Aphrodisiacs! The word itself can send a tingle of anticipation down your spine. Throughout the ages almost every culture has used various `substances', usually herbal in origin, to put some zip into their love lives or in an attempt to cure the impotent. The types of preparation employed as aphrodisiacs ranged from the useless (except perhaps for their psychological effects) to the extremely dangerous, some being toxic enough to cause death! However, leaving those dangers behind....
There were four main types of herbal substances used as aphrodisiacs. The first and most dangerous was the narcotic, used to intoxicate the user's object of desire, thereby rendering them incapable to resist an unwanted sexual advance. These aren't real aphrodisiacs obviously, just a way of weakening another person's will. These substances are extremely dangerous in even slight doses and are now justifiably illegal in most parts of the world.
The second type were substances that would irritate the mucous membrane of the genitalia, hopefully producing a warm, itching feeling similar to sexual arousal. Unfortunately, what often happens is that the genitalia become inflamed, causing permanent damage. The prospect of kidney problems and other unpleasant side-effects is also high. This type of so-called aphrodisiac is best left alone.
The next group of substances used as aphrodisiacs were herbs that alleviated medical disorders that interfered with normal sexual function. Any herb that helped to alleviate the symptoms of a variety of genito-urinary tract infections, or that supplied badly needed vitamins or minerals that were lacking in the diet, could be considered as aphrodisiac, as they would allow a person with previous physical problems to function normally.
An example is Ephedra nevadensis which has been used as a remedy for kidney, bladder and urinary problems and as an aphrodisiac. In some parts of the world Kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) is considered to be aphrodisiac. Kelp is rich in many vitamins and minerals, among them iodine, necessary for the proper function of the thyroid gland. Lack of iodine can result in excessive physical fatigue and a lowered sex drive.
The fourth type of herbal aphrodisiac is the one that seems to have the effect of directly increasing sexual desire and prowess, even increasing the intensity of the sensations felt during orgasm. After some extensive research and experimentation the two herbs that seem to produce the best results in this regard are Kava Kava root and Damiana leaves.
Kava Kava is obtained from the shrub Piper methysticum, which is native to the Polynesian Islands, It has been used by the Islanders as a religious and visionary herb and aphrodisiac for most of their history. Since none of the active ingredients of Kava Kava are water soluble, the natives would pre-chew the roots and then blend this saliva/root mixture with coconut milk. The resulting liquid was then fermented to produce a potent beverage that was used for important rituals. The effect of the drink is to relax spinal activity, producing an euphoric state of relaxation but without impairing mental activity. Some subjects also experience a tingling feeling in the genitalia, producing all the ingredients for an interesting sexual experience.
TRY THIS RECIPE
KAVA DRINK: mix together in a blender; one ounce of powdered Kava Kava root, two tablespoons of olive oil, one tablespoon of soya lecithin granules and ten ounces of water. Blend on high for one minute. This amount will suffice for 2-4 people.
WARNING: Over use of Kava Kava will cause dangerous respiratory and skin problems.
Damiana is obtained from the shrub Turnera diffusa, which is native to the U.S. Southwest and northern Mexico. The inhabitants of this region have used Damiana for many years as a remedy for nervous disorders, and as a tonic and aphrodisiac. Damiana seems to have a positive toning effect on both the nervous system and sexual organs, especially when combined in equal parts with Saw Palmetto berries. Some users of the combination tea (Damiana and Saw Palmetto) report that, taken an hour or so before sexual activity, it helps produce a more satisfactory experience. The best results seem to be obtained when Damiana is taken in moderation over a period of time. Using the tea mentioned above (one cup per day for two weeks) seems to have stimulating effects on sexual performance.
My favorite Damiana recipe is a delightfully strong tasting cordial. To produce this `Damiana liqueur' soak one ounce of Damiana Leaves, two tablespoons of Saw Palmetto berries, two tablespoons of Angelica root and a l/2 tablespoon of vanilla pods in 750 ml. of whisky. After one week, strain the mixture through a coffee filter and save the liquid. Re-soak the herbs, etc. in 750 ml. distilled water for another week and then strain this second mixture. Heat the second mix to approximately 80C and dissolve one cup of honey into the hot liquid. After the honey has dissolved, remove from the heat, allow to cool somewhat and then add it to the first (whisky) mixture.
You must then age the whole thing for at least a month! One ounce of liqueur, taken once a day for a few weeks should produce interesting results. Herbs usually work in a gentle fashion so don't expect instantaneous results. Indeed, because of their different metabolism, some people may not experience any effects whatever, while others may find the results too potent. Use these herbs in a respectful manner and use them in moderation, over-indulgence or extended use may have harmful side-effects. Most importantly, be wise, oh and by the way... enjoy yourselves!
Copyright 1996, 1998 by Lori Herron and Alternative Nature
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