About seven years ago, give or take, my husband gave me the scare of my life. Word to the wise: when your husband can’t walk three blocks without having to take a break, or lift the empty garbage cans out of the back of his truck without feeling pain, you need to clear your calendar for the next few days and drive him to the hospital. Two blocked arteries (both 99% … otherwise known as “widow makers”) and two heart stents later, you realize just how close you came to spending the rest of your days without his kind blue eyes.
So when I enrolled in an intermediate course at The Herbal Academy of New England last year, my motivation was to learn enough about the heart that I could give Dave the natural remedies he needs. I can’t say enough about The Herbal Academy. Whether you’re newly awakened to the concept of natural healing or you’ve been interested in the subject for most of your life, there’s a course designed just for you.
After a bunch of reading and cross-checking and configuring, I came up with a recipe comprised of the most highly recommended herbs for those suffering with issues of the heart. Here’s the herbal tea heart health I mix up for Dave and insist he drinks (although he doesn’t need much convincing. He likes the taste, and he says he’s had much less heart pain since adding this to his regular day):
- 1 part Hawthorn leaves
- 1 part Hawthorn berries
- 1 part Linden
- 1 part St. John’s Wort
- 1 part lemon balm
Mix well and store in a jar (I do six parts of each to make a big batch). Steep 1-2 TBSP in 8 cups boiling water for 5-10 minutes.
You may already have a tea pot that you love, but in case you don’t, here’s a link to my favorite teapot. Not only is it durable, it’s also pretty—and perfect for loose-leaf herbal tea.
And just because the teapot was so pretty, I ended up getting these interesting Turkish tea cups to go with it. Have you ever seen cups like these? Because of the double-wall, you can hold them without feeling the heat of the tea.
So here are all the reasons why I chose these herbs (Enter disclaimer: I am not a doctor; I am not diagnosing you. Nothing I write here implies healing.)
Hawthorne — perhaps the king of all heart-supporting herbs. Full of flavonoids, Hawthorn provides antioxidant which are believed to reduce inflammation and support the immune system. According to Dr. Axe, Hawthorn is “prized for its ability to uplift and strengthen the heart both emotionally and physically and has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for all kinds of serious heart concerns. These include angina, high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries, irregular heart beat and even congestive heart failure. In fact, hawthorn has been used to treat heart disease all the way back to the first century.”
Linden — The properties in the leaves, flowers and bark of the Linden tree are said to reduce inflammation, aid in digestion, fight off diseases, and act as an expectorant.
St John’s Wort — The leaves of this shrub have long been used to treat depression, but it is also gaining credibility in the world of cardiology for is antiviral, antibacterial properties as well as its usefulness to combat stress and sleeplessness.
Lemon Balm — I have this growing everywhere! Part of the mint family, lemon balm will crop up all over your garden if you don’t control it. According herbalist Matthew Wood, lemon balm Is useful against “hyperthyroidism, heart palpitations, atrial fibrillation, high blood pressure, and either a rapid or a superficial pulse.” Plus, it’s pretty taste. 🙂
Do you make your own herbal tea blends?