Herbal Aphrodisiacs

In sensuous honor of the upcoming holiday, I thought I’d reblog an article I wrote for the most recent issue of A Green Beauty. I hope you enjoy…

Throughout history, people have gone to great lengths to cultivate and consume herbal aphrodisiacs. Some aphrodisiacs, like cacao, have become objects of such mass obsession that entire world trades exist solely to appease our cravings. Nowadays, there is no end to the herbal capsules, supplements, and smoking blends that promise the ultimate erotic experience. Herbal aphrodisiacs, however, work in far more mysterious ways.

How do herbal aphrodisiacs work? The answer is: in many different ways. Some herbs are known for their ability to excite sexual arousal by directly increasing blood flow to your sweet spots or by enhancing general bodily juiciness and stamina. These herbs, like horny goat weed for example, have a more immediately physical effect. Other herbs, which are usually taken tonically, affect the imbiber on a deeper, more emotional level. Herbs like Kava relieve anxiety and quiet the mind, helping your body to cast aside stress and ease freely into intimacy. Once you delve into the delicious world of herbal aphrodisiacs you will find that you quickly develop preferences. What are the herbs that have most entranced me? Read on, and be seduced by some of my all-time favorite aphrodisiacs…

Damiana (Turnera diffusa)

Damiana is an ancient and ambrosial herb. Cherished by the Mayans as a sexual sacrament, the leaves of this plant were traditionally smoked or drank as a tea immediately before lovemaking. Damiana stimulates circulation to the genitals, bringing a rush of warmth and juiciness that enhances sensitivity, as well as the experience of orgasm. Damiana works as an antidepressant, anxiolytic (antianxiety agent), and muscle relaxant and has been shown to help one soften into amour. This delicious herb is also a hormone balancer and can be used to soothe irregular menstrual cycles and the symptoms of menopause. Take tonically everyday or on any libidinous whim. Be aware, however, of what may come— Damiana has been known to produce mild euphoria and can even bring on especially erotic dreams…

Drink a cup of tea daily, or just prior to lovemaking. The recommended dosage is 5-8 grams. If you smoke, add a pinch to your pipe and get lost in the voluptuous haze

Shatavari                   (Asparagus racemosus)

In Sanskrit Shatavari translates as, “she who possesses a hundred husbands.” A gentle medicine, Shatavari can imbue a woman’s body with legendary and erotic strength. This sweet and highly nutritious root has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for over 5,000 years as a rejuvenative for the female reproductive system. Shatavari nourishes the entire body. It encourages energy, vitality, peace of mind and a deepening of love and compassion. Shatavari has been used extensively to relieve the symptoms of PMS, menopause, pregnancy and to increase fertility. It has a soothing and overall moistening effect— this root will get your proverbial juices flowing. Despite its status as the premier Ayurvedic herb for women, Shatavari can promote sexual desire in both sexes.

This is a tonic herb. Start with a 1 tsp of powder in a cup of tea or milk (or bowl of oatmeal) every day and observe how your sex life blossoms into a hundred incarnations…

Maca (Lepidium meyenii)

Maca is food medicine. Cultivated for over 2,000 years in Peru this nutritious root is a fertility enhancer and generous aphrodisiac. Maca builds up sexual desire as one might slowly coax the embers of a fire.  This root was so revered by the Inca that its use was restricted to royalty. Eaten liberally Maca will enhance libido, energy, strength, and stamina, making for a powerful and prolonged night of passion.  Maca also helps with anxiety, memory loss, arthritis, and general bone health. This delicate and sweet root is an excellent ingredient herb. Add it to cereal, smoothies, or your next baking endeavor.

Word of warning: Some sources recommended that it is best to buy Maca in a gelatinized powder/capsule because the raw root can be difficult to digest. In my experience, Maca is fine to eat raw, just keep your portions small. I recommend ½-1 tsp per day. Use your discretion and, as always, have fun.

bliss ballsLooking for a mouthwatering way to experiment with herbal aphrodisiacs this Valentine’s Day? Think about making some sensuous Bliss Balls and roll all your favorite aphrodisiacs into one delicious package…

 Bliss Balls Recipe

Let the creation of these bliss balls be an exercise in sensuality. Take your time. Lavish yourself. Put on an outfit that makes you feel beautiful, or perhaps decide to wear nothing at all. Listen to music that makes you want to move. Taste as you go. Share the experience with a friend, a lover or your most intimate self.

Ingredients

-2 cups cacao powder

– 1 ½ cups raw cacao beans, finely ground

-1 ½ cups raw cashew nuts

– 9-12 tsp maca powder

-7-10 tbs aphrodisiac herbs of your choice

-3 tsp cinnamon powder

-1 tsp ginger powder

-1/2 tsp cayenne

-1/2 tsp salt

Mix all dry ingredients until well blended.

In a separate bowl mix:

-75 ml cacao butter

-100 ml extra virgin coconut oil

-200 ml honey

-1 tsp pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean powder

Add wet ingredients to dry. Combine with your hands. Pinch about a tablespoon in your palms and shape into balls. Finish by rolling them in coconut flakes, powdered sugar, cinnamon, or ground nuts. This recipe will make approximately 50 balls. Keep extra in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Eat one or two balls ½ an hour to an hour before lovemaking. Hold the balls in your mouth to speed the effects. Enjoy.

Other Herbal Aphrodisiacs to Try: ashwaghanda, gaurana, rhodiola, suma, muira puama, horny goat weed, catuaba, rose petal

Recipe adapted from this lovely website

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