It is with pride that I admit I have never felt sexier than when surrounded by 1,000 women, chanting and releasing, getting my hands dirty in the earth, and putting steaming hot food made with love and herbs into my body. As a first-timer at the Southeast Women’s Herbal Conference, which took place October 12-14 in Black Mountain, I was in awe at the beauty of such an event. In a nutshell, I participated in sacred ceremonies, took classes on everything from aphrodisiac cooking to identifying wild mushrooms, had my tarot cards read by a woman I just met, and drummed around a fire under a blanket of stars.
I am honored to give a tidbit of knowledge I learned from three of my favorite classes:
1. Herb Walk—Fall Wild Foods with Juliet Blankespoor
Perfect fall cornbread recipe: Sweet potato acorn cornbread
1 1/2 c whole wheat flour
1 1/2 c cornmeal
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 c sucanat sugar (optional)
2 c mashed sweet potato
1/2 c milk (rice, soy, almond, cow, goat)
4 tbsp olive oil
2 c acorn meal (finely chopped)
Optional to add cranberries or walnuts
Bake for 20 min at 400 degrees
2. Using Essential Oils in Holistic Practice and for Self-Care with Katie Haley
Essential Oil Blending: How to make….
Epsom Salts: 1 cup mixed with 1 tsp baking soda and 10-15 drops of EO
Soak in this for 15-20 minutes to relieve sore muscles and stress……..ahhhhhhh
Raw Sugar Scrub: 1 cup sugar, 1/2 coconut or jojoba oil and 10-15 drops of essential oils
Exfoliates dead skin cells and promotes circulation
Aloe Vera Gel: 4 oz. mixed with 25 drops of EO
Use for irritated skin, inflammation, minor cuts and bruises
Massage cream: 4 oz organic creme or lotion mixed with 25-40 drops of EO
3. Aphrodisiac Cooking with Charli Vogt
Dark chocolate covered almonds stuck in the pitted part of dates
• Dates increase flintiness/openness.
• Cocoa increases serotonin, and enhances pleasure.
Fig/Apple/Mushroom/Onion kabobs marinated in Honey and Ginger
• In China figs are given as special gifts to sweethearts before love making.
• The apple is aphrodite’s chosen sacred fruit.
• Mushroom and onion are naturally lubricated vegetables therefore increasing lubrication in body.
• Honey is the nectar of Aphrodite.
• Ginger increases “success in love” according to the Kama Sutra.
Drink: pomegranate seeds in champagne
• Pomegranates represent fertility and healthy sexuality.
Drink: 1 oz shatavari- shatavari means “the herb of a thousand husbands”
• Simmer that in coconut juice for 20 min.
• Let cool and add 12 cardamom pods, 1 oz rose water, and a dash of sandalwood.
In conclusion: If you are a woman, go next year! Without second thought, go and see for yourself how it feels to connect with your feminine, powerful roots.
I would like to extend a personal thank you to the SE Women’s Herbal Conference for all of their hard work and outstanding organization efforts, to Corinna Wood for being an inspiration to all women, and to Aviva Romm for her life-changing opening ceremony speech. I am healthier, and sexier, because of them.
(Emily Gresham Terry is a marketing associate for Xpress.)