Herbs and flowers are close to our hearts. They carry a collective folklore from the earliest days. Naturally, many herbs have been traditionally connected to love and romance. Some were used as love charms or written about in the greatest poetry. Some resemble lover’s knots and inspired romantic rituals that last till today. Here are some of my favorite romantic herbs+their uses:
1. Honeysuckle. What could be more romantic than an herb whose sweet scent comes out under moonlight? Honeysuckle is a climbing vine and when planted it forms knots and bows around walls and fences. Even the flowers resemble two lovers intertwined. Some benefits of honeysuckle beside its sweet scent include its powerful antibacterial, antihistamine effects as well as its use in cleansing, cooling, and calming coughs and digestive troubles. Drink a tea of honeysuckle blooms for dreams of love+passion.
2. Rose. The queen of the flowers. No other flower has been written about in love songs+poetry so much as this. It would take ages to list all the references to the rose in Greek myth, the Bible and other religious writings, Shakespeare’s sonnets, the treatises of the alchemists, and so many more. The red rose is considered the quintessential symbol of love throughout the world. It makes sense that rose petals are good for the HEART and lower cholesterol. They are also anti-inflammatory, mildly laxative, and have sedative powers.
3. Basil. In Bocaccio’s Decameron, Lisabetta, whose brothers killed her lover, is shown where he is buried in a dream and she plants basil nearby, watering it daily with her tears. Young girls in Italy wore basil sprigs as a sign of availability and Folklore dictates that if a man accepts a basil plant from a woman they will fall in love. Basil is helpful in relieving stress and head colds as well as improving the appetite. In India certain varieties are considered holy and bring spiritual elevation.
4. Dandelion. The Rustic Oracle. I remember being a child and plucking up dandelion puffs, blowing the little spikes into the wind. There are various interpretations of this tradition, but all revolve around love. Some say if you blow all the petals away in one breath you will find true love. Others say however many petals remain are the number of children you will have. Whatever it is, it’s a romantic gesture that’s been around for ages. Dandelion is a preventative, tonic herb that is excellent for the liver, kidneys, and overall health of the body. You can drink dandelion coffee daily to reap the endless benefits of this romantic little herb.
5. Patchouli. A known aphrodisiac of the mint family, the Victorians of the 1860’s and the flower children of the 1960’s were all very into this amazing herb, and rightfully so. Rich, earthy, woody, and sweet, it not only masks other smells but it can help beat stress, depression, nausea, and lack of libido. It’s good for dandruff, eczema, acne, and fungal infections, as well as healing burns. The essential oil has been used for centuries as a sensual, “inspiring,” herb. It’s a natural insect repellant too, so it’ll keep the bugs away and the lovers close.