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!