Valentine’s Day is this week and you may be wondering what kind of gift you could bring someone to make him or her love you more in many senses of the word. Jewelry and flowers may evoke warm feelings but some people are looking for something more, let’s say, efficient.
Some of the earliest written herbals contain references to plants that have aphrodisiac properties and potions that are said to bring true love. Many think that chocolate is a popular Valentines treat because it enhances sexual desire but modern science has proven that chocolate doesn’t have an effect on actual sexual performance. It does however affect the pleasure areas of the brain and causes people to feel happier. And since desire is largely produced in the brain bringing someone a box of chocolate isn’t a waste of time, not only does it show you care but it makes the recipient happy. Interestingly in Japan women send chocolate to men on Valentine’s Day. Just don’t mention to your love that Aztec prostitutes were paid in cacao beans.
However there are some common plants, (herbs) that you may have in the house or yard that do enhance desire and sexual performance. The scientific community has been exploring plant pharmaceuticals intensively lately and there is great interest in finding a substitute for the “little blue pill” which has so many deadly side effects. So if you want your Valentine to love you more in every way you may want to try some of these plants that recent science has confirmed could enhance your love life.
Nutmeg,( Myristica fragrans) has long been used in magic love potions and since a chemical found in nutmeg, myristicin, is used to produce the illegal street drug ecstasy it was no wonder that animal tests found that it enhanced male sexual performance. Studies on females have not been done but folklore and common practice suggest that is also effective on females. Mace is another spice from the same plant and is said to have similar effects. In the amounts you would use in foods or teas nutmeg would not be harmful or have bad side effects; however you can overdose on the street drug and it isn’t recommended.
Both garlic and garlic chives were found in animal studies to have aphrodisiac effects. If you can find a way to slip them into a Valentine meal you could improve your love life and your health since garlic has many other health benefits.
Saffron, a spice made from the sexual organs of a type of crocus (Crocus sativus) has also been found to enhance sexual performance in animal studies. These studies typically use male animals and an aqueous extract of saffron but herbal lore suggests use of the spice in cooking is also helpful.
Two common garden weeds have recently been evaluated for their love enhancing abilities. Lambsquarters, (Chenopodium album) and Beggers ticks, Stick tights or Tickweed (Bidens frondosa) have both been shown to have significant aphrodisiac abilities in recent scientific studies. In animal studies extracts of the herbs were used. The seeds of lambsquarters are used in herbal remedies and were dried and ground into flour by Native Americans. The young greens are also eaten as a spinach substitute. The bark of the stems of Sticktight ( Bidens) was the part used in studies. It could possibly be made into a tea.
Goji berry or Wolfberry is being touted as the next wonder food and among its good properties is apparently the ability to increase sexual hormones. Several garden catalogs are offering Goji berry plants for sale and they are said to grow as far north as Zone 5. If you are in a hurry to obtain the benefits of Goji there are many juices and other products on the market, probably in your local store.
Common tea (Camellia sinensis) had a marked aphrodisiac effect on rats. Perhaps that’s why the English preferred tea as a drink. Tea has been used as a drink for many centuries and it seems that if people were getting a love boost from it that effect would be well known. Maybe a little tea spiced with nutmeg would be an improvement.
Damiana is an herb you can grow although it may be hard to find locally. It has proven aphrodisiac qualities. Dried leaves of damiana are smoked or made into a tea. Read my article about it here.
Other common plants that have some scientific validity as aphrodisiacs include Maypops or Passionfruit, (Passiflora incarnate), panax ginsing, yohimbe, velvet beans (Mucuna pruriens), and African basil (Ocimum gratissimum).
If a stimulating massage oil is desired Ylang-ylang and rosewood ( not rose) essential oil mixed with coconut oil is said to be very exciting to women. Just smelling Ylang ylang is said to increase sexual desire in women. Maybe you guys out there might want to dab it behind your ears. (This hasn’t been proven scientifically, it’s just folklore.)
If you decide to experiment with a love potion this Valentine’s Day use a little caution as people can have an allergic reaction to anything. It’s a good idea to tell a person what they are being fed. Many of these herbs would probably take days of treatment to work and most studies used concentrated extracts that are hard to duplicate at home. Still a little imagination may work wonders as after all, love and desire are strongly seated in the brain.
Here are some additional articles you may want to read.
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