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Herbs of Love: Botanical Aphrodisiacs

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it seems like the perfect time to talk about botanical aphrodisiacs: herbs to help you get in the mood for love and romance!

The word aphrodisiac originated in classical Greece. It derives from Aphrodite, the Greek Goddess of Love. Aphrodisiacs have been in use for at least thousands of years, and have been mentioned in many of the world’s sacred texts. They can be stimulating or relaxing, and can have immediate effects or be accumulative over time.

Aphrodisiacs include any substance that stimulates sexual arousal or enhances sexual performance. They can be consumed internally, used externally, or taken in with any of the senses: visual, sound, touch, scent, and taste-hence the word sensuality. This article focuses on herbal aphrodisiacs.

Herbs to Get You in the Mood:

ROSE: Few plants are sexier or more romantic than the beautiful rose. And what Valentine’s Day is complete without roses of some kind? Roses have a rich history as an aphrodisiac, and with good reason! On the physical level, rose is an overall tonic for the body, especially the reproductive system of men and women. It can strengthen the uterus, regulate menses, and ease cramps. Rose has also been used to assist with erectile dysfunction and low sperm count. But I believe that where Rose really shines is on the emotional level. It is the ultimate heart opener, which is why it’s usually a main ingredient in grief formulas. But that also means it can help one to open their heart to their lover. Rose can help one to physically and emotionally relax into the moment, and it does also seem there are some mild euphoric properties in rose as well. If you’d like to learn more about the wellness benefits of Rose, here is an article I wrote back in June about roses. If you’d to try out some rose products from the shop, I recommend Vanilla Rose Elixir or Love Potion.

MILKY OATS: There’s a reason for the expressions “sow your wild oats” and “feeling your oats”. The humble oat has long been a plant for strengthening overall vitality, and with vitality comes libido, a sign of health and life force. In addition, oats are also a restorative for the nervous system, especially for people who are chronically stressed and/or overwhelmed. It’s difficult to get in the mood for love when you’re physically, mentally, or emotionally depleted, and that is exactly why this plant is considered a powerful aphrodisiac. It isn’t necessarily the kind of herb you take just before a date however, it’s best used as a daily tonic over time. A daily bowl of oatmeal will help to ground, nourish, and strengthen the body. So will a daily infusion (an infusion is a very strong, long brewed tea) of oatstraw. For those that need to restore their nervous systems, a daily tincture of milky oats over several weeks or months will help to bring balance to overwhelmed, fried nerves.

DAMIANA: Damiana’s original latin name, Turnera aphrodisiaca, says it all! This Central American mint relative was used by the ancient Aztecs as a powerful sexual tonic and stimulant, second only to chocolate. It is nourishing and invigorating, and is said to improve orgasmic abilities and boost nerve sensitivity, while gently relaxing the nervous system. Traditionally it is smoked, or used as a cordial. Our very Love Potion is essentially a damiana cordial, with other aphrodisiac herbs, like roses, vanilla, muira pauma, and yes, chocolate.

ROSEMARY: Rosemary historically was (and still is!) used in weddings in parts of Europe in the bridal bouquet and as a ritual of sprinkling it on the bridal bed to ensure lover’s bliss. It is notorious for aiding circulation in the body, improving memory, and tonifying the nervous system. Because of this, it is a great choice if you need to uplift, refresh, and revitalize before a hot date. Remember: Improved circulation in the body includes improved circulation in the sexual organs, and aphrodisiacs come in many unexpected forms. A simple tea or tincture of rosemary is all you need for this.

MUIRA PAUMA: Also known as the Tree of Virility or Potency Wood, this stimulating aphrodisiac comes from the Brazilian Amazon. It is used traditionally as a neuromuscular tonic as well as for sexual debility. It is also claimed to prevent baldness-I haven’t had the opportunity to observe this to be so, but feel free to give it a try! It can’t hurt, and in the process it will most likely energize your libido and overall vitality. You can find Muira Pauma in our Love Potion as well as our Vitality Elixir.

I hope you enjoyed this short sampling of aphrodisiac herbs. There are so many more, and several entire books written about the subject of botanical aphrodisiacs. If you’re interested in learning more about the subjects, here is a short list of my favorite resources:

~DeLuca, Diana: Botanica Erotica

~Mars, Brigitte: The Sexual Herbal

~Tourles, Stephanie: Making Love Potions

~Gallagher, Kimberly: Aphrodisiac (coming soon, available now for preorder)

I hope you have a happy Valentines Day. May you be surrounded by love and always have love to give. Green Blessings and happy lovin!