In both Traditional Chinese Medicine and the Unani – or Persian-Arabic medicine tradition – the heart is believed to be the seat of consciousness. By stimulating the heart energy center with the following spices and herbs for love, you can expand your awareness of the world around you and transform how you relate to it. By doing so, your relationships and experience of life will become much more colorful and expansive.
When it comes to opening oneself to love and romance, the state of the heart chakra is paramount to the quality of the experience. If we live in the mind most of the time, we probably have an imbalanced heart chakra. indeed, in much of the wisdom of the East, the mind is viewed as the heart’s servant – and not the other way around.
In the West, we have been rewarded for using our minds for centuries, and our rational and logical abilities are currently the most important traits in our social and economic environments. But the more energy we feed our minds, the less energy is available for other energy centers – or chakras – in our bodies. When this imbalance happens, we can easily become detached from our emotions and have a hard time connecting to others on a deeper level. We also close ourselves to other forms of love by becoming detached from our connection to all animals, nature, and other life forms that are quite different from us.
The antidote to be more loving and to open one’s heart to love and romance is to start feeding the heart chakra more energy and trust its intelligence in your life.
In the words of the great mystic Rumi, “let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.”
How to Open Up the Heart Chakra
One of my good friends is a massage therapist at fancy spas in the US, and one day we got talking about her clients and their most pertinent needs. As an intuitive and an energy healer, she told me that she sensed that most of her clients had very closed heart chakras.
That got us talking about the Western culture, how we’re primed to operate on defense our whole lives in order to survive, and how, in order to seem successful in the eyes of others, we put on an energetic armor and lock away the full power of our emotions and vulnerability.
The cultural demands themselves ask us to compete, outsmart, and over-perform over the next guy, since the pie is finite and we have to get our piece. How shortsighted, tragic, and what an existence that is based on lack and scarcity.
No wonder that a culture that is based on “proving oneself worthy” and transactionalism would breed the worship of the mind and the closing off of the heart. As Tina Turner cemented this cultural sentiment very well in her song “What’s love got to do, got to do with it? What’s love but a second-hand emotion,” demoting the power of love as a force of personal transformation and evolution has been a truly Western phenomenon.
So, how would you know that your heart chakra is imbalanced and your heart needs more healing? According to The Herbal Academy, when the heart chakra is unbalanced or blocked, we may experience the following symptoms:
- Feeling demanding, jealous, possessive, and co-dependent
- Trying overly hard to please others
- Lack of boundaries
- Inability to say “no”
- Immersion into others’ problems
- Flakiness and forgetfulness
And if the imbalance is caused by a “yang” deficiency, the following patterns arise:
- Anti-social, withdrawn, shy, cold, critical,and intolerant disposition
- Loneliness and depression
- Difficulty in obtaining healthy relationships
- Fear of intimacy
- Bitterness, selfishness, and passive-aggressiveness
Energetic deficiencies are usually caused by the over-activation of some energy centers of the body at the expense of the others. Since we have a certain amount of energy supply in the body, how we utilize this energy and build habits around activating them can also result in what we experience as “deficiencies” in certain areas of our lives.
For example, energetic imbalances can cause physical side-effects, and “mysterious” illnesses that Western doctors are unable to diagnose are most likely the result of these deficiencies. In my opinion, chronic acidosis and energetic imbalances which interplay with our core genetic blueprint are two reasons why we develop disease.
What is interesting to note is that the heart chakra relates profoundly to the other chakras, and if they are imbalanced as well, the heart chakra can likewise become energetically depleted. As attested by The Herbal Academy, the heart chakra can become imbalanced due to the imbalance in the lower chakras – or the root, sacral, or solar plexus power centers.
This means that the openness to love energy is highly related to our ability to experience abundance, security, express our creativity, be courageous, and have the capacity to manifest our desires. If the heart is closed, we must also look at whether our ability to meet our lower chakra needs has a lot to do with this.
In general, the restoration of the heart chakra is at the core energetic. And you can get an energy supply in many ways – be it through mental focus, physical chemistry (raw foods and herbs), interpersonal relations, and lifestyle changes.
The first step to this restoration is to make a checklist in your life of whatever depletes your energy and start making changes that prioritize balanced energetic exchange. Secondly, you should evaluate where you are not meeting your physical, emotional, and spiritual needs, and figure out an action plan to build your life around their fulfillment. And finally, you can start to practice more loving thoughts, actions, gestures, and eating habits.
Why Herbs Heal the Body and Help Elevate Cellular Function
For millennia, our ancestors have grown and utilized herbs for medicinal purposes and learned much about their healing properties by watching sick animals graze pastures for the right herb to ease their affliction. Particularly, during pagan times, we were tremendously connected to nature and its cycles and understood the profound relationship we shared with all life.
We planted gardens, had a personal relationship with our food and its production, and understood how our own bodies were connected to the laws of nature and the cosmos. Every season brought with it new energy cycles and demanded a shift in our approach to life, and by aligning to them, we learned how to stay in balance and in good health.
Once we deviated from nature and moved to the cities to live modern lives, we had lost the signals and cues from our environment that guided us to live a more balanced existence. Without these cues, we had disrupted our circadian cycles and had started to live on a whim – disconnected from the healing power of foods, contact with nature, and the cycles of the moon and the planets.
Throughout history, herbs have been used as primary medicine for humanity and are still used by most of the world as the primary source of healthcare. What makes herbs so powerful is that they possess consciousness that elevate cells and restore their original function.
And like people, herbs also have different personalities and roles in terms of healing. Some are cooling, while others are warming, toning, and detoxifying. And since they possess such different properties, knowledge of the art of herbalism is fundamental for every natural healer. Knowing how herbs interact with cells, when and how they are picked, how they are prepared, what other herbs they correspond with, and how they can be prepared into medicine is a profound skill every healer must master in all cultures.
Top 10 Spices and Herbs for Love and Romance
Ah, romance! How do we attract it into our lives? Well, if you look at romance from an archetypal (psychological and energetic) perspective, it is a merger of Mars and Venus energies so that they can balance each other out. Mars is a fiery, “active” energy that is usually personified in masculine energy and traits, while Venus is a creative, “nurturing” energy that is personified by female energy and traits. Mars is the “yang,” while Venus is the “yin”.
The pinnacle and purpose of romance and relationships are both personal evolution and the chance to balance one’s yin and yang energies. If we are too “yang” for a male or a female, then someone’s predominant “yin” energy will attract us in order to make us more “balanced”. Love is ultimately a calling toward inner alchemical growth that we undergo as we feel the desire to integrate the healing and transformative energy of another.
To have healthy, loving relationships, we must first be willing to heal and grow. And once we are on that journey of self-love, another’s presence will only help us further on that journey.
Which takes me to the best spices and herbs for love and romance! Quite frankly, the ones you “need”, you will be attracted to energetically. You can read through the list of my top spices and herbs for love below and see which most resonate with you; this “resonance” is a strong indicator that your body needs that energy to rebalance the heart and other energy centers.
In Ayurveda, rose is associated with romance, because it balances out the fire element in the body, which is associated with heart and emotions. It is also known to soothe the heart, and at the same time, harmonize the mind. Interestingly enough, rose is known to be both cooling to the body but also stimulating of the digestive heat.
Rose petals are known to harmonize the blood, alleviate depression and grief, promote vulnerability, and strengthen personal boundaries (no wonder they have thorns!). Their smell and essence evoke relaxation and enchantment. In terms of chemistry, rose benefits include nervous system support, and have antioxidant, antispasmodic, sedative, and aphrodisiac qualities.
If you’ve never watched the movie Chocolat with Juliette Binoche, you absolutely should in order to truly understand the heart-healing benefits of cocoa. In fact, cocoa – extracted with less heat than cacao – is the quintessential heart nurturing medicine.
For example, cacao ceremonies date back centuries in South America and are used to unblock the heart space and deepen one’s connection self and others. Cocoa and chocolate are also known to be wonderful for grounding and stabilizing emotions. Ultimately, both cocoa and cacao help facilitate creativity, intuition, and inspiration.
And in terms of the physical heart, cocoa is known for its myriad cardiovascular benefits, including better cholesterol levels, improved blood pressure, and improved artery function.
The smell of jasmin evokes the essence of the spring and the blossoming of nature – it literally means “a gift from God” in Persian. It is undeniable that jasmin aroma is highly romantic and that it has strong aphrodisiac effects. From Thailand to India, jasmine flowers symbolize love in all its forms and are included in weddings and as bedroom decor for newlyweds. Jasmin is known to boost one’s mood, uplift the senses and energy levels, and radiate positivity.
Jasmin is full of antioxidants and boosts immunity. It is known to treat cardiovascular issues, stress, nervous disorders, wound healing, reproductive disorders, and cognitive function.
Hawthorn is rich in antioxidants and is known as the ultimate heart herb that has many heart benefits including normalizing blood pressure, decreasing chest pain, lowering bad cholesterol, and promoting healthy arteries. Overall, Hawthorn helps regulate the heart’s function and helps relax the blood vessels, thanks to a component in hawthorn called proanthocyanidin.
Additionally, hawthorn is used as energy medicine for the heart. In the form of flower essence, it is known to help the heart give and receive love and heal grief and heartache. It also evokes self-love, acceptance, and inner strength. And since the heart is our core – and is known as ‘coeur’ in French – the use of hawthorn promotes the development of courageousness towards both love and life. As with many heart-acting energy remedies, hawthorn helps us to develop courage.
Cayenne pepper is a hot spice that is used in natural medicine to stop internal as well as external bleeding. A fiery stimulant, it is also beneficial for the cardiovascular and the circulatory system, lowering blood pressure and promoting blood flow throughout the body. It is known to naturally thin the blood and prevent blood clots, strokes, and heart attacks. In fact, cayenne is a scientifically-backed natural medicine for anyone with heart problems and a history of heart attacks.
But, given that cayenne is composed of warming elemental energy, it likewise serves male yang energy well in terms of libido. It stimulates the body’s energy flow and assists with the production of endorphins for euphoric and sexual arousal. In fact, in a number of cultures, cayenne is used to instigate longer-lasting erections and more intense orgasms.
Chai spices are Indian Ayurvedic warmers that help promote circulation and metabolic function in the body. Ginger, clove, turmeric, fennel, cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg are autumn favorites when we’re looking to warm up our bodies, but they are also known to lower blood pressure, help improve digestion, support heart function, boost energy and improve cognitive function.
When made as tea or added to salads and curries, the warming energy of these chai spices stimulates the senses and instigates passion.
Nettle is known as the quintessential panacea herb that is full of nutrients and works to alkalize and heal all areas of the body. As a heart aid, the high levels of essential minerals and electrolytes in nettle help the body absorb bad cholesterol, lower blood pressure, treat anemia or blood deficiencies, and prevent strokes.
Stinging nettle is a strong herb that is very protective of its powers (hence, it stings!). It is both a detoxifying and fortifying herb that opens the heart chakra, removes blockages, and feeds it with nourishment and comfort. Overall, it promotes healthy circulation of the blood, oxygenating all the cells and lowering inflammation.
Marjoram is a vibrant and aromatic herb that is related to oregano. It has many benefits for the body, helping strengthen the nervous, respiratory, and cardiovascular systems. It is wonderful for lowering blood pressure, reducing bad cholesterol in the blood vessels, and lessening the symptoms of hypertension. Marjoram stimulates the heart chakra, and can help you reconnect with yourself, especially after a long grieving process or loss.
Marjoram is known as a symbol of familial love and is often used in creating love charms. It is also helpful for relieving stress, shock, grief, and PTSD.
Known as Peruvian ginseng, maca is a powerhouse of vitality. This root vegetable (not a spice or herb, per se, but close) is known to manage hormonal imbalances and increase testosterone or estrogen levels in the body. Some studies have found that maca improves the libido and has strong effects on helping increase sexual desire and correct erectile dysfunction. In women, it is correlated with greater regularity of menstrual cycles and increased fertility.
Damiana is also known as the Latin American love herb. Although it is most widely used as medicine for the nervous system and anxiety, it is also known as a relaxant and a promoter of reproductive health. In Mexican tradition, it is utilized in love elixirs and magical love spells. It is said that sprinkling its petals on a doorstep during a full moon can help bring back lost love.
Damiana is wonderful for women’s health, helping with PMS symptoms, menstrual cycle, and stress. And in terms of sensual pleasure, Damiana is also known to increase libido, euphoria, and intimacy.
*If you’d like to purchase these herbs, my advice is to always go for organic and wildcrafted herbs, as they are not chemically processed and retain their full healing benefits. Likewise, one of my favorite organic herbal stores is Starwest Botanicals – one of the largest herbal organic stores in the US that is committed to best harvesting, processing, and environmental practices.
*Starwest Botanicals is my affiliate partner, and any purchases made through the link above will not come at any additional costs to you but a proceed of it will help support my small business. Thank you!
Using herbs, spices, and roots increases the vital flow of yang energy to our heart chakra, facilitating a shift in our personal awareness and healing the heart space. As the seat of consciousness, the heart energy center holds the most electromagnetic energy of all the chakra centers, and represents the Leo zodiac sign – the “King” of the animal kingdom – in astrology. And if the heart is the king, then the king deserves to be treated with utmost reverence!
If you find that you have trouble with courage, will, self-love, personal boundaries, over-giving, and relationships in general, working with your heart chakra will help you heal and transcend any of these personal limitations.
Our fuel is chemistry (which is converted to energy) and pure energy, and raw foods, spices, and herbs are one way we can increase our energetic reservoir and rebalance our body. And once we feel more balanced and heart-centered, our personal relationships and love life will transform. We will attract healthier connections that help us grow, while our love lives will be more vulnerable, tender, and passionate.
I would be happy to know (let me know in the comments!) if and how these spices and herbs for love helped you open up your heart chakra to new life adventures – how wonderful!
And if you’d like to learn more about how to strengthen your own relationship with yourself by nurturing more self-love in your life, you can read my article 6 Herbs for Self-Love: Empowering Your Life with Ancient Medicine. The more I learn and embrace herbs in my life, the more I am in awe of their generosity and profound wisdom…may they do the same for you!