Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Recipe for Love

"I think it is time for you to make another batch," my partner solemnly said to me this morning.
I use to make it every year. It grew to be a notorious, magical, wild concoction of various mind-altering substances. Each successive year I would study nature and try to learn more about plants, natural aphrodisiacs, and things that could effect our emotions in a positive and loving way and I would experiment.
Some years were definitely more successful then others but in general, as with most things, my love potion got better with time. But then I stopped making it.
I am not sure why. Was it because I fell in love or because I grew up, got a real job? I don’t know. I just stopped and never really thought about it again until now.
Organizing my bookshelf I came across the book I found many moons ago, at a wise womyn’s garage sale, with this simple recipe outlined below.

1 ounce dried damiana (Turnera diffusa) leaves
1 pint vodka
¾ pint spring water
½ to 1 cup of honey
Infuse the damiana in the vodka for five days, and then strain through a coffee filter. Set aside the vodka tincture and put the leaves to soak in the water for another five days. Stain as before. Discard the leaves. Heat the water infusion just enough to dissolve the honey. Add the amount of honey according to how sweet you wish the cordial to be. When cool combine with the vodka.

I would take this cordial and combine it with a number of different ingredients. I started adding herbs to the damiana infusion. I experimented with time and the moon, scent and even the color of the final concoction.
I took courses and read book on ethnobotany and learned more about our complex relationship with plants. I discovered that honeysuckle helps us get over old emotions. Basil can balance the Madonna–whore complex. Cardamom oil is considered magnetic to the opposite sex. Ginger has been used as an aphrodisiac in China for three thousand years and is known to sharpen the mind and soothe the emotions.
Each year the potions grew in complexity but I never bothered to write down the ingredients from one year to the next. It evolved with me.
Love seemed less complex in those days. I wonder how much that had to do with these love potions.


Jen
Kamloops, BC, Canada

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