Healing Herbs for Heartache, Heartbreak, Grief, and Shock

Posted by – September 13, 2017
Categories: Ecology & Sustainability Health & Healing

People of good conscience everywhere are reeling from current events in the world that mirror the challenges in our own psyches and relationships, writ large. I love to quote Joanna Macy: “I wanted to change the world. I changed myself and the world changed.” None of us could possibly heal alone, nor change the world alone, nor are we meant to. Plants are part of our community of healers, so please let them help you strengthen, nourish, and support yourself, so together we can do the same for our world and bring all our talents and love together to make the world we know is possible a living reality.

Continue reading for an exclusive excerpt from The Gift of Healing Herbs.

Hearts get broken. They always have, and they always will. The only heart that can’t be broken is the heart that is already completely open.

We are often told we have to ‘just let it go,’ whatever ‘it’ is. While you can let experiences settle to the back of your mind and heart instead of the forefront, what has happened has happened. What you’ve seen, you’ve seen. To where can you let it go? These painful events are part of you, part of what makes you who you are. Experiences that hurt so badly when you’re going through them ultimately awaken your compassion and foster the deepest healing and reconnection.

You can consciously partner with an herb using a specific intent to reconnect to and open your heart, to remember how to put love first. I counsel people who have been trying to let go and yet feel totally stuck, that the task is not to let go but to allow their own heart to expand in order to hold the pain and not be engulfed by it—to metaphorically grow the heart so that the pain can be there, held in their love, which is so much greater than they can imagine.

I realize this is not easy. It requires courage, clear intention, and support. It asks for your willingness to release attachment to your story, to your interpretation of events. Along with this flexibility of mind, it requires clear seeing, which is to simply see what is without blame.

Some of my favorite herbal allies for heartbreak and heartache, shock, and grief are: lavender, rose, hawthorn, motherwort, linden, and violet.

Other supportive herbal allies are sassafras, burdock, nettles, and holy basil. I also like chamomile, mimosa, and cherry blossoms. Soothing nervines that are helpful to get to know are California poppy, skullcap, orange blossoms, and oat straw. Flower essences play a part here, too, as do herbs that match a specific individual in a specific situation. Always use the best herb available rather than none at all when there is an immediate need. Very often even one herb is enough to be comforting, grounding, and/or uplifting. You could go to your kitchen cupboard and make a cup of thyme or basil tea, and benefit immediately and tangibly from the physical, mental, and emotional tension-relieving qualities of these plants.


Tags: Herbalism Robin Rose Bennett
About the Author

Robin Rose Bennett is a compassionate, empowering herbalist and spiritual teacher. Since 1986 she has taught at schools, clinics, progressive and holistic organizations, herbal conferences, and is a repeat guest lecturer at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, St John's Hospital, Montefiore Teaching Hospital, Beth Israel's Nursing program, and Brown University Medical School. She is a faculty member of the New York Open Center and author of The Gift of Healing Herbs and Healing Magic.