Enhancing Sexual Vitality with Herbs
By: Christa Sinadinos

Herbs and aromas have been used throughout history in almost every culture to arouse sensuality and to enhance sexual pleasure.  Adaptogen herbs, aphrodisiacs, and circulatory stimulant herbs support sexual health, lift libido, and restore vitality.

Adrenal Tonics and Adaptogen Herbs                                                             
Long-term stress, overworking, lack of sleep, and chronic use of stimulants can cause the depletion or loss of vital reserves that are housed in the adrenals and kidneys.  In turn, the depleted adrenals and kidneys can result in a lack of libido, or sexual apathy.

Fortunately, there are numerous herbs with adrenal tonifying and adaptogen properties that can help increase virility, stamina, and libido.  Adaptogen herbs counter the negative impacts of stress on the body and support vitality. They increase one’s energy level and vital force. Adaptogen herbs also aid in restoring hormone balance in both men and women. Adaptogen herbs work most effectively when taken on a daily basis as long-term tonifying agents. These herbs can be taken in the form of tea, tinctures, elixirs, syrups, pills, pastes, powders, and some can even be cooked in stews.

Each adrenal tonic and adaptogen herb has an affinity for other systems in the body. Some should not be consumed in conjunction with medication. Adaptogen herbs and most tonics should also be avoided during acute illness and during menstruation. Therefore, it is important to carefully research an herb and to consult a knowledgeable herbalist before using an herb or combination of herbs as medicine.

Some examples of adrenal tonifying and adaptogenic herbs include the following: Ashwaganda (Withania somnifera), Cordyceps (Cordyceps), Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra), Muira puama (Ptychopetalum olacoides), Five flavor berry (Schisandra chinensis), Eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosis), American ginseng (Panax quinquefolium), white Chinese ginseng (Panax ginseng) (note - avoid red ginseng also known as cured Panax ginseng), and Sarsaparilla (Smilax species).
Aphrodisiac herbs arouse the body and the mind. They stimulate the sexual organs, and can assist in increasing the sexual appetite as well as sexual functions. This makes them helpful in the treatment of sexual impotence. Many of the adaptogen herbs that were previously mentioned have aphrodisiac qualities when used as long-term tonics. The following herbs also have aphrodisiac properties and can be used as sexual stimulants: Damiana (Turnera diffusa), Allspice (Pimenta officinalis), Anise (Pimpinella anisum), Basil (Ocimum basiculum), Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum), Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum), Cloves (Syzygium aromaticum), Ginger (Zingiber officinale), and Vanilla (Vanilla planifolia).

Many aphrodisiac herbs have sensual aromas that stimulate the senses and arouse the spirit. Most of these herbs also increase circulation throughout the body and warm the genital region, and are helpful when creating sexual stimulant blends. They taste delicious in the form of tea, cordials, as well as in food and desserts. They can also be simmered in water on the stovetop or woodstove as a sensual aromatic potpourri. Some of the aromatic aphrodisiac herbs that stimulate circulation include the following: Allspice (Pimenta officinalis), Anise (Pimpinella anisum), Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum), Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum), Cloves (Syzygium aromaticum), Ginger (Zingiber officinale), and Vanilla (Vanilla planifolia).                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Aphrodisiac Aromas
One of the quickest methods of sexual arousal is through the limbic portion of the brain that is stimulated directly from the sense of smell. The limbic brain is the first area stimulated with an initial attraction, and then physical attraction follows. Some aromas can arouse carnal instincts; subtle aromas can conjure a romantic ambiance.

Rose hydrosol or orange blossom hydrosol make lovely perfumes and can be sprayed around the love nest. Hydrosols are the water byproduct that results from producing essential oils. They have a subtle and exotic aroma.

Please note that the amounts of ingredients in the tea recipes below make large batches of herb blends; use the amounts listed in the directions to make one quart of the tea at a time, not the whole batch!  

Damiana Delight Tea
Combine the following: 1 ounce each of Anise seeds, Spearmint, Damiana; 1/2 ounce each of Eleuthero, Cinnamon chips, Cardamom seed, Allspice berry, and Licorice root. Mix together and store in a sealed container.

Directions: Pour 1 quart of boiled water over 3-4 tablespoons of the Damiana Delight tea blend and cover. Allow the tea to steep for 20-30 minutes and then strain, sweeten (optional), and serve.

Combine the following: 1 ounce each of Eleuthero, Jamaican sarsaparilla, Indian sarsaparilla, Carob seeds, Anise seed, Allspice; ½ ounce each of Muira puama and Licorice root; ¼ ounce of Vanilla bean (optional) chopped into ¼ inch pieces. Mix together and store in a sealed container.

Directions: Option one - Pour 1 quart of boiled water over 3 - 4 tablespoons of the Adrenal Tonifying Tea blend. Option two - make a decoction by simmering 1.5 quarts of water with 4 tablespoons of the herbs for 30 minutes, then strain, sweeten (optional), and serve.
Love Nuggets
Purchase the powder form of the herbs or individually powder the herbs used in this recipe. Combine and mix the following: 1 ounce each of Eleuthero and Anise; ½ ounce each of Cinnamon, Maca root, Licorice root, Orange peel, and Cardamom; ¼ ounce each of Indian sarsaparilla and Ginger root; 1 tablespoon of Cocoa powder.

Next, blend the powdered herbs with 8 ounces of tahini or smooth almond butter, ½ cup honey, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon almond extract, 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, 1-2 ounces of either Damiana cordial, Anisette, or any other tasty liqueur. Roll into small balls (about the size of a dime or nickel). Preheat and liquefy two packages of semi sweet chocolate chips in a double boiler, then dip the love nuggets in chocolate. Place on parchment paper until the chocolate hardens. Warning: If you eat too many, you may spontaneously combust!