Love Potions

Where would we be without Google and Youtube? The fun facts you find online these days just crack me up 🙂 You want to know what happens to your sinuses when you pick your nose, just type it into your search engine and “whala” – pages and pages of incredibly gross information. What do bed bugs looks like? Youtube have some of the most intriguing and yet bizarre videos you could ever find. So when I came across a fascinating article about love potions, well I just had to find out more.

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Here is a really useless but interesting piece of information for you 🙂 Did you known that long ago in Bali, men believed a woman would fall in love if her suitor fed her a certain kind of leaf incised with the image of a god who sported a very large penis? I found that little tid bit in a book by Helen Fisher titled Anatomy of Love: A Natural History of Mating, Marriage, and Why We Stray. Another piece of useless but interesting knowledge …The Mexican chief Montezuma considered chocolate a “love drug” and drank 50 cups of chocolate each day before visiting his harem of 600 women. After consuming that much sugar, he probably needed to burn it all off 😉 Found that one in a book called A Natural History of Love by Diane Ackerman.

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For centuries, humans have been more than a little interested in not just the size of a mans penis but also the potency of certain love potions. These days, a ‘love potion’ consists of 1 oz Absolut® vodka, 1 oz amaretto almond liqueur, 1 oz peach schnapps, 1 oz orange juice, 1 oz cranberry juice and a few ice cubes; but in medieval times, our ancestors used a little more imagination. Feeling hungry? Some of these recipes will leave you feeling queasy, not amorous. But hey, lets check them out anyway 😉

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1. Earthworms With Periwinkle and Leeks.
Doesn’t that sound just delicious? Mmmmm, my saliva glands are working overtime – not! In a delightful 16th century book, “The Boke of Secretes of Albertus Magnus of the Vertues of Herbes, Stones and Certaine Beastes,” the author suggested mixing periwinkle with leeks and earthworms. Vitamin’s anyone?? Once ingested (as if you could get that past your taste buds!) the mixture would strengthen the love between the man and his wife. How exactly? As the wife was bent over the toilet bowl?

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2. Spanish Flies and Blood.
Oohhh, this is a good one! In 17th century France, love potions were often a combination of menstrual blood, Spanish flies, and natural herbs, such as verbena (My dinner wants to make an appearance) This was according to a Chicago-Kent Law Review article. (I think someone had a little too much time on their hands!) Many of the sources stated that the Spanish fly was a common love-potion ingredient. What? Not enough chickens or cows running around?!!

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3. The Datura Freak Out.
The datura plant (also known as Jimson weed or thorn apple) is a potentially deadly hallucinogen. It stimulates, then depresses, the central nervous system (up you go, down you come) It was used in India and some other places around the world in love potions (feeling desperate?) It was also used by some indigenous people’s in South America to induce a stupor in women who were to be buried alive. Dead warriors and chieftains were honored by having their wives or slave women buried alive to accompany them in the afterlife (the women were induced, what, the men were a little unsure?!!)

and to round off this entertaining little list –

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4. Charm With Marigold, St. Luke’s Day
This love mixture only works on Oct. 18, the feast day of St. Luke (because people were only stupid on the 18th of October?!!) A physicist for the Navy during the 1960’s (who may have been seen at a certain music and art fair on a dairy farm in New York State in 1969 😉 wrote – “An old love charm recommends cutting marigold flowers, sprigs of marjoram, thyme, and a little wormwood on St. Luke’s Day. Dry them before a fire and rub into a powder. Simmer over a slow fire in a small quantity of unprocessed honey and vinegar. Anoint yourself with this mixture when going to bed, saying the following: ‘St. Luke, St. Luke, be kind to me, in dreams let me my truelove see.’” (Anyone have a lighter?)

As enlightening as this information is, I think I will stick to modern cocktails. My taste buds like to dance, not squirm and retreat! And please don’t try any of those concoctions, unless it involves vodka, schnapps, orange and cranberry juice and a few ice cubes 😉

x x x

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