We all know the traditional Valentine gifts—chocolate, roses, wine, candle light dinner and etc. This time-honored February tradition is aimed at the heart, our loved ones. Protect your precious love with natural health: Herbal medicine is on it.

Rose Bud Tea

It is normal to think of roses when offering a love gift, but did you ever wonder how drinking rose bud tea would affect the heart and chest circulation? Red Chinese rose bud tea makes a relaxing, pleasantly bitter/sweet tea. Love is often bitter/sweet. This tea offers advantages: It soothes stress headache and helps to ease chest pains resulting from poor circulation or troubling emotions. It makes a worthwhile gift for an elderly or melancholy friend. Steep the small red buds in a glass tea pot so that you can enjoy viewing the flower buds open and inhale the garden fragrance.

Rhodiola – Hong Jing Tian

This semi-sweet root that grows in Russia, China and Tibet has long been considered a “heart tonic.” Long before it was “discovered” by Western psychologists, Chinese cooks steeped the root in liquor to make a delicious extract, an after dinner digestive and heart-strengthening remedy. It is commonly used to treat altitude sickness, bleeding, and respiratory conditions in Chinese Medicine.

Western Research

Research can be funny. Big university studies often summarize finding by recommending additional research and, of course, calling for additional funds to continue research on herbs that have been used for many generations. Here is only one example from Rejuvenation Research:

Using the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, we investigated the effects of Rhodiola on life-span. Rhodiola is a plant root used in traditional Chinese medicine that may increase an organism’s resistance to stress. It has been proposed that Rhodiola can extend longevity and improve health span by alleviating oxidative stress.

Aside from healthy, elderly flies, rhodiola may be used by humans as an adaptogen. Today, rhodiola is promoted to increase energy, stamina, strength, and mental capacity, improve athletic performance, resist the effects of stress, and help manage depression, anxiety, and other symptoms.

TCM and The Heart

Traditional Chinese medicine considers the heart and its energetic tributaries to be a master of other organs and a source of warmth in our body. It also is said to keep the mind and emotions in balance—neither too hot nor too cold.

The endless cycle of blood circulation provides nutrition for the body, including our organs and limbs, ensuring normal functioning of the various structures and organs. A healthy individual will appear as energetic, having a rosy complexion and a rhythmic forceful pulse.

So a person with a healthy heart has more than a normal cholesterol level and lack of the usual chest symptoms. According to traditional Chinese medicine TCM, a healthy heart affects our senses, our complexion, speech, mental clarity and emotional stability. The tip of the tongue, the pulse, the complexion (ruddy or pale), the timber of speech (screech or moan), and overall appearance (organized or messy, dirty) indicate the state of health. Also the “here-ness” the presence that we sense when someone is balanced (what TCM doctors call shen or spirit) is seen in the eyes.

Fu Fang Dan Shen Pian (pills)

These Chinese herbal pills, in the cute little pink box typical of Chinese patent remedies, contain three of the most important herbs in the Chinese pharmacopeia that are used to protect heart health.

Ingredients:

  • Chinese Salvia Extract (root & rhizome),
  • Tienchi Ginseng Extract (root),
  • Ligusticum Wallichii Extract (root)

Directions: Take 3 tabs each time, 2-3 times daily. Or consult your herbalist. Do not use if pregnant. Keep out of reach of children.

Danshen appears to improve the force of heart contractions and relax the smooth muscle of the coronary arteries, improving circulation to the heart. According to Carolinas Medical Center, danshen may prevent heart damage. It helps blood circulation by tinning the blood and helping to regulate blood pressure. … Cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart) can be associated with congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease and atherosclerosis. Here is a book to help you, the heart patient or caregiver.

The two other herbs, tienchi ginseng and ligusticum, both enhance blood circulation and are used for correcting “blood stasis” a condition that well describes chest pain, bruising, cold hands and feet, lack of menstruation, or even stress headache.

Why cold hands and feet?

An old Chinese saying is: The feet are the second heart. If the heart is healthy, nourishing blood reaches all extremities. After the cozy dinner– soft music, red wine or black tea, a loving nightly foot rub–give your special other heart protection.

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