing you to think more clearly and make sound decisions.
So when our minds and hearts are in sync, we're far better able to:
- Express creativity
- Practice kindness and compassion
- Fully experience grief, pain, loss, and healing
- Respond to and navigate stressful situations
- Connect more deeply with our core values
In addition to herbs, you can attend to your heart in several ways:
- Slow, deep breathing exercises
- Mindful movement (e.g. yoga, tai chi, qi qong)
- Self-care (e.g. facial massage, facial masking, nourishing your body)
- Regular lovemaking to boost your happiness and overall health. Click here to discover 30 health benefits that sex has to offer!
Have you tried any these herbs or self-care practices for your own health and healing? What was your experience like? I invite you to comment below!
Photography by: Keri Vaca