HEART

BALM

Support for the tender aspects and power of the heart

Heart balm is a devoted and unique remedy made with over twenty different botanicals with an affinity towards the heart. Wanting you well – being a heart’s friend – this is a calming, soothing and uplifting potion created to support and softly cradle the heart in emotionally challenging times. Herbs and oils are carefully chosen to provide protection and relief for various agonies and the emotions accompanied the heart’s concern. Gentle, yet working on deeper and subtle layers, Heart Balm resonates within the core of your bodily being, your soul contact – your heart.                                                                                    

Employ the balm to comfort your heart. And as a way to nourish and adjust your heart energies, attuning its sweet heartstrings.

 

 

We use our five senses and our hearts to pick up audible, visible and invisible signals and signs to manoeuvre around in this life. Apart from the physical activity of the heart that is necessary to life on the material plane, this wonderful constructed muscle is also our informed sense-organ that translates unseen important information to us so we understand what to do at any given situation. So the heart is a kind of tool or ‘antenna’ picking up signals and quietly whispering to our own selves how to respond to them. This ‘whispering’ may happen unconsciously meanwhile we actually believe we are ‘thinking’ ourselves to something. But the brain only acts on the information it already has received by the heart initially. So it is important to keep the heart energies as clear as we can for this important communication, as well for our own balance and wellbeing.  

“You will never be able to escape from your heart. So it’s better to listen to what it has to say.”     

                                                                               – Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

 

Feelings are the language of the heart. And the voice of your soul speaks through your heart. Like a compass, the heart points you in the right direction in life when you leave your mind behind and listen. Opening to your heart means living a passionate, earnest and meaningful life, as the heart is the entrance of your spirit and the place where inspiration, creativity, contentment and happiness reside.

“Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.”

                                                                        – Paulo Coelho, The Alchimist

By living with an open heart we align ourselves with values of tolerance, harmony, compassion and respect for others (and ourselves). But living with an open heart is not always easy. Especially since we all have experiences in our lives that for one reason or another make us close down and succumb to fear. And sometimes the need to protect our emotional and vulnerable heart becomes more important for our own survival than keeping it open.

As it takes courage to love.

To trust.                                                                                         

And sometimes this can also leave us broken-hearted.

To survive in our lives, we all have had to compromise parts of ourselves. And surely, we all have pieces of ourselves we have lost, given away or taken from us over the course of our lives. These losses and tragedies can come in various forms and shapes – some effect us tremendously, others to a lesser extent.           Heart Balm is a comforting ‘love medicine’ to support your truest essence and nature and is meant to be a personal companion in times of emotional stress and upheaval. Traumas of various kinds attack the heart and chest region which can lead to physical pain and tightness in the area. Grief, sorrow and sadness are unavoidable parts of life’s tapestry, and no matter what we do, we all get overwhelmed by these emotions from time to time. As with all living experiences we have to live though them – as best as we can, as ultimately life is intended to be experienced, and so it must be. Never the less, a little help along the way might do many of us good. And our Heart Balm is created just for this very purpose. 

Flow with love. This is a balm to be sensed. It is about fine-tuning. And slow, gentle melting. An ointment can of course never mend a broken heart. But it can work as a subtle protector and assistant, by faithfully and carefully ‘lending a helping hand’ in the process of healing due to the therapeutic botanicals used in the formula. Incorporated in Alabastra botanics’ Heart Balm are beautiful flowers, herbs, spices, barks, roots and woods all carefully selected for their strengthening, comforting, calming, soothing and uplifting properties.

To ease the pressure and grip around the heart, gently massage the amiable balm to the chest and breast area, concentrating on the heart. And meanwhile doing so, try giving your heart some ‘space’ and ‘peace’ by concentrating on the tender aspect of your heart that is true and pure. The centre that is yours, and there, always, no matter what. Love-nectar resides in the heart. So give your heart the care and compassion it deserves and needs. 

A small dab of balm on the finger is all that is needed and the ointment will quickly dissolve and melt into your skin. Pay attention to tight areas and spots and massage gently. Remember to be kind with yourself. Your heart has been ‘out in ruff weather’ and needs care and protection, not impatience and edgy movements.

After massaging, rub the remains of the Heart Balm between your palms, cup the hands and lift up to your face covering your nose and inhale deeply a few times. This way the soothing scents of pure Rose, Hawthorn flowers, Rock Rose, Elderberry flowers, St John’s Wort, wild Violets and all the other heart related botanicals used in the balm can do their healing work from within as well. 

For deeper heart healing, at times you may want to take a piece of warm water-drenched cloth, like a towel, and place it over your chest area after having applied the balm, meanwhile taking a rest. In this manner the precious oils in the balm will penetrate more deeply into your body’s tissues. Only make sure the towel is warm, not too hot or wet, taking care not to burn your sensitive skin.

Even if the balm is meant for the heart, you may benefit from applying it to the soles of your feet as well. This area of the skin has larger pores and here the healing botanicals will enter the blood stream much faster, giving off a more full relaxing body effect, which can especially be enjoyable at night.

Heart Balm can be used not only in times of trauma, but also in times of stress or as a way to heal, open and widen the heart chakra.                                                 By clearing space for the heart and communicating with the heart energies, the sweet smelling and uplifting balm can serve as a gentle and personal guide on your own journey into your authentic self, connecting you to your deeper heart and help you follow the truth that lies within it.  

Perhaps needless to say, the balm will also be a good companion in times of meditation, yoga and spiritual practices like creating sacred space.

Apply as often as needed and desired.
But ideally two, three times a day.

PORTRAIT OF SOME OF HEART BALM’S PLANT COMPONENTS

One of the main ingredients in our Heart Balm is Hawthorn, a small tree or shrub belonging to the rose family. Hawthorn (Crataegus) is a well known herb in western botanical medicine for heart health and has been used as food and medicine for millennia in both east and west. Hawthorn helps to nourish and repair the heart and blood wessels. Where berries from the tree feed the heart, it’s leaves and flowers bring lightness and relaxation to the cardiovascular system, and the thorns provide protection.        

The Hawthorn tree is very old and fossils of the spices have been found from as long ago as 140 million years. The name Crataegus comes from the Greek keratosis which means strength and akis meaning sharp referring to the thorns of the plant. The Hawthorn comes with many names such as Thornapple, May-tree and Whitethorn in English. Hvidtjørn is the name in Danish. And in France it is referred to as l’epine noble (the noble thorn) because it was supposedly used for Jesus Christ’s crown of thorns.

Hundreds and hundreds of the small white flowers with the rose like petals have carefully been selected and lovingly picked in the wild nature to make up the base for our Heart Balm recipe.

Apart from the researched and well documented heart and cardiovascular effects of Hawthorn, it is as well a strong antioxidant and also considered a mildly calming herb for the nervous system.

Another important herb incorporated in the Heart Balm is the biblical Spikenard. Also called Jatamansi, it is a flowering plant of the Valerian family occurring naturally in the high altitudes of the Himalayan mountains. The oil has played an important role in ancient cultures and healing systems and has since ancient times been used as perfume, medicine and in religious contexts across a wide territory from India to Europe. It was associated with spiritual healing, sacredness, and it is a supreme oil for relaxation and rejuvenation. The purifying Spikenard has been used to balance the nervous system, calming the mind, bringing upon emotional equilibrium and for nervous convulsions and heart palpitations. The rich woody essence is known for bringing comfort to heart and soul and it is one of the most important herbal medicines for deep sadness and grief after losing a loved one.

Spikenard is mentioned both in the old and new testament and the most notable story of this healing oil is the one where Mary, the ‘ointment bearer’, anoints Jesus’ feet at a banquet in Bethany with her costly and perfumed Nard oil (as it is also called) kept in an alabaster flask.
It is also said that Jesus used Spikenard oil mixed with Cardamom oil during forms of meditation and healing practice and as means of preparing for his crucifixion.
Spikenard oil was also one of the perfumed unguents found inside the tomb of Tutankhamen in 1923. And amazingly it was still viable after over 2000 years of entombment!

Green Cardamom a spice distinguished for its culinary uses has a fascinating history. 
Native to the east and part of the ginger family, the plant has small lovely flowers resembling orchids, but we best know it for its seed pods with the strong, pungent flavour and aroma.
Used as an herb as far back as 4000 years ago in both Chinese, Ayurvedic and Egyptian medicine, Cardamom captures the spicy mysteriousness of ancient medicinal wisdom. 
Traditionally Cardamom has been used to treat cardiac disorders and reduce spasms, and known for its mood-stabilising properties Cardamom inspires strength, stability, courage and clarity and is a major gift bestowed upon the heart. Deep, rich, sweet and sultry, Cardamom’s power is great, ancient and authentic. And being calmative to the mind and emotions this beautiful spice is all soothing, uplifting and grounding and assists in warming our hearts and filling us with a sense home, belonging and comfort. 

A generous amount of voluptuously sweet and sensuous Rose is also added to our Heart Balm. Used throughout history for it’s lovely scent, rose oil – the quintessential oil of love – encourages feelings of contentment and happiness and is known to be a ‘heart opener’.
In 1992, at Washington State University a machine to measure electrical frequency in humans and food was developed. Studies have later shown that pure grade essential oils have the highest frequencies of any natural occurring substances around. At 320 MHz, pure therapeutic rose essential oil has one of the highest frequencies known to us.
Just for demonstrating this incredible healer’s feat, here are a few facts;
The frequency of a genius’ human brain rages between 80 – 82 MHz, whereas a normal brain lies around 72. The heart lies between 67 – 68 MHz, and disease starts at 58 MHz. Death begins at 25 MHz and processed/ food is measured at 0 MHz!
By incorporating therapeutic grade essential oils into our lives, we can raise and stabilise our own frequency. A higher biometric frequency encourages the body to regenerate damaged cells, build higher immune defense and sustain energy vitality.

“In every culture and in every medical tradition before ours, healing was accomplished by moving energy.” 

                                               – Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Nobel Laureate in medicine (1937)

At the physical level, frequency is the measurement of how quickly foundational cells are circulating and regenerating in the body. The greater the movement within the cells, the more the body is able to self-heal. The slower, the greater the chance of stagnation, blockages and diseases to develop.
The superior quality of pure grade rose oil we use in our Heart Balm has the properties and potential to help you realign emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

 

The soft, creamy, warm and sweetly balsamic Siam wood also plays a part in the Heart Balm. The oil made of this precious wood is said to relieve feelings of disappointment, abandonment, loneliness and grief. It is a highly spiritual oil that is supposed to offer support in the release of a loved one that has passed, and to be helpful in the process of resolving our own relationship to death and dying.

 

Cypress is a symbol of immortality, purity, stability, inner strength, pose and faith.The peaceful aroma can help us relax into the feeling of grief or loss as it restores emotional balance. The essential oil of Cypress is strengthening and has been used to bring comfort in times of sorrow for thousands of years.
Cypress is a good companion in times of nervousness and stress as it spreads a feeling of calm and serene atmosphere into our lives and environments. Cypress has also been used by the Tibetans in their incense to purify their internal and external habitats.

Amongst the many beautiful herbal essences used in our Heart Balm, we also find Tulsi, or Holy Basil, which is worshipped all over India. This immensely purifying herb is known to elevate both mood and spirit and has it’s greatest potential in areas of stress relief and relaxation. It also is a muscle relaxant.
In Ayurvedic medicine Tulsi is considered balancing, and harmonizing for the body and inspiring for the soul.
A number of scientific studies have focused on the effects of Holy Basil and it is suggested that the oil is a herbal energetic with adaptogenic properties. This means that it is a building herb that strengthens the hypothalamus, pituitary and gonadal glands. An adaptogen is an amazing ‘little’ thing. It is a herb that doesn’t have a specific effect on the body, but an individualised effect, meaning it supports your body where it needs it most and helps restore homeostasis. Taken over time, an adaptogen builds up ones overall health and wellness and helps a person having more resilience to the negative effects of stress.

We have so much to thank the beautiful plants around us for, as they hold the key to much of our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.

 

A LITTLE DOORWAY TO THE HEART

Digital artwork by Catrin Waltz-Stein

Hidden securely within the human chest is an amazing muscle approximately the size of ones closed hand. Charged by tiny electrical impulses happening about 100,000 times a day, this dynamic organ is pumping blood rich with nutrients and oxygen to all parts of the body.
We call it the heart.
The heart is the life-centre of the human body. The core.  In French the heart is named coeur and in Italian cuore.  In Japanese, two different words describe the heart, one referring to the physical organ, the other to the ‘mind of the heart’. And the Chinese characters for thinking, thought and love all include the character for ‘heart’!

The human heart is the first organ to form and function as a baby develops in the womb and it is essential for survival and for the formation of the foetus. But apparently the heartbeat begins spontaneously…

“Today [2014], science does not know for sure what makes the heart start beating. We have this amazing part of our physiology that marks the beginning of life and yet somehow, some way, science today cannot tell us exactly why it begins to beat.”

                                              – Howard Martin, Executive Vice President of HeartMath

 
 

The heart is connected to the mystery of life. For thousands of years people in different cultures around the globe have seen the heart as the centre of intelligence within the human system. Ancient old Chinese texts will tell you that the heart is the emperor of the human body. It is where consciousness sits – the house of Shen or Spirit. It is also the seat of the connection between mind and body. Eastern spiritual practices like Taoist, Buddhist and Hindu have age-long traditional ways to open the heart through special energy practices like Qigong, yoga and meditation. These practices are not focused on connecting to the physical heart, but to it’s limitless spirit. Western religions practice a similar way, by using prayer to connect with God. And real prayer has to come from the heart. 

   

“We can connect to the heart when we are in silence. We live in noise, and we are so busy all the time, there is no time, no space, no silence for the heart. That is why people meditate or pray, because they need that space, that moment, when you listen to the heart.”

                                                                                                             – Isabel Allende

 
 

The heart is not merely a mechanical pump, it is also seen as an internal sense organ. As it not only pumps patterns of biochemical nutrients to every cell within the body it also ‘pumps’ patterns of energy and information to every cell within the body.
The ‘wisdom of the heart’ senses, remembers, knows and intuits. And as an energetic system, the heart is an open system, interacting with other energy systems.
The heart creates electromagnetic fields that other people can feel and also through which we can communicate.
Feelings of love and awe allow us to flow out into the world. Hearts are connected with empathic perceptions – we connect, give and learn from the world and we take with us the fruits from this interaction bringing it back to our centre. Our core. According to ancient oriental texts on the heart’s function, it works to integrate input from the five senses and generate appropriate internal responses. And on this sages and modern researches agree, because from the perspective of cardio-energetics, it is the heart, not the brain which is the major energetic organ of organisation and integration of the human body. It is the heart, which focuses differently from the mind, where we come to fully understand and appreciate a given situation.
The heart, which possesses the same kinds of neurones as the brain, is actually also called the second brain in the body, it just perceives and metabolises information differently. Through it’s extensive communication with the brain and the body, the heart is intimately involved in how we think, feel and respond to the world around us. And our thoughts and feelings influence the chemistry that regulates much of our health.  

Scientists refer to a cardiac rhythm called ‘heart coherence’ – a rhythm reflected in how our hearts beat. Demonstrations have shown a link between our heartbeat and our emotional states. When we are stressed, nervous, frustrated, angry or scared, our cardiac rhythm is irregular and unstable. Whereas when we experience love, peace and we are feeling appreciated, our cardiac rhythm shows an entirely different pattern. A coherent heart rhythm causes all our other bodily systems to function better. Including our very important immunesystem. Our inner emotional states also directly affect the coherence in the electromagnetic field generated by the heart. This electromagnetic field (ECG) permeate every cell of our body and can be measured anywhere on our body’s surface. But not only that, it can also be measured outside our bodies. Studies made in laboratories have shown that the heart’s electromagnetic field can be detected by other individuals and make measurable effects in people up to one and a half meters away. And that living and acting from a coherent heart state can affect those around us. Data also show that the heart’s electromagnetic field becomes more organised during positive emotional heart coherent states.
Other and new experiments have led to the understanding that the nervous system acts as an ‘antenna’ which tunes in and responds to the electromagnetic fields produced by the heart of other individuals.

So the heart can be a powerful agent for emotional transformation. And with all this extraordinary knowledge we now have about the heart’s importance and it’s amazing functions encourages increased love, kindness, humility and compassion in both our personal lives and the world outside us. We can emphasise our heart-intelligence and use it consciously, as evidence also shows that heart interactions not only happens between people, but also between animals and humans. Just how far the heart’s electromagnetic field truly reaches is actually still unknown, since this knowledge is limited by the measuring equipment being used, which today only can measure ‘so’ far…

“The heart brings us authentic tidings of invisible things.”
                                                                   – James Hillman

We evaluate everything emotionally as we receive it. And the heart is the informed, intelligent core of our emotional, spiritual, and perceptual universe. We are all owners of a heart and we establish essential harmony within ourselves through the heart. It is therefore not without significance that the term ‘heart’ has become a linguistic device for many profound ideas in virtually every language employed by human beings. ‘The heart of the matter’… ‘Going into the heart of it’… ‘Having a heart to heart’… ‘Taking heart’… ‘A broken heart’… ‘A seeking heart’… ‘An understanding heart’… ‘An honest heart’…. ‘A heart of stone’… ‘A big heart’…and lastly ‘A heart of gold’.

Love lives in us as our heart. So be gentle, be kind. Cause the heart is precious cargo and has its weight in love.

Nobody has ever measured, nobody really knows just how much a heart can hold. But as we grow, and expand, we come to learn that our precious hearts somehow mysteriously seem to be able to hold it all.

“When you begin to touch your heart or let your heart be touched, you begin to discover that it’s bottomless… huge, vast, and limitless.”

                                                                                                  – Pema Chödrön

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.”

                                                                                                      – Helen Keller

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

For references on heart-intelligence and the heart’s electromagnetic field, please have a look at

www.heartmath.org

The institute of HeartMath is a leading research institution in the matters of the heart.

 

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