This time of year can be exciting for those who are in the midst of a beautiful romantic relationship.  Roses, sweets, special gifts, and dinners by candlelight heighten feelings of love between two people.  The opportunity to express amorous feelings and share intimacy is specially granted on February 14th, Valentine's Day.  But what if we happen to be between romantic relationships at that moment in time when others are joyfully celebrating theirs?

More importantly, what if we've been left brokenhearted at this special time of year and in our aloneness wish to find relief for our sadness?

Certain herbs may offer comfort to the lovelorn.  Besides supporting relaxation of the heart and nervous system, they can help improve digestion, promote sleep, and enhance immunity - areas that are often affected by acute broken heartedness.    

LINDEN FLOWER & LEAF - is a soothing tonic to the distressed heart, offering comfort during hypertensive moments and moments of excessive spirit.  Depending upon how a romantic relationship ends, we may find ourselves disturbed by unanswered questions, angry over betrayal, or endlessly re-living the break up.  Elevated blood pressure, palpitations, anxiety, mild depression, sleeplessness, and mania fall under the caring influence of Linden.  I've often taken Linden in the middle of the night when awakened by a pounding heart.  Anxious and worried about falling back to sleep, I've discovered it able to help relieve my heart palpitations and anxiety, thereby easing me back into  comfortable slumber.  Linden, when combined with other herbs, offers relief in various forms.

Try different combinations of the following herbs with Linden Flower when making tea: 

Melissa Herb, Chamomile Flower, Catnip Leaf & Flower, and Damiana Leaf for stress reduction and relief of nervous headaches, as well as mild forms of anxiety and depression.

Melissa Herb, Chamomile Flower, and Hawthorn Leaf, Flower, & Berry to calm the heart, mind, and spirit and ease the tendency to hyperactivity.

Chamomile Flower and Fennel Seed to soothe digestive upset.

Passion Flower Herb, Lavender Flower, and Reishi Mushroom if disturbed by sleeplessness and bad dreams.

HOLY BASIL LEAF - is a remarkable, highly-revered Ayurvedic herb that, according to Donald Yance in his book Adaptogens in Medical Herbalism, "elevates mood and spirit:  relieves mild forms of depression, especially when induced from stress, nourishes the heart, promotes cheerfulness, and helps with processing grief and fear."

HAWTHORN LEAF, FLOWER, & BERRY - nourishes and restores the heart, helping to assuage such symptoms as irritability, anxiety, palpitations, sleeplessness, and bad dreams.  It calms the heart and mind.  For a broken heart, combine Hawthorn and Rose Petals in a tea.

ST. JOHN'S WORT HERB & FLOWER - may be used for melancholia, a type of mild to moderate depression connected to indigestion.  Valentine's Day, occurring as it does midway through Winter, comes at a time when some people are suffering seasonal affective disorder.  To be depressed by reduced hours of daylight at the same time trying to manage a broken heart is a challenge.  For nervous stomach, nervous headaches, and for seasonal affective disorder, combine  Melissa Herb and St. John's Wort Herb & Flower in a tea.

ELEUTHERO ROOT - is an adaptogenic herb that helps restore and re-build us in the face of stress.  Deeply unsettling emotions such as those accompanying a broken heart can negatively impact the function of our immune system.  Eleuthero builds stamina and good defense against colds and flu.

SOURCES:  Peter Holmes' The Energetics of Western Herbs, David Winston's Adaptogens, Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief, Donald Yance's Adaptogens in Medical Herbalism


Linden Flower & Leaf, Tilia europaea, organic

Safe to consume when used appropriately.  Co-administration of iron-fortified bread and Linden flower tea reduced absorption of the iron.

Melissa Herb (Lemon Balm), Melissa officinalis, organic

May affect thyroid hormone levels and inhibit binding of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) to TSH receptors.  In large amounts, Melissa Herb is a thyroxin inhibitor.  Avoid with Hashimoto thyroiditis and other hypothyroid conditions.  Large amounts of Melissa Herb may be antagonistic to Synthroid and Levoxyl.

Chamomile Flower (German), Matricaria recutita (M. chamomilla), organic

Avoid if allergic to members of the Asteraceae family (composites).  Avoid with blood thinning medication.  Co-administration of iron-fortified bread and Chamomile flower tea reduced absorption of the iron by 47%.  Use of Chamomile flower as a highly-concentrated hot tea is noted as emetic. One authority advises against daily use.

Catnip Leaf & Flower, Nepeta cataria, organic

Avoid during pregnancy.

Damiana Leaf, Turnera aphrodisiaca, organic/wild crafted

Safe to consume when used appropriately.

Hawthorn Leaf, Flower, & Berry, Crataegus oxyacantha, organic/wild crafted

Doses of cardiac drugs may be reduced by concomitant use of Hawthorn. It can potentiate the activity of cardioactive drugs such as
Digitalis spp., Convallaria majalis, strophanthin, and the cardiac glycosides digitoxin and digoxin.  However, because of its coronary vasodilating and antiarrhythmic effects, it also potentially reduces the toxicity of these cardiac glycosides by reducing the dosage needed to achieve the desired effect.  It may increase the effects of beta-blockers.  Hawthorn can increase the coronary artery-dilating effect induced by theophylline (a bronchodilator), adrenaline, adenosine (an antiarrhythmic), papaverine (a vasodilator), caffeine (a vasodilator), and sodium nitrate (a salt used to preserve food).  However, the European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy monograph does not list any interactions, so some authorities apparently do not consider these interactions significant.  It can potentiate barbiturate-induced sleep times. Consult a physician when symptoms continue unchanged for longer than 6 weeks or in cases of swelling of the legs. Medical diagnosis is absolutely necessary when pain occurs in the region of the heart, spreading out to the arms, upper abdomen, or the area around the neck;  or in cases of respiratory distress (dyspnea).

Rose Petal, Rosa centifolia, organic

Safe to consume when used appropriately.

Fennel Seed, Foeniculum vulgare, organic

Avoid use of Fennel seed alcohol liquid extracts and Fennel seed essential oil during pregnancy or lactation.  Avoid if allergic to members of the Apiaceae family (carrot family).  Fennel seed might increase the risk of bleeding or bruising.  Avoid with bleeding disorders. Avoid with Cipro. Avoid with birth control pills.  Avoid with hormone-sensitive conditions such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids. Avoid with Tamoxifen. Not for long-term use.

Passion Flower Herb, Passiflora incarnata, organic/wild crafted

Safe to consume when used appropriately.

Lavender Flower, Lavandula angustifolia / x intermedia, organic

One study indicated Lavender Flower stimulated uterine contractions in isolated pregnant animal uteruses.  According to one botanical safety source, no other information on the safety of Lavender Flower in pregnancy has been identified.

Reishi Mushroom (Red), Ganoderma lucidum, 

Avoid use with blood thinning medications.    Avoid use with immunosuppressive medication.  Use with caution if diabetic and monitor blood sugar levels.

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