Aphrodite and her Plants of Love
Updated: Feb 9
"Venus and Anchises" by William Blake Richmond, Public Domain
Please Note: This article is Part II of my previous blog article, "Aphrodite: Goddess of Sex, Aphrodisiacs and Sacred Prostitution". In this article, I cover the aphrodisiacs associated with Aphrodite. I also share some seductive exotic edible aphrodisiac recipes for each one as well as some titillating topical essential oil recipes both of which help to arouse the senses, awaken sexual desire and enhance orgasms.
Aphrodite's Erotic Belt
Detail from Painting By Henryk Siemiradzki, Public Domain
As we discovered in Part I of this article, the Greek Goddess of Love, Aphrodite, adorned her lovely hips with a magical belt which she filled with sensual libations made from powerful aphrodisiacs.
Due to the war on plant medicines that has been going on for centuries we have lost a great deal of historical information pertaining to botanicals, so the exact contents of Aphrodite's belt remains a mystery.
Many references in the Goddess of Love’s mythology reveal that her shaman's bag contained potent aphrodisiacs. There are a number of aphrodisiacs associated with Aphrodite and it is more than likely that some of these were stashed in her medicine satchel. Aphrodite's magical girdle was sought after by many of the Gods and Goddesses due to the legendary seductive effects of the contents contained within. This is a clear indication that Aphrodite was the keeper of some impressive tantalizing love potions!
Aphrodisiacs are substances which increase sexual appetite and desire and enhance sexual behaviour and pleasure.
How do aphrodisiacs work? Hormones, in particular testosterone, influence our sex drive. Through our senses (smell, touch, taste, sound and sight) we may come across something which ignites our sexual arousal. For instance, a soft touch, the twinkle in a lover's eye, the scent of the perfect combination of intoxicating pheromones mixed with sweet perfume, the taste of a strawberry dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with cardamom, the sexy sounds our lover makes when they are in the heights of sexual ecstasy and so on.
A particular encounter experienced through our senses sets off a chain reaction throughout our bodies. Signals are sent from our brain through our central nervous system to the sexual organs causing the blood to flow to our genitals making them swell and ultra sensitive to touch and increasing the potential for exquisite orgasms. This increase of oxygen in our blood also causes our hearts to become more stimulated. All the while, our brain releases neurotransmitters known as norepinephrine and dopamine, which let the body know we are experiencing pleasure.
There are two types of aphrodisiacs, those which stimulate our body and those which stimulate our brain. Some aphrodisiacs have both qualities. And, of course, two types of aphrodisiacs may be used simultaneously, for those who like to take a walk on the wild side!
Aphrodite and her Plants of Love:
First, let's explore some of the more common herbs found in most kitchen cabinets which are associated with the Greek Goddess of sexual pleasure, Aphrodite. Then we will traverse some of the more impressive aphrodisiacs linked with the Goddess of rapture.
"This is my body, a map of love. So, roam wherever you want, from the sea to the river, from Camphor to Mint. This is my fruit, this berry and this date. And this is my body. Whatever you want, anything you need. The virgin language is only for your eyes!" Excerpt from a poem by Mokhrar Issa, Translated by Hassan Hegazy Hassan (Egypt 2003)
The term "mint" is a blanket term for all plants which are members of the Mentha plant family, such as peppermint, spearmint, orange mint, apple mint, and so on. The use of this perennial herb can be traced back to 1000 BC in Egypt, where peppermint leaves were found preserved in ancient pyramids.
Believe it or not, Mint can actually be beneficial as an aphrodisiac. Mint warms and increases the flow of oxygenated blood to the sexual organs which elevates desire in both men and women and enhances orgasms. Peppermint stimulates the mind which helps one to become more alert and in turn to be more present during lovemaking and to become more aware of the sexual pleasures happening in the moment. All varieties of mint help to energize 3 of our senses; touch, taste and smell.
In addition, mint has vitamins and minerals which are valuable to our sexual health, such as Vitamins A and C, which are potent antioxidants and help to boost our immunity and our vitality. Mint also contains manganese, iron, calcium, folate, potassium, tryptophan, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, riboflavin and copper which are all also extremely advantageous for a healthy sex life.
Mint Aromatherapy: The scent of peppermint has been said to enliven the sexual imagination, especially in women. Who knew that adding a bit of mint to an aroma diffuser had the potential to inspire an adventure into unchartered territories between lovers!
Peppermint Essential Oil Combinations: Peppermint essential oil blends well with: Oregano, Marjoram, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Geranium, Grapefruit, Juniper Berry, Lavender, Lemon, Rosemary, and Tea Tree oil.
Edible Mint Pairings: Mint compliments the following aphrodisiac edibles: Chocolate, vanilla, watermelon, berries, figs, dates, melons, cherries, apricots, plums, apples, pears and rosemary.
Aside from adding a few drops of peppermint to your aroma diffuser you may wish to add a drop to a glass of water along with your favourite fruit, such as strawberries or make a mint infused treat to share with your lover, like this tantalizing exotic sensual gem...
"(Parvati at her lattice) O Love! were you a basil-wreath to twine among my tresses, A jewelled clasp of shining gold to bind around my sleeve, O Love! were you the keora's soul that haunts my silken raiment, A bright, vermilion tassel in the girdles that I weave..."
-A Rajput Love song by Indo Anglian poet, political activist and freedom fighter Sarojini Naidu (1879-1949)
Basil is related to the Lamiaceae (mint) family. Basil has been cultivated for over 5000 years and was originally discovered in India, where it is considered sacred and where my favourite variety of basil comes from known as Tulsi or Holy Basil.
Basil was believed to be an effective love charm in Greece and a symbol of love in ancient Rome. In Haiti, it is honoured for the association with Erzulie, the Goddess of Love.In European folklore, basil is an important ingredient in sensual ceremonies and in the Arabian peninsula basil is widely used as an aphrodisiac.
Like mint, basil is refreshing and stimulating to the mind and the senses of touch, taste and smell. It also has a scent that is sensual and arousing. Similarly to mint, basil improves blood flow to the genitalia, which increases sensitivity and desire. Basil is also an anti anxiety.
Basil Aromatherapy: Basil has anti-depressant properties which is beneficial for setting the right mood for love. Geranium is another good top note to basil, as it also has blissful qualities and the two smell so lovely when mixed together in a diffuser or infused into a sensual massage oil.
Here is a quick easy seductive recipe to whip up when you are feeling flirtatious! You may even wish to feed it to your beloved and oh the fun that can be had with whipping cream! Mmmm Mmmm!
"Are you going to Scarborough Fair? Parsley, sage, Rosemary and thyme, Remember me to one who lives there, she once was a true love of mine." -English Balaad of unknown origin. Made popular by the musicians Simon and Garfunkel when they released a recording of the love balaad in 1966.
Rosemary comes from the Mediterranean sea and it's use dates back to 500 BC when the Greeks and Romans recorded it's benefits as a medicinal herb and a popular spice for cooking. Rosemary was often worn by brides and grooms at their marriage ceremonies in many different cultures and considered a love charm by many cultures around the world, even to this day.
Like the Goddess Aphrodite, Rosemary has a powerful relationship with the sea. This amorous flowering herb is indigenous to the Mediterranean Coast and was fondly known as Rosmarinus, which translates to "Dew of the Sea". The seabreeze carries her precious sea water to bless the rosemary with, which combines the sexy essence of the ocean with this whimsical herb.
The naked Goddess Aphrodite was portrayed as being adorned in Rosemary at her birth.
Rosemary stimulates our bodies and our minds, both of which are helpful for lovemaking. This sultry herb contains calcium, iron and vitamin B6 all of which contain properties which help create a satisfying sex life. Calcium helps to strengthen our muscles which help to enhance orgasms in both men and women. Women have muscles surrounding their clitoris and pelvic floor which make sex more pleasurable when they are working at their optiumum and men have muscles which manage their ejaculation response. Iron increases energy and sends oxygen to our sexual organs. And, Vitamin B6 raises our sexual desire.
Rosemary Aromatherapy: I love combining basil and rosemary together. It is romantic and invigorating. Rosemary and cinnamon are quite a stimulating creative combination as well.
Rosemary Essential Oil Combines Well With: Basil, bergamot, black pepper, cedarwood, cinnamon, citronella, clary sage, eucalyptus, frankincense, geranium, grapefruit, lavender, lemon, mandarin, marjoram, niaouli, oregano, peppermint, pine, tea tree, thyme. Note: Marjoram acts as an anaphrodisiac, meaning it deters sexual desire. Therefore it is not recommended in an aphrodisiac blend but a good tool to have in your chest if you are feeling the opposite of frisky!
Edible Rosemary Pairings: Rosemary compliments the following aphrodisiac edibles: Pears, apples, citrus fruits, walnuts, basil, thyme, maple syrup, honey,
Here is a saucy mouthwatering morsel that will leave you both swooning with delight!
"I have sprinkled my bed With myrrh, aloes and cinnamon..." Biblical Text, Proverbs 7:17
Cinnamon's roots are in Sri Lanka India, and it's use can be traced back to 2800 B.C., when the father of Chinese Medicine Shen Nung wrote about cinnamon praising it's healing properties.
In some of Aphrodite's myths, wherever she stepped, the scent of cinnamon was said to be in the air surrounding her and wafting out of her aphrodisiac belt. It was also written that stimulating massage oils infused with cinnamon were used by the Priestesses of the Aphrodite cult in their erotic rituals.
Cinnamon is a warming aphrodisiac. It heats up the body, warms and heals the heart, increases blood flow to the genitals and is a bold flirtatious aphrodisiac! Cinnamon has also been found to increase the sexual appetite. Bon appetit indeed!
Cinnamon Aromatherapy: Cinnamon is mentioned countless times in biblical texts. In these texts it was written that holy oils, containing cinnamon were used to anoint the feet of Jesus in an infusion lovingly prepared by Mary Magdalene, who is recognized by many scholars as the 13th apostle and beloved partner of Jesus.
I highly recommend making this biblical massage oil recipe and infusing it with cannabis (one of the herbs used in Mary Magdalene's oil according to many historians). For legal reasons I offer a cinnamon and myrrh infused massage oil recipe without cannabis so that those who feel inspired may add their own. Although, I must say, nothing compares to using an oil that you have made yourself on your lover. When we prepare things from scratch, we are infusing our own love and energy into what we prepare and that is extremely sexy!