Three herbs for Valentine’s Day
plus a mood and libido boosting ‘Love Thyself’ Oxymel recipe
By Tamara Welsh, Happy Herbalist
Whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day or not, it does serve as a nice reminder to show some love and appreciation for yourself and those around you. It’s a beautiful time to reflect and partake in some simple selfcare that brings you joy and relaxation. Why not spoil yourself or your partner with this delicious herbal oxymel to get the love juices flowing. This ‘Love thyself’ oxymel recipe contains three herbs known for their ability to boost libido and mood:
Schizandra chinensis (also spelt Schisandra) has an extensive history of use in traditional Chinese medicine where it has been used as a nervine tonic and adaptogen to help with poor energy and fatigue. It is said to increase endurance and physical performance. Schizandra also has hepatoprotective actions, which means it is able to protect the liver cells against toxic damage and aid in detoxification.
Herbalists may use Schizandra to help balance reproductive hormones and promote the clearance of hormones via the liver. As an adaptogen, Schizandra has the ability to boost energy and thus increase libido. It is the fruit or berry of Schizandra that is used therapeutically making this a delicious herbal medicine and a star ingredient in this oxymel recipe.
Damiana has traditionally been used in Mexican medicine to help with nervousness, stomach pains and as an aphrodisiac and invigorating tonic. Similarly, traditional Western herbal medicine currently uses Damiana to help relieve depression and anxiety, to improve sexual inadequacy and relieve nervous dyspepsia and constipation. Damiana has a remarkably relaxing effect on the nervous system and mind and can be used as a general tonic for overall wellbeing.
The queen of flowers, the rose is a true symbol of love and romance. Rose petals are wonderfully aromatic and seductive and roses have been used throughout history as an aphrodisiac and for their ability to boost the mood. Rose petals add a wonderful flavour to the ‘Love thyself’ oxymel and their perfume has an immediate effect on mood, promoting a positive, calm and heart opening state.
Love Thyself Oxymel Recipe
½ cup Schizandra berries
½ cup Damiana
½ cup Rose Petals
Equal parts Apple cider vinegar and raw honey (approx. 250ml of each)
- Clean and sterilise a glass jar that holds approximately 500ml and has a well sealing lid
- Place all herbs into the jar.
- Fill the jar roughly half way with Apple cider vinegar and then to the top with the honey
- Screw on the lid well and give the jar a really good shake.
- Open the lid and fill again with some more Apple cider vinegar and honey so that the liquid reaches just to the top of the jar and all the herbs are submerged.
- Store in a cool, dark place for 2 weeks and then strain into a sterilised glass bottle and store in the fridge.
- For best results, take 1 teaspoon twice daily.