What relationship is the most important that you will ever have? The one you have with yourself-of course!
Putting that relationship and our own needs first is not selfish, it’s a necessity, and one that we sometimes forget to cultivate. Without our own basis of self-love, and the health of our emotional/spiritual well-being, we can’t begin to love and care for others.
“If you don't love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?”
While our own self-care rituals take many forms; eating well, getting enough sleep, exercising and meditating, drinking enough water- we often turn to plants to give ourselves a special treat. Instead of starting with “what do I need to fix about myself in order to be happy” lets all go straight to the desired outcome – to be more joyful and present in who we are in all of our perfection in the moment. Let's take a look at how we can cultivate joy the Herbal Ally Way.
Plants/Herbs that are associated with love and romance, are often referenced by tales of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, beauty, and sensuality, and many are plants that are often already in our cabinets, spice racks and gardens.
Some of the best herbs for self-love are what's known as "nervines". Nervine herbs feed and replenish the nervous system and support a sense of calm in the body. They quiet excess mind chatter and help to enliven our senses. Whether you are going to Netflix & Chill with a loved one or not, these plants open up our hearts and allow the tension in our bodies to melt away – leaving us in a comfortable zone to engage in a loving conversation and be a little gentler and kinder in our actions towards ourselves and others.
A few of my favorites with recipes and ideas for their use. A Tea/Elixir, a Bath and an Incense for you to enjoy.
Rose: A favorite herbal ally for the heart, rose is used to support and open the energetic heart chakra. Rose medicine allows us to be open to new possibilities, to be strong and protected while doing so as well. This is a great herb to use in syrups and elixirs as roses are sweet and their floral nature pairs excellent with raw honey.
Wild Rose Elixir
I recommend working with Rose and preserving its virtues in whatever preparation calls to you, but thought I'd share one of my favorites, the elixir (which are also called cordials in herbalism). This preparation really captures the real essence of the rose taste, and the sweetness of the honey adds a grounding and harmonizing effect to the medicine as well. Here's the recipe!
Rose petals (fresh or dried) Mason Jar
Rose hips (fresh or dried) Chopstick or Knife
Honey (raw is best) Label
Fill your jar half full of rose hips and then top off with dried rose petals.
Fill jar 1/3 of the way with honey and stir gently with a chopstick or knife.
Top off with brandy, seal the jar and gently shake. Let it sit in a dark cool place for
4-6 weeks, shaking gently every day or so. After 3 weeks you can try it out but let it sit longer!
Screw the lid on tightly and label your jar.
Let steep for 4 weeks, shaking daily. After 4 weeks, you can strain off or leave the herb in and the extract will continue to get stronger with time.
15 - 30 drops. 2-6 5 - 10 drops.
7-12 10 - 15 drops.
Spearmint: Plants have inspired love and lovers throughout history. Greek mythology cites a story of love gone wrong and its herbal result. Persephone, the Queen of the Underworld and Goddess of Spring, was married to Hades. Hades strayed, taking the nymph Menthe as a mistress. When Persephone discovered the affair, she turned Menthe into a plant. To soften the blow, Hades adjusted her spell to make the plant pleasantly scented when crushed or trod upon. This plant became known as spearmint, which brings love, healing and wisdom. As a nervine, our friends in the mint family help to both relax away stress and tension while also rejuvenating the nervous system
Eucalyptus Spearmint Bath Salts.
Therapeutic, and much like a spa experience in your own home, botanical baths are a lovely way to wind down after a long work day, or when you need a moment of retreat and alone time.
To set the mood, light candles, prepare tea or enjoy some of the above elixir, listen to soft, soothing music, and soak for long periods with a good book, or just simply being. It’s a great time to focus on your breath and just let it all go. Gentle self-massage would be excellent as well.
• 2 Cups of Epsom Salt
• 1 Cup Baking Soda
• 8 drops of Spearmint Oil
• 16 drops of Eucalyptus Oil
1. Start by mixing the salt with the baking soda in a small bowl. Make sure you mix them thoroughly.
2. Next add the oils. I like mine to have a strong smell. You could always start with half and add more if you like them stronger. Mix well.
3. Store them in an airtight jar. (I know you witches have jars!) You can use a mason jar or anything else you have.
• To use, add about 1/4 cup to a warm bath. Breathe deep and relax. Self Love at its finest! Enjoy!
Basil: The ancient Romans considered basil the herb of love, burning its leaves for love spells and including them fresh or dried in potions. Like all members of the mint family,basil is also an effective nervine.
Love Incense (To attract love, strengthen love you have, to expand your
ability to love yourself and thereby give and receive love as well.)
Loving ourselves is the very first step to living a happy and fulfilling life. But how often do we end up not showing ourselves the love and the respect we deserve? With the right incenses, you can boost your self-love as well as enjoyment of life. If we offer incense to deity and Ancestors why not make an offering to ourselves as well?
Using incenses for self-love correctly is very important to let them do their magick! I highly recommend you let the incense burn by itself while doing something for yourself! It could be taking a relaxing bath or performing your beauty routine!
2 parts sandalwood
1/2 part basil
1/2 part bergamot
a few drops rose oil
a few drops lavender oil
Treat Yourself with Beauty, Pleasure and your Herbal Allies: Don’t save the best for last! Drink your best herbal tea from your fine china, cook a special meal and set the table as if you are a guest in your home. Treat yourself to those beautiful flowers from the floral dept at the grocery store or an aromatic oil massage. The feelings of pleasure are part of a well-balanced and joyful life; happiness producing activities such as yoga, dance, and creative hobbies like making art, gardening, or cooking. Whatever your whim– treat yourself with Joy.
These pleasurable acts of self-love help us feel inspired, loving, receptive, and liberated. They Drive Wellness-Body, Mind and Spirit.