How’s Your Heart? Happy, Healthy February

Whether we are just coming off a January cleanse or are still struggling with the excesses of the holidays, most of us hope to continue on the road of health and happiness. What better way to feel good about yourself and the world than focusing on a healthy heart?

Speaking for myself (Lori), getting older makes the effort to be healthy a bit more of an uphill road. Sometimes the labs show a bit of elevation in cholesterol, or the blood pressure machine isn’t so kind. Keeping weight off isn’t as easy as it used to be, and some exercise can’t be as vigorous as it once was.  But I never give up- cuz let’s face it- a healthy heart is essential for being vibrant and alive!

As well as keeping us alive, the heart is said to be the place of love, intuition, and higher wisdom. We have a couple allies that will help us along in our journey to open and heal our hearts. Rose and hawthorn are our favorite herbs for stoking love, healing and caring for our hearts.

Who doesn’t think of roses in February? Roses are beloved around the world for their beauty and fragrance, and beholden by herb lovers for their medicinal benefits. You will often find the rose hips in herbal tea formulas, as it has a tart taste that many people enjoy and is full of Vitamin C. The petals can be used in a variety of ways from decorating a green salad to incorporating into cooking (I love rose cookies-just add a few spoonfuls of ground dried petals to your favorite recipe).  Rose is as beautiful inside as out; being cool and anti-inflammatory makes it a favorite healing support herb. I use a rose water eye wash daily to relieve tired, gritty eyes. When added to skin products, it is ever so soothing to irritated, itchy skin as well as being a relaxing scent. We include rose in our Better Butter and Sleepy Butter.

Rose has a very sweet lore; many have claimed it has not only supported their heart health (physically and emotionally), but enhanced romance and libido as well. Rose can be consumed in tea. Indulge yourself in a rose and tulsi blend (you can find this in many stores) for a heart and mind soother. Almost everyone is in love with rose, but consult your caregiver during pregnancy. Always choose roses that are organic as roses are highly sprayed commercially.

At Leelo Rose we love rose! We didn’t always feel that way; in fact, we were rather biased against it based on the array of beauty products and fragrances we have been exposed to (that frankly smelled like a toilet cover up spray). So when we thought about making a rose scented lotion we balked and turned up our nose at some of our first attempts.  “Yuck.”  But in time, when we knew we found “it” we looked at each other and said, “this is it!”  The magic is in the organic damask rose petals soaked in nutrient rich oil, followed by the most delectable rose essential oils we could find.  Leelo Rose rose scented lotion is a big favorite for many people of all ages, who claim they have finally found a lotion that smells like the heaven it is meant to smell like!

So, what about hawthorn? It is not in our skin care products, but I do make a tincture and use it for myself and others to help soothe an anxious or sad heart. Hawthorn has been well-studied as a heart tonic and gets a thumbs up for its positive effects on many heart maladies from high blood pressure to high cholesterol. Hawthorn is safe for most people – the leaves, flowers and berries are easily consumed regularly in teas, tinctures and in food. Consult your health practitioner if your heart is doing anything out of the ordinary, if you have health conditions, or are pregnant, breast feeding, or are on medications.

We at Leelo Rose hope you have had a wonderful January and are off to a good start with your diet and exercise regime. Your heart will love you for that! Some of us have made a few vows that haven’t quite worked out. No problem. February is a good time to regroup on the plans, maybe even take on a few less commitments, and to be kind and loving to ourselves.  Happy February!