Herbs, The Aphrodisiacs of Love and health and harmony and healing
A fascinating article covering the history, ancient lore and beliefs regarding herbs, their aphrodisiacal properties, medicinal and culinary uses. A sweet, somewhat different perception of some well-known and much loved herbs.
The Ancient and Modern Uses, Virtues, Delights and Magickal Properties of Herbs
- From time immemorial lovers have sort after Elixirs of LOVE, and Aphrodisiacs to enhance the experience of their joining.
- Some more fascinating qualities and uses of Herbs, a gift from Mother Nature
- More best loved Herbs and their uses...
From time immemorial lovers have sort after Elixirs of LOVE, and Aphrodisiacs to enhance the experience of their joining.
In olden days, wise women would brew herbs and potions to be sipped but most of them were then burned as witches. These women steeped in the old ways knew all about herbs and the effects they would have both as Aphrodisiacs and other medicinal uses. Nowadays we have doctors prescribing pills many of which were derived originally from herbs but now with new fangled technology, nearly anything can be modified.
But let us return to Herbs where it is stated ‘Better is a dish of herbs where love is than a fatted ox and hatred with it’ –Proverbs 15:17
Starting with Rosemary. In The Queen’s Delight of 1695, it was written that, “It comforteth the heart, the stomach, the brain and all the nervous parts of the body”. Actually its medicinal properties do stimulate the brain and nervous system, and calm palpitations. The ancient Greeks discovered that Rosemary benefits the circulation. Add it to roasting lamb and it tastes even better if anchovies are used too. Push a sprig of rosemary, a small piece of peeled garlic and about half a tinned anchovy into each stab in the lamb flesh. Munch on a sprig or two as a breath freshener (that will delight your love partner).
Fennel seems to be more male oriented and is a symbol of FERTILITY. It was given to Roman Gladiators to add to their relish for battle and the athletes of Ancient Greece ate it when preparing for the Olympic Games. Use it to make a delicious salad with thinly sliced onion and tomatoes cut in quarters. The mixing of fennel juice and milk with honey, sugar and liquorice in equal quantities is said to enhance Sexual Vigour whilst today’s Breast enhancing creams often contain fennel and fenugreek, a natural source of oestrogen.
Some more fascinating qualities and uses of Herbs, a gift from Mother Nature
Believed by the Arabs to increase virility, Mint is used today by herbalists for cases of impotence and when infused in hot milk eases stomach pain. Both the Greeks and the Romans knew the digestive benefits of following a large meal with mint tea so our habit of eating after-dinner mints dates all the way back to those ancient banquets! Add a little chopped mint to omelettes and scrambled eggs in the final cooking stage, and how about the ‘hint of mint in Murray Mints!’.
Sage gained a reputation as the medieval gentleman’s cure for all ailments. But as written by Walt Whitman describing the amorous pollen-gathering of ‘the hairy wild bee that…grips the full-grown ladyflower, curves upon her with amorous firm legs, takes his will of her’ on a bed scented by sage and birch-bark. It was valued in Ancient Greece and Rome as a mental stimulant and today’s research is looking at sage to defeat Alzheimer’s disease. Sage in cheese, sage in stuffing for turkeys and pork, and as a tisane to benefit digestion, skin, memory and emotional state. Infuse an ounce of dried leaves with an ounce of sugar, the juice of a lemon and a pinch of grated lemon rind in a quart of boiling water, strain after half an hour.
Thyme is beloved of writers perhaps its name has mystical, creative energy. It is also the symbol of thumos, the spirit of force and courage which was embroidered by ladies on their loved ones scarves before sending them off to the jousts. Shakespeare’s Titania was sleeping on a bank ‘whereon the wild thyme blows’ and along came Puck who dropped the optically deluding liquid upon her lids. Thyme scented bathwater was also supposed to increase the valour of Roman soldiers, and Paul Morel took Miriam out after supper for a quick cuddle on a bank of sweet thyme beside the river at Eastwood. There are over a hundred species of this herb with silver-leafed thymes having the best flavour.
The flowers of Meadowsweet were used by two chemists at Bayer dyeworks in 1897 to produce acetylated spiralic acid otherwise known as aspirin. The Druids used three sacred herbs – water mint, vervain and meadowsweet for what it is not known whilst Elizabethans used it as strewing herbs because of its delicate fragrance. ‘No wonder’, wrote John Gerard, ‘the smell thereof makes the heart merrie and joyful and delighteth the senses.’ Nowadays a lovely touch for wedding night preparations is to arrange for your bedroom floor to be covered with herbs of Venus (erotic love) and Mars (combat). Venus herbs are marjoram, mint, thyme, meadowsweet, verbena, valerian and violet. Scatter basil and broom flowers for the Mars man.
Rich in Vitamin C and calcium, Parsley is known for its warming effects and benefit to the digestion. Hand parsley to any young lady who wishes to become pregnant and, perhaps, as per Nicholas Culpeper suggests, smear fried parsley over aching breasts. The Italian sauce Gremolada is made by sautéing chopped parsely with minced garlic, lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon, spread over braising meat just before serving. A delicious way to enhance Osso Bucco and other meats.
More best loved Herbs and their uses...
“…fair Venus raised the plant, which from the Goddess’ touch derived its scent”
Aphrodite’s sweet breath is reputed to have created the scent of Wild Marjoram and its purpose in Love potions was to relax the inhibited. Ancient Greeks made use of it to cure rheumatism, narcotic poisoning and depression and for its anti-toxic properties. Known as the herb of JOY, it was used by William Shakespeare in his The Winter’s Tale where Perdita tempts an admiring suitor into her power with the prospect of inhaling ‘ hot marjoram, lavender, mints and savory’. For salad dressings, sweet marjoram is delicious whilst for meat based sauces and pasta dishes use wild marjoram.
One of the most loved herbs is Lavender and its name is thought to come from the Latin lavare, by way of the Romans who used it as bath perfume. Legend tells us that Mother Mary dried the baby Jesus’s swaddling sheets on lavender bushes. Lavender water is good for the skin and pinching its flowers releases a little oil which can be rubbed into the most Intimate of places. Lavender vinegar can be made by infusing a few sprigs in a bottle of white vinegar, leaving it on a sunny window ledge for around 14 days and then try a delicious taste treat – sprinkle on fresh strawberries.
So my friends do enjoy your Herbs and use them plentifully and with loving...