Herbal Aphrodisiacs – How Herbs Support Arousal

Herbs in Heart Bowls

There is so much beauty in touch, sensuality, eroticism, and sexuality. Our sexuality is multilayered. It contains our relationship to self, past experiences, culture, attitude, body, family of origin, and religious beliefs. The list is long with many of the elements subconscious. Sexuality asks for communication. Communication between self and partner and the communication of desires into physical expression. Try herbal aphrodisiacs to reduce the elements that inhibit arousal and sexuality.

Life events can impact arousal. When over-taxed or anxious, much of our body’s energy goes toward creating stress hormones (cortisol), rather than arousal hormones (DHEA). DHEA can become progesterone, testosterone, or estrogen depending on the body’s needs. This system is intended as a survival mechanism for a stressed individual but it wreaks havoc on our sexuality.

With long term stress, we find relief in food and lifestyle choices as well as herbs. Adaptogenic herbs, in particular, support the body’s capacity for resilience and provide a buffer for the stress response.

Adaptogenic herbs strengthen multiple organ systems in the body. Good quality herbs and foods also support the heart, nervous system, mucous membranes, and endocrine system.

Herbs to support the heart include Rose, Reishi mushroom, and Hawthorn berry. In Chinese medicine, the heart is said to be “where the Spirit resides.” When we are dealing with heartache, or grief, we want to support the heart, which circulates the blood (and the hormones, which travel through the blood) to all parts of the body.

  • Rose softens and opens the heart and is specific for sadness due to loss of a loved one, but also loss of a job, dream, or project.
  • Reishi mushroom supports the lungs and immune system as well as energetically supporting opening of the heart.
  • Hawthorn berry is a wonderful heart and circulatory system tonic that can be enjoyed as food and in tea.

Skullcap, Lemon Balm, and Passionflower can strengthen the nervous system. They can rebuild nerve tissue and improve the conduction of nerve impulses from the spine. These herbs relax both the physical body and the mind.

  • Skullcap is specific for people who hold tension in the upper back and neck. It is also beneficial for those who are nervous in groups, networking events, or public speaking situations.
  • Lemon Balm is an uplifting and relaxing herb, particularly in tea or in a bath where the scent is carried through steam. It is also specific for easing nerve discomfort associated with shingles, chicken pox, Bell’s Palsy, herpes, and cold sores.
  • Passionflower can be relieving to nervous tremors. They can ease tension that arises in the person who mulls over circular thoughts and can’t release them.

The mucous membranes are tonified by Milky Oats. Milky Oats brings moisture to dry mucous membranes along the digestive tract, as well as the urinary tract and genital areas.

Traditionally, both men and women with low libido have used Ginseng. It nourishes the adrenal glands which feeding the body healthy sex hormones. Ashwagandha and Shatavari roots are also specific for supporting these pathways. They have been used to support those with low energy and mood who have dry membranes.

Sexuality embraces relationship to body, mind, and spirituality.

The herbs above have been used as foods and teas for many generations in several cultures and have virtually no contraindications. Incorporate them into your lifestyle by making tea, adding them to soups or baking them into dishes.

Medicinal Plant Walk Around Back Cove

Mischa will be here this spring to take you on a walk to Back Cove and teach you about medicinal plants that can be found around you. Click the link below to be notified of the final details.

Receive Event Notification

About the Author

Mischa Schuler

Mischa is an herbal practitioner and medicine maker offering herbal consultations in Portland, Maine in her private practice Wild Carrot Herbs. She has a zest for Life and a playful, caring attitude, which she brings to her practice. She specializes in anxiety support, as well as women's reproductive health and children's digestive, respiratory and skin health.


This site provides general information and discussion about medicine, health and related subjects. The words and other content provided in the site and any linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. Information provided here is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other health care worker.

Where health claims of dietary supplements are referenced, the statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Coastal Pharmacy & Wellness.