Today is a day for celebrating the love in your life, and what better way to do so than with a few deliciously herby treats! Below are a few of my favorite “love potions”: beverages and treats infused with herbal aphrodisiacs. An aphrodisiac is somewhat of a loaded word these days – but to me is anything (herb, food or otherwise) that helps us to connect with our senses and delight in our bodies. Whether that happens through relaxing, stimulating, strengthening or intoxicating is somewhat different for us all. My love potions have a little something for everyone – herbs to enhance vitality and strengthen the sexual organs; herbs to enhance blood flow; herbs to relax the mind, and of course, a little something to open the senses. Hope you enjoy!
Kava Bliss Chocolates
An intoxicating combination of kava with chocolate, nuts and spice. Topped with coconut and rose powder, they are sure to please! Kava is a Polynesian herb traditionally used in welcoming ceremonies to ease social tension and bring down social barriers. It reduces anxiety with its calming, relaxing effects and has a somewhat euphoric impact on the mind. If you are unfamiliar with this herb, start with a smaller amount to see how you react.
- 1 cup organic dark chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons nut butter (almond, peanut, cashew, etc)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup toasted nuts, chopped (hazelnut, almond, cashew, pecan)
- 1/2 – 2 teaspoon kava powder (depending on desired strength)
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
- 1/4 cup coconut, toasted
- Rose powder, for sprinkling
- Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over gently simmering water. When mostly melted, remove from heat and stir until the chocolate is fully melted.
- Stir in the nut butter, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Add the nuts, kava and spices and mix well.
- Line a tray with waxed paper. Drop tablespoon sized portions of the chocolate mixture onto the tray.
- Immediately sprinkle the chocolates with the toasted coconut and rose powder. Let cool until firm, then store in an airtight container in a cool dark cupboard until using.
Based off of a recipe in Eat:Taste:Heal by Thomas Yarema, Daniel Rhoda and Johnny Brannigan.
Libido is a product of vitality, and as such, nourishing and strengthening the body is as important to romance (indeed far more important) than roses, red wine and chocolate. Eat a few of these each day to nourish your body, strengthen your sexual organs and enhance your vitality: a little offering to the Aphrodite within us all.
- 2 oz cocoa powder
- 1 oz maca powder
- 1 oz shatavari powder
- 1 oz ashwagandha powder
- 1 oz muiri pauma powder
- 1 tablespoon spice (cinnamon, cardamom, etc)
- 1 teaspoon rose powder
- 1/2 cup ground nuts
- 1/2 – 1 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- coconut for rolling
- Combine the herbal powders together and mix until well combined.
- Add the remaining ingredients (except the coconut) and mix well. You may have to knead the mixture to incorporate all the powder. You should have a thick dough like consistency that is not overly sticky. Add more honey if you find the mix is too dry.
- Pinch the dough into small balls and roll in dried coconut. Store in a sealed container.
- Eat 2-3 balls per day.
Based off a recipe by Larken Bunce, RH: a teacher, friend and colleague.
Damiana Mulled Wine
Damiana is a Central American herb used in matters of love for so long that it was given the Latin name of Damiana aphrodisiaca for a period! It opens the senses, relaxes the mind, enhances blood flow and uplifts the spirits – the perfect ingredient for a lovely spiced wine to share with someone special.
- 1 bottle of your favorite red wine
- 1 oz damiana leaves
- 1/2 oz rose petals
- 10 cardamom pods
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 inch piece fresh ginger, sliced into thin rounds
- 1 vanilla pod, sliced lengthwise
- Place all ingredients except the damiana and rose petals into a saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce to a gentle simmer for 20-30 minutes.
- Turn off the heat, and add the damiana and rose. Cover, and let sit for 30 minutes.
- Before serving, gently heat until steam begins to rise from the wine. Pour through a strainer and serve in mugs.