Tag Archives: flowers

The Queen of Hearts: Hawthorn Berry + Flowers for Heart Health ♥

via glitter + grace

“Be true! Be true! Be true!” – Nathaniel Hawthorne

Today I am thinking about Hawthorne, but not just the 19th century author from Salem, MA. Crataegus oxyacantha (or hawthorn) is a wonderful shrub of the Rose family that bestows berries full of heart-healing gifts, called hawthorn berries. The berries ripen for the picking in early Autumn, and Juliette de Bairacli Levy states that the aromatic flowers are said to bring fairies into the house – but she warns not to pick them before May. Kay Parent, an amazing herbalist and intuitive healer, advised me to make a hawthorn berry tincture with brandy to help improve my circulation and treat my longtime Raynaud’s condition. Also known as May Bush and Thorn Apple Tree, here are a few ways this crimson red berry can contribute to your heart health:

  •  Hawthorn tones, strengthens, and fortifies the heart
  • Treats high or low blood pressure
  • Regulates pulse
  • Relieves nervous tension + sleeplessness
  • Full of antioxidants
  • Excellent for people with a family history of heart disease
  • Rosemary Gladstar says anyone over 50 should drink it! (It can prevent atherosclerosis, or fatty degeneration of the heart)
  • Lifts the spirits+opens the heart
  • Helpful in cases of depression due to loss, grief, or heartbreak
  • Hawthorn berries can be enjoyed as a jam, paste, tea, tincture, liqueur, or as a powder added to oatmeal with cinnamon.
  • To reap these benefits, Jethro Kloss recommends one cup of hawthorn tea twice a day, sweetened with honey as desired.

Wishing you healthful and heart-full healing ♥ ♥ ♥

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Make Scents: alternative aromatherapy for simple folks (who can’t afford the fancy spas)

via agata kowalska

Why aromatherapy? True healing is holistic and should take the whole person into consideration. Our bodies and souls are interconnected and wellbeing is the balance between them. I believe scent is the sense that unifies the body and the soul, it is physical yet so elusive and its effects on our entire being are undeniably powerful. Olfaction (sense of smell) in humans is the first sense to develop, and it’s already given to babies inside the mother’s womb. The sense of smell is embedded in the amygdala in our brain, precisely where emotions are born and stored. Healing with scent is a natural approach to wellness, and for the skeptics, research reveals the virtues of aromatherapy beyond any doubt.

How to do it? Most people use essential oils for aromatherapy. Essential oils are the quintessence of a plant or flower captured and concentrated. Since this requires a massive amount of plant matter to produce a tiny amount of oil, they can be expensive and are very strong. The good news is you can practice the art of aromatherapy with OR without essential oils:

*MAKE YOUR OWN FLOWER ESSENCES~pick the freshest flowers possible at a time when they are full of life and their scent is at their peak. Place them in a glass bowl and leave it under the soon (or moon) for at least 3 hours. strain the water and bottle the liquid. you can add some brandy as a preservative.

*SURROUND YOURSELF~cook with them, sleep with them, put them in vases and bowls around your house. There is nothing quite as comforting as the smells of cinnamon wafting throughout the house, or relaxing as a bathtub exuding the scents of roses and lavender. Keep a dish of coffee beans nearby your desk at work to perk you up midday, it’s as effective as drinking it!

*STOP+SMELL THE ROSES!!!~The simplest and purest way to reap the benefits of the flowers is to surround yourself with them in their natural habitat. Taking a moment to sit outside near a flower and smell its essence is medicine. Find or grow an aromatic garden where you can breathe in nature’s medicine anytime.  Continue reading

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Tea Blend: Sweet Dreams

“Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.” ― Edgar Allan Poe

Dreamer’s Tea
Adapted from Rosemary Gladstar

2 parts mugwort – the dreamer’s herb
2 parts chamomile – for peace + calm
1 part rose petals – for sweet dreaming
1 part lemon balm – to chase away nightmares + melancholy

+ Add the following for…

*1/2 part honeysuckle flowers – for dreams of passion + love

*1/2 part chrysanthemum blooms – for happy dreams

*1/2 part passionflower – for deep sleep

*1/2 part lady’s mantle – for magical healing

For organic herbs + supplies, visit Mountain Rose Herbs.

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5 Ways to Love + Pamper Thyself

via Cute Kittenz

These days, it seems the fundamental act of truly caring for one’s self (spirit, mind, and body) has been somewhat lost and forgotten amidst the whirlwind of modern life. Our fast paced lives combined with the disintegration of time and space barriers that once meant less scattered living leaves little room for a most important part of well being: uninterrupted, unforgiving self-care rituals. For the sake of world peace, love and pamper yourself.

1. Devote an amount of time each day (or at least each week) to yourself. No phones, no interruptions, just you. Use this time to clear your head, think, dream, and just be. Play music, read a book, take a walk, or simply close your eyes. If you can, establish a ritual that carries as much importance as a meeting for work. I used to treat myself to a cappuccino every Friday morning at my favorite cafe in Prague. Even 5 minutes of solace a day can work wonders.

2.  Listen to your body. If you are craving a certain food or feeling like you need that cat nap midday, don’t immediately shut out the notion. Too often the body is trying to tell us what we need but we are too busy to listen. When to give in and when to resist? A rule of thumb is if you can readjust your priorities without shirking responsibilities, indulge.

3. Tap into the healing power of scent. Aromatherapy is a proven practice with powerful effects. One way is to take an herbal bath. Add 5-10 drops of pure essential oil of chamomile, lavender, and neroli into a warm bath. The heady aroma will transport you to another time and place. It’s amazing how simple and effective this age old pampering technique really is.

4. Respect and tune into your dreams. Sometimes dreams are more important than reality. They can reveal our fears, hopes, and the parts of us that need some love and care. Make a dream pillow with lavender, hops, chamomile, roses, and mugwort – the dreamer’s herb. Before sleep, ruffle the pillow and take in the scents of the herbs. Keeping a dream journal can prove invaluable over time and are often the door to our deepest, wisest selves.

5. Honor your spirit and body. Be grateful for the blessings you do have and make a conscious effort not to dwell upon perceived flaws or shortcomings. A good friend of mine who is a master of positive thinking and believing in herself once taught me a lovely little technique for evoking self-praise. She chooses a letter and thinks of words that inspire and empower her. For example, if the letter is “C” she thinks of creativity, compassion, and courage.

In all, pampering and loving yourself is a matter of listening to your own inner voice. Trusting yourself and your wisdom. Inside each of us there are unique needs and passions that when honored bring about sincere joy and well-being. Wishing you happy pampering.

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New Section: The Language of Flowers

image by I must be a Mermaid

Floriography, or the Language of Flowers, was a most enchanting practice of the Victorian times in which people communicated messages and conveyances through flowers and herbs. This language of flowers is possibly one of the most romantic gestures that ever existed. Writers, poets, artists, and everyday people employed the age-old symbolism of flowers and herbs, rooted in mythology and folklore, to express emotion and ideas. Today, it can be an ideal outlet for those of us who seek the deeper meaning behind things.

Though there are inevitably countless variances in flower meanings based on geography, language, and culture, most flowers’ meanings are remarkably consistent throughout the world. As there are cases of extreme discrepancy, (such as with Basil, which in some manuals meant true love and in others, hatred), when sending or receiving messages it would be wise to combine flowers/herbs whose meanings are more consistent with those that are more elusive. In my attempts to help preserve and perhaps even revive this charming practice, here is an index of some popular flowers and herbs and the meanings assigned to them by tradition and folklore.

Join my Facebook page to send messages to friends using the Language of Flowers.

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