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Why is LOVE always related to the Heart -shaped or Heart symbol?



I believe the heart is the center of all vital organs of our body. Did you know that even without breathing as long as your heart is still working/beating, you have a chance to live? But my real query is, why the heart is associated as a the sign/symbol of Love? Why not any other sign or body parts?

When I first heard this question from my friend. It really made me wonder. And according to some historians, the heart-shaped symbol that represents love and adoration has been here since the existence of man.

But the icon and the real thing share nothing in common at all. The real heart is shaped like a yellow/red football, and the symbol a heart drawn in a stylized shape. Usually with the color red, which suggest blood, passion and strong emotion and associated too with romantic poetry, Valentine's day and chocolate boxes.

So this symbol doesn't even come close to the appearance of the human heart. But, it is said, that the double humps atop a stylized heart vaguely recall a male reproductive organ, head's shape, but rounded rather than pointed. Or can also depict the human female body, such as the female reproductive organ, the Sumerian cuneiform or its mound. And some maintains a resemblance to the shape of the female breasts or buttocks.

Ancient coin of the city of Cyrene~with engraved Silphium seed pod unravels the mystery of Love.

Ancient coin of the city of Cyrene~with engraved Silphium seed pod unravels the mystery of Love.

Some historians said, one possible origin, of the shape of the heart, is a seed pod. The Silphium, a type of fennel, which seeds are distinctly heart-shaped, but has been extinct for over two Millennium. It can be seen engraved on the ancient coins of the city of Cyrene.

The Greeks believed the plant was a gift from Apollo (archer-god of medicine and healing, light, truth, a bringer of death-dealing plague or also know as the sun-god in Greek Mythology). The plant appeared after a heavy rainstorm flooded the city of Cyrene. But evidence of Silphium was used much earlier in Egypt and Libya too. Because of its varied medical uses and scarcity, it was considered to be "worth its weight in denarii" during Roman times. Eventually, they harvested the plant to extinction.

And for why the seed pod possibly rank itself as the premiere symbol of love and romance? Maybe because Silphium was the main ingredient for the most highly effective natural birth-control medicine of its time. It was used as an herbal contraceptive or abortifacient. So its shape may have come to be associated with sexuality and love.

And also, the "heart" shape is formed by the back and wings of a dove, which was associated with Aphrodite, the ancient Greek Goddess of Love.


Wine and candles: Usually used with romantic settings, for intimate celebrations, anniversaries, especially if associated by other love symbols.

Rosemary: Also used as a symbol for fidelity and remembrance.

Sealed with....Love.

Sealed with....Love.

Cupid in action.

Cupid in action.



Lips: Associated with passion, kissing, and a pair of lips painted with bright red lipstick leaves a print sealed with Love.

Cupid: Roman God of Love, Eros in Greek mythology represented by a winged boy carrying a bow and arrow, with which he pierced his victim's heart causing them to fall in love.

Heart pierced by an arrow: Shot by Cupid or Eros, causing the person to fall passionately in love. And it explains the pain and pleasure of Love.

Arrow: Symbolises Strength, Penetration, Struck by Love and the deep wound or scar that Love leave.

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Broken heart: Often symbolises loss of Love, spurned or rejected lover, and the pain of this. The term "heartbroken" is used for extreme sadness and grief.

Chocolate: Said to be better than flowers,~lol It has romantic connotations, gift of a lover. And not to mention the supposed aphrodisiac properties associated with it.

Beware of the Mistletoe

Beware of the Mistletoe

Passionate Love

Passionate Love

For now and eternity...

For now and eternity...

Mistletoe: During Christmas season, standing under it, gives anyone the opportunity to kiss you.

Wedding rings: Represent permanency, "until death do us part", and also for union or togetherness.

Roses: Red roses symbolise Love and Passion. White roses symbolise virginity and purity. Yellow roses symbolise jealousy and infidelity.

Jasmine: Strongly scented, white flower used as a Hindu symbol for Love.

Osram Ne Nsoroma: The Adinkra (West Africa) symbol representing love consisting of a star (the woman) and the moon (the man).

As a result of this, I think the heart-shape symbol is the best icon that can symbolise Love. And the facts brought by history, makes it more appreciated. So the next time you fall in love, give your heart the true justice it deserves.


changchang8 on April 10, 2016:

Interesting. The history here is fascinating since the actual heart has such little resemblance to the heart symbol. There's some more history on the heart symbol here too:

heart on August 02, 2015:

heart pumps to get deoxygenated blood/distribute oxygenated blood to other parts of the body..

no relations to love at all. Heart will continue to pump 2billion of a lifetime times regardless of what you feel.

It should be our brain.

delfina on September 10, 2013:

nature is the best treasure in general..............


Ajinkya kurhe on August 13, 2012:

Heart is gift given by god and and it is controled by our mind.thaks for giving info

mukesh on April 25, 2012:

hi i yhink that when we love someone or fell some one that time our hart bit is faster than normal that's by hart connect with love

Mo.atik on April 23, 2012:

heart is pain of love

TOMMY on April 05, 2012:

Here is how i am going to explain why our ancestors, and us, use the heart instead of any order body part as for the symbol of love: It is human nature to relate to thing that we can feel, hear, see, or sense. So when we are in love, and see our lover - we notice that our heart starts racing. Therefore, we related that heart is the cause of love, because we can sense it and feel it...

RAJU on April 05, 2012:


yeah right on March 17, 2012:

because it is shaped like a woman's ass. man was inspired by his sexual urges to make the heart look like a woman's ass because that is what he worships

ANON on February 18, 2012:


SSD on January 12, 2012:


chinnu on August 25, 2011:

i m really happy that i know that the y love is in heartsymbol

kayla on February 14, 2011:

i think v tine is great

JMile on February 14, 2011:

This is beautiful. :) I loved it.

Ahmed Dandiya on July 10, 2010:

so informative. i got what i was worry about...

omg on May 09, 2010:

this is awesome! i never knew these things be4. ur an awesome person

gabrielle rose on April 20, 2010:

i love the heart and well this has given me something to know about. Good job!!!!!

Bussy paris on April 14, 2010:

ok? cool information

Bussy paris on April 14, 2010:

Good and listening

KIM on February 03, 2010:

interesting perspective

rony on January 30, 2010:

its to ggod 4 love

engagement rings on June 07, 2009:

great info about the heart shape. I've got a lot of insights in here. thanks!

sarahonweb on March 13, 2009:

Good interesting information ..

Gp on November 30, 2008:

Very good explanation. Great article.

typeing friend on November 18, 2008:

ok cool?

Emily on October 16, 2008:

I have been wondering this. Thanks. I was wondering if anyone knows where I can read about the whole ancient egyptian theory of the "ab"thing.

E-mail me if you happen to know.

Aphroditei (author) on February 15, 2008:

Thank you Chinky!!! Happy Heart day!!! (^^,)

chinky on February 15, 2008:

it is so interesting with the persons like...thanks a more...

Aphroditei (author) on February 14, 2008:

Thank you Mr. JD. I'm glad you liked it. Happy Valentine's Day!!! (^^,)

J D Murrah from Refugee from Shoreacres, Texas on February 13, 2008:

Good post. I enjoyed the story. I had never considered the origins of the heart shape. A timely ub for Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Aphroditei (author) on November 27, 2007:

Thank you Teeray! I'm glad you like this hub.(^^,)

teeray from Canada on November 25, 2007:

Interesting information about the Silphium. I have never heard of that before. I'm glad I found this hub. Educational. Thank you for writing!

Great article!

sgtwalk on September 18, 2007:

Thanks for the info!!

Venkat on July 21, 2007:

It is not our mind but the body which feels the emotions as sensation. The emotion of sadness or agony is felt by the painful sensation at the tips of the fingers by some people. Love is a mixture of emotions and almost all of these emotions are felt by or somewhere near the heart with the emotion of longing being the strongest. And that is why I think heart is represented as a symbol of love.

DewDropInJune on June 10, 2007:

Sis, i beleive that heart is the seat of human mind for the heart speaks for the is sometimes stronger than the brain. It seems like it has a mind of its own...agree? For sure!

Aphroditei (author) on June 06, 2007:

Thank you Oarnamav, Msk and Annie!

I'm glad you "heart" it. And it was my pleasure to share its heartfelt history. (^^,)

Annalene from Richards bay South-Africa on June 05, 2007:

Who would ever have thought, that a symbol so globally used and recognized, has such a long and ancient history! Thank you for a wonderful hearty article.

mskzalameda from Philippines on June 05, 2007:

hey I didn't know about this befor I read this. great! thanks for sharing it! I love it. I heart it? he he he!

oarnamav from rtujrt on June 04, 2007:

A great addition. I liked!

Aphroditei (author) on May 27, 2007:

Thank you Cgull8m and Creme! (^^,)

cremechese from Paradise on May 25, 2007:

This is a very good article and something I've wondered about -- the heart shape. I might add that chocolates I think are aphrodisiacal (sp? my fingers just would not stop on that word!) because chocolate releases endorphins. Or mighty endorphin power rangers.

cgull8m from North Carolina on May 25, 2007:

Great post, heart is the number one candidate everyone will agree. Hope they could have recorded their reasonings for it, so we don't have to have any doubts about it.

Aphroditei (author) on May 25, 2007:

Oh yes, when inverteded it looks like a vessel. Thank you for adding this great info too Sunsix! There is so much we can add to the heart symbol history. (^^,)

SunSeven from Singapore / India on May 25, 2007:

Heart symbol is the most common symbol for love and certainly the most recognizable. Magicians and Alchemists used the Heart symbols for incantations pertaining to matters related to love and romance. They were also used in rituals with a goal to stengthen relationships. The Heart has long been recognized across cultures as being a symbol for charity, joy and compassion. Also an emblem of truth, the "Sacred Heart" of Christ is also the focus of Roman Catholic worship as a symbol of the Lord's love. As a graphic representation of an inverted triangle, this symbolizes a vessel in which love is poured or carried.

Aphroditei (author) on May 25, 2007:

I'm glad you like the few trivia. There is much more history to the heart symbol. And thanks too buddy! (^^,)

sri from india on May 25, 2007:

WOW!! i have never thought that this symbol has such a big history.. its a very nice to hub..thanks a lot for sharing buddy!!

Aphroditei (author) on May 25, 2007:

Thank Lordwarwizard! I'm glad you like it. (^^,)

lordwarwizard from Singapore on May 25, 2007:

That's an interesting tidbit of info about the heart that I didn't know before this! This is a very interesting article, thank you for sharing! ;-)

Aphroditei (author) on May 24, 2007:

Great! I have not seen the "ab" of the Egyptian.~maybe because I was to sleepy.~lol But now, I agree too..they believed, "it was the heart and not the mind that was the seat of emotion and thought." and that Man's integrity was his heart, not his brain -- "as a man thinketh in his heart;" that God recognized what was in a man's heart."

And to add, "at death, the heart was removed with the other viscera, and placed in the separate Jar, with the hieroglyph for heart, called the AB. And the heart is balanced on the pans of the Scales against the Feather of Truth. Thoth, in the symbolic ibis-headed figure, the Guardian of the Dead, attends the Weighing."

Thank you Tshirtscene for adding this very great information to the article. Thank you. (^^,)

tshirtscene on May 24, 2007:

The heart symbol has a definate history behind it that is hard to trace. I prefer to go with the ancient egyptian theory of the "ab" which was believed to be the centre of good and bad within the person. It makes sense to me :). Great hub Aphoditei

Aphroditei (author) on May 24, 2007:

Very well said. For me too, it's like the heart lacks of purpose if it is not in love. And with Love it will depict its true functionality. And shine with so much more vitality. Hmmm, seems like I just repeated what you said.~lol Thank you Bluewings. And yes, "the heart speaks the language of love best"...(^^,)

bluewings from Milkyway on May 24, 2007:

Interesting history! For me I associate love with heart because heart seems so plastic without love.In the absence of love when the heart beats ,it seems to be attempting to serve life ;while a heart in love seems to be the real purpose and functionality of a heart.I think the heart speaks the language of love best and nothing else could have justified love so much as the heart does.

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