Health in Our Hearts at FBFC

“The heart is
The thousand-stringed instrument
That can only be tuned with
Love.”
--Hafiz

The month of February conjures feelings of love and romance, ultimately bringing forth the heart. We thrive and survive with a healthy heart. The heart is our everything in many ways. When I think of the heart I think of the beating of the drum of life, and how we are all connected through a sacred pulse.

It is now understood that the heart is the strongest generator of electrical and magnetic energy in the body. The heart truly is our center and the place to come home to metaphorically, physically, and spiritually. One principle that we learn as humans is that before we can give to others, we must first ground and root and give to ourselves. To take care of, to listen to, and to honor our heart is one of the most wise things a person can do.

There are a few simple herbs one might bring into their life to increase heart health, therefore bringing vitality to their entire being. Hawthorn, motherwort and rose are all great herbs for the heart.

Hawthorn is an excellent tonic for the heart. It is a nervine, so it assists to relax the body, quieting the nervous system. Traditionally the berries and leaves are used to treat a variety of heart problems from high blood pressure, chest pain, hardening of the arteries, heart failure and irregular heartbeat. Hawthorn is known to strengthen the heart system. In folk tradition Hawthorn was known to bring good luck to the owner and prosperity to the land where it stands. One can use the dried berries to make a medicinal vinegar or syrup. An infusion can be made from the dried berries or the dried leaves. Tincture of Hawthorn is also very effective.

Motherwort is known as the lion hearted herb. It is soothing to the nerves and will help a racing heart caused by tension, stress and upset emotions become calm and relax. Motherwort is an antispasmodic herb relaxing the smooth muscles, one of those being the heart. As it is calming, it can help slow heart palpitations and rapid heartbeat. It has a mildly diuretic effect, which will aid high blood pressure. Motherwort tincture is the best way to invite this herb into your life.

Rose is an excellent tonic for the heart. It is cooling and in ayurvedic terms it also enhances digestive fire, which is a unique combination and therefore makes it balancing for all three doshas. Rose calms the nerves, relieves insomnia and mild depression. It is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-hemorrhagic. Rose can eliminate mental and physical fatigue and soothe anger and resentment. Rose truly helps to open the heart and lift the spirit, and helps one to overcome grief. Dried rose petals can uplift a tea or a bath, while a rose glycerite is delicious to taste. One can also make an herbal honey or infused vinegar with fresh or dried rose petals.

It Felt Love
How
Did the rose
Ever open its heart

And give to this world
All its
Beauty?

It felt the encouragement of light
Against its
Being,

Otherwise,
We all remain

Too

Frightened.
--Hafiz

The FBFC offers many forms of these herbs, as well as an amazing selection of other herbs in dried form, tinctures, glycerties and salves. We have an outstanding Health and Body Care department at the French Broad Food Co-op, including many bulk dried herbs and teas.

When our heart is strong and radiant we can give to our community in a grounded and intentional way. Community is essential to our survival, as one can literally become depressed without a connection to others. As Kurt Vonnegut said, “What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.”

Fortunately, we in Western North Carolina are blessed with a thriving and growing community. As owners of the French Broad Food Co-op we are connected to this community in a unique way, as we support a local grocery business that pays a living wage to it’s staff and sells foods that are grown by local farmers while featuring products that are created small and local businesses.

We must continuously ask ourselves how we can serve our communities. We must look with open eyes and listen with open hearts to see where the needs in our community are. May we all learn to connect and listen to our heart’s needs and dreams so that ultimately we can serve others and in turn, serve the heart of the world.

February 16th the Board of Directors wants to celebrate the FBFC owners with a Love event. From our hearts to yours, we wish to connect and enjoy each other and hear directly from you on how you want our Co-op to impact our community. Of course, we will also have delicious complimentary chocolate, cheese and wine. The event will be at Handmade in America 125 S Lexington Ave. #101 from 3-5pm. Please RSVP to info@frenchbroadfood.coop.