Have you ever eaten something so delicious — like a perfectly juicy ripe peach — and wondered who was the first person in history to taste and experience this simple yet satisfying pleasure of being human? I've often wondered about aphrodisiacs; how did we come to discover the powerful and seductive properties of plants? I imagine the first humans who became enlightened to sexy plant substances spent many evenings snuggled up together, sipping Damiana tea, snacking on raw Cacao, and basking in the loving feelings.
History and Tradition of Herbal Aphrodisiacs
So, how did love herbs make their way into the European world of remedies? We can give thanks to intercultural entanglements of sexual knowledge and history. In other words, good news travels fast. And there's one topic everyone seems to be interested in: the birds and the bees.
Even before the colonial era, people deemed these plants exotic and unattainable. Something to lust after. The herbal knowledge and use of aphrodisiacs began to spread more widely in the early twentieth centuries. From there, we exponentially increased our knowledge of not only their sexual and reproductive benefits, but the many other notable properties they possess.
4 Herbs for Lovers
I often find plants with aphrodisiac qualities very alluring. They have certain attractive physical qualities in their appearance, along with their unique and intriguing characteristics. These plants always have a date on Valentine's Day, but you can incorporate love herbs into any date night or moment of connection all year long! Here are four of my favorites:
Passionflower is possibly one of the most eye-catching plants. Guaranteed to make you look twice, it's like staring into the eyes of your lover.
Hawthorn berries are a sensual red color that entice you for a taste. Furthermore, they provide nutritious bioflavonoids most commonly found in red-purple berries.
Damiana has bright yellow flowers with smooth round petals and the leaves are green and sharp. Like masculine meets feminine.
Cacao is strong, rich, and bold in color, with a sweet-and-savory taste and fragrance. Cacao is high in magnesium and provides relaxation in moments of connection.
How Aphrodisiac Herbs Work
When we peer past the shallow and surface-level view, these plants are much more than their good looks. Passionflower has a lovely calming effect on the nervous system and the mind. The herb is used in teas, tinctures, and infusions and has a pleasant, mild, and slightly bitter flavor. Passionflower also supports a healthy inflammation response as well as healthy hormone balance.
Hawthorn berries are sweet, sour, and astringent. They're often used in tinctures, teas, juices, and syrups. The berries are rich in free radical scavengers and provide your body with defenses against oxidative stress and environmental irritations. They nourish the nervous system and support vitality. They help tonify, nourish, and strengthen the heart, and improve blood circulation.
Damiana has a long history in the realm of aphrodisiacs and even has a popular liqueur or cordial made in her honor with the bottle shaped like a voluptuous woman. The leaves contain all the good stuff and are often used in teas and tinctures. Damiana supports a healthy libido and promotes sexual desire. It tonifies the reproductive system, relieves impotence and frigidity, strengthens reproductive organs and supports healthy testosterone and progesterone levels.
Cacao contains a very special compound called Theobromine, which encourages healthy mood, energy levels, and blood flow while supporting the cardiovascular system. The fun part about Cacao is it can be used in endless ways. You can drink it, eat it, use it in tinctures and lotions, and even find it in edible body butters … wink, wink!
Integrating Love Herbs
When all of these lovely plants mix and mingle, we end up with bliss in a bottle. We still lust after these plants, but luckily, they are now much more accessible in the modern world and are as easy to obtain as swiping right. (Now there's an app idea!) Incorporating herbs in times of connection can really aid in the ease and flow of your exchanges and can make your Valentine's Day one for the books.
There are many ways to integrate herbs into your nights in a pleasant and tasty way. Steeping Damiana leaves and Hawthorn berries in hot water and adding some honey or Rose-infused syrup makes a delicious and dreamy sipping tea. Raw Cacao nibs can be added to ice cream and other desserts to add more texture and taste.
WishGarden's Liquid Bliss contains all of the love herbs mentioned above in one bottle. It can be added to cocktails and mocktails or taken on its own to spice up the night. My favorite way to mix Liquid Bliss is to add it to a raspberry martini. It's pink, it's cute, it's yummy, and it's sure to get things going!
- Medical Herbalism by David Hoffman
- The Energetic of Western Herbs by Peter Holmes
- The Language of Plants by Julia Graves
Photo Credit: Benevolence Farm - Hawthorn Berries
Rebecca Younger aspires to spark an interest in herbs within her community through education and incorporating herbs into everyday life in exciting and innovative ways. She studied Herbal Medicine at Herbalism Roots in Denver. She is a customer journey representative at WishGarden Herbs.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, or sell any product.