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Herbs for Grief

Hearts get broken but it's possible to piece them back together. Learn how to handle grief with help from these plant-based remedies.

| December 2014

  • Recovering from a broken heart isn’t easy, but there are herbal allies that can help you through the process.
    Photo by Fotolia
  • With personal stories and case histories, you can discover more than 180 plant-based remedies in “The Gift of Healing Herbs” by urban herbalist Robin Rose Bennett.
    Cover courtesy North Atlantic Books

Explore the world of herbalism and how to use plant-based medicine to improve wellness in Robin Rose Bennett’s book The Gift of Healing Herbs (North Atlantic Books, 2014). In this excerpt, from chapter 10 “The Nervous System,” Bennett discusses how to handle grief with the help of herbal preparations.    

You can purchase this book from the Mother Earth Living store: The Gift of Healing Herbs

Hearts get broken. They always have, and they always will. The only heart that can’t be broken is the heart that is already completely open. We are often told we have to “just let it go,” whatever “it” is.

While you can let experiences settle to the back of your mind and heart instead of the forefront, what has happened has happened. What you’ve seen, you’ve seen. To where can you let it go? These painful events are part of you, part of what makes you who you are. Experiences that hurt so badly when you’re going through them ultimately awaken your compassion and foster the deepest healing and reconnection.

You can consciously partner with an herb using a specific intent to reconnect to and open your heart, to remember how to put love first. I counsel people who have been trying to let go and yet feel totally stuck, that the task is not to let go but to allow their own heart to expand in order to hold the pain and not be engulfed by it—to metaphorically grow the heart so that the pain can be there, held in their love, which is so much greater than they can imagine.

I realize this is not easy. It requires courage, clear intention, and support. It asks for your willingness to release attachment to your story, to your interpretation of events. Along with this flexibility of mind, it requires clear seeing, which is to simply see what is without blame. Some of my favorite herbal allies for heartbreak and heartache, shock and grief are: lavender, rose, hawthorn, motherwort, linden and violet.

12/30/2014 4:37:20 PM

Hi GAYLEE. Making an appointment with a qualified and experienced herbalist is the best place to start. Otherwise try a health food store. I get herbal extracts from a herbalist & naturopath. This is the safest way because some herbs have cautions. For example, taking St Johns Wort internally can interfere with the contraceptive pill, so always best to get qualified information first. I get the dried herbs like Linden Leaf from an organic online plant nursery called Mudbrick Cottage Herb Farm which is located in Queensland Australia. But there are loads of similar herb companies the world over. Mountain Rose Herbs and Horizon Herbs in the USA are two that come to mind. Do an online search for "medicinal organic herbs" OR "medicinal wild crafted botanical herbs".

12/30/2014 4:18:22 PM

I second the Linden baths for making you relaxed. I have also been taking a Rhodiola and Schizandra herbal extract for some months now. My stress, depression, anxiety and grief have completely gone. On a another plus side they are both powerful aphrodisiacs :)

12/15/2014 10:36:49 AM

Where's a good place to get these herbs/ingredients?

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