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How to turn any red wine into a love potion (yes, really)


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If you think about it, Valentine’s Day is actually a super-healthy holiday. After all, a hot hookup alone has all sorts of benefits, from stress relief to better sleep to increased immunity. (Yes, solo acts count, too.)

Yet holistic esthetician Stephanie Tourles insists there’s one way you can make February 14 even more healing: by mixing up a libido-boosting, adaptogenic aphrodisiac.

In her new book, Making Love Potions, the author—who’s also trained in herbalism and aromatherapy—outlines dozens of recipes for functional sips that promise to help take amorous encounters to a more electrifying place. Each one includes medicinal herbs and spices said to reduce tension, calm the mind, and increase blood flow where it counts. (Kind of like high-vibe Viagra-meets-all-natural Xanax.)

“Though they may never be officially approved by the FDA, they have time-honored, proven-in-the-real-world abilities to arouse, enhance, and energize romance and passion.”

While these elixirs may sound totally innovative, Tourles says they’ve been part of humanity’s sexy-time toolkit for centuries. “Different cultures around the world have their own particular favored remedies, potions, and charms that are said to inspire the mood for love, invigorate sexual performance, or enhance physical sensitivity,” she notes. “Though 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.”

Plus, just the ritual of concocting a love potion—like the energizing herbal wine below, which takes a month to fully alchemize—is enough to get you in the date-night mood. (At least, it’s way more sensual than simply popping the cork on a bottle of supermarket Merlot.)

Scroll down to get the recipe for Stephanie Tourles’ red wine love potion.

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Photo: Hannah Packer for Well+Good
Photo: Hannah Packer for Well+Good

Schi-Zaam Schisandra & Ginseng Harmonizing Herbal Wine

Yields 9 servings

This delectable red wine infusion of five-flavored schisandra berries and ginseng root is an adaptogenic, restorative tonic brew that, with regular consumption, will help harmonize your physiological systems to increase your resistance to the damaging effects of disease and stress, build core energy and stamina, boost sex drive, enhance cognitive function, improve cardiovascular health, and promote longevity.

Ingredients
1/2 cup dried schisandra berries
2 medium dried American ginseng roots (each about the size of a woman’s pinkie), or 3 Tbsp chopped dried eleuthero root
1 bottle fine red wine, preferably organic

1. Combine the schisandra berries and ginseng roots in a one quart canning jar.

2. Pour the wine over them, to within a half-inch of the top. Wash and save the wine bottle—you’ll need it as the final storage container.

3. Cover the jar with a piece of plastic wrap and screw on the lid. Shake the mixture vigorously for 15 seconds to blend.

4. Let the brew steep in a cool, dark place for four weeks. Over this time the wine will extract valuable chemical components from the herbs and the flavors will develop. Shake the jar for 15 to 30 seconds each day.

5. Remove the ginseng roots, cut them into thin slivers, and set aside. Strain the wine through a fine-mesh strainer lined with a fine filter, such as muslin or, preferably, a paper coffee filter. Then strain again if necessary to remove all the herb debris. Press or squeeze the berries to wring out all the valuable herbal extract. Pour the wine back into the original bottle and toss in the ginseng root slivers. Then cap, label, and store in the refrigerator for up to three months.

6. Enjoy a glass of infused wine with your partner in the evening. It’s a great way to unwind after a stressful day. Or to use it as a restorative herbal tonic, drink one-third cup daily for three to four weeks, discontinue for one week, then repeat the cycle. This brew tantalizes the taste buds, delivering the complete spectrum of flavors: sweet, sour, salty, pungent, and bitter. Sip it very slowly, and enjoy the sensory explosion!

Excerpted from Making Love Potions, © by Stephanie L. Tourles, used with permission from Storey Publishing.

For more healthy ways to heat things up on Valentine’s Day, check out these 11 sexy gifts for your plus-one. And if you’re celebrating your single status this year, splurge on a present that promotes self love.