Your body’s energy centers react to all kinds of things, both internally and externally. Trauma, lifestyle choices, and the energy you come in contact with can all disrupt their natural function. Fortunately, this means that there are tools you can use to correct problems that arise in the chakra system.
The heart chakra, Anahata, sits in the middle of the chest. It governs our ability to give and receive love, exhibit self-compassion, and express these feelings in a healthy way.
When it isn’t functioning optimally, we may feel cut off from love, unable to love ourselves, or exhibiting risky behaviors in the pursuit of love and validation. There are several herbs and essential oils that can help open and restore the heart chakra, and multiple ways to use them.
Here are some of the best herbs and essential oils for opening, restoring, and balancing the heart chakra:
Ocimum species (especially O. basilicum, O. basilicum var. thyrsiflora, and O. tenuiflorum) are wonderful culinary herbs for the heart chakra. Their lush, green color and sweet flavor lend well to opening and clearing this energy center.
In some magical systems, basil is known for attracting love and abundance. It’s also said that, “where basil grows, no evil goes!”
Blend sweet basil with pine nuts (or your favorite nuts or seeds) and high quality olive oil for a delicious pesto, or add the whole leaves to salads. Make noodle dishes with Thai basil. You can also drink holy basil (tulsi) as tea.
See article: Basil: Magical Properties, Benefits & Uses.
Citrus bergamia is a citrus fruit whose peels are distilled into a fragrant oil. This is one of the flavorings of Earl Grey tea, which can be consumed to help Anahata. It’s said to help release trauma, reduce stress, soothe, and refresh.
As a citrus oil, bergamot contains a compound called bergapten, which can cause toxic reactions when used topically on skin that’s exposed to sunlight.
For best results, dilute bergamot oil, keep anointed areas covered, use sunscreen, and avoid the sun for 48 hours after application. You can also find some oils that have had the bergapten removed.
You may also wear it in a diffuser necklace, or blend bergamot oil with other heart oils, dilute, and use for massage or anointing the heart area.
See also: Check out Bergamot essential oils here.
Capsicum annuum might seem like an odd choice for a list full of aphrodisiac fruits and flowers, and lush, green herbs, but the best herbs for Anahata also includes those that physically benefit the cardiovascular system.
Cayenne helps improve circulation by triggering a thermogenic response in the body. This means that it causes blood vessels to expand to regulate the body’s temperature, improving blood flow.
Cayenne is also a key ingredient in many people’s comfort foods, and its intense, spicy flavor can trigger a rush of endorphins. To use it, consume your favorite heart-healthy, spicy dishes.
See also: Check out Cayenne peppers here.
Crataegus monogyna is a tree species that produces a red fruit, called haws or hawthorn berries. These fruits are used in syrups, jellies, and teas, and have been credited with toninc the heart and improving its ability to pump efficiently.
Consume the haws raw, or use them to make your own jams, jellies, syrup, or wine. The leaves are also edible when very young, as are the flower petals, and good in salads.
Jasminum species are sweet, floral, and known for their dreamlike, relaxing, aphrodisiac properties. The essential oil is wonderful for making anointing oils or bath products, and is delightful when incorporated into tea.
You can use this plant to aid Anahata either by anointing the heart area with the dilute essential oil, or by drinking beverages flavored with jasmine flowers. You may wish to grow a jasmine plant, too, so you can be greeted by its aroma every day while it’s in bloom.
See also: Check out Jasmine essential oils here.
See article: Jasmine: Magical Properties, Benefits & Uses.
Lavandula augustifolia is a wonderful oil for peace, harmony, and gentle love. Some consider it a universal oil for the entire energy body. It’s also purported to be gentle enough for topical use without a carrier, but those with sensitive skin should always, always properly dilute oils before use.
Place a few drops of lavender oil in a diffuser (avoid diffusers if you live with pets or young children), wear it in an aromatherapy necklace, or use it to create an anointing or massage oil for the heart area. You can also drink lavender in tea.
See also: Check out Lavender essential oils here.
See article: Lavender: Magical Properties, Benefits & Uses.
Origanum majorana is a relative of oregano, albeit lighter and sweeter in flavor. Its lush green color and sweet, delicate flavor make it a suitable herb for healing the heart chakra.
To the ancient Greeks and Romans, it was also a symbol of happiness. Wreaths of the herb were used to crown newlywed couples to bring them love and joy.
You can use it similarly to oregano, but, because of its less spicy undertone and lighter taste, it’s also suitable for teas.
Citrus x aurantia is, like bergamot, a citrus fruit whose peel yields a fragrant essential oil. It’s said to act as an aphrodisiac, relieve depression, and enhance mood.
Some sources claim that it’s not phototoxic, while others say differently. To be on the safe side, treat it like bergamot oil — dilute it well, and avoid putting it anywhere that will be exposed to sunlight.
See also: Check out Neroli essential oils here.
Petroselinum crispum is, like cayenne, an herb that directly benefits the physical heart. Its lush green color also ties it to the heart chakra. In some magical traditions, it’s used for purification, happiness, and communing with the beloved dead.
Parsley is also chock-full of heart-healthy minerals, like potassium. To use it, add it to soups or salads — especially ones full of lush, green vegetables.
See article: Parsley: Magical Properties, Benefits & Uses.
Rosa species are like the rose quartz of the herb and oil world. Some sources claim that these flowers yield the essential oil with the highest vibration possible. Their oil and dried petals are often found in magical workings for self-love and love-drawing, too.
According to some grimoires, roses are versatile enough to stand in for any other flower in magic. To help the heart chakra, anoint the heart center with diluted rose essential oil (either rose otto, or rose absolute). You can also consume the petals in tea or other beverages, or as a garnish for salads.
If you choose to use the essential oil, be sure that it’s authentic — rose is a popular fragrance, and genuine rose extracts are expensive, so it’s often faked. For best results, make your own anointing oil by diluting genuine rose oil in a neutral carrier, like jojoba or sunflower seed.
See also: Check out Rose essential oils here.
See article: Rose: Magical Properties, Benefits & Uses.
Thymus species are related to marjoram and oregano. Historically, it was used to impart courage and ward off nightmares.
Today, it’s primarily a culinary herb prized for its herbaceous, complex flavor that some describe as “lemony” and “peppery.” To benefit the heart chakra, eat more dishes that use thyme — particularly those made with an abundance of iron-rich green vegetables.
See also: Check out Thyme essential oils here.
See article: Thyme: Magical Properties, Benefits & Uses.
The heart chakra is the place that connects the lower chakras, associated with the physical plane, pleasure, survival, and the will, with the higher chakras associated with spirituality and communication.
If it’s blocked, energy can’t circulate through the body the way it should. These herbs and essential oils can help you clear and open this important energy center, freeing your energy to go where it needs to for your highest good.
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