As humans, we experience the gift, and sometimes what can feel like a curse, of love. A risk of love is loss – it requires courage to take risks, and we grow when we call upon that bravery and act with love. Love can manifest in many ways in our lives, and doesn’t stop at romantic relationships. We can love ourselves, our friends and family, our pets, our plants, and so much more. Love can bring us happiness and connection, and can actually help relieve stress and anxiety.
On the other hand, for some, the loss of love can actually feel like a heart attack – broken heart syndrome, a condition in which an extremely stressful event causes sudden dysfunction of the heart, can mimic the symptoms of a heart attack. It has been documented in some people who have experienced an emotionally stressful moment, like the death of a loved one, divorce, breakup, rejection, or romantic mishap. These traumatic moments can cause chest pain, shortness of breath, and even an irregular heartbeat .
Our emotional and physical body are deeply intertwined, each one with the ability to affect the other. Supporting our heart and emotional being can have immeasurable benefits on our mental and physical health. Just as there are many ways to feel and experience love in our lives, there are many aromatic plants that can support our heart in dynamic ways, from boosting mood and confidence, to emotional balance and aphrodisiacs. In this article, you’ll learn about 5 aromatic plants for the heart and the wide spectrum of benefits they can offer us. You’ll also get an essential oil blend recipe for the heart to try at home.
5 Aromatic Plants for the Heart
When we inhale the volatile oils from a plant, they are processed by olfactory cells, which are then passed on to the brain. The area of the brain associated with smell is very closely connected with the limbic area, which controls our emotions, memory, sex drive, intuition, and dreams. This is why our sense of smell and aromatic plants have such a powerful and sometimes immediate effect on our mental, spiritual, and emotional body.
The herbs listed below are just a few of many aromatic plants which can help support your heart and emotional being. Every person is unique, and therefore can react differently to each plant, so it is important to experiment and find which plants work best for you.
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Geranium (Pelargonium sp.)
This sweet and slightly spicy smelling flower helps invoke feelings of security, receptivity, and intimacy. It’s aroma helps support relaxation, conveying a feeling of calm strength and safety, supporting the bravery that is often required for opening up to love.
Geranium is known to be an aphrodisiac, which can not only stimulate sexual desire and pleasure, but also rejuvenate our vitality, restore libido, and heal our hearts and emotions. This plant’s aromatics are believed to help us reconnect with our emotional sensitivity, relaxed spontaneity, and willingness to seek pleasure in life. With this, comes a greater capacity for intimate communication and the ability to give and receive love more freely .
Ylang-Ylang (Cananga odorata)
This unique, star-shaped flower has a romantic, floral scent that can be uplifting and euphoric. It is known to help soothe stress, anxiety, sadness, tension, and sleeplessness. It is believed to help support emotional balance and our ability to express and experience joy and pleasure. When we are more relaxed and less stressed, it can be easier to open up to love.
It is also known as an aphrodisiac, helping to reunite our emotional and sensual sides. It is especially indicated for those who have subconsciously blocked their feelings and emotions and need support to express themselves more fully . When this occurs, emotional balance can be established, opening the doors to self-love and restoring your sense of self-worth.
Jasmine (Jasminum officinalis)
This highly aromatic and captivating flower can stimulate desire, creativity, and harmony. It’s warm, rich notes help support a positive mood, and it's believed to help reawaken passion and reunite us with love.
Jasmine is also an aphrodisiac, well-known for its ability to help stimulate sexual desire. In traditional herbal medicine, Jasmine was often referred to as the “Fertility Herb” . However, it's also believed to have a harmonizing nature in the sensual and emotional bodies – if fear of vulnerability stops you from opening up and showing affection, Jasmine can help to support, reassure, and ease your hesitations. Jasmine can help open up the heart, allowing love to flow through the body.
rose (Rosa sp.)
Rose is probably the most iconic symbol of love, from Beauty and the Beast to the classic gift of a dozen Roses. It is known as the “Herb of Love”, sacred to Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, beauty, and fertility . It’s gentle medicine can help calm the nerves, open the heart, and lift the spirit. Rose calms and supports the heart, restoring a sense of well-being. It can also boost mood and confidence, allowing you to be more open to giving and receiving love.
Rose helps to comfort our spirits, and can be emotionally soothing and balancing. It is especially helpful during times of heartache, when rejection, loss, and grief feel heavy on our souls. Rose can bring gentle solace, restoring our capacity for self-love, nurturing, and trust, making it possible for us to love again .
Lavender (Lavendula sp.)
This popular flower actually has positive effects on both the physical and emotional heart. The aroma of Lavender has been used in traditional medicine to treat nervous tension, insomnia, heart palpitations, and high blood pressure. It is known to be cardiotonic and believed to soothe, support, and balance the “vital energy” of the heart, maintaining our overall mental-emotional equilibrium .
Energetically, Lavender can help us release pent up mental energy and built-up unexpressed emotions, promoting a sense of ease and self-expression. Lavender helps us show our true selves to the world, ultimately aiding in forming deeper, more authentic relationships with ourselves and others.
DIY Healing Heart Blend Recipe
• 4 drops Rose Absolute essential oil
• 2 drops Geranium essential oil
• 1 drop Lavender essential oil
Gently swirl the essential oils together. For aromatherapy, add the blend to your essential oil diffuser. To apply topically as an anointing oil, mix with 10 mL of your choice of carrier oil, then apply as desired.
Plant allies for the heart
Love can be many things: beautiful, challenging, scary, fun. It can make us feel like there is a profound meaning to life, and we’ve found it. However, our life experiences can affect us deep on deep levels, making it sometimes difficult to find, give, open up to, or receive love. Sometimes it can be hard to love others if we cannot first learn how to love ourselves. Processing emotions and working through our past experiences can help pave the way for a more intimate relationship with ourselves and the world around us. Aromatic plants can help support us on this sometimes rocky and strenuous journey; because we all deserve love in our lives.
Article Written By Melissa Szaro
- Is Broken Heart Syndrome Real? (n.d.) [Web page]. Retrieved from https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/cardiomyopathy/what-is-cardiomyopathy-in-adults/is-broken-heart-syndrome-real
- Mojay, G. (1997). Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit: Restoring Emotional and Mental Balance with Essential Oils. Rochester, VM: Healing Arts Press.
© 2022 The Northwest School of Aromatic Medicine. All rights reserved.
*The statements above have not been evaluated by the FDA, and are for educational purposes only. This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This article should not be taken as medical advice. Please consult your physician before you use this information for health purposes.