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Tips for Taking Herbs Successfully
Cilantro Substitute
Herbs That Changed the World
Herbal Pet Care
The Real Deal About Healing Herbs
Classic Herb Blends
Sweet Stevia
Vinegar the Miracle Cleaner
Herbs to Enhance Romance
Rites of Passage
Skin Care Naturally
Spring Bounty (Wild and Wonderful Weeds)
Menopause Gracefully
Spring Ritual for the Health Conscious

Herbs to Enhance Romance

There are some herbs that from time immemorial have been used as aphrodisiacs. I'm no Dr. Ruth or Dr. Drew, so I won't make recommendations, but these are the culprits:

Ginseng Panax quinquefolius
Passionflower Passiflora incarnata
Summer savory Satureja hortensis
Southernwood Artemisia abrotanum
Damiana Turnera diffusa var. aphrodisiaca
Licorice Glycyrrhiza glabra
Muira-puama Dulacia inopiflora, syn. Liriosma ovata
Sarsaparilla Smilax regelii, syn. Smilax ornata


Savory has had a reputation for regulating sex drive for hundreds of years. It was thought that the perennial winter savory decreased it, while the annual summer savory increased it. Guess which one became the more popular? Summer savory goes with all dried beans and with fresh green beans. Mix a teaspoon of chopped fresh savory with melted butter and pour over your green beans or serve it up as a tea before bed.

Ginseng has been taken for almost any ailment. There is a tale in Chinese folklore of a young wife who was miserable because she was unable to conceive for three years. Custom allowed that under this circumstance, the husband could take a concubine. She went in search of an old man in the mountains for an herbal cure. After taking the remedy; she bore a child. Returning to the old man (a god in disguise), she thanked him so graciously that he filled the wood with this miraculous plant, which, of course, was ginseng. It is possible the Chinese would not have coveted ginseng so greatly had it not the reputation of enhancing sexual performance. They value the American variety, which they believe is of better quality than their own. If you want to take ginseng, acquire it through a trusted source because it has been overharvested and is scarce. Some brands on the market have been diluted.

One might think that passionflower derived its name from its reputation of being an aphrodisiac, but this is not the case. The name actually comes from the Jesuits, who see the symbols of the crucifixion in the plant's blossom. Make a tea with a teaspoon of the herb before bed and maybe you'll get religion!

Southernwood, a beautiful and aromatic shrub, also goes under other names: the lover's plant, lad's love, and maid's ruin. It was used in aphrodisiac potions and perfumes and was thought to stimulate not only young men's passion, but also the growth of their beards, so they rubbed the fresh leaves on their faces. Since it cannot be ingested, keep some around in dried arrangements in winter. It makes a very nice background herb for wreaths, and try putting some in an herb pillow to keep next to the bed.

Sensualitea contains spearmint, cinnamon bark, licorice root, muira-puama, hawthorn leaf and flower, rose petals, ho shou root, damiana, sarsaparilla, coriander, nutmeg, and cloves. It is one of about a dozen blends created by an herb tea company out of Boulder, Colorado. It is described as a potent brew for lovers, blended to open the emotional heart, nourish hormones, and enhance sexual vitality. Sounds like all anyone would ever need. The four herbs that are the active aphrodisiac components in Sensualitea are damiana, licorice, muira-puama, and sarsaparilla. Damiana was used by the Aztecs as an aphrodisiac and a cure for impotence. It allows nerve messages to spread out throughout the nervous system, thereby increasing a person's sensitivity. Licorice has been used as a tonic for strengthening the adrenal glands and increasing energy. It also helps to provide the body with the raw materials necessary to produce its own hormones. Muira-puama, known as "potency wood", is sold in Brazilian pharmacies as an aphrodisiac and nerve stimulant. And sarsaparilla is an herb rich in phytosterols, which provides nourishment to one's hormones.

The aromas of essential oils can provide that extra spark needed to spice up a romantic evening. They are diffused using an aromalamp or added to a massage oil or even to bath water. Try any of the following individually or in blends: ylang ylang, coriander, cinnamon, jasmine, or sandalwood. And remember there are many ways to enhance the romance between you and your partner, and no food or herb can take the place of the positive, supportive, and trusting relationship of true love.