Potions in Action: Chocolate Love Balm

Yup, that's right.  Chocolate you can massage into your body.

Yup, that’s right. Chocolate you can massage into your body.

As much as I wish I could say I whipped this recipe up as part of a wicked love spell, it has more pedestrian roots.  I was just looking for a cost-effective way to make gifts for my friends this Holiday season, and I had all the ingredients for this balm (except the cocoa butter) on hand.

Now that I’ve made it, though, I think this would be a killer potion to incorporate into a love spell.  Chocolate is a major part of this potion, both with the inclusion of cocoa butter and cocoa powder.  Chocolate has magical associations with money (Mesoamericans used cacao beans as money at one point in time, and chocolate became a major commodity after Europe got a taste for it), but it clearly has a lot of magical resonance with love, too.  Mundanely, chocolate actually has a lot of molecules that are conducive to good moods and loving feelings.  Among them are:

  • Caffeine.  It’s the most widely consumed stimulant on the planet, but it’s also beneficial to overall heath.  IT stimulates the nervous system, stimulates blood flow to the brain, and increases the secretion of serotonin.  It enhances alertness, facilitates thought formation, and decreases fatigue in addition to improving mood overall and enhancing cardiovascular function and respiration.  Chocolate contains 10-60 milligrams of caffeine per 50 gram piece of dark chocolate.
  • Theobromine.  Chocolate contains a good bit of this molecule itself, but the human body makes more of it after eating chocolate because it is a product of metabolizing caffeine.  Theobromine is primarily a cardiac stimulant and a vasodilator, and–as we all know–a good blood flow is important for arousal, but it also fuels brain chemistry.  Theobromine’s heart effects are not to be underestimated!  It is the chemical in chocolate responsible for the cardiac arrest of dogs and horses!
  • Increased serotonin levels. As we all know from numerous antidepressant advertisements, serotonin is the brain’s feel-good chemical.  It plays a major role in positive mood, emotional health, proper sleep, and balanced appetite.  It also contributes to numerous physiological and behavioral functions.  Good serotonin levels are also pretty conducive to feelings of love.  Men and women with low serotonin levels demonstrate increased lust behaviors:  aggressive sexual tendencies and higher rates of masturbation and promiscuity.  Serotonin tempers the sexual impulses with love’s tenderness.
  • Phenethylamine (PEA).  This chemical stimulates the nervous system and triggers the release of endorphins, opium-like compounds that create a pleasurable feeling.  PEA also potentates dopamine’s activity, and dopamine is the neurochemical most directly associated with pleasure and sexual arousal.  PEA levels naturally rise during periods of romance (and orgasm) and is responsible for the giddy, restless feelings of love.  It also acts as a potent antidepressant.
  • Anandamide.  This chemical is a cannabinoid and binds to the same receptor sites as cannabis’s THC.  As such, anandamide produces a feeling of euphoria.  (The chemical name derives from the Sanskrit word ananda, which means bliss.)

In addition to the chocolate star of this balm’s show, the choice of almond oil also carries a magical purpose.  In the Torah, almonds are associated with divine favor:  it was Aaron’s rod that miraculously sprouted almond blossoms as an unequivocal sign God had chosen him to lead the Jewish people.  Almonds are also associated with passion.  The gorgeous fragrance of their blossoms is said to be arousing, which is why Samson employed almond branches in his ill-fated seduction of Delilah.  Culturally, almonds are associated with fertility–which is why Jordan almonds continue to be popular wedding favors!  Scientifically, it’s been shown that men who had diets rich in monounsaturated fats–the kind found in almonds–had higher testosterone levels.  As we all likely know, testosterone levels in all people need to be at a certain range in order for men and women to readily become sexually aroused.  Almonds in particular are a great source of vitamin E, calcium, magnesium and potassium–all important elements in testosterone production.  Finally, almonds are rich in arginine, which is an amino acid that primarily affects erections and sexual potency in men.

Finally, bees are represented in this potion in two major ingredients:  beeswax and honey.  While bees themselves are largely celibate creatures (only the female queen and the male drones reproduce, and they make up only about 15% of the hive), they are responsible for the sexual reproduction of numerous plants, and their pollinating actions are very sexual, what with penetrating the flowers and so on.  While this could make them emblems of fleeting lust, other aspects of their nature–willingness to defend their hive at the cost of their lives, their great work ethic–also make them symbols of courage and diligence, which tilts their nature more toward enduring love.  The bee’s honey has also long been associated with love.  It is the symbolic gold standard of sweetness, and the sensation of falling in love is as delectable as licking honey from a spoon.  We don’t call the period after a wedding the “honeymoon” for nothing!

So this particular potion is chock-a-block full of symbolic elements of love as well as physical molecules that are conducive to creating loving feelings.  (A few drops of an essential oil–rose, for example–wouldn’t be amiss here, either.)  Still, if it’s going to be a part of a love spell, you’d want to ritually charge it up even if it’s already got a lot going for it.  To use the balm, simply massage it into your (or your partner’s) skin.  The dark color of the balm fades into your skin, but make use of darker clothing and older sheets if you’re worried about stains.  It’s more of an unguent than a hard balm, so it will melt very easily and last a long time for a massage–or other things.  And, of course, this balm is edible.  (The oils make it not friendly for latex, though, so keep that in mind!)

Chocolate Love Balm

I adapted this from the “Smooth and Sensual Cinnamon Love Balm” recipe in Stephanie Tourles book “Organic Body Care Recipes.”  This book gives measurements in teaspoons and tablespoons, but it is very difficult to measure cocoa butter and beeswax that way.  So I converted it to parts and weighed my ingredients.  In this batch, my limiting factor was cocoa butter–I only had 3.75 ounces of it–so I set that as my 3 parts. Therefore, I used 8.75 ounces of oil, 3.75 ounces of cocoa butter, 1.875 ounces of vegetable glycerin, and 1.5 ounces each of beeswax, cocoa powder, and honey. This yielded about a pint, which I packaged into four quarter-pint mason jars.

7 parts sweet almond oil
3 parts cocoa butter
1.5 parts vegetable glycerin
1 part beeswax
1 part cocoa powder
1 part honey

Melt the oil, cocoa butter, glycerin, and beeswax in a double boiler, stirring often. Once it’s melted, remove from heat and whisk in the cocoa powder and honey. Let the mixture cool to about room temperature (about 1 to 1.5 hours).  You will likely find that some cocoa settles to the bottom of the bowl while the surface becomes a fairly clear bit of semi-solid oils.  Simply stir the mixture to re-suspend any cocoa or hardened oils that have settled out of the mix.  Now that the balm has become more viscous, they will not settle out again. Pour the mixture into clean containers. It will last about 6 months.


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