By Jill Leslie
Owner and Founder
It’s that time of year when shop windows are ablaze in red, and grocer’s shelves are stocked with hearts, flowers, wines, and candies.
While there’s nothing wrong with a glass of smooth merlot or a chunk of melt-in-your-mouth chocolate, with a little know-how you can choose healthier foods to ignite your passion — and not just on Valentine’s Day.
I know what you are thinking: “Aphrodisiacs as part of my daily routine? Oysters for breakfast, chocolate-covered strawberries for lunch, and a bit of bubbly for my afternoon pick me up?”
While our Western notions of aphrodisiacs may be enticing, those selections may not be the best way to balance the body, mind, and emotions.
According to Ayurvedic medicine, the 5,000-year-old medical system from India, being mentally and physically relaxed are essential components to a healthy and satisfying love life. Therefore, Ayurvedic aphrodisiacs are elixirs that nourish and reinvigorate the reproductive system, increase fertility and sexual desire, promote healthy aging, and alleviate anxiety and depression.
In fact, common foods and spices such as whole milk, dates, nutmeg, and cardamon are a few examples of foods that have been used for thousands of years to awaken desire. So give my simple Love Elixir (below) a test drive, and let me know how you feel: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jill Leslie’s Love Elixir
What you’ll need:
- 1 cup whole milk, or almond milk
- 1/4 tsp. ginger powder
- a pinch cinnamon powder
- a pinch cardamom powder
- nutmeg, to taste
- 3 strands of saffron
1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan, except the saffron.
2. Bring to a boil, then quickly reduce the flame or heat. Add the saffron threads and simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Remove from heat, strain and serve with honey.
Note: To make this tonic more potent, head over to the health food store for some maca root powder. This herb from the Andes is rich in B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, and fatty acids, and is a good source of calcium, selenium, phosphorous, magnesium, and potassium. Add a pinch to your elixir.
About Jill Leslie and Ayurveda Alchemy
Jill Leslie is a certified Ayurvedic practitioner, herbalist, wellness chef, and yoga teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area who, for more than two decades, has been immersed in the study and practice of natural healing.
The entrepreneur, who has owned her own businesses since graduating from the University of Maryland in 1986, founded the award-winning retail shop Milk & Honey in Sebastapol, CA, in 1999. She sold it in 2006 so that she could dive deeper into her study of yoga and Ayurveda.
As she discovered the life-changing wisdom of these ancient practices, she began sharing her knowledge at wellness retreats, yoga studios, and through cooking classes. Her passion for herbal medicine and nutrition, and her love of sweets, inspired her to found Ayurvedic Alchemy, in 2008.
In addition to hosting classes and events, and providing consultations and dietary advice about Ayurveda, she has created a line of healthy and delicious confections, which are available online at Kitchen Alchemy Treats. “When I learned the adage of Ayurveda, ‘Let your food be your medicine,’ I put on my apron and said, ‘Let your medicine be delicious,’” she says.
Learn more about her services at www.AyurvedaAlchemy.com.