Aphrodite and her Plants of Love
Updated: Feb 9, 2021
"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!
Cinnamon Essential Oil Combines Well With: Black Pepper, Clove, Ginger, Geranium, Cardamom, Bergamot, Frankincense, Myrrh, Grapefruit, Lavender, Lemon, Wild Orange, Tea Tree, and Ylang Ylang. Note: Ylang Ylang, happens to be one of my personal favourites and it is known as the strongest aphrodisiac essential oil on the planet due to it's sublime aphrodisiac properties!
Edible Cinnamon Pairings: Cinnamon compliments the following aphrodisiac edibles: Chocolate, apples, apricots, blueberries, peaches, almonds, cloves, ginger and nutmeg
If you wish to ignite your sexual flames with fervour I recommend whipping up this scintillating, scrumptious pastry...
"There bloomed the strawberry of the wilderness; The trembling eyebright showed her sapphire blue, The thyme her purple, like the blush of Even; And if the breath of some to no caress Invited, forth they peeped so fair to view, All kinds alike seemed favourites of Heaven" -William Wordsworth (18th Century poet)
Photo by Artur Rutkowski, Public Domain
The strawberry is a member of the rose family and is native to North America. Wild strawberries date back more than 2200 years. Their cultivation began in the early 19th century and quickly spread around the globe.
In Greece, wild strawberries date back to 5000 B.C. Strawberries were associated with the Greek Goddess of Love, Aphrodite and were referred to as the heart shaped tears of Aphrodite. Likewise, in Rome, strawberries were associated with the Roman Goddess of Love, Venus.
Strawberries are rich in antioxidants and Vitamin C which help promote healthy blood flow to the genitals, increasing sensitivity and desire. They also contain many minerals which help boost the sex drive, such as magnesium, potassium and folate.
Strawberries do not produce an essential oil. There are strawberry fragrance oils made with chemical compounds. These are not natural, so I do not recommend them, personally.
Topical Strawberry seed oil, however, has anti-aging properties and is a perfect remedy for treating dry skin. It makes a wonderful relaxing and cheerful massage oil.
Edible Strawberry Pairings: Strawberries compliment the following aphrodisiac edibles: Apples, blackberries, blueberries, ginger, kiwi, mango, melon, nectarines and peaches, pears, pineapple, raspberries, rhubarb, watermelon, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, champagne, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios, cashews, red and white wine, honey, basil, mint, cinnamon, vanilla, and cardamom.
Here is a sassy succulent pleasure to savour with your honey in the nude. You may enjoy feeding it to each other!
“Thy lips are like a thread of scarlet, and thy speech is comely: thy temples are like a piece of a pomegranate within thy locks.” Biblical Text, Song of Solomon 4:3
Photo by Arjun Kapoor, Public domain
Pomegranates are one of the oldest cultivated fruits which first emerged in Iran and found it’s way into India around the first century A.D Since then, this magical fruit has been cultivated and praised by many cultures around the world, including in ancient times Egypt, India, Africa, China, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, India, Burma and Saudi Arabia. The pomegranate has been a popular subject in many myths and legends and is even considered to be the fruit of the tree of life by some biblical historians.
In Greece, The pomegranate became a symbol of fertility and was honoured as sacred to the Goddess Aphrodite. It was believed that she planted the very first pomegranate tree in Greece on the island of Kypros (Cyprus), the Island of her birth.
Pomegranates have a mystical sensual quality to them and are known as the love apple, due to their aphrodisiac properties. Pomegranates are high in anti-oxidants which is wonderful for preserving sexual vitality and, like many aphrodisiacs, they also assist in increasing blood flow to the genitals.
The International Journal of Impotence Research, performed a study which showed that pomegranate ingestion improved erections and helped correct erectile dysfunction. Another study at Edinburgh’s Queen Margaret University discovered that when taken everyday, pomegranate increased testosterone levels in men and women. An increase in testosterone levels leads to an increase in energy and sexual desire.
Pomegranates are full of nutrients, antioxidants, fibre, water, potassium, manganese and folate, all of which help contribute to a healthy sexual appetite and enhance sexual performance.
Topical Pomegranate Oil: Pomegranate Seed oil is highly nourishing for the hair and skin and is also a carrier oil making it a beneficial ingredient to any massage oil as it helps all of the healing oils and nutrients to absorb into the skin.
Edible Pomegranate Pairings: Pomegranates compliment the following aphrodisiac edibles: Apple, cardamom, cinnamon, citrus, cucumber, ginger, mint, and tropical fruit, tequila and both red and white wines.
Here is a silky luscious treat to serve when you want to bathe your erogenous zones with bliss!
"Knowst thou the land where the lemon trees bloom, Where the gold orange glows in the deep thicket's gloom, Where a wind ever soft from the blue heaven blows, And the groves are of laurel and myrtle and rose?" -J.W. von Goethe (17th Century poem)
The Common Myrtle is native to the Mediterranean and the Middle East. It is grown in the warmer regions of Southern England and North America. Since ancient times Common Myrtle has been honoured as an aphrodisiac. It was so so cherished as a flower that ignited the passions that it became a symbol of love. To this day the Common Myrtle decorates bridal crowns and bouquets around the world. If a flower truly has a spirit, a mission and a purpose, hers would be fulfilled in seducing the planet to make love not war!
Common Myrtle was considered sacred to the Goddess of aphrodisiacs, Aphrodite and the Roman Goddess of love, Venus. According to Greek mythology, the Goddess Aphrodite birthed from the sea on the Greek Isle of Cytheraea. She felt shy to show herself as she was nude, so she hid behind a Myrtle Tree. As a result the Myrtle Tree began to be associated with the Goddess and it was believed the tree brought blessings of Love to those who honoured it.
Myrtle Aromatherapy: Myrtle Essential Oil has calming properties and is a good anti-anxiety remedy. The calming effect can also be used as an aphrodisiac as when we are feeling calm and relaxed we are more open to becoming aroused and interested in sexual activities.
Myrtle Aromatherapy Recipe: Myrtle Blends well with: Cypress, Lavender, Lemon and Pine, Bergamot, Bay Laurel, Bay Leaf, Clary Sage, Clove, Hyssop, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Lime and Rosemary.
Edible Myrtle Pairings: Myrtle compliment the following aphrodisiac edibles: Cherry, coconut, nectarine, peach, plum, basil, cardamom, ginger, mint, rosemary, thyme, almond, hazelnut and vanilla.
Here is a scrumptious Myrtle infused recipe that is seductively sweet and will definitely add some intriguing prospects to your sensual adventures!
The Erotic Iris Flower
“What in your life is calling you? When all the noise is silenced, the meetings adjourned, the lists laid aside, and the wild iris blooms by itself in the dark forest, what still pulls on your soul?" -Rumi (13th Century Persian Poet and Sufi Master)
Iris Flower photo By Penubag, Public Domain
The oldest recording of the use of the Iris flower dates back to 1469 B.C. It was said that King Thutmose III of Egypt, was obsessed with Iris flowers and grew a great number of them in his royal garden. It was not long before the Iris flowers were celebrated in botanical gardens around the world and were associated with royalty. In France a stylized rendition of the Iris, known as the Fleur-de-lis became the symbol of the French Monarchy. Iris flowers were not only used decoratively but the root of these exotic flowers produces an irresistible aroma which was made into expensive perfumes and also useful as a medicine.
The stunning erotic Iris flower resembles the Yoni, which in India is the sacred word describing the flower, or genitalia of the female body and the holy entrance into her divine temple.
It is not surprising that Iris is one of the flowers considered sacred to the Greek Goddess of Aphrodisiacs, Aphrodite.
Iris Aromatherapy: The root of the Iris Flower is where it's beautiful fragrance is contained. It became such a popular aphrodisiac that it was known as the "Root of Love." Orris Root has anti depressant properties and is soothing for stress and anxiety. Inhaling Orris root helps to bring all of the energy bodies into balance and equilibrium.
Iris or Orris Root Essential Oil Blends well with: Vetiver, Frankincense, Rose, Jasmine, Ylang, all Citrus, Lavender, Silver Fir, Melissa, Carnation, Orange Blossom Absolute, Neroli, Marjoram, Inula, Sandalwood, Bergamot, Musk Mallow, Cedar, Geranium, and Tuberose.
Want to try a luxuriously luscious ritual with your treasure? Pour this succulent oil all over one another’s bodies and anoint yourselves in heavenly bliss!
"Plants which are receptacles of light, born three ages before the Gods, I honor your myriad of colours and your seven hundred natures. A hundred oh Mothers are your natures and a thousand are your growths May you of a hundred powers make whole what has been hurt."
-Rig Veda Hymn to Cannabis 1500 B.C.
Cannabis Flower by Esteban Lopez, Public Domain
According to a team of researchers at the University of Vermont, "the cannabis plant evolved 28 million years ago at a specific area of the Tibetan plateau." (reference 3) Cannabis pollen was found in the vicinity of Qinghai Lake, which is the largest salt water lake in China. Cannabis pollen has migrated all over the globe and is now one of the most popular herbs on this planet!
Cannabis is one of the oldest and most potent celebrated aphrodisiacs of all time!
“Your body’s natural endocannabinoid system is key in regulating things like pleasure, pain, relaxation, and homeostasis. When it is activated by the cannabinoids in cannabis, it can leave users feeling relaxed with increased pleasure and decreased pain. This can lead to increased arousal and make sex even more enjoyable.” (reference 4) I have definitely had the best sex of my life when I have ingested cannabis.
I have a profound respect and reverence for this most holy feminine flowering herb. I am in the midst of writing a book about the feminine aspects of this beautiful plant and her connection with various goddesses throughout history. It is difficult for me to keep my sharing here short and sweet, for there is so much to share on the subject of cannabis as an aphrodisiac! As this article focuses on Aphrodite's aphrodisiac medicines I will share the connections the Greek Goddess of Love shares with this most holy herb;
I offer my gratitude for the work of Dr. David Hillman on this subject. Dr Hillman suggests that “the primary component of rituals performed by archaic, classical and Hellenistic colleges of priestesses associated with temples of Dionysus and Aphrodite. From the earliest associations of oracular priesthoods in Cyprus, marijuana was an integral component of cult sacrifices”. “The temples of Aphrodite-Urania in the Eastern Mediterranean were the earliest Greek localities where incense containing Cannabis was burned at all times during the day and night. Travellers and devotees to the triune divinities of Dionysus, Aphrodite and the Muses, indulged in fumigations of marijuana meant to induce theurgic operations. Cult followers inhaled the fumes of burning marijuana in order to assist in the “motivation of statues” and the production of oracular visions." (Hillman, 2012)
Cannabis was considered to be one of the most important aphrodisiacs in Greece. Priestesses associated with the temples of Aphrodite formed private schools which performed cult practices that initiated young women with the use of cannabis and other entheogens to become oracular priestesses. These schools were the first recordings of oracular priestesses. According to Dr. Hillman the Priestesses were called “wolves” and the cult deity was referred to as the great “She-Wolf.”
Cannabis was consecrated as a sacrament and an aphrodisiac by members of the “wolves” and by the Priestesses of Aphrodite who were trained in the arts of sacred temple prostitution. Dr. Hillman discovered that cannabis was initially referred to as “star” and was the herb which induced “the quenching of the flame,” a term which described the sexual fulfillment of the priestesses of Aphrodite!
Cannabis Aromatherapy: Cannabis activates our anandamide receptor which is the receptor in our brain known as the bliss receptor. Cannabis Essential oils trigger responses in the olfactory system, which send signals to the limbic system and the anandamide or bliss receptor. The endocannabinoid system is a family of receptors found throughout our brain and our body. These receptors respond to cannabis when we ingest or inhale it and set off a vast array of activities which help our bodies come into balance or homeostasis and boost our immunity.
Cannabis Essential Oil Combines Well With: Cinnamon, Frankincense, Hyssop, Lavender, Lemon, Myrrh, Rose, Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang, and Vetiver.
Edible Cannabis Pairings: Cannabis compliments the following aphrodisiac edibles: Chocolate, coconut oil, olive oil, vanilla, cherries, strawberries, mangos, coffee, black and green tea.
Here is, in my opinion, one of the most romantic and powerful aphrodisiac recipes one can prepare! It's origins are truly magical. I speak affectionately of the aphrodisiac beverage from India known as Bhang-Lassi. Indian mythology tells of the Hindu Goddess of Love, Shakti preparing this luscious Tantric beverage for her consort Lord Shiva. She adorns her beautiful naked body in the finest silks and jewels and offers herself and the aphrodisiac elixir to her love in order to persuade him to return to Earth. Her seduction ritual is an offering of Love to the Earth as it inspires Lord Shiva to have faith in humanity and continue to bless the earth with his divine masculine presence.
Without further ado, here is my most favourite aphrodisiac recipe to prepare and to consume with my lover. May you make it with passion and devotion for your beloved!
If the rose is a beautiful flower, it is also because it opens itself. – Charles De Leusse
Roses are indigenous to the Northern hemisphere and in particular Asia, North America, Europe and Northwest Africa. Fossils of roses have been discovered which date as far back as 35 million years ago. Many of these fossils have been found at sacred sites all over the world including the Egyptian pyramids.
In Rome, roses were considered sacred to the Goddess Venus. In Roman marriage ceremonies the bride and groom would wear wreaths of roses to celebrate their love and the sculptures of the Gods and Goddesses were often crowned with roses as a sign of devotion toward them.
In Greece wild roses grew all over the hillsides on the Island of Crete. They were a spiritual symbol honouring the Goddess Aphrodite and were thought to be a gift from the heavens in celebration of the Goddess of desire’s birth from the sea.