“Powerful infatuations can be induced by the skillful potioneer, but never yet has anyone managed to create the truly unbreakable, eternal, unconditional attachment that alone can be called Love.“—Hector Dagworth-Granger on love potions.
If you’ve ever read a fairy tale, watched a Disney movie, or in general just dreamed about someone who you had a crush on falling madly in love with you you’ve probably wished for a love potion of your own.
For as long as humans have been around our hearts have found themselves pinning after those who do not return our sentiments, and thus the idea of a ‘love potion’ has been around.
Aphrodisiacs are named after Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. Throughout history, witch doctors and apothecaries have touted all manner of potions, gels, and fragrances as miraculous sexual stimulants.
Certain foods — oysters, onions, honey, even raw bull`s testicles — are legendary for exciting the libido. The ancient Romans swore by a brew of delicately aromatic orchid leaves, while the ancient Egyptians went so far as to ban all seafood from the diet of celibate priests. Natives of the Orient once consumed garlic in liberal quantities as a spice for amorous dalliances.
Plants, herbs and flowers — such as fennel, anise, and chrysanthemums — are also purported to be erotic pick-me-ups. For example, wives in Mexico at one time sprinkled basil powder on their breasts to keep their husbands from philandering. Women in India tried to prolong lovemaking by powdering their bodies with crushed henna leaves. American Indians found that hallucinogens such as peyote and psilocybin — derived from cactus and mushroom, respectively — heightened sexual pleasure.
SO DO ANY OF THESE REALLY WORK?
One thing we know is that many of the herbal aphrodisiacs tend to do things like increase blood flow, relax as well as stimulate the nervous system, strengthen and tone the reproductive tract and other tissues, restore vitality and stamina, balance hormones, support the endocrine system, calm anxiety, stabilize mood, increase energy, nourish the heart, excite the olfactory (smell) senses, increase sperm count and have countless other actions on the human body that are all crucial to fertility and virility.
Part of why these things are helpful is because they help remove some of the barriers we may experience when in an amorous situation.
If your feeling stressed, anxious, nervous, depressed, or tired it’s pretty hard to be “in the mood”. Additionally, people who suffer from hormonal imbalances, pharmaceutical side effects, or have certain medical conditions are certainly going to experience a harder time when it comes to making love.
The number one thing you need to have in order to want to make love is an overall sense of health and well being, and many of the herbs and foods that have traditionally been used as aphrodisiacs do exactly that.
DIFFERENT HERBS FOR DIFFERENT PEOPLE
We all need different things when it comes to love, and thus we need different things when it comes to our own personal love potions.
The best way to know which herbs are right for you is to experiment and play with all of the different herbs that can be used and find which ones help you feel best.
Are you feeling tired and depleted? Then some of the nourishing tonic herbs are your place to start, along with making sure your diet and lifestyle are supporting your system.
Do you feel anxious, nervous, or intimidated? Then heart healers and relaxing herbs may be helpful.
Do you have some emotional turmoil around your love life? Look into flower and gem essences as well as the heart herbs to help work on some of your deeper-seated feelings.
Hormones out of whack? Check out some of the hormone-balancing herbs and consider working with a practitioner to get things back into balance
HERBAL APHRODISIAC CATEGORIES
Stimulants: Exciting & Strengthening
- Epimedium (Horney Goat Weed)
- Muira Pauma
Nourishing Tonics: Rebuilding & Sustaining
- He Shou Wu
Relaxing Nervines: Calm & Open
- Milky Oats
- Dong Quai
- Red Clover
- Saw Palmetto
Tasty Additions: Stimulate the senses
- Orange Peel
- Star Anise
Damiana Chocolate Love Liqueur
- 1 ounce damiana leaves (dried)
- 2 cups vodka or brandy
- 1 ½ cups spring-water
- 1 cup honey
- vanilla extract
- rose water
- chocolate syrup
- almond extract
1. Soak the damiana leaves in the vodka or brandy for 5 days. Strain. Reserve the liquid in a bottle
2. Soak the alcohol-drenched leaves in the spring-water for 3 days. Stain and reserve the liquid
3. Over low heat, gently warm the water extract and dissolve honey in it. Remove the pan from the heat, then add the alcohol extract and stir well. Pour into a clean bottle and add a dash of vanilla and a touch of rose water for flavor. Let it mellow for 1 month or longer; it gets smoother with age
4. To each cup of damiana liqueur, add ½ cup of chocolate syrup, 2 or 3 drops of almond extract, and a touch more of rose water
Recipe from Rosemary Gladstar’s book: Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health
Boozy-Infused Truffles – Giada de Laurentii
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (or full fat coconut milk)
- 8 ounces semisweet chocolate
- 1/8 cup chopped dried herbs of your choice
- try rose petals, orange peel, lavender flowers, cinnamon, cardamom ginger…the sky is the limit!
- 3 ounces merlot wine, brandy, whisky, rum, or tequila
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
2. Place the cream/coconut milk and chocolate in a medium bowl and place over a pan of barely-simmering water.
3. Stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth, about 6 minutes.
4. Stir in the herbs, alcohol, and salt until smooth.
5. Refrigerate for 2 hours until firm.
6. Let the mixture stand at room temperature until moldable, about 45 minutes.
7. Using a melon scoop, scoop level amounts of the truffle mixture onto the prepared baking sheet.
8. Roll into 1/2-inch balls.
9. Place the cocoa powder in a small bowl. Roll the truffles in the cocoa powder until coated.
Herbal Dark Chocolate Truffles
- 8 ounces of chocolate (I use 4 ounces of 100% Cocoa and 4 ounces of bittersweet chocolate)
- ½ cup heavy organic cream (try coconut milk if you can’t eat dairy)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon powdered cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon powdered nutmeg
- Powdered Cocoa and powdered roses for rolling
1. Begin by chopping or pounding the chocolate into small size pieces. Place this into a medium sized bowl along with the vanilla, powdered cinnamon and nutmeg.
2. Warm the cream (or coconut milk) slowly until just before it starts to simmer. Pour this immediately into the bowl with chocolate.
3. Let this stand for one minute and then stir with a whisk until the chocolate is melted and it has a smooth consistency.a. Note: Most of the time, when I make these, this process works great. One or two times I didn’t make the chocolate pieces small enough and it didn’t fully melt with the cream. When this happened I placed the chocolate in a double boiler and heated it slowly until the chocolate melted.
4. Once you have the truffle sauce it needs to cool to a semi-hard consistency. It needs to be soft enough to form into a ball, yet hard enough to roll without falling apart.
5. Once the desired consistency is reached you can start rolling. Scoop the mixture into bite sized pieces and, using clean hands, roll into a ball.
6. Once they are all rolled I suggest rolling them in a powder. I think it’s nice to have a variety of powders within a single batch.
Try playing around with the following blends:
- 1 part damiana leaf
- 1 part rose petals
- 1/2 part spearmint leaf
- ¼ each: cinnamon chips, licorice root, ginger root, whole cloves
Sweet Heart Blend
- 1 part rose petals
- 1 part tulsi
- ½ part rose hips
- ½ part hawthorn berries
- ¼ each: ginger root, cinnamon & vanilla bean
- pinch cardamom