Herb Potions Enhance Your Love Life

Making Love Potions

Eye of newt, and toe of frog, 
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog, 
Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting, 
Lizard’s leg, and owlet’s wing,— 
For a charm of powerful trouble, 
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble. 

Macbeth, Shakespeare

If you could create a magic potion, what would that elixir do? Vanquish your enemies? Improve your love life?

Let’s go with the latter, enhance your love life. Curl up with Stephanie L. Tourles’s  book  Making Love Potions, 64 All-Natural Recipes for Irresistible Herbal Aphrodisiacs  and learn love life elixirs.

Stephanie Tourles

Both playful and serious, Tourles applies science to selecting arousing aromas. She writes, “In clinical studies performed in the 1990s at the Chicago-based Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation, Dr. Alan R. Hirsch examined the degree to which various scents can trigger sexual arousal in men and women as measured by an increase in blood flow to the sexual organs.”

While individual history and experience can certainly skew results, the researchers found that women were most aroused by the aroma-combination of Good-and-Plenty candy and cucumber. Meanwhile, men preferred a lavender-pumpkin-pie blend. Don’t ask how they determined that or why those mixtures because Tourles doesn’t say. But, Thanksgiving dessert could make for an interesting nap.

Tourles used the research to formulate several recipes for body powder, including one scented with, yup, pumpkin spice and another with lavender. I’m thinking “lavender.”

The book continues with potions for aromatic baths, massage oils, herbal tonics and edible body butters.  Get energized with a ginseng wine or a tingly mint body honey. Chapter 8, Aphrodite’s  Apothecary is a helpful digest of herbs and ingredients.

With 64 recipes, there’s bound to be a magic potion for everyone.

 

 

 

 

Top Herb Publication – The Herbarist 2016 – Coming Soon

Top Herb Publication – The Herbarist 2016 – Coming Soon

By Paris Wolfe, Blogmaster, The Herb Society of America

apple-cider-vinegar-ginger-and-honey-switchelWhen I was a preteen setting the dinner table, in the 1970s, I always placed sliced bread and pickles on the table. Both, of course, were homemade. The pickles could be cucumbers, beets or mixed vegetables. But, a meal wasn’t complete without pickles.

Times, and dinner, changed as life approached the speed of sound. And, at some point, the bread – too many carbs – and pickles disappeared from the ritual. Too bad. Modern science is proving that vinegar has health benefits (that may even include aiding weight loss).

Time to get back to pickles. Or, better yet, explore “shrubs:” … not the plant, but a historic beverage spiked with fruit-infused vinegar.

Get an introduction to this 17th century concoction in the 2016 issue of The Herbarist. The magazine ships in mid-November to members of The Herb Society of America. Non-members can obtain a copy by joining the Society or ordering for $16.50. To inquire about a copy call 440.256.0514 or email herbs@herbsociety.org.

In the magazine, authors Susan Belsinger and Tina Marie Wilcox note:

“A shrub is basically a fruited vinegar— a syrup made from fruit, vinegar and sweetener. Shrubs can be just that simple, or they can contain alcohol. This age-old beverage, both tangy and sour, is believed to be of Turkish origin. Its first recorded use was in the 1600s. Travelers and trade ships carried the drink across land and ocean, keeping scurvy away from sailors at sea.”

Beyond the shrub article, the magazine includes 11 articles covering everything from art to gardening. Lush photography and design are a feast for the eyes.


herbartist-cover-webThe Herbarist
will be easily identifed by the frame-worthy cover. To produce it HSA editor Brent DeWitt created original art with colored pencil and watercolors, then finished composing with Photoshop. “I created this art in the style of Alphonse Mucha, a well-known Czech artist from the turn of the century,” he explains.

Overall Brent says, “I like that is a new design, plant-focused and has a lot to do with gardening and the utility of plants,” says Brent.

Executive Director Katrinka Morgan adds, “The Herbarist is always the top-rated membership benefit. It’s what everybody waits for. This year’s images are outstanding and support the content well. It’s a great package.”

The publication is the result of many authors as well as members of The Herbarist committee.  Brent coordinated the magazine’s text and artistic design. The issue’s graphic design was by Impel Creative of Lakewood, Ohio and SP Mount Printing in Cleveland, Ohio was again the printer. Here’s a little peek at the printing process…

 


It’s time to submit article idea for review for the 2017 issue of The Herbarist.  Production of the 2017 edition will begin in mid-2017.

 

Preparing a Punny Planting Plan

By Paris Wolfe, Blogmaster, The Herb Society of America

old teapotI am a thrift shopping junkie. And, it’s part of my gardening life.

At a garage sale last spring, I grabbed 6-inch concrete angel from a paved driveway before the woman next to me could claim it. At the end of an estate sale in late fall, I gave up $40 for a curved cement bench that no one wanted. Both were deals. Both were accidental.

For 2016, I have a plan. In fact, I have plenty of punny planting plans.

I’m putting kitchen herbs in kitchenware.

Mint pouring from a vintage aluminum teakettle. Lavender standing in a shiny, tin flour sifter. Thyme draping from a tall metal coffee server. Parsley and oregano crowded into a weathered aluminum pasta pot garnished with a wooden spoon.

junk bookIt’s not a novel idea. Just check out Adam Caplin’s “Planted Junk” from 2001. It’s one of several available garden junk books inspiring my summer fantasies.

“Junk pots—often beautiful in themselves – can be planted to enhance the overall garden look,” writes Caplin.

Exactly. But, it requires forethought to do it well. That’s why I’m starting now. I need time to find the right size, shape, color AND price.

I’m challenging myself to find containers that cost less than $5, are rustically attractive and have outlived their kitchen use.

Why? Because junk shouldn’t cost too much. And, it’s a shame to trash perfectly good kitchenware … at least that’s what my Catholic guilt pings me.

With that in mind, I’m haunting Goodwill and Salvation Army stores, thrift shops and antique retailers. And, I can’t wait for garage sale season. That won’t happen until Spring in Northeast Ohio.


TIP: Check out http://www.shopgoodwill.com for kitchenware you can repurpose. My recent search for “tea kettle” was rich with possibilities.


Visualizing this twist on a kitchen garden gives this gardener something to do when not looking through seed catalogs. Stay tuned for my progress. And, please share your own.