The use of herbs and oils as healing and stimulating agents on the body has a history bound with early religious beliefs and mythology dating all the way back to the Neolithic period, and it is safe to say that many of those early claims were routed in a lack of scientific understanding and serendipitous links between disease and treatments.
Nonetheless, over time the strand of practise that has now developed into aromatherapy is still credited with having effects on our minds and bodies, and one of these effects is as an aphrodisiac. Granted, invariably the aphrodisiac qualities are a bi-product of a scent’s other effects such as encouraging relaxation, but that is simply testament to the fact that relationships and people are seriously complicated – and we knew that anyway.
So here are a few of our favourite aromatherapy smells you might want to try over the Valentine’s period … at the very least, the smells alone are something to fall in love with!
Vanilla: According to Totonac (ancient Mexican) mythology, the tropical orchid (from which Vanilla is derived) was born when Princess Xanat, who was forbidden by her father from marrying a mortal, fled to the forest with her lover. The lovers were captured and beheaded and where their blood touched the ground, the vine of the plant grew. True to tragic literary form, the vine’s rather unhappy germination is said to mean that the plant grew from true love. On a more practical note, Vanilla is said to have a calming, warm, sensual, scent that has a euphoric effect on the brain – all qualities one would hope to experience in close proximity to a partner.
Jasmine – Having been used in perfumes for centuries, Jasmine is said to have the psychological effect of restoring confidence and optimism, mental energy and vitality – something of a conversation starter then.
Lavender – Historically, Lavender is credited with being a particularly potent aphrodisiac for men by increasing blood flow – make of that what you will. More realistically it has a relaxing and stress reducing effect on the mind and body that many people look to alcohol for, but without inducing a headache the following day.
Ylang Ylang – A heady scent similar to Jasmine, Ylang Ylang is used as a mental stimulant and is said to balance hormones. It is also used to calm the central nervous system, which will explain why traditionally the flowers are spread on the beds of newlyweds in Indonesia to soothe the first night nerves of blushing brides.
Bergamot – Believed to have originated in South East Asia, Bergamot is best known as a strain of plant from the Calabria region of Italy. The citrus scent can be used as a quick pick-me-up for minor depression, stress, and tension and is also used to treat fear and hysteria – perhaps one for before that first date then? It is also used to flavour Earl Grey tea – which is definitely something to be fond of.
To find out more about aromatherapy treatments contact the team on 0800 043 6600 and whatever you are planning, have a very special Valentine’s Day!
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