Damiana ~ Rose Petals ~ Maca ~ Cordyceps ~ Beet Crystals ~ Cinnamon ~ Vanilla
My ambition: to create a pretty, passionate, heart soothing, body stimulating, Love Elixir.
As I was crafting this elixir, there were a whole host of things that I considered. Flavor, colour, scent and, of course, medicinal qualities. Not only did I consider each herb’s individual benefits but also how all would be together, what each would contribute to the blend and their connections to each other. This isn’t a love elixir just for couples, it’s been designed for Lovers. Lovers of life and lovers of Self and lovers of each other. I was certainly inspired by Valentines Day, the love that seems to fill the air, the flowers, the colours and cinnamon hearts! If Valentines Day had a flavor – this would be it.
You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love & affection.” ~ Buddha
~ Damiana ~
Damiana is a shrub native to the southern US, Mexico and Central America. It’s use dates back thousands of years to the Mayans and Aztecs honoured as an aphrodisiac and boosting sexual vigour. It has also been used historically as an overall health tonic, calming anxieties, uplifting mood and stabilizing energies. It is safe to drink everyday and has a bright, light and pleasant flavor and aroma. Making a big batch of Damiana tea and using it as a base for smoothies and shakes is an easy way to make this herb a part of your everyday.
I use Damiana from New Earth Organics a treasured, local line.
~ Rose Petals ~
I love making tea with rose petals. They’re so beautiful as they unfold in water and stain it pink and it smells like a fresh bouquet. Roses symbolize love and romance across many cultures and are recognized globally. The very word “rose” means pink or red in a variety of languages. Modern connotation always seems to have an origin in tradition, and roses are noted in ancient Ayurvedic texts to balance the emotions and their effects on the heart.They’re also said to balance the Ayurvedic doshas that rule both the mind and the body, stabilizing the connection between the two. Still symbolic of beauty, rose essential oil is used topically for glowing, youthful skin and aromatherapeutically as an antidepressant. In mythology the scent of a rose is said to invoke feelings of romance in even the hardest of hearts. The luxurious aromatic quality and grand energy that roses hold in our hearts and minds ensured them a spot in this love elixir.
You can find loose, organic, rose petals in the bulk section of most health food stores. You could also try a local loose tea shop. When purchasing teas, it’s important to source organically, you may be steeping and ingesting toxic chemicals otherwise.
~ Maca ~
Maca is a superfood root native to very high altitudes in Peru and Bolivia. It is used traditionally to promote energy, stamina, vigor, balance the endocrine system and sex hormones, in both men and women, and increasing overall sexual vitality. Maca is gaining some momentum in its fertility effects, again in both men and women, I’ve recently heard it being recommended by more conventional practitioners. A strict, older woman once told me that Maca was horrible, I asked “it did not work for you?” and she replied, in a bit of a huff, that it worked too well and she found herself “too easily… aroused”. Maca’s flavor is bold, robust and smoky. Maca, being a root, is very grounding, especially in this elixir with the lighter, floral tones. Maca is commonly partnered with cacao and you can now find it in chocolate bars and energy snacks.
There are many great Maca powders available. You’ll want it “gelatinized” which means that the starch has been extracted to ensure proper digestion/absorption.
~ Cordyceps* ~
Cordyceps are AWESOME because all medicinal mushrooms are AWESOME! I selected cordyceps for this recipe because they are used traditionally to enhance energy, physical performance, stamina and libido. Cordyceps are said to support the adrenal glads as well as the lungs and have been getting some recognition in the athletic community for their cardio-enhancing effects. Cordyceps taste surprisingly good in shakes and elixirs, nutty and slightly reminiscent of chocolate or coffee – another grounding component.
~ Beet Crystals ~
Beet crystals are beet juice that has been dehydrated. Beet juice naturally forms crystals once the water is removed, and when added back into water they dissolve completely. Beets contain a compound that causes vasodilation (dilation of blood vessels) shown to promote better circulation and oxygenation of tissues and cells, increasing muscle performance and exercise tolerance. Beets support blood and chi circulation and the heart. In Roman times beets were considered an aphrodisiac. This is likely linked to beet’s mineral density and the integral role of minerals in sex hormone production. Beet crystals have a natural sweetness and provide the luscious fuchsia color to this vibrant tonic.
I used Beet Crystals that are organically grown, juiced and dried within hours of harvest, and dried without heat or chemicals, preserving the integrity of the nutrients.
~ Cinnamon ~
Cinnamon played a very important part in this recipe with it’s fiery, vivacious energy and it’s sweet, pungent and familiar flavor profile. I feel like cinnamon connects all of the ingredients and makes this elixir make sense. Cinnamon is a stimulating and warming herb and also helps to balance blood sugar. Aromatherapeutically, Cinnamon relieves tension and steadies the nerves. On one side it is passionate and bold and on the other, warming and calming, a beautiful harmony.
Organic cinnamon is readily available, there are various types and I recommend that you experiment with them all.
~ Coconut Milk ~
I use coconut milk in my elixirs because of the luscious, creamy taste and texture but especially because of it’s high healthy fat content. There are phytonutrients within these herbs that are fat soluble and require a certain amount of fat for us to uptake and utilize them. This works the same in smoothies and shakes and I recommend including some sort of healthy fat into those recipes as well.
I source organic coconut milk, with no added sugars and free from as many emulsifiers and stabilizers as possible.
Vanilla and Stevia are both important in the flavor of this elixir and although both have herbal benefits and qualities of their own, there is not enough volume of them within this elixir to consider them medicinal.
- 1 Cup Water
- 1 Cup Coconut Milk
- 1 Tbsp. Damiana
- 1 Tbsp. Rose Petals
- 1 tsp. Maca
- 1 tsp. Cordyceps
- 1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp. Beet Crystals
- Vanilla, to taste
- Stevia, to taste
- Steep Damiana and Rose Petals in water for at least 10 minutes * smell *
- (Meanwhile) Heat coconut milk over the stove on low.
- Once small bubbles form in the coconut milk, stir in Maca, Cordyceps and Cinnamon.
- Scrape out and chop up the vanilla pod and stir it all in, and/or vanilla extract. I used about a one inch length of vanilla bean and a bit of extract as well.
- Let warm and amalgamate for a minute or two. Stir in the Stevia.
- Poor the steeped Damiana/Rose tea into the pot, leaves included. Stir and let all of the ingredients combine and warm together for about three minutes..
- Strain into a large jar or teapot.
- Stir in Beet crystals.
- Serve in your favorite mugs or jars, garnish with a couple of dried rose petals or a pinch of cinnamon and let love in ❤
This recipe is all about passion and beauty. It smells AMAZING, so please take big breathes in through the nose, while you’re crafting this elixir. It is pure delight!
“As if you were on fire from within. The moon lives in the lining of your skin.” ~ Pablo Neruda
*I think this may be the first time I’ve blogged about medicinal mushrooms. It’s not because I don’t like them – quite the opposite actually – I’m absolutely enthralled with them! I do hold them close to my heart and find myself rambling enthusiastically (though confusingly) about them all too often – I’m still working on harnessing the mushroom passion. I’ve kept today’s writing focused on the elixir BUT please know that MUSHROOMS ARE EPIC. All medicinal mushrooms are true adaptogens (help our bodies adapt to stresses of all kinds) and also immune-modulating (not stimulating or suppressing, but modulating). If your interest is piqued please watch this TedTalk, and this one too, both by one of my greatest heroes, Paul Stamets.