ORLAND — Forget the eye of newt and the drops of blood from a dead pigeon or anything else you may have seen in films about brewing love potions.
Orland herbalist and author Stephanie Tourles’ recipes for love potions consist of energizing, tasty ingredients such as raw cocoa and honey, cinnamon and dried schisandra berries, to name a few.
Readers can find such recipes and more in Tourles’ most recent book, “Making Love Potions: 64 All-Natural Recipes for Irresistible Herbal Aphrodisiacs.” Storey Publishing released the title late last year.
Tourles will sign copies of her newest book and offer free samples of love potions at BookStacks in Bucksport on Saturday, Feb. 11, from 1 to 2 p.m. She also will offer samples of her love potions.
The book grew out of the popularity of a chapter on love potions in Tourles’ “Organic Body Care Recipes,” which Storey published in 2007.
“The responses that came in from that chapter alone rather surprised me,” Tourles said.
Friends, clients, fellow herbalists and strangers told Tourles about their experiences with her potions.
“I thought a new book might be in order that explored the realm of herbal aphrodisiacs and my publisher agreed,” Tourles said. “It just helps you add a little spark back in your romantic life but with the help of herbs. I’ve tried to make the book appeal to your senses.”
Lining the pages are recipes for smoldering chocolate-vanilla cordial, vanilla spice body powder, blue velvet massage oil as well cacao-kava electuary, which is a thick, shiny syrup to take daily by ½ teaspoon or spread on a cookie or cracker.
Tourles’ potions are designed to rejuvenate and energize — not make someone fall in love (or lust) with you.
Of her love potion recipes, Tourles writes “when taken consistently, they help lubricate and moisten dry tissues, help balance hormones, strengthen immunity, relax tensions and relieve fatigue thus supporting a healthy sexual appetite so you are able to make love when you want to make love.”
Do aphrodisiacs work?
“Psychologists believe that most so-called aphrodisiacs actually function on the principle of the placebo effect,” Tourles said. “Essentially, people expect them to work, so they do.”
“And although they may never be officially approved by the Food and Drug Administration, they have time-honored, proven in the real world abilities to arouse, enhance, and energize romance and passion,” she said.
“If you really think about it, perhaps the best aphrodisiac of all is vibrant health, physical and mental,” Tourles said. “If you’re stressed out, your mind is buzzy and your body is wired, if you’re tired or feeling low, your body just wants to hunker down and hibernate.”
“Either way your love life loses,” Tourles said. “That electric feeling of arousal wanes and your anticipation of and pleasure in sexual activity diminishes. That’s where herbs can really shine. Some support and enhance overall good health and wellbeing, such as shatavari root, astragalus root, fo-ti root…while others more directly target the sexual impulse, being more stimulating such as American ginseng and maca root.”
Tourles has been learning about herbs and roots since she was a young girl.
“I always seemed to have a love of everything green,” she said. “My grandfather was the one who initiated me into herbalism.”
Her grandfather, Earl C. Ashe, had a 25-acre farm in Georgia. He had grown up in Appalachia in Northern Carolina.
“When he grew up, they relied on what grew around them to make medicine,” Tourles said. Ashe died in 2001.
Tourles recalled opening her grandfather’s refrigerator and seeing Mason jars full of various substances lining the door.
“He showed me all kind of stuff he made and I fell in love with herbs,” she said. “I’m very luck to have had that knowledge passed on to me. Herbalism taught that way is a dying art.”
“And then I took every herb class I could possibly take,” she said.
“Love Potions” is a resource for working with herbs as well as creating your own skin care whether you’re trying to woo someone or not.
Tourles includes a list of suppliers, herb and aromatherapy associations and a recommended reading list.
“In every book I write, I always include an ingredient dictionary that explains every ingredient called for in the recipes and in this book, it is located at the back and called ‘Aphrodite’s Apothecary.’”
Tourles’ other titles include “Hands On Healing Remedies,” “Raw Energy” and “Raw Energy in a Glass,” all published by Storey.
Tourles is a licensed holistic esthetician, a certified aromatherapist and a Maine-certified reflexologist. To learn more, visit www.stephanietourles.com.
Potion No. 8
This tasty electuary looks like thick, shiny, chocolate syrup and provides a bevy of benefits for both men and women. If taken consistently over time, it increases lubrication throughout the body, helping to reduce inflammation and dryness.
2 Tbsps. raw cocoa (cacao) powder or natural unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tbsps. maca root powder
1 Tbsp. eleuthero root powder (or if unavailable, American gingseng)
1 Tbsp. shatavari root powder
2 tsps. ground cinnamon
2 tsps. damiana leaf powder
2 tsps. kava-kava root powder
2 Tbsps. vanilla extract
¾-1 cup raw honey (liquid, not crystallized. Use the greater amount for a softer consistency)
Combine the first seven ingredients in a medium bowl and mix with a small whisk or spoon. Add the vanilla, followed by the honey, and stir thoroughly to blend. It should look like thick, shiny chocolate syrup. Store in a tightly sealed, labeled, dated container in the refrigerator for 24 hours prior to consuming to allow the medicinal properties to synergize and flavors to develop; keep refrigerated and use within three months.
As a supplement, take ½ tsp. twice daily for three weeks then take a week off. Repeat the sequence as desired until you begin to feel better then cut back to ½ tsp. per day. You can eat directly on spoon, stir into tea or warm milk or spread it on a cracker or cookie.
Caution: This electuary shouldn’t be used by women who are pregnant or nursing or anyone with liver problems. Because of the kava-kava, consuming this electuary in excess — over the recommended amounts — may impair your ability to drive or operate heavy machinery. Also not recommended for consumption with alcoholic beverages.