Valentine's Day brings out thoughts of love… and love, as they say, is a many-splendored thing. Roses and chocolate are strongly associated with Valentine’s Day, and with good reason: the fragrance and chemistry of each of these love offerings can help you find the mood for sharing intimacy. (Bear in mind, we’re talking here about really fragrant roses and really dark chocolate.) This holiday celebrates romantic love, a constellation of feelings and actions that science views as Nature's strategy to keep your attention and energy focused on your partner.
The fire of romantic love is closely linked to—and also distinct from—the fire of erotic passion. Both kinds of love can pull us into supremely intense experiences: blissful moments that we long for, and also episodes that plunge us into deep despair. Herbs traditionally have been part of strategies to inflame these passions, when they are desired (and also sometimes to quell them).
They say that the path of true love never runs smoothly! Apart from the complicated circumstances of life, many issues that affect the mind and body can create obstacles to the happiness we seek. Some of the first ways people used herbs probably involved attempts to spark that elusive “love magic.”
Essential oils offer an especially powerful way to help create those Valentine moments! Adding just a little fragrance to massage oils, bathwater, pillowcase, or bedsheets, or via diffuser, can go a long way toward setting the mood.
Each oil has its own olfactory profile and range of effects. Some of the outstanding choices in this category are Rose (relaxing and uplifting, fosters confidence); Bitter Orange, also known as Neroli, (calming and alluring); Patchouli (this powerful, musky scent is a personal favorite for many); Sandalwood (warm and woody), and Ylang Ylang (a floral fragrance that both men and women often enjoy).
Other essential oils in this category include Anise, Basil, Bergamot, Clary Sage, Clove, Black Pepper, Ginger, Lavender, and Peppermint. Personal preference is a huge factor with scents—unless you already know what they like, it’s wise to check with your partner before you spice up the atmosphere.
Herbal teas work in a number of different ways, and can be chosen depending on individual needs:
Boosting energy and lifting mood: Cacao Beans, Rhodiola, Cardamom, Anise Seed,* Cinnamon, Rosemary*
Enhancing hormone levels: Wild Oats, Wild Yam Root, Sarsaparilla, Shatavari, Nettle Root
Supporting adrenal function: Eleuthero, Ashwagandha, Passionflower, Schisandra, Licorice Root*
Stimulating circulation: Ginger, Motherwort, Ginkgo, Astragalus Root, Stevia, Cinnamon, Nettle Leaf
Tonifying the genitourinary tract: Horsetail, Shatavari, Sassafras
Some herbs are said to “normalize” libido, increasing desire when it is deficient, decreasing it when the urge seems excessive. Examples include Chaste Tree Berries, Dong Quai, and Schisandra.
No compilation of herbal lore can claim to be complete, nor can every traditional claim be fully verified. Love is a mystery, after all!
Happy Valentines Day!
*Traditionally recommended for women
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.