Bleeding Heart

Latin:  Dicentra formosa

Family:  Papaveraceae

Parts Used:  Roots

Taste/Energetics:  Cooling, bitter

Propeties:  Analgesic, nervine relaxant, tonic, alterative

Actions:  This is an herb that is not frequently used, mainly because it is a tad rare in the wild and really shouldn’t be harvested in any abundance.  One can find organic growers of this herb to purchase the root.   Bleeding Heart has a lovely foliage and a shy little purplish heart shaped flower.  Bleeding heart brings a nice calming energy and is especially helpful as a calmative agent  for people who have experienced shock.  It acts as a nervous system restorative and can be used for pain such as neuralgia and externally for toothache as well.  I find it especially helpful as a flower essence or in “drop doses” for grief and loss, and what the Chinese call “shen disturbance”,  a feeling of being unsettled and anxious at a deep heart and soul level.

Dosage:  Generally to be taken in tincture form 1-2 ml to 3 x/day for gross effect.  It is an herb that can work at a very low level (1-4 drops) or as a flower essence for trauma, shock, great sorrow/grief.  Less commonly taken in tea form  1-2 tsp decoction to 2 x/day.  You can place the chewed root on a painful tooth with an exposed nerve for temporary relief.

Contraindications:  Its not an herb to gather in the field too much because it would quickly become endangered.  It can be grown for medicinal purposes.  Avoid large doses with other sedatives, in pregnancy.