by Nikki Morizio
Jung articulated this concept in the early twentieth century and to this day it remains unmatched; libido encompasses the totality of psychic energy, not limited to sexual desire. To expand further, this consistently inspiring and source of endless personal power lives within the psychological veins of erotica. By definition, it is the phenomenon of sexual desire through artistic expression that provokes emotional and sensual arousal, inseparably physical and mental; it is the ultimate subconscious aesthetic judgment.
Svadhisthana, otherwise known as our sacral chakra, is located between the hips and is directed by the principle of pleasure. Its associations are with the emotional body, sensuality and creativity. This energetic vortex, much like all chakras, is sensitive to imbalances when it is under or overactive or if the energy is misunderstood and misdirected. Low vibrational feelings of frustration may arise when these naturally harmonious passions intertwined behind a veil and go unacknowledged. It is of equal importance to be ever conscious of our outlets for both creative and sexual expression, especially acknowledging how one can influence another. Identifying these individualized and continuously changeable levels should be prioritized as a welcomed challenge and can be supported by the plant and mineral kingdoms that surrounds us.
Aphrodisiac herbs are said to increase sexual desire, some working directly with these organs as stimulants including irritants, which drives the primal need for physical arousal and relief. Others work to directly influence an individual’s energy, both actions are to be enjoyed amongst playmates. Enhancing this desire can and should be translated not only into our sexual beings but our creative selves as well, harnessing both for inspiration and innovation.
On a molecular level, boosting our libido represents the need for abundant testosterone in all individuals, whereas estrogen dominance require both hormones to maintain lubrication. Testosterone is produced in the adrenal glands, testes and ovaries, ultimately ruled by the pituitary gland in terms of production volume and frequency of release. Testosterone primarily binds to two proteins, albumin or sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), or it can remain nonattached; albumin or free testosterone are the most bioavailable to the body and levels can be assessed through blood tests.
The following holistic alternatives have been sourced through empirical evidence collected and documented over centuries by accredited herbalists and should always be experimented with gratitude and caution. Should these alternatives entice you, it is wise to consult a practitioner well versed in these therapies to determine proper dosing protocols and a schedule to monitor progress.
It is important to note that the sexual hormones discussed consistently interact with each other in ways that may prove to be of a disservice. An example being xenoestrogens, one of many xenohormones that are either naturally occurring or artificially created that mimic hormones within our bodies. Dairy and most plastics contain xenoestrogens that will increase levels of estrogen in the consumer and in the process will bind to free testosterone creating the illusion of decreased levels when in fact your production is not underactive it is simply being sabotaged by environmental toxins.
Of all sensory mechanisms for taste, the bitter receptors are the least known and most significant as they lay along the entirety of our gastrointestinal system. Considering such vast amounts, the major role they play on tone and function is in part due to the fact that they stimulate appetite, release digestive juices, detoxify the liver, engage and regulate pancreatic hormones and lastly, repair the gut wall. Bitters are, naturally bitter in taste and these principles range in molecular structure including monoterpenes, iridoids, sesquiterpenes and alkaloids that primarily trigger a response on the receptors located on the back of the tongue.
Organs of elimination, especially the liver must be considered when discussing overall systemic health and detoxification. Hepatic are herbal remedies that are traditionally known to tone, strengthen and increase the flow of bile, necessary for holistic preventative health. The lack of defined mechanisms for such herbs on a biochemical level does not affect their empirical evidence
For estrogen dominant individuals, emmenagogue are plants that are used in regulations of the female reproductive system that affect both function and specific tissues.
Dandelion – leaf and root – bitter, hepatic and tonic root tincture is most favourable for these actions as opposed to the leaf which primarily used as a safe and reliable diuretic.
Motherwort – aerial parts – hepatic and emmenagogue, not to be used with cardiovascular medications
Mugwort – leaf and flowering top – bitter, not to be used during pregnancy or with stomach hyperacidity and intestine ulcers.
Yarrow – aerial parts – bitter and hepatic not to be used during pregnancy
Turnera aphrodisiaca or Damiana acts on estrogen dominance by increasing lubrication, sexual desire and intensifies the climactic peak. Testosterone dominants will feel a surge in endurance during performance and has been used to reverse impotence.
Epimedium aplinum or Horny Goat Weed does exactly as the common name suggests, it enhances libido for all who chose to participate in its naturally crafted chemical constituents including active flavonoid icariin; another go-to for reversing impotence.
Asparagus racemosus or ‘she who has a hundred husbands‘, is comprised of sharavarin and sarsasapogenin both precursors to estrogen and progesterone, used as a hormonal tonic to balance while simultaneously increase lubrication.
Piper methysticum or Kava-Kava exudes a physical action upon the sexual organs in a way that stimulates and also subdues the sensation, making it one of the most pronounced aphrodisiacs. Used primarily in ritual, when sex is being explored spiritually.
Piper cubeba or Cubeb Berries have a long history of sexual association as an aphrodisiac; proven at regular dosages to prolong erection, increase passion as well as the physical activity of sex, primarily for testosterone dominant individuals.
Cuminum cyminum or Cumin has been involved in recipes that enhance libido for years; just a pinch on a daily basis will guarantee ample sexual ability for all the years of their life.
Dryopteris filix-mas or Male Fern Root is historically first burnt, and its ash is used topically as a lubricant that stimulates vibrancy, liveliness and potency.
Orchid Root has an effect on sexuality and used as an aphrodisiac to increase sexual appetite. Mythology suggests Orchis was born of a nymph who was seduced by a Satyr, someone with the doubtless ability to seduce and thus became the resultant.
Pomegranate naturally increases testosterone to stimulate sexual desire for all while simultaneously improving mood and memory for a heightened and present experience.
Maca is rich in plant sterols that are biochemically related to both estrogen and testosterone, another aphrodisiac for all to enjoy.
Cacao contains a chemical constituent phenethylamine, which interacts with the central nervous system to stimulate a sense of excitement and arousal.
Zinc is a master mineral responsible for metabolizing nutrients, maintaining our immunity, creates DNA, protein production and cell division. It is a necessity as it provides aid to enzymes in the absorption of nutrients, which is why it plays a crucial role in the production of testosterone.
Vitamin D3 is a hormone produced in our body upon stimulation of sunshine, which also contributes to testosterone production and will naturally raise hormonal levels where there may be a deficiency.
Omega-3 fatty acid is one of the essential fatty acids we source primarily through fish and flax seed oils, in particular of importance as it is a precursor to general hormone production.
Smoky Quartz enhances the acceptance of sexuality as a natural, healthy and enjoyable activity while increasing virility in testosterone dominant individuals. It initiates movement of our primal forces within the body, known as a stone of ultimate power.
Garnet is the stone of physical love; it revives intimate connections with self and others while increasing passion by clearing our root chakra fear based perceptions. The original stone for engagement proposals, it grounds spirit force within the body to direct and stimulate creative energy.
Red Jasper invigorates the libido and prolongs sexual excitement while cleansing and instilling balanced boundaries of the sacral chakra. It is a stone that raises kundalini energy, the center of receiving any and all vibrational stimulus.
Orange Carnelian invokes and recharges the sacral chakra to provided added vitality especially for estrogen dominant individuals.