Valentine Herbal Elixirs & Treats

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Hawthorne Cacao Elixir

The following recipe is a delicious heart tonifying, spiced, aphrodisiac syrup! Add 1-2 tablespoons to warm water or tea, on dessert (ice cream, pie) or in a Hot Toddy on a cold night. Recipe adapted from Rebecca's Apothecary in Boulder, CO.

(yields approximately 16 oz. of elixir)

Combine the following ingredients in 2 cups of water:

  • 1 heavy tablespoon Hawthorne berries
  • ½ teaspoon dried Ginger root
  • ½ teaspoon Cinnamon chips
  • 1 Anise Star
  • 1 Clove
  • 1-2 Cardamom pods
  • Pinch of Orange peel (if desired)
  • Honey


Cover and decoct (a very gentle simmer) until reduced by half, about 30 minutes.
While waiting for your Hawthorn decoction, very gently heat 1 cup of honey in a double boiler or warm water bath until it becomes runny in consistency. Feel free to use a honey that has been previously infused with herbs, or toss in a few slices of raw ginger while it’s gently heating—don’t forget to remove the slices before completing your elixir!
Strain your Hawthorne decoction, remove honey from heat, and combine 1 cup of decoction & 1 cup of honey.
Stir in ¼ cup of Cacao tincture, and a tiny pinch of Cayenne powder (can also be prepared without Cacao tincture). Mix well. Enjoy!

Note: Elixir may separate, be sure to shake well before each use. Best if kept in the fridge, although not necessary. Last about 3-6 months.


Maca Damiana aphrodisiac truffles

Recipe adapted from Rosemary Gladstar. 


  • 1 ½ cup Tahini or other nut butter
  • ½ cup Almond Butter or other nut butter
  • 1 cup Honey, Maple Syrup or Brown Rice Syrup
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp Eleuthero powder (Siberian Ginseng)
  • 2 Tbsp Damiana powder
  • 2 Tbsp Maca Root powder
  • ½ tsp Ginger powder
  • 1 tsp Cardamom powder
  • ½ tsp Cinnamon powder
  • ¼ cup Chocolate chips
  • 4 Tbsp Cocoa powder
  • ½ cup Almond meal, Almond slivers or ground Cashews
  • ½ cup Coconut flakes, toasted
  • Optional Toppings: Goji berry powder, Orange peel, Coconut flakes, slivered Almonds, Sesame seeds, ground Rose petals


Mix tahini, nut butters, honey, and vanilla until smooth. Combine the herbal powders in a separate bowl and add to the nut butter mix.  Add chips, toasted coconut and almond meal to the mixture and mix well using your hands.  Mix in enough cocoa powder to bring the dough to desired thickness.  Roll the dough into small balls about a tablespoon in size. Roll the balls in toppings of choice.  Store the balls in a cool place or refrigerator. They will last for weeks if kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Eat up to 3 per day, as they can be stimulating.

Tips: A coffee grinder is a great way to powder most herbs. Some herb stores sell pre-powdered herbs or will powder them for you upon request. Mountain Rose Herbs sells many herbs pre-ground if you cannot source them locally. Adjust the ratio of honey to nut butters according to taste, the honey is to balance the herb flavor.


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~Sweet Heart Tea~

Steep a strong infusion in hot water, at a ratio of 1-2 Tbsp / 1 cup of water. A very aromatic and intoxicating tea with sweet, warming qualities.  

Recipe and photo from One Willow Apothecaries
1 part rose petals
1 part tulsi
½ part rose hips
½ part hawthorn berries
¼ each: ginger root, cinnamon & vanilla bean
pinch cardamom