By Jen Padgett
Our hearts and spirits have been through so much. Here’s how to ease the heart and lift the spirits with herbs.
To support the heart, my favorite herb is Hawthorn. Hawthorn energizes heart cells, builds heart muscle, and improves circulation. In Celtic Mythology, the Hawthorn tree is one of the most sacred; it symbolizes love and protection. The berry and the leaf can be taken as a tea or tincture.
Gingko is the oldest tree on the planet, and is a great herb to stimulate brain function, improving memory, concentration and energy. It is a sacred tree symbolizing unity of opposites, bearer of hope, a symbol of love.
Gotu Kola is an ancient anti-inflammatory herb and nervous system tonic that helps improve/maintain memory and cognition. It is referred to as the “herb of longevity” for its incredible health and brain boosting benefits
Many of these herbs can be found locally in tea or tincture at Aum Herbs, Felton Nutrition, and Wild Roots. You can also find them growing wild around the Santa Cruz Mountains. It’s a great time of year to gather herbs – and there’s no time like the present to boost your harvesting skills along with taking care of your heart -and your brain!
Homemade Brain Tonic Tea:
Lemon Balm leaf/flower, 2 parts
Lavender Flower, 1 part
Gotu Kola Leaf, 1 part
Ginkgo Leaf, 1 par
Use one teaspoon per cup of tea, or 2 tablespoons per quart. Steep for 5 minutes in hot water or leave in the sun for a delicious sun tea. Refrigerate unused portions after steeping. It will be good for 4 or 5 days. Drink 1 cup a day in the mornings for up to 6 weeks. After that, take at least a 2-week break to clear the Gotu Kola out of your system and minimize any potential risk to the liver. You may feel an impact within the first day or two of drinking this tea, but it is likely to take a week – 10 days to start feeling the clouds lift from and clear thinking to break through.