Enhance Loves Natural Biochemistry
by Laurie Roth-Donnell ~ Master Herbalist and Holistic Health Practitioner
One of the cornerstones to long term health and vitality is the formation of deep intimate loving relationships. There is a “magic” in love that has been scientifically traced to molecules in your brain, which trigger attraction and attachment. Phenyl ethylamine (PEA) is the chemical, which controls levels of neurotransmitters such as adrenaline, dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. These compounds are responsible for triggering sexual responses ranging from lust to deep intimacy.
The initial PEA surge allows one to go without food or sleep during the infatuation stage of love; it triggers an obsession with your newfound love. In turn, norepinephrine stimulates the production of adrenaline and makes your blood pressure soar, your heart pound and your palms sweat. Studies have revealed that brain activities related to increased levels of serotonin are similar to the brain activity of people with obsessive e disorder. Therefore, if one medicates with antidepressant pharmaceuticals such as Prozac and Zoloft, serotonin levels are manipulated and may result in difficulty falling in love.
PEA levels generated when we first fall in love can last several years. Over time this surge wanes, and the passion cools into what Helen Fisher, author of “Anatomy of Love”, calls the “attachment” phase. At this stage, your brain produces endorphins (brain opiates) akin to morphine. The hormones, oxytocin and vasopressin, are released into the system. Oxytocin, referred to as the cuddly hormone, is produced during uterine birth contractions, breastfeeding and by both men and women during orgasm and may explain why you feel more attached to a mate immediately after sex. The hormone vasopressin also assists in the enhancement of monogamy, but levels of the hormone in humans are so low that it has little effect on a human’s monogamous bonding.
You can get a non-romantic dose of PEA from high-intensity activities like skydiving and bungee jumping or by eating chocolate and strawberries, which have naturally occurring PEA. It is suggested that most of the PEA ingested from food sources will never make it to the brain. Commercial supplements are also available, but it seems the most basic, natural way to access PEA is to increase ones sexual intimacy. Reignite the spark, consider scheduling a bungee jumping date and remember to pack the chocolate dipped strawberries!
Please speak with your primary care physician regarding any new health regime you are considering.
“Why Marriages Succeed or Fail” by: John Gottman
“Anatomy of Love” by: Helen Fisher