Planetary Ruler: Sun
Leo, the sign of the lion is an intensely confident and creative sign. Leo is proud, courageous and regal. Leo is a leader who embodies fearless expression. This sign is also connected to our inner child, play and happiness. This sign loves to take centre stage; during Leo season its everyones time to shine and take up space! Let your magic be seen! Just know that when out of balance Leo can have low-self confidence and leads to attention grabbing, ego inflation and potentially even narcissism.
In the body
In the body Leo is the heart, the cardiovascular system (including circulation of the blood), as well as the upper back, spinal cord and eyes. The eyes because they the organ that perceives light and therefore connected to the sun.
Leo is ruled by the sun who in the body is our vital force. It corresponds to the solar plexus, body heat and the pitta dosha. It is hot and dry, and when there is excess solar energy can cause heat / excitation and dry / atrophy.
All actions related to the heart and circulatory system including: circulatory stimulant, cardio-tonic, vasodilators, vasoconstrictors, etc. Also inflammation modulating herbs are helpful for this fire sign. Being ruled by the sun, I will also say that the thymoleptic (anti-depressant) action can be sympathetic here.
Rosemary, Motherwort, Hawthorn Berry, and so many more!
Rosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis): Circulatory stimulant, cardiac tonic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, thymoleptic, hepatic, hepatoprotective, cholagogue, antiseptic, relaxant, nervine tonic, carminative, spasmolytic, diuretic, emmenagogue, rubefacient, mild analgesic, diaphoretic, vulnerary. As a circulatory stimulant, Rosemary benefits more than just the heart. By bringing blood flow to the brain it is helpful for alertness, memory, learning, and many kinds of headaches. It also supports blood flow to the eyes and can be of benefit to eye health by strengthening fragile blood vessels. It is indicated in cardiovascular weakness and is of value for those with weak circulation, especially the elderly. Rosemary is also useful for improving circulatory weakness like in the case of hypotension (low blood pressure). This wonderful herb is also useful to support liver and digestive health. It can support wound healing by keeping them clean, clear dandruff and soothe sore throats. Lastly, with that sunny energy of Leo, this herb can be useful in psychological depression, especially if it accompanied by any of the above conditions.
Calendula (Calendula officinalis): Anti-inflammatory, Antiseptic (including Anti-viral/Antifungal), Haemostatic , Vulnerary, Anti-spasmodic, Astringent, Detoxifying/ Alterative, Lymphatic, Mildly estrogenic, Cholagogue, Emmenagogue. Calendula flowers are very much an archetypal embodiment of a Leo plant- with the radiant, sun-like orange flowers. When working with Calendula be sure use entire flower head, not just petals as important constituents are contained in the flower base. Calendula is widely used as a topical to soothed red and inflamed skin including sunburns and eczema. It is also effective against fungal infections. As a lymphagogue Calendula, like its radiant flowers, helps to disperse damp stagnation from within the body. Matthew Wood says it “Brings light where the sun don’t shine.” He's specifically speaking to how it works to clean stagnation from lymph nodes especially though in the armpits, neck and inguinal zone. As an alterative Calendula generally restores proper function to body by opening the channels of elimination; it helps to open and push out toxins.
Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) : Sedative, Nervine Tonic, Antispasmodic, Antiarrhythmic, Cardiac tonic, Antithyroid, Emmenagogue, Mildly Hypotensive, Uterine stimulant (gentle), Carminative, Diaphoretic. As you can see, the name of this herb speaks to its direct correspondences to this plant. "Leon" comes from the Greek Lion and "cardiaca" denoting relationship to the heart. This herb calms palpitations, irregular heartbeats, and tachycardia (abnormally fast heart rate). It is particularly useful in heart conditions associated with anxiety, stress, and tension. It has the short term ability to lower blood pressure in cases of hypotension. We cannot talk about this herb without talking about its action on the female body, as it is said to be an "herb to mother mothers." It is incredibly soother as it is a relaxing nervine whose effects are gentle and cumulative. As an emmenagogue, Motherwort can bring on delayed menses and is useful during birth & postpartum. Do not use when pregnant. Energetically it bolsters courage, boosts confidence, and can help ease the weight of draining emotional issues.
Saint John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum): Thymoleptic, Nervine, Sedative, Antiviral , Vulnerary, Hepatic , Bitter, Antiseptic, Antispasmodic, Analgesic. This is probably this most popular thymoleptic (anti-depressant) herb in the western materia medica: it is uplifting, improves sense of well-being, exhaustion, seasonal effective disorder. Once again, but this time on a psychological level, we see the solar principle of Leo herbs "bringing light where the sun don't shine." It is indicated especially when insomnia is present. As a vulnerary and astringent it can be used topically for burns as it lowers the temperature of the skin, and also internally for things like peptic ulcers and inflammation of the lining of the upper It is also useful topically as it is antimicrobial and is useful against Staphylococcus. It also has anti-viral properties that has been proven effective against the herpes spp. This plant should be used it caution. It can cause photosensitivity. It is contraindicated to use when on many prescription medications so investigate accordingly. Despite being a wonderful thymoleptic, it is contraindicated when on SSRIs, or when depression is severe and accompanied by psychosis or suicidal risk.
Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum / ganoderma Lingzhi): Hepatorestorative, Heptaoprotective, Adaptogen, Immuno-stimulant / modulatory, Anti-allergy, Anti-inflammatory, Antioxidant, Antimicrobial (especially bacteria and viruses), Antitumour / Anti-angiogenic, Cardiotonic, Hypotensive, Hypocholesterolemic, Nervine, CNS relaxant. This iconic medicinal mushrooms has an incredible reputation as the mushroom of immortality. It corresponds to Leo for more than just its fame though. It works on the cardiovascular system to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and helps to ease symptoms of coronary heart disease including shortness of breath, edema, and heart palpitations. It inhibits platelet clumping, reduces pain in angina, and helps and damaged blood vessels in the heart arrhythmia. It is also useful in the digestive system as it can help to balance dysbiosis in the GI tract. It is an adaptogen, nervine, and CNS relaxant that can be useful in secondary stages of treating adrenal exhaustion. Of course it has amazing action on the immune system as both an immune stimulant and immune modulator. As an immune stimulant it stimulates the function of the immune system in a non-specific way where as immune modulators decrease or increase immune system activity to optimal levels of functioning, they are slower acting with a more prolonged effect on the body. As a powerful antioxidant it supports many functions within the body, including the liver through its ability to restore and protect it.