Five Herbs to Boost Your Mood and Your Love Life with Christianne Klein
Five Herbs to Boost Your Mood and Your Love Life with Christianne Klein
Recently, I had the opportunity to chat with the lovely Christianne Klein. Christianne is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist, author, television host, former national news anchor for ABC News, healthy lifestyle enthusiast, founder of Truth Fairy TV, and chef who absolutely adores herbs. This woman does it all.
Christianne is now bringing her love for herbs and delicious healthy food to the forefront with her delectable new lifestyle cookbook,Christianne’s Herbal Kitchen: Fresh Herb Recipes for Body and Soul.Inside the book are delicious healthy nutritious recipes as well as the history, chemical composition, and health benefits of several common herbs. For me, what really sets this cookbook apart (besides the waist-friendly, tastebud-approving dishes) are the numerous “Fun Tips” and Beauty Tips.” The “Fun Tips” provide not-so-known facts about food, health, herbs, alternate recipe ideas, and/or cooking techniques. The “Beauty Tips” enable home chefs to use the same natural ingredients, as in their dishes, to create easy and natural at-home-spa treatments. I love it.
Herbs to Get You Ready for the Season
As the holiday season is upon us and then, all of a sudden Valentine’s Day, I thought it was quite fitting to quiz Christianne on what herbs are best suited to peak love and happiness. Because after all, who doesn’t want to fall in love (whether for the first time … or all over again) this time of year? But, better yet, who doesn’t want to be happy during this joyous season full of family, friends, and loved ones.
For Love and Happiness: Five Herbs That Can Boost Your Mood and Your Love Life
By Christianne Klein, Author of Christianne’s Herbal Kitchen: Fresh Herb Recipes for Body and Soul
Herbs are not only a great flavor enhancer for delicious meals, but herbs have also been used in a variety of ways for thousands of years to enhance emotional well-being. Many herbs directly interact with our own body chemistry. Some herbs can lift our spirits by lowering cortisol levels, or help raise serotonin levels. A few herbs are even rumored to put men and women in the mood for romance! By understanding the effect of certain herbs, foods and spices, you can actually create dishes that can boost your mood and your libido.
Here are a few herbs that can boost your mood and your love life with the chemical explanation of how and why they help.
Rosemary: Rosemary enjoys a reputation as both a love herb and a mood-boosting herb. Ancient portraits of Aphrodite, the Greek Goddess of Love, show both myrtle and rosemary draped around her body. Not surprisingly, rosemary’s reputation as an aphrodisiac followed suit. For centuries, rosemary would be used as a head garland for brides in wedding ceremonies. Recent studies show rosemary is also effective as a stress buster and mood booster. Some studies have shown that rosemary helps lower cortisol levels. Higher than normal cortisol levels are associated with extreme agitation or the “fight or flight” response.
For a rich rosemary flavor, try Christianne’s Steak with Rosemary-Thyme Cabernet Peppercorn Sauce.
Lavender: Like rosemary, lavender does double duty as a happiness and love herb. It has been used for thousands of years as a calming and soothing herb. Recent research suggests that the scent of lavender alone increases serotonin levels circulating throughout the body. Serotonin is also known as the neurotransmitter associated with a “happy” mood. The Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation also found that the scent of lavender arouses men more than nearly any other aroma in the world. In fact, the seemingly strange combination of pumpkin pie and lavender aromas showed the greatest increase in arousal in their study.
For a cheering and calming tonic, try Christianne’s cocktail recipe for Lemon-Orange Lavender Spritzer.
Basil: Basil’s ability to promote circulation helped lead to its reputation as an aphrodisiac. In many cultures, including ancient Rome, basil was a symbol of love. Recent research has also shown that the holy basil variety can help lower cortisol levels, which can lower stress and boost your mood.
Love Basil? Try Christianne’s appetizer recipe for Roasted Tomato, Basil and Burrata Bruschetta.
Cilantro/Coriander Leaf: Cilantro, also known as coriander (leaf) or Chinese parsley, has long enjoyed a reputation as a “stimulating” herb. In the classic book, Arabian Nights, the seeds were used as an aphrodisiac, a claim which helped to establish coriander’s reputation as an herb that promotes sexual desire. Some suggest that when consumed in large quantities, the seeds of cilantro (coriander) can actually have narcotic qualities.
Mint: Mint’s reputation as an aphrodisiac dates back as far as ancient Greece. Aristotle reportedly warned Alexander the Great to keep mint tea away from his soldiers during campaigns since he believed it would lead to distractions. The belief in mint as an aphrodisiac is based in part on its powerful stimulating and cooling properties.
Try Christianne’s “love” recipe, Broiled Salmon with Mango Jalapeno Mint Salsa (see below). It contains both mint AND cilantro.
The “Love” Recipe: Broiled Salmon with Mango Jalapeno Mint Salsa
By Christianne Klein, author of Christianne’s Herbal Kitchen: Fresh Herb Recipes for Body and Soul
This dish has such a delicious combination of flavors. The fresh mango, mint and cilantro add a tasty herb sweetness to the salmon while the jalapeno adds just the right amount of heat. If you don’t like salmon, use the mango salsa on chicken, instead.
- 1 large mango, peeled and diced
- 2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 1/4 cup red onion, diced
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and minced
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 2 teaspoons fresh mint, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt to taste
- Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- 4 (6-ounce) salmon steaks
- Combine ingredients (except salmon) in small glass or other non-reactive bowl. Set aside, or cover and put in refrigerator.
- Turn on oven broiler and leave door ajar to vent. Line broiler pan with foil. Broil salmon steaks on prepared pan for 8-12 minutes or until just opaque in center. To serve, top broiled salmon with salsa.
Beauty Tip: Having a bad skin week? Cook the Broiled Salmon with Mango Jalapeno Mint Salsa recipe! Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are healthy powerhouses that help to reduce inflammation and can add a glow to your complexion. Salmon is also a fabulous source of protein and vitamins. The mango salsa is packed with nutrients and antioxidants, so you’ll be taking care of your body while eating a delicious meal.
Bottom Line: If looking for an easy-to-use cookbook that offers healthy, delicious, nutrient-packed recipes and utilizes only whole, natural, non-processed foods, while maximizing the medicinal and healing properties of herbs—all while providing health and beauty tips—then Christianne’s Herbal Kitchen: Fresh Herb Recipes for Body and Soul is your match!
To purchase an autographed copy of Christianne’s new cookbook, Christianne’s Herbal Kitchen: Fresh Herb Recipes for Body and Soul, go toTheHerbCookbook.com