Have you ever had the experience of taking an aphrodisiac herb (or four) and feeling like nothing happened? You're not the only one! For years I thought that aphrodisiacs just didn't work on me...until I started to learn how to work with them.
(Now, for some of you, you take an aphrodisiac and you are READY TO GO!! This blog post is not for you. Unless you want to read it. Then by all means, don't let me stop you.)
"Plant Medicine Requires Participation"
The aphrodisiac equation started solving itself for me when I heard this phrase from someone much smarter than me.
Unlike pharmaceuticals, which (usually) have the intended effect no matter what you're doing, when you're working with most herbs and plants, you have to put a little skin in the game (heh, heh) to really notice the effects. This means creating a little space, and taking time to notice the impacts.
Let me put it like this: you can't just take some aphrodisiac herbs and go about cleaning the house, putting the kids to bed, finishing up a little work, all while expecting to be suddenly overcome with a burning urge to get naked and horizontal. It don't work like that, sorry!
Set the Stage :: Evoke the Sensual
There's a reason that flowers, chocolate, massages, and silks are nearly synonymous with Valentine's Day! These lovely indulgences evoke your fives senses, helping you get out of your head (helllllooooo modern culture, we are almost ALL way stuck in our heads!) and into that luscious sensual body of yours.
Here's my shortlist of how to set the stage for aphrodisiacs to work, whether you're setting the stage for yourself, or for you and a partner:
Carve out some time! You deserve the time to really indulge in the wonder and magic of the human body. During this time, you WILL forget about your to-do list, and turn off your phone.
Do at least one thing to love on your body and make you feel sexy. It doesn't have to be fancy or take an hour. (I'm a mom, I don't have time for that sh*t, myself.) It could just be taking a freaking shower and using your favorite soap. It could be putting on a favorite piece of clothing that feels wonderful against your skin, or putting on that favorite piece of jewelry. A 3-minute self-massage. My very favorite is abhyanga, or self-oil massage before showering. If you have time for a few of these, amazing!
- Do at least one thing to create a sensual space. Flowers. A candle. Some incense. Music. BOOM, you've got yourself some sexy-space! If you wanna jazz it up even more, here are some other ideas:
- Spray rose water on your sheets
- Scatter rose petals on your bed
- Diffuse some sensual essential oils - jasmine, sandalwood, rose, ylang ylang, and vetiver are all great options
- Candles. More candles. Go freaking crazy with candles. 😍
Now, About Those Herbs
A few key tips here:
First and foremost, take your herbs 1-3 hours before "Game Time."
That said, it's a good idea to start working with the herbs in advance of any "high-pressure" moments, ie Valentine's Day or an anniversary. This gives you the time to experiment and find the right herbs and the right dose for you.
Every body is going to have a slightly different response to different herbs. Some herbs may work like magic, others not so much. I encourage you to experiment with several herbs or a comprehensive blend to ensure you're finding the right combination for your body.
Also, don't be afraid to experiment with dosage! I personally find that for some herbs, I'm really quite sensitive...however there are others that I really kind of need to be hit over the head with! 🤷
However, be smart about it: if a single dose didn't work, don't go straight to a triple dose! This is why working with the herbs for a little while before a high-pressure moment can be valuable so you can find your own magic formula.
My own personal magic formula is: damiana, maca, rose, cacao, & CBD...plus long-term support from the shatavari, ashwagandha, & he shou wu in Rasa (more on nourishing your sexual energy over the long term in a future blog!)
If this all sounds like a lot of work to do on your own, I highly recommend working with a qualified herbalist who can help you navigate all this, in addition to identifying and working with underlying conditions that may be impacting your libido.
Also, please consult your healthcare practitioner if you are on medication, have a specific health concern, or are pregnant or breastfeeding.
This is not the blog to go deep on various aphrodisiac herbs and how they work in the body, who they're best for, etc. We'll enlist our herbalist Ben for that one!
However, here are some wonderful aphrodisiac herbs you can start working with:
- Epimedium (aka "Horny Goat Weed")
- Muira Puama
And an image packed with aphrodisiac foods: 😍
We have a few products containing some of these herbs and plant medicines in our Valentine's Pop-Up Shop, and we also highly recommend Mountain Rose Herbs as an inexpensive source of high-quality herbs.
Would love to hear how it goes for you, and if you have any questions or need support, we're here to help!