Exploring Aromatic Love Potions on Valentine’s Day

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Are you planning on indulging in self-care, celebrating love with your special love, or your family and friends, this Valentine’s Day? If yes then plan to luxuriate in sensual essential oils and harmonious herbs. It is a great time to boost your home apothecary. We have curated an alchemical love collection of herbs and oils and other tools just for you.

History is rich with examples of aromatic love potions being used as powerful mood boosters. Let’s take a journey together and explore five botanicals that have stood the test of time.

Jasmine Jasminum grandiflorum L.

Cleopatra wooed Mark Antony with the aroma of jasmine and to this day, in India, a paste is made from the flowers for use as an aphrodisiac. Another variety of jasmine known as Jasminum sambac (L.) has similar uplifting mood qualities1 and pairs perfectly with rose and other essential oils such as pink peppercorn  Schinus terebinthifolia. This is one of my personal favorites!

India again provides us with real-time evidence of the power of jasmine. Women wear daily sprigs of fresh jasmine flowers in their hair. Its auspicious, romantic influence is also evident at Indian weddings. Jasmine flowers are used as garlands and decorations and scattered on marriage beds.

Rose Rosa damascena (Mill.)

Similarly, the essential oil of rose (discovered between 1582 and 1612),  has a very vibrant, romantic history. Sappho, the Greek poet, called it the “Queen of Flowers”. Cupid is rumored to have bribed the God of Silence with rose so that he would not reveal the amorous ways of Venus.  

An enchanting story is told about the discovery of rose oil. At the wedding feast of Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal and Shalimar Gardens for his wife, a canal circling the whole garden was dug and filled with water and rose petals. The sun’s heat separated the water from the essential oil of rose. The bridal pair observed this when they were rowing on the fragrant water; the oil was skimmed off and found to be an exquisite perfume. History tells us this was the beginning of rose distillation in India.

Today, the oil of rose and rose petals support emotional health.2 Add to a bath blend, used in bath bomb recipes, or diffused into the air.  Imagine soaking in a luxurious warm bath filled with rose petals and rich with the warm, intensely floral, slightly spicy, honey-like odor of rose essential oil.

Sandalwood Santalum album (L.)

Rose also blends well with sandalwood. The woody, aromatic notes of sandalwood create romantic alchemy that can induce deep luxurious relaxation.  It is known to have a sedative action.3  Because it is a longer-lasting aroma it is commonly added to soaps, bath bombs, foot scrubs, and body moisturizing products and will help provide lasting love memories. Sandalwood essential oil is distilled from the root and heartwood of the sandal tree. The traditional source from India is endangered because of overharvesting however, fortunately, other countries such as Australia have invested in sustainable plantations, and the oil is superb.  If you are like me you want to shop without stressing over environmental sustainability. 

Ginger Zingiber officinale (Roscoe)

Ginger is another essential oil with a powerful aroma that packs a punch in your love apothecary.  In the 12th century, Saint Hildegard referred to ginger Zingiber officinale as having “aphrodisiac properties, especially for stimulating the vigor of older men married to younger women.” Quite risque for those times. More recent research confirms its reputation as a natural stimulant.4 Ginger with a warm, fresh, woody, spicy, almost citrus top note blends well with Cedarwood Atlas Cedrus atlantica ct. Himachalenes (G.Manetti) essential oil. This is a perfect essential oil blend to diffuse to enhance your love celebrations.

Lavender Lavandula officinalis (L.)

 “…… and still she slept an azure-lidded sleep, in blanched linen, smooth and lavendered.” —Keats.5 The poet Keats hit the nail on the head in the beautiful poem “The Eve of St. Agnes” where he waxes eloquent on the seducing sedative benefits of lavender, another great herb and essential oil to add to your love apothecary. In fact, lavender herb and essential oil are both known as powerful supports for gently soothing away tension6, and are two products your apothecary needs year-round.

If our love potion journey back in time has inspired you to make some love products from scratch here are some of my favorite easy formulas.

For bath, body, or massage oils, essential oils are best added into a carrier oil like apricot kernel, sweet almond, or argan.

 

Bath, body, or Massage oil

  •   Sweet almond oil or sweet apricot: 4 oz
  •   Rose Rosa damascena oil: 1­‐2 drops
  •   Jasmine Jasmine grandiflorum oil: 1­‐2 drops

Love Potion Oil

  •   Argan Argania spinosa: 2 oz
  •   Sweet almond oil or apricot kernel oil: 2 oz
  •   Lavender Lavandula officinalis oil: 3­‐5 drops
  •   Rose Rosa damascena oil: 1‐2 drops
  •   Jasmine Jasmine grandiflorum oil: 1‐2 drops
  •    Sandalwood Santalum album oil: 1­‐2 drops 

Blend the base oils and essential oils together and use in the bath (see instructions for the Luxurious Love Bath) or use as a body/massage oil.

Luxurious Love Bath

  •   Neroli Citrus aurantium var. amara oil: 6 drops
  •   Lavender Lavandula officinalis oil: 3­‐5 drops
  •   Rose Rosa damascena oil: 1‐2 drops
  •    Sandalwood Santalum album oil: 1 drop
  •    Sweet almond oil or apricot kernel oil: 2 oz
  •    Lavender Lavandula officinalis flowers: 4 teaspoons
  •   Rose Rosa centifolia Buds and Petals: 4 teaspoons
  •  Blend the lavender and rose flowers together and fill a press and brew tea bag. Add the essential oils to the base oil and shake or stir well. Fill the bath and prepare everything you need (candles, a diffusor, a glass of your favorite wine, and music all help to create an alchemical atmosphere infused with love dust).7  Drop in the herb-filled tea bag and just before you are about to get in add the essential oil blend and give the bath a good swish around. Immerse and relax!

Uplifting Diffusor Blend or Blend for Skin oil

  • Jasmine Jasminum grandiflorum absolute:8 6 drops
  • Neroli Citrus aurantium var. amara oil: 6 drops
  • Rose Rosa damascena oil: 3 drops
  • Argan: Argania spinosa (Skeels): 4 oz

Blend the essential oils and argan oil and apply externally as frequently as required.

Balanced Stimulating  Diffusor Blend or Blend for Body or Bath oil

  • Lavender Lavandula angustifolia oil: 5 drops
  • Ginger Zingiber officinale oil: 4 drops
  • Neroli  oil Citrus aurantium var. amara: 4 drops
  • Cedarwood Atlas Cedrus atlantica ct. Himachalenes: 1 drop

Blend the essential oils and add to your diffuser or add the blend to a base oil and use in the bath.

© 2022 American College of Healthcare Sciences. All duplication is prohibited.

References

[1] Hongratanaworakit, T. (2010). Stimulating effect of aromatherapy massage with jasmine oil. Nat Prod Commun., 5(1):157-62.

[2] Nazıroğlu, M., Kozlu, S., Yorgancıgil, E., Uğuz, A.C., & Karakus, K. (2013). Rose oil (from Rosa × damascena Mill.) vapor attenuates depression-induced oxidative toxicity in rat brain. J Nat Med., 67(1):152-8.

[3] Okugawa, H., Ueda, R., Matsumoto, K., Kawanishi, K., & Kato, A. (1995). Effect of a-Santalol and b-Santalol from Sandalwood on the Central Nervous System in Mice. Phytomed., 2(2):119-126.

[4] Lim, P. (2017). Asian herbals and aphrodisiacs used for managing ED. Translational Andrology And Urology, 6(2), 167-175. https://doi.org/10.21037/tau.2017.04.04

[5] The Eve of St. Agnes (Stanza XXX). Mason.gmu.edu. Retrieved 7 February 2022, from http://mason.gmu.edu/~rnanian/Keats-EveofStAgnes4.html.

[6] Woelk, H. & Schläfke, S. (2010). A multi-center, double-blind, randomised study of the Lavender oil preparation Silexan in comparison to Lorazepam for generalized anxiety disorder. Phytomedicine, 17(2):94-9. Epub 2009 Dec 3.

[7] Fun Fact: Love dust is part of the courtship of butterflies. Friday Fun Fact – Butterfly Courtship – Australian Butterfly Sanctuary. Australian Butterfly Sanctuary. Retrieved 8 February 2022, from https://australianbutterflies.com/friday-fun-fact-butterfly-courtship/.

[8] Note: J. sambac can be substituted for J. grandiflorum.

 

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. This article has not been reviewed by the FDA. Always consult with your primary care physician or naturopathic doctor before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine.

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