AnnMarie is the epitome of a Goddess, and such a gracious host. I visited her at Tweefontein Herb Farm in New Paltz, NY and we roamed through the gardens and harvested herbs for this ‘Fall Into’ Love Potion. This love potion is a folk tincture; infused in a base of Brandy, a splash of Crème de Cacao and Amaretto 1:2 30-35% alcohol. Here is what AnnMarie has to say:
Many aphrodisiacs are simply tonics that help sustain and deeply nourish the body’s immune system over a long period of time, therefore increasing sexual energy and stamina. An aphrodisiac can also be a nervine herb that helps one ease stress, quiet the mind, relax and ease into intimacy. And of course, some aphrodisiacs work in a more direct way by increasing blood flow to the sweet spots, by tightening genital tissue and by increasing bodily juices.
As this potion ages, it also absorbs more flavor and becomes more complex. Just like a woman and just like a fine wine. This is an element that I particularly connect with at this stage of my life, as a woman in her mid-30’s on a mission to accept and understand the aging process. There is a deep richness and earthy feeling to aging. It is nature, so you can’t fight it, but you can nourish yourself to preserve your vitality. This is a formula that not only serves as an aphrodisiac, but also as a vitality tonic.
This is an improvisational recipe of aphrodisiacs straight from the earth in its prime summer vitality, which is a key energetic element for our love potion. We walked around the gardens to see what she had to offer and chose the plants that spoke to us. Plants who were glowing with fertility and vibrancy. For folk tinctures, exact measurements are not important. We filled our mason jar halfway with our harvest from the garden and then filled the jar with Brandy and a splash of both Crème de Cacao and Amaretto. Let the tincture sit out of direct sunlight for 3 weeks to a month to extract the properties of the plants. Shake your jar daily or as often as you think of for a more even infusion and an extra dose of intentions. Strain and enjoy this sour and stimulating blend over ice or for sipping in small amounts.
Here is a description of the herbs we chose and their aphrodisiac properties:
Tulsi– known as an “adaptogen” and therefore an aphrodisiac. Adaptogens reduce stress and help bring the body into balance, including hormones. When the body is healthy and in balance, then you will be more likely to have a healthier libido.
Sumac berries – for the red color, plus adds a bit of vitamin C!
Rose petals– are not only a classic symbol of love, but are actually an aphrodisiac. They are recommended for women to increase libido as well as a reproductive tonic. Roses have an energetic effect of opening the heart chakra.
Lemon balm– calming and uplifting, used as a nervine to help ease your way into the mood.
Anise hyssop– delicious flavor and has had reported aphrodisiac effects.
Fennel– used as an aphrodisiac in the Arab world. The word for the flower is synonymous with strength.
Bee balm– adds a little spice, calms nerves.
Blackberries– a delicious antioxidant and high in vitamin C. Also known in the Arab world as an aphrodisiac.
Lavender– has relaxing, anti-stress, mood uplifting properties. Studies have shown lavender to increase blood flow in men.
Damiana– used for centuries by the Mayans in Mexico to boost sexual potency and stimulation in both men and women. Now is one of the most well-known aphrodisiacs throughout the world. Damiana increases energy and is used to treat depression, asthma, impotence and menstrual problems.
From the fields: tulsi flowers, sumac berries, rose petals, lemon balm leaf, anise hyssop flowers, fennel flowers, bee balm flowers, blackberries and a hint of lavender.
Added: damiana leaf
(Love Potion by AnnMarie Tedeschi)