Friday, 1 February 2013

Valentine's Day Treats!

 Apart from the obvious chocolate and champagne on Valentine's Day try a delicious asparagus, rocket and pine nut salad for a romantic boost. The Vegetarian Society recommends eating asparagus for three days in a row for maximum benefit. Less romantically, asparagus is also a fantastic liver and kidney cleanser. Rocket (or argula), as well as being full of vitamins, particularly antioxidants C and A, and minerals iron and potassium,  has been touted as a powerful aphrodisiac since the first century A.D..  Delicious pine nuts are packed with zinc, vital for male reproductive health, as well boosting both male and female immunity.

A main meal containing coriander would be excellent on the 14th due to the reported stimulatory effects of this herb. Coriander is also great for reducing inflammation, clearing the body of heavy metals such as mercury and other pollutants and is a nutritious source of minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium.

For dessert try something with warming nutmeg and vanilla. Nutmeg in Chinese Herbal Medicine is particularly prized as a powerful female aphrodisiac.

For an additional serotonin boost burn or use for massage the essential oils of ylang ylang, jasmine and rose. Essential oils should be mixed with a base oil, such as almond or jojoba, if used directly on the skin or in the bath.

Supplement wise Rhodiola Rosea, Maca and Damiana are wonderful Valentine Day enhancers. Rhodiola grows mainly in Siberia and is often gifted to Russian newly-weds. As an adaptogenic herb Rhodiola is an ideal mood-lifter that can improve ones energy levels, without any of the jittery side effects that some stamina improving supplements can have.

Maca has been used since Incan times and can be sprinkled on food or in drinks in its powdered form, or taken as a capsule. A spoonful in hot chocolate works particularly well.

There are some good Damiana blends available containing other boosting herbs, such as ashwaganda and ginseng, these herbs reportedly benefit both men and women. As always check with a qualified practitioner or your doctor that a herbal supplement is right for you and that it doesn't contraindicate with other medications you may be on.


Emma Silverthorn is a receptionist at the Octagon Chiropractic Clinic


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