February has arrived and with it, thoughts of the glorious springtime on the horizon. As the bulbs and buds sprout into action, we too may begin to shift away from winter dormancy and awaken to the possibilities and exciting challenges the next season will offer. Following the slowness of winter, movement, flow, and transformation can be encouraged with the help of some herbal allies.
February can be a time to focus on the heart, our rhythmic and energetic center responsible for the flow of blood and life force throughout the body. The herbs selected for this blend all influence the function of the heart and cardiovascular system physically and energetically. Providing a variety of flavours and medicinal constituents, these herbs work synergistically to make for a tasty, cardio tonic tea.
Hawthorn (Crataegus laevigata) belongs to the rose family and offers medicine in the form of berries, leaves and flowers. Chosen for this tea are the leaves and flowers that contain flavonoids to increase coronary blood flow and support the function of the heart, regulating heart beat.
Rose (Rosa spp.) is beautiful, nourishing, and aromatic. The soft petals act against stress and anxiety while reliving congestion and stagnation of blood and negative energy in the body.
Linden (Tilia europaea) is a large deciduous tree adorned with flowers and leaves used for vasodilatation and for managing stress and nervous tension. This herb is used preventatively for arteriosclerosis and hypertension.
Spearmint (Mentha spicata) is high in essential oils which provide an uplifting, fresh flavour. This herb acts as a blood mover, relaxant to the digestive system, and cognitive enhancer.
Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) belongs to the mint family and has a pleasantly bitter taste in small doses. This cardio tonic herb is an antispasmodic, circulatory stimulant, and can be used to regulate blood pressure.
Measure out equal parts of each dried herb and mix well. The amount will depend on how much tea you want to make. You can start out with 5g of each herb which will give you enough tea for approximately 25 cups. To enjoy, pour boiling water over 1 tsp of the tea blend, cover the cup, and let it sit for 10 minutes.
Hawthorn leaf & flower (Crataegus laevigata)
Rose petals (Rosa spp.)
Linden (Tilia europaea)
Spearmint (Mentha spicata)
Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca)
“Crataegus oxygantha Monograph.” Handout. Pacific Rim College. Victoria, British Columbia.
“Mentha pipertita Monograph.” Handout. Pacific Rim College. Victoria, British Columbia.
“Tilia europaea Monograph.” Handout. Pacific Rim College. Victoria, British Columbia.
Wood, Matthew. (2008). The Earthwise Herbal. Berkeley, California: North Atlantic Books.
Photography and text by Liza Couse who is currently enrolled in the Diploma of Phytotherapy program.