Want to know why Cleopatra used rose oil to seduce Mark Anthony and Caesar, or why black pepper was referred to for it’s erotic properties in ancient Arabic sex manuals?
The answer lies in the aphrodisiac properties of certain aromatherapy essential oils.
With Valentine's day looming, we look at why scents can stimulate sexual desire, and which oils you can use to make to make your day (and night) extra special this year.
Essential oils, volatile aromatic compounds extracted from plant material, have a long history of use as aphrodisiacs. In fact, Frankincense and Myrhh are even mentioned in the Bible for their ability to increase desire.
Why do some essential oils have such potent aphrodisiac properties? It’s simple. When essential oils are inhaled, aromatic molecules travel along the nasal cavity to the olfactory bulb, which is directly linked to the limbic system, known as the ‘primitive brain’. As the limbic system is responsible for mood, emotions and sex drive, scents can instantly stimulate feelings of desire.
Interestingly, when an American neurologist observed that 18% of patients who lost their sense of smell developed sexual dysfunction, he conducted research into which scents caused arousal in men and women. The most arousing scent for men was a combination of Lavender and Pumpkin pie, while for women it was Licquorice!
Oils with aphrodisiac properties can be divided into the following categories:
These exotic, sensual oils open the heart and encourage a deep connection between lovers. Good examples are:
These warming oils improve circulation and blood flow to the reproductive organs. Most commonly used are:
These oils are wonderfully grounding, releasing fear and nervous tension. The top three are:
Try them for yourself this Valentine's Day - treat your partner to an aromatherapy massage using a pre-blended oil, or add a few drops of oil to a little full fat milk (another one of Cleopatra’s tricks!) and add to a bath big enough for two!
Get your passport and your bikini,
you need a holiday, come see me,
I know you’re tired of the same old scenery, and I could change all that so easily....
What does aromatherapy have in common with Dizzee Rascal? It can whisk you away from a dull and dreary winter's day to somewhere you'd rather be!
Simply add a few drops of this, a couple of drops of that and voila! - in a matter of seconds you're lazing with a cocktail in hand on the golden sands of a tropical beach, wandering the mazes in the souks of the middle east or taking in the alpine air at your favourite ski resort.
We've thought of a few places we'd prefer to be on this wet and windy winter's day and created evocative oil blends to recreate the atmosphere. Simply add the recipes below to your diffuser or a tissue, close your eyes, breathe in the scent and escape....
Island paradise-2 drops ylang ylang, 2 drops vetivert, 4 drops lime
Woodland walk - 2 drops Douglas fir, 4 drops cypress, 2 drops cedarwood
Romantic weekend - 2 drops jasmine, 4 drops sandalwood, 2 drops clary sage
Eastern promise - 2 drops myrrh, 1 drop cinammon, 1 drop clove, 4 drops mandarin
Herb garden - 1 drop basil, 2 drops marjoram, 2 drops rosemary, 3 drops lemon verbena
Summer garden - 2 drops geranium, 3 drops neroli, 3 drops lavender
Turkish delight - 1 drop Rosa damascena, 4 drops sweet orange, 3 drops black pepper
Which is your favourite? Where would you like to escape to right now?
Complementary therapist and natural health expert. On a mission to sprinkle health and wellness wherever I go...