Day 45/365 - On valentines

Day 45/365 - On valentines

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Sugar is sweet,
But so bad for you.

How about them apples? Can I write some health-related poetry or what?

But seriously, sugar is bad for you! It acts like an addictive substance, lighting up the same areas of the brain as a heroin craving in addicts.

Instead of reaching for the sugar treats this Valentine’s Day, consider the following herbs and substances traditionally used for the heart and as aphrodisiacs:

  • Damiana (Turnera diffusa): traditionally touted as an aphrodisiac by increasing sensitivity in the sexual organs. It is also a relaxing nervous system tonic and natural antidpressant.
  • Hawthorn (Crataegus oxycantha): long-associated with the May Day celebration (the wood was originally used for the May Poles), the feminine divine energy, fertility and unconditional love. The blooming flowers secrete a pheromone-like compound (triethylamine) which attracts pollinating insects. The berries are used to dilate vessels feeding the heart, which nourishes and oxygenates our most precious pump while lowering blood pressure. The leaves and flowers are used to enhance circulation, even to the tiny capillary beds at our extremities, as well as to improve venous flow (for spider and varicose veins).
  • Rose petals (Rosa caninae): extremely fragrant and powerful, with vast historical symbolism, yet gently heart opening. It is a sensual, balancing, slightly astringent aphrodisiac that lifts our mood and opens our heart. No wonder it was so highly valued in medieval Europe and romanticized throughout time as we know it!
  • Cacao (Theobroma cacao): literally translated as “Food of the Gods,” the ancient Aztecs reserved it for drinking (Xocoatl) only by nobles and priests. It was considered sacred due to aphrodisiac properties, and men would drink it before entering a harem. Research has confirmed the presence of a molecule called ‘anandamide’ in chocolate, which arouses feelings of bliss and contentment (by weakly binding to THC receptors) [Neurosciences Institute of San Diego]. It is also a source of phenylethylamine, which produces a sense of euphoria much like that of being in love.