Gabrielle, one of the women I worked with as I was studying aphrodisiac herbs, joined my Aphrodisiac Circle in order to reengage with the sensual and sexual parts of herself. You see, Gabrielle’s marriage had been a difficult one, and then her husband unexpectedly died in a plane crash when her two girls were still very young. That experience left her in so much pain that she chose not to seek another romantic relationship. Gabrielle set aside sensuality and sexuality and focused her energy on raising her girls. When she joined the circle, Gabrielle’s youngest was just starting college. With the bulk of her mothering behind her, Gabrielle felt a desire for intimate connection stirring within her, and she was curious about whether the aphrodisiac herbs could help her reconnect with the sensuality she had put on a shelf.
Diving into Aphrodisiac Herbs: The Simple Joy of a Chocolate Bar
In our first month of exploration we were working with cacao, a plant we had all experienced through chocolate bars and other sweet treats since we were little. We all knew how chocolate could lift us up when we were feeling down. This boost is partially due to the caffeine and sugar content in most chocolate bars, but our explorations led us to understand that nourishing minerals like potassium and magnesium also have a role in the energy boost. Constituents in cacao like theobromine and phenylethylamine play a part as well. The phenylethlamine compound is also natural in our brains, and trace amounts of it are released when we are in love and during orgasm. Cacao is also both cardio and neuroprotective. It helps tone and protect our hearts and nervous systems. The theobromine in cacao dilates the coronary arteries, improving blood flow to the brain. By toning of our nerves, protecting our physical heart and nourishing our brain, this aphrodisiac herb helps our emotional hearts to open, leaving us more available for connection.
Gabrielle bought a bar of 100% cacao and created a simple daily practice for herself. Each morning she took a square of that chocolate bar and let it melt in her mouth. She allowed herself to fully enjoy the creamy smoothness of it on her tongue, and its dark, rich, earthy taste. Cacao became an herbal ally for her, gently reconnecting her with the pleasure of sensual experience. This connection blossomed even further in the month we experimented with rose. She tended the rose bush in her yard, really noticing the beautiful shades of red and orange within the blossoms for the first time. She made rose petal massage oil, rose powder incense, and some chocolate truffles rolled in rose petals, and it all led up to a delicious self pleasuring session that truly re-awakened her sexual energy. Gabrielle’s experience of bringing these herbs into her life may not be the kind of experiences you think about when you consider using aphrodisiac herbs…
What are aphrodisiac herbs?
Often, people think of aphrodisiacs as expensive herbs shipped in from far away, not more common, accessible plants like roses and cacao. Or they might imagine aphrodisiacs to be like a love potion that will encourage someone they are crushing on to go ahead and have sex with them. What I have found is that the herbs are far more powerful when we use them for our own sexual health and empowerment and common plants can be just as powerful aphrodisiac herbs as more expensive ones. A common definition of an aphrodisiac is a food, drink, or drug that stimulates sexual desire. Yet when considering how an herb might stimulate sexual desire, I realized that this definition actually tells me very little about what the herb would be doing in my body. So, what other herbal actions might be informative? An herb that helps increase blood flow can warm us and bring more energy to our pelvis. A euphoric herb can help us get out of our busy work-day brain.
Nervines can help calm our nervous system so that we can relax into intimacy. Reproductive tonics can help assure that our sexual organs are in top condition for maximum sexual potency. This line of thinking helped me realize the broad power of herbs to be allies for us in our sexual health and empowerment. Gabrielle’s experience is a powerful example of aphrodisiac herbs working in this way. She was at a point in her life where she wanted to open to her own sensual and sexual nature, and she needed a gentle re-entry to move through that long buried pain. Both the roses and cacao supported her nervous system and heart. Each one offered a unique opportunity for delicious sensual experience: cacao gifting her with energy and uplifting her mood even as it melted on her tongue, and rose nourishing her skin as she enjoyed rubbing the oil onto her body.
How to Make Love Drunk Drinking Chocolate
I’d love to invite you to take a step onto this path right now, with this simple recipe from my book: Aphrodisiac: The Herbal Path to Healthy Sexual Fulfillment and Vital Living. Like Gabrielle, your first herbal ally could be cacao.
Love Drunk Drinking Chocolate
This is a super thick drinking chocolate. You can adjust the thickness according to your taste by adding more or less water or adding half-and-half instead of cream.
What you’ll need…
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 3 ounces dark chocolate (your favorite chocolate bar, 70% or higher)
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream, coconut cream, or nondairy creamer
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of cinnamon or cayenne (optional)
- In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the coconut oil and chocolate on low heat, whisking periodically until it is well combined and smooth.
- Add ¼ cup of water, ½ cup of creamer, and a pinch of salt.
- Stir the mixture until combined and even. If at any point the chocolate is sticking to the bottom of the pan, remove the pan from the heat immediately and keep whisking.
- For some added flavor or spice, try adding a pinch of cinnamon or cayenne.
Yield: A generous cup
Is there an area of your sexual health or empowerment where aphrodisiac herbs can support you?
Getting clear about what you hope an herb will do for you can help you choose the right herb for your particular situation. Herbal actions, constituents, and energetics provide the clues to help you make informed choices. So, do aphrodisiac herbs really work? Yes, they do.
In my book Aphrodisiac: The Herbal Path to Healthy Sexual Fulfillment and Vital Living, I share information about 13 powerful aphrodisiac herbs, while taking you on your own personal journey of sexual empowerment. It’s perfect for Valentine’s Day!