Whatever your thoughts on Valentine's Day, it's always a good time to revisit our relationship to pleasure. I love this quote from the Herbal Academy on how important pleasure is to a healthy life:
"Experiencing pleasure is not just a luxury meant for special occasions and celebrations. Pleasure is part of a balanced, happy life. And this doesn’t just mean sexual pleasure — it includes pleasureful foods and scents; physical pleasure such as platonic loving touch or massage and fluid movement such as yoga, dance, or exercise; and creative pleasures such as painting, drawing, gardening, cooking, or making music. These pleasureful activities helps us feel expressive, receptive, loving, and liberated."
Herbal aphrodisiacs can support us in our pursuits of pleasure in a variety of ways, including relaxing the nervous system, toning & nourishing our reproductive systems, and enhancing our libidos. Let's talk about a few!
- Damiana (Turnera diffusa): A nervine that helps calm the mind, damiana stimulates our sacral parts by increasing oxygen to this area. A major libido booster and energy enhancer.
- Rose (Rosa rugosa): An herb of the heart, rose helps open and soften the heart, while also helping to protect it. Huge support for the emotional aspects of pleasure.
- Ginseng (Panax ginseng): An energy & vitality builder, ginseng increases testosterone as well as certain chemicals in the brain that lead to feelings of greater well-being. Also increases blood flow to our sexual organs.
- Oatstraw (Avena sativa): Nourishing to the nerves & endocrine glands, and vitamin-rich for the whole system, oats are a wonderful tonic for increasing sexual health and performance over time.
- Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus): Used in Ayurveda as a tonic medicine for female sexual health, it nourishes female sex organs, balances estrogen levels, and brings bodily fluids into balance. It is also said to increase feelings of spiritual love.
Try an herbal-infused massage oil or a honey with some of these love herbs for a seasonal treat. Or, here's a recipe for a Love Your Libido Tea from the Herbal Academy!
2 parts damiana leaf
1 part rose petals
1½ parts cinnamon chips
1 part shatavari root
2 parts hibiscus
1 part sarsaparilla
- Blend herbs together in jar.
- Use 1 tablespoon per 8 oz boiling water, let steep 10 minutes, and sweeten with honey to taste.
Jessica Graves. "Herbs for Women's Health". Powerpoint presentation. Feb. 2016.
The Herbal Academy. "Herbal Aphrodisiacs". Blog. 30 Jan. 2015. https://theherbalacademy.com/love-it-up-with-herbal-aphrodisiacs/
Homestead Apothecary. "Aphrodisiac". Zine #4. Available for purchase online: https://homesteadapothecary.com/product/aphrodisiac/