Jessica Godfrey

Video Transcript

00:00:02 Jessica Pratt (LEIAMOON)

Hi everyone I am so excited to be here with you today and with you, Jessica, from Sexpot Apothecary. Jess and I met over the summer at a really exciting gathering around sexual wellness. And I just love everything Jess is doing with Sexpot Aopthecary as an herbalist and a formula maker and medicine woman. So I’m really excited to be in conversation with you today to talk about what sexual wellness is and how we can work with herbs to support our bodies for feeling optimal pleasure.

So welcome, Jess.

00:00:38 Jessica Godfrey (Sexpot Apothecary)

Yeah. Thank you so much. There’s so much we can talk about just right there because we could have a whole conversation about the conference, which was fantastic, but…

Yeah, we should begin, I suppose, as you suggested with a little bit on my background.

So I started Sexpot in 2021, but it kind of was a seed a few years before.

That I really wanted to focus on and delve into the class of herbs that are the aphrodisiacs I’ve been practicing over medicine or studying rather herbal medicine my whole life. Not formally practicing. I started with my grandmother who was an herbalist.

From Germany, we started making medicine together in my childhood and I didn’t realize that this was remarkable until adolescence and I I saw that my girlfriend.

Friends and the people around me didn’t know much about local plants and they weren’t making medicine in this way that was so common to me. So I started studying formally and and I did apprenticeships in different parts of the world. They studied in West Africa. I studied in Nepal.

I did a little bit of TCM study.

Chinese medicine. So I was really fascinated with the ways that different cultures approach healing and some of that ancient.

But then I moved back to the States from Argentina in 2017 and shortly afterwards. You know, I’ve always had my home apothecary. I always have the medicine that I’m making. The teas that I’m making. I’ve got a bunch of T-shirts and I told them out to friends and family.

And if somebody’s sick, they’ll call and I’ll do some research and we’ll have these conversations about, you know, holistic support.

And open medicine. But around this time I really wanted to just focus on the aphrodisiacs. They’re they’re a fascinating class of verbs, and there are herbal aphrodisiacs in almost every culture, but I hadn’t really delved into them. I didn’t understand them terribly well, and I wasn’t intimate with them.

So I started doing some research, making some lists and sourcing things from all over the world. So I’m getting herbs from China and from South America and from.

Africa and I would make them into teas and I would make them into teachers and I would be reading about them. I would be taking them and you know that process of like acquainting ourselves with a new herb, it’s like meeting a new friend kind of, you know.

So. It’s really one of my favorite parts of the process, but I had about 7-8 herbs that I was really working with in this way and then I’m giving them to friends and I’m giving them to lovers and I’m just like, want everybody to be experiencing them.

And I gave them to a friend of mine on his way to a date, who had not been feeling very confident in his sexual performance. So I gave him this little bottle of potion. I told him how to take it, and he calls me the next morning.

And he’s so excited, he says “this is one of the most profound sexual experiences I’ve ever had.”

What was in that stuff and why aren’t you doing something more with this, you know, start a business with this. So he was a warm in my ear about it, but I was doing other things at the time. I was actually working with individuals with special needs and disabilities. I was really loving.

That work, you know, this is pre COVID. So then COVID hits and I thought, OK, it’s time for me to to really do something with this. So yeah. So I launched Sexpot.

00:04:30 Jessica Pratt

I love that story. I love that it’s like so, you know, it kind of starts with your family and learning from your grandmother and having that cultivating that relationship and how then you share that with your inner circle, your family, your friends. And now that is rippling more further outward as you. You know, really perfect what it is that you’re sharing and are perfect. I mean just nurture that were deeply on a personal level.

00:04:55 Jessica Godfrey

Yeah. Yeah. I think when I started doing research, you know, market research, I’m not much of a business woman. That’s not where I came to this from anyway. But when I started really looking at what was available, I was not impressed. There’s a lot of like.

Gas station “boner” pills. You know, with really questionable ingredients, questionable additives.

And even if there are great herbs in the foundation of the formula, you don’t you really not sure where they’re being sourced if they’re new, if they’re old, if they’re fresh, they’re organic. And the stuff that’s mass produced or it’s really cheap, you’re wondering, you know, who formulated this? Where are they? Where are they sourcing this stuff from?

So I didn’t see a lot that was really, really intentionally crafted with a sense of luxury, high quality herbs that were really an homage to this class of herbs that are the aphrodisiacs and and herbs for sexual health.

00:06:01 Jessica Pratt

I want to talk a little more too, about like, what sexual Wellness is or means and why it’s such like a growing buzzword now or category for how we can connect with our sexuality. It feels like. Yeah, it it feels like there is a tendency or a shift kind of what you’re describing. It is kind of like “The gas station effect” of you know, try this for erectile dysfunction. You know, kind of like this quick fixer thing to kind of shifting more into like, what Wellness really truly means? And I think you’re kind of bridging that really beautifully. So maybe you can speak to that a bit more of.

00:06:43 Jessica Godfrey

That’s so interesting. Yeah, you know, and why is it such a buzzword right now? And

I have thought a lot about this.

You know I I’m anti trends I say that all the time. I’m not interested in trends but the the kind of medicine I work with is not trendy. It’s been around for thousands of years, but this terminology really is and I think whenever we’re seeing a rise in popularity around something and there’s all of these conversations about something.

It’s beyond marketing, right? It’s not just that people are looking to profit off of this new niche. This new cool thing. I think it’s more than that. I think it’s really a response to our cultural separation from the normal. That’s been happening for a long time. I think it’s we’re recognizing that we have deprioritized sex so much and we’re feeling really lost and we’re feeling really disconnected. We see that in the numbers and the the polls and the data you know, we see that Americans are having less sex than ever.

And there are a number of really interesting theories around why this is happening. One of them is the ways that our hormones are shifting.

Part of that is a response to the abundance of endocrine disrupting chemicals in our environments. So we’ve got all of these stress hormones we’re producing. We’re not producing the sex hormones that we used to. So we see testosterone levels are declining, sperm count quality and health is declining, fertility is declining, women are having harder times with their cycles, our hormones.

Really responding to a lifestyle that’s not sustainable for us, it’s not nurturing to, you know, this calm and and peace. That is the “Feed and breed” part of our nervous system. You know this. So there’s this interconnection. There’s a lot going on culturally that we’re realizing that, like, we’re really disconnected from sex right now. So now we’re trying to kind of get back to it. And how do we do that? You know, part of it is starting the conversations, the invitations to move back into this place of our being that we’ve culturally neglected it. Right?

00:08:58 Jessica Pratt

Yeah, that makes so much sense to me.

That there is like this true disconnect that we’re collectively experiencing from our bodies. And as you’re speaking, it’s kind of reminding me of how you’re describing how foreign it was to others around you that you were making medicine from plants and from our natural environment….

And that’s been a way that humans have operated for, you know, since the beginning of our species. So there is this kind of return to, you know, looking to nature or these really basic elemental options that we have to start to reconnect again.

And you were talking a lot about hormone disruption and you know those endocrine disruptors and how that affects our hormone cycle. So how is it that like bringing plants back in as medicine rather than kind of relying on you know…

Trying to just to like mask the symptoms let’s say, but really getting more towards the root and working with plants. How can plants help?

00:10:06 Jessica Godfrey

Yeah, that’s a good question.

00:10:06 Jessica Pratt

Or in your formulas even like.

What would you say… or which herbs are really “key” right now?

00:10:13 Jessica Godfrey

Well, there’s a few and they work in different ways.

And I want to… I want to come back to that because I want to touch on this thought or explore this a little bit more about… what you’re asking with….

 

What was the question right before?

00:10:35 Jessica Pratt

Yeah, because  I was asking more about how this disconnect from our body that we’re all experiencing right now due to like this evolution in our environmental conditions and how that kind of relates to how you came well, how herbal medicine for you is you know part yeah. And like now in our current time, there’s kind of a return to that.

And you know those are happening simultaneously. What’s the relationship all about?

00:11:01 Jessica Godfrey

That’s what I wanted to say. I wanted to touch on this idea that I’ve been thinking about a lot recently to kind of explain what we’re doing when we’re trying to get people out of a negative feedback loop. You know, so maybe we’re in this state where we’re–and I’ve talked about this before, but bear with me because I’ve been exploring new ways to try to put it into words–we’re we’re drinking a lot of coffee and we’re not sleeping terribly well and we’re trying to get all of the things done. And we’re kind of disconnected from the physical body. We’re not taking a lot of time to really tap in and over time this is, you know, it’s a perpetuating cycle.

You know? We want more of it, so we kind of get we get in this way of being and it just kind of gets out of hand before we know it what’s happening physiologically…

Is that we’re producing a lot more stress hormones and we’re not producing those sex hormones along with the melatonin to sleep or the that kind of calmer place where–and I I’m not remembering the the names of some of these subtler hormones in our systems–but that that place where we’re digesting really well we’re we’re just kind of being at ease in the body. And libido really thrives there.

Soo it’s this kind of mimicking of the physiological and these energetic states, the ways that we’re telling the body, kind of how to work, and then it’s responding to that and we getting these feedback loops. What we really want to do is kind of just start breaking that up and and that’s why it can be really gentle because we just want to, like, throw that off a little bit, so we can see a new pattern emerge. So when we’re adding things in like like the herbs for sex and and sexual wellness.

So let’s say we’re adding in som Muira Puama…

Or some Epimedium. The Muira Puama is really good for enhancing blood flow back to the region. So when we’re in that place where we’re not really connecting to the body, maybe we’re not connecting to the womb space… We don’t have a lot of great blood flow going on to the reproductive organs. So part of what we’re doing to break up that feedback loop is we’re adding in the Muira Puama, which is engorging the reproductive organs with blood flow. They’re like awakening. They’re like, oh, I’m here. Pay attention to me, you know.

And we also might help bring about some testosterone…

Which a lot of women are losing libido because they’re not producing adequate testosterone. We think of the testosterone as a male, you know, driver of libido, which it very much is. But women need it as well. So we’re breaking up that hormone, that stress hormone pattern, calming that down a little bit, raising the production of sex hormones….

00:13:44 Jessica Godfrey

Engorging, the reproductive organs with some blood flow, and all of those things are helping to break up this feedback loop we’ve gotten ourselves in over the course of years, sometimes without even realizing it.

00:13:56 Jessica Pratt

That makes so much sense. Yeah, for sure. I mean, especially the cortisol, the stress hormone of cortisol, really like takes over and doesn’t allow us to return back to that stable state of feeling relaxed and rooted in our bodies. So I mean, it’s there for a reason. It’s like danger danger.

You know, but I think we also have lost our ability to hear that signal that cortisol is actually meant to make us feel we, we’ve almost been conditioned to like that being a normal feeling. But it’s really a signal for us to return back to a place of safety and calm and ease. And that’s really what … I think where our pleasure center fully experiences VIBRANCE is in that state of deep relaxation. And so it’s amazing that we have access to these plants and barks like that. All these different parts of our of our natural world that we can introduce to our system to help reconnect us and ground so that we can perform or performance, but it’s. Also, just feel really feel yeah.

Feel everything again, cause. Yeah, we’re operating so much like kind of up here and it’s like needing to root and ground down again. And even in like the natural hormone cycle, so much of that disruption affects women’s menstrual cycles, and if there’s not regulation and balance there, that really feeds into our sex life as well. So even though, like your formulations are focused solely or not solely, but the focus is a lot on pleasure…. I know you have some other products that focus on hormone balancing understanding that that’s also like foundational to feeling.

That our bodies were designed To feel… so we can talk a bit more about that like balancing our hormones, how we do that?

00:15:50 Jessica Godfrey

Yeah, that one’s huge. And that one’s really exciting to me. Recently I launched A hormone balance formula a few months ago, and I’m hearing such incredible feedback from it. You know, women have been using, they’ve been recognizing the symptoms of hormonal imbalances and using herbs to bring the body back into balance since forever. It’s really relatively recently in our human history that we’ve disconnected from this with.

00:16:17 Jessica Godfrey

And women will go to their practitioner, their OBGYN, their their GP, whatever, and describe really agonizing symptoms of hormonal imbalance where their bodies are screaming for some support and they don’t have the tools.

The Western model doesn’t have the tools very often anyway. Sometimes you’ll get lucky with a practitioner that’s that’s a little more well-rounded or is practicing functional medicine, but for the most part I’ve heard this so many times and it enrages m e because I am by no means a a doctor. You know I have not. I have not studied to that degree, but I have so much great information about supporting hormone balance. It’s not difficult to find. It’s not expensive. It’s not. You know, it’s it’s easily accessible.

00:17:12 Jessica Godfrey

But when those tools have not been introduced, so you go to your OB and they say, oh, well, I could put you on the pill and then if the pill makes you depressed, I can put you on antidepressants because the only tools I have available.

To me are “this” or “this.”

00:17:30 Jessica Godfrey

And it is so incredibly upsetting to see that this is the trend that we’re in. So, yeah. So the hormone balance formula, a lot of women have reached out about it and it’s so exciting to hear from them, like within a cycle. They’re like, I feel better than I have in a year. I want to Make Love to my husband all the time. Like, I’ve reawakened this whole part of my being.

That I had shut down…. and I don’t want to kill someone in the week before I bleed, you know… because we’re also taught–and you’ll see, like, humor on social media around how hard it is to have a cycle and be a woman like. No, no, no! This is not normal. Aside from some mild cramping and maybe a little, you know, you kind of want to hang out with yourself for a few days and take a nap. You know, aside from that….

Yopu really shouldn’t be experiencing too much in the way of difficult symptomology with your cycle. And if you do, it’s yeah, it’s a sign.

00:18:28 Jessica Godfrey

And then we see also in the sexual Wellness community, a lot of talk about, you know, turning on the libido with the mind, you know, and…. and tools for pleasure. And you need these toys and you need to buy this stuff and you need to do these things. Or explore this kink…

00:18:43 Jessica Godfrey

And that all has a place, but if we’re not recognizing that the seat of of libido and pleasure is really happening in these these physiological processes and hormones, you know, real molecules in the body. And if we’re not addressing that at a foundational level, you know we can buy all the toys we want and we’re not going to tap into that part of ourselves.

00:19:12 Jessica Pratt

Yeah, I completely agree. It’s like the foundation really sets off all of these other explorations base for exploration. But if we’re not really treating our bodies as the temple that they are like at the root, then we really kind of miss out on the full potential of how to feel really good and optimal it’s like…

 

There’s kind of like so many degrees in which we can explore that, but you’re but having balanced hormones are really going to set you up for like, all of those spaces in such a great way. And a lot of times, women might not recognize that imbalance. How can we really sense that something is up? I mean, you spoke a bit to like Period Pain. What other ways do hormonal imbalances present themselves?

00:20:03 Jessica Godfrey

Well, I like to think of you know, Doctor Aviva Romm, who is such an inspiration to me, her work. But she talks about the our menstrual cycles as the is it the 5th vitality marker?

00:20:18 Jessica Pratt

The sixth.

00:20:21 Jessica Pratt

But there is also a great book too by Lisa Hendrickson-Jack. Called “The 5th Vital Sign” that talks about our menstrual cycle in that way. Yeah, yeah.

00:20:26 Jessica Godfrey

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I think when we’re looking at it as information about, you know, how about our overall health…

So we’re looking at heavy cycles or if they’re too light, if there’s a lot of cramping, if there’s headaches or migraines that are cyclical, if there’s a lot of diarrhea, if there’s a lot of, you know, can’t get out of bed or like PMDD symptoms where you really….

you want to kill someone or you want to kill yourself….

You know, we don’t talk about that cyclical suicidality, but it’s it’s well documented in the literature that that an overwhelming number of women that attempt or commit suicide. I suppose that’s no longer the PC language, but forgive me are  in that phase of their cycle.

So this is really real for a lot of women to see things through the lens of estrogen dominance or plummeting hormones.

00:21:30 Jessica Godfrey

I think it comes on… These symptoms come on for women too subtly and over time. So sometimes you don’t really see them and all of a sudden, you’re like, oh  I feel like ****, like you know, or you’ve got a lot of weight that you can’t get off and you’re like, I’m not eating for this, you know, this is not what I this is not my body’s norm. Something is amiss here, so that can be a symptom of it.

So there’s all kinds of little markers if we kind of check in with ourselves. I’ve even with girlfriends of mine, I’ve pointed out like, this feels like a hormone pattern, you know. So sometimes we’ll see it in each other. We can help kind of bounce that off that way.

Yeah, yeah.

00:22:15 Jessica Pratt

Yeah, and I think we’re all like, starting to tune into all those nuances and settle these because yeah, when they build up over time, they can manifest in real dysfunction that could, you know, mean invasive surgeries and kind of more dramatic attempts to rebalance.

Whereas if we kind of catch these earlier on and start supporting our bodies and knowing exactly, or at least exploring options for what they may need to reground and rebalance.

Again, we just have such a better shot at maintaining, you know, control on some control but like kind of like sovereignty in this vessel that we have it. So yeah, I think I’m grateful that so much more information is out there and you’re right. Like as friends and family reflecting back in each other, when we notice, you know, differences in our cycle or even personally starting to chart a bit more about “How did I feel today versus yesterday” and in journaling can be like a great tool to understand like in your in your cycle…

Like how those shifts happen and what’s normal for you and when you can see that like something’s changing, that is a sign.

00:23:26 Jessica Godfrey

Yeah. And I think that when we’re in that we’re with our menstrual cycles as a vital sign with our postpartum periods, which we’re starting to talk about more as well and supporting ourselves postpartum,  and in the perimenopausal years…these are places where there is just so much support from herbal medicine available, and that’s been a real challenge to me because my my training was always to look at the individual to start the individual and then go from there to the herbs.

 

So, working with formulas that have versatility and can be more broadly applied… has been a little bit challenging,but I feel I feel pretty good about the herbs that I’m working with as really foundationally balancing because different from when we’re looking at synthetic hormone replacement. So say we’ve got a woman that’s got some really severe estrogen dominance or some of progesterone deficiency, you know, these are very specific and we can supplement with with hormones and you know, you take this much to make this happen and you take this much to make this.

00:24:34 Jessica Godfrey

And when we’re working with herbs, it’s it’s a completely different mechanism. So a lot of the herbs are working by by kind of being in conversation with the pituitary gland or the  entirety of the HPA access and kind of helping our body find balance again. So it’s not going to make you make more of this or less of that…

But more it’s going to kind of tell your body like oh, we need to just kind of reregulate this whole system.

So you can take them whether you’ve got too much or too little and they’re going to help you find your own balance. This is a beauty of a lot of the herbs that we work with for hormone balance,s this property.

00:25:13 Jessica Pratt

Yeah, I love that about the herbal medicine world, but it’s really like about helping your body find homeostasis again. It really knows how to do this, but might be disrupted by, like, high cortisol or what you’re saying needing to re ground and getting more space again and finding that balance.

00:25:30 Jessica Godfrey

Yeah, yeah, for sure.

00:25:33 Jessica Pratt

So how…Because I think so many are told that “I need this pill” or this pharmaceutical to be able to regulate my estrogen levels or find more balance with progesterone…

But with herbal medicine… How are the medicinal properties of herbs delivered to the body like through the medicine that you make? What is that process like or? Or maybe you can talk more about, like the making of herbal medicine and then how it’s processed in our bodies… I know it’s different for a lot of different herbs too, so well.

00:26:10 Jessica Godfrey

Well I work with the process that is so ridiculously simple that is tincturing and there’s a number of reasons that we look with tinctures and people have worked with them for so long. They extract the alkaloids out of the plant and they preserve them. So when…

Capsules are great. They have a place. Tea is great. It has a place.

But when we’re tincturing, we’re typically getting a more well-rounded extract of various compounds and we’re keeping them from oxidizing and degrading. So and then we’re also bypassing the digestive system to a degree because we’re using alcohol.

00:26:57 Jessica Godfrey

So we’re getting it into the bloodstream a bit more directly. So it’s one of the simplest ways to to be ingesting herbs and it’s also one of the most effective. It’s kind of another one of those places in, in traditional medicine, that’s like if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. And it’s actually so much simpler than than you might think. So yeah, I use tinctures with a lot of a lot of the herbs, and you’re just taking a few–this is my own current personal blend–and you’re just taking a few dropper fulls a day.

It’s amazing to me, actually, how many people don’t know what a tincture is!

00:27:36 Jessica Pratt

Yeah, exactly! That’s why I wanted you to speak to it. That is really as simple as like a few drops on your tongue or maybe mixing with water or a cocktail…

00:27:47 Jessica Godfrey

I love it, yeah! I’m a cocktails, girl. Yeah, so…

00:27:51 Jessica Pratt

Yeah. And I remember when I met you and I tried for the first time, you were sort of like, you know, it’s going to taste like, like medicine. You know, I think that’s the other thing too. We’re used to, like, adding all these artificial sweeteners and color and different ways to kind of make it look and taste pretty. But I really appreciate when you can really….

Like understand what a tincture does. Even the alcohol content in it. I kind of like that. It heats up my body because it feels like, yeah, you’re getting flooded with the sensation of joining with the plant, and it’s even its thing. And I think that’s a unique quality to most tinctures.

00:28:27 Jessica Godfrey

Oh, yeah, I love that… I try not to to flavor them too much, but mellow them out. A bit of honey or Maple syrup is a really nice way to do that. Or I’ll add vanilla, some rose….

But yeah, for the most part, I think it’s nice to to be with the plant. Some women really hate some. Some people really hate the the flavor of them. So I’ll tell them, you know, put them in your cocktail, put them in your bourbon, you know, then they’re they’re going to be masked or put them in some pomegranate juice, some cherry juice….

Which has this really strong, robust flavor. So you mask the flavor of the herbs. If you don’t care for them and you bring some rich antioxidants into your life. So that’s a really easy way to do it.

And they keep for about a year or two, which is great.

With your capsules, you know, your herbs are degrading. Mm-hmm. So, yeah.

00:29:21 Jessica Pratt

And do you? I’m guessing you have a garden where you are. I’m sure you’re sourcing because of the, you know, numbers that you’re trying to produce. You probably have to get some from other, yeah.

00:29:32 Jessica Godfrey

Oh yeah, I ordered pounds and pounds of like Horny Goat Weed, you know, and I’ll go pick up my 5 pounds of Horny Goat Weed.

00:29:43 Jessica Pratt

But yeah, I know you’re very conscious about where that’s coming from and who these farmers are and how they work with the lands, whathe soil qualities like, how those effects…

00:29:51 Jessica Godfrey

Oh, that part is huge. Yeah. And that part is really exciting because, you know, the three, three of the main plants that I work with are Muira Puama, which is my personal favorite aphrodisiac. It’s a South American tree bark. I’m hopelessly in love with this stuff. I’m hopelessly in love with. It’s energetic, which is a bit more sensuous and feminine.

It tends to increase the testosterone production. It’s it’s predominant alkaloid is Mirapuamine… You know, this is how they name them. Brand new. They’re like, oh, let’s name it this, you know. Yeah, it is. But it performs really beautifully…

00:30:33 Jessica Godfrey

In the clinical trials that we do have, so we’ve got some really good strong data on Muira Puama.

But it’s from South America, so I’m sourcing that. I’m sourcing Horny goat weed, which is Epimedium, which grows all over China like a weed. It’s like, could do essentially in parts of China. So you’ve got to be really careful because you want to be getting it from, you know, maybe wild-crafted, but you want to make sure it’s organic, you want to make sure it’s in a rural area.

00:31:00 Jessica Godfrey

There’s a really well loved plant, you know… and that people are taking good care of it to get it to you…that it’s medicinal grade. All of that is really important. So yeah. And then there’s yohimbe, which is a another plant that I work with really frequently. It’s it’s a West African tree bark.

00:31:25 Jessica Godfrey

It’s potent stuff. It’s energetic is is a bit different. It’s primal. It’s really intense and kind of buzzy. Yeah. So those are the, those are the main plants that I work with and sourcing is is really important.

00:31:40 Jessica Pratt

I love that you’re mentioning the energetics of the plant too, because a lot of times that information gets left behind. But it seems to play such an important part in how we feel and commune with with this type of medicine. So you can speak to that a bit more?

 

Like how do we embrace that as a real part of our healing and feeling… instead of deciding that it’s like the “Woo Woo part” and doesn’t really have a place?

00:32:06 Jessica Godfrey

That is hard. It’s hard to talk about, isn’t it? It’s hard to talk about in this and I’m sure that you deal with that too, because a lot of what’s going on with the steaming is the energetics of the plant predominantly. You know, if we’re going to look at it….

If we’re going to look through the lens of contemporary science at what’s happening with steaming… We would talk a lot about the volatile oils and the plants, you know, which do have real medicinal properties that that can’t be discounted, but a lot of it is energetic and it gets harder to talk about and yeah.

00:32:42 Jessica Pratt

Yeah, and I think too, when you have personal experience with sitting with these plants, you can really feel into how your own relationship–you know there is like a feeling there and …

 

Maybe not everyone has an opportunity to do that…to sit with Mugwort for a weekend and understand what that feels like.

I’m kind of speaking of it from, like, a flower essence making a workshop, but like, that’s part of the energetic feeling I think is building your own personal relationship with these herbs and knowing what that means.

And bringing that in to your healing… where it IS having an effect that is science-based in terms of the volatile oils that are, you know, especially with steaming you know you’re really opening up those mucosal membranes, which are super absorbent and the volatile oils that are released from the plants when they’re, you know when steam is building up and through them and below them it’s being carried into that part of our body that’s super receptive and filled with blood vessels that are ready to take that in….

And connect it. With all the parts of our pelvis…

00:33:54 Jessica Pratt

I mean, even just like on the topical level of your skin. You know there’s so much that happens there, but there is like this whole aromatic effect. So it’s kind of like the smell that can even have… you know an energetic quality for how you relate to it personally. Or maybe it brings up a memory for you that feels really grounding and like that can play into the energetics of the plant too. So it’s like thinking of plants holistically instead of just like magic and science of those being really connected in our healing process of how we relate to this type of of medicine work.

00:34:28 Jessica Godfrey

Ohh yeah. Ohh yeah and I love. I love trying to put these things into words and I think it’s it’s funny that we create this disconnect between the magic and the science because if we really yeah. If we really think about if we really think about…. You know, the very scientifically grounded contemporary Western medical model, there is a great deal of mystery there as well, and we’re not exactly sure why some of these things work. “Let’s try this.” “Let’s see what’s happening here.” We’re not completely sure what’s happening, you know, with this particular…. Maybe a pharmaceutical, or maybe there’s a, you know, the miracles of healing are happening at both of these far ends of of the spectrum, so…

00:35:19 Jessica Pratt

MHM.

00:35:21 Jessica Godfrey

They’re present everywhere. It is hard, though, to combat this really rigid thinking that we see a lot of people in about healing where they’ve been taught to discount anything that doesn’t hold up to the rigors of contemporary science.

 

Which is really tricky and it’s an ideological rigidity that is on both ends of the spectrum really damaging. And I love the place in the middle. So, you know, even in our conversations about herbs for steaming, like, for instance, you asked me the other day about Muira Puama for steaming

00:36:00 Jessica Pratt

Mm-hmm.

00:36:01 Jessica Godfrey

I don’t love Muira Puama for steaming for several reasons. One of them is it’s not rich in volatile oils. That’s not really a huge part of its medicine, and it’s a bark, so it takes a lot longer to break down its compounds than in this few minutes of steaming that you have.

00:36:20 Jessica Godfrey

It also doesn’t have a history of use here for first thing.  So hat is very scientific thinking around… “Is this going to be effective in this application?” But that is not to say that there is not magic and mystery happening in the process of healing.

I think what’s really hubristic as as we approach you know, the these kind of subtle and magical planes of healing is to say that if we don’t, if we can’t quantify it, it must not be happening, or to say that thousands of years of empirical data and clinical observation by very intelligent people, our ancestors, our forebears, that were noticing what was working and what wasn’t, is just completely discountable.

Because now we have this kind of new way of looking at it.

00:37:15 Jessica Godfrey

I just think that’s ridiculous.

00:37:18 Jessica Pratt

No, for sure and I really appreciate the middle. And I think so many more modern medicine practitioners. If you want to call it that, are under or incorporating the value that you know, the herbal world that is ancient and certainly has proven over time its value.

00:37:38 Jessica Pratt

Is finally like being integrated I think into contemporary medicine. So I think that there is more of an overlap now and also a bit of grace and understanding, like clinical trials are happening because there’s like a lot of money being poured into it. So it’s kind of coming from, you know, companies that are already incentivized to to invest in data and make it look a certain way, let’s say. But in the herb world like that, that type of like big Pharma energy is it’s not there. So I think that’s also part of why it’s not happening. And just because that’s not or these type of trials aren’t happening as frequently.

They are happening. But I guess…

Not as frequently and not as widely publicized or made part of the mainstream knowledge….

00:38:21 Jessica Godfrey

Yeah.

This this whole field…..

It’s really interesting and I studied with a really fantastic scholar and and teacher of this staff named David Hoffman, an Englishman, and he wrote the textbook on clinical herbalism, but there are so many layers to this…  the FDA, the the passing of DSHEA in the in the 90s, the Commission E monographs.

There there are are a lot of layers to this history of shutting down our knowledge of herbal medicine and altering public opinion to to sway us in the direction of pharmaceuticals. It’s not just like it’s not as simple as it as it might seem, and anyone that’s looking at the documentation of traditional Chinese medicine.

Which was really meticulously documented and and the clinical observations over centuries were really just top notch of of documentation there…. Anyone that looks at that, it’s it’s clear that it’s not. We’re not the first people to to put healing and and medicine under this kind of rigor.

00:39:38 Jessica Pratt

Yeah, yeah, for sure.

And I think ultimately it’s just another sign that as individuals like taking back our own power and discerning like what is feeling good in our bodies and what is in instead of just being told like, “this is the only answer for you”… Like really doing some more research about alternatives or trying out something that is a very gentle delivery of you know, low dose herbal medicine through steaming you know trying these out and seeing if that feels good for you or has the effect that you’re seeking to feel more grounded could be….

 

A better way of taking back our power around our own healing–raather than just being like, I’m gonna have to, like, surrender all of my autonomy to this other person that’s going to tell me what’s gonna work for my body. So I think it’s kind of that’s also another space where I think we’re looking for some middle ground again.

00:40:31 Jessica Godfrey

Yeah. Well, in taking back your power, I think it’s really about returning to the ways that medicine has been practiced since forever, which is preventive medicine, you know…  As an herbalist, if you can do a handful of things for people, which is improve the quality of their sleep, improve the quality of their digestion and reduce stress, you’re setting them up to to not be in a disease state. You know, for longevity, for, for health and vitality to be feeling good.

00:41:01 Jessica Godfrey

So when you’re integrating these practices into your life like you know, addressing hormonal imbalances and and supporting your body as it finds some balance, taking some time to slow down when your body’s telling you that’s necessary, taking some time to see, you know, whatever these practices look like and you’re integrating them into your life, you’re setting yourself up to not be kind of on your knees at the, you know, the God that is your your doctor with the ability to write this script for the pharmaceuticals because you haven’t gotten to that place where these imbalances get so severe that you’re having really dramatic symptoms present.

00:41:41 Jessica Godfrey

Which is the Western model, right? There’s no there’s no preventive medicine happening. They’re not. We’re not talking about diet. We’re not talking about sleep quality for the most part. We’re saying our urine balance is so bad…

That you need the pills? No. OK. You know, it’s like it’s very extreme.

00:42:00 Jessica Pratt

Yeah, it’s wild. It’s really crazy because it’s just become so normalized, but there’s definitely a simpler way, I think with all of this.

00:42:10 Jessica Pratt

I’m kind of going back a little bit more to you talking about facilitating the connection with our seat of sexuality through herbs. And you mentioned some of them and you we talked about tincturing, but I kind of want to hear more about your own personal experience with Steam and how herbs work through this practice through the lens of what you do.

00:42:34 Jessica Godfrey

Yeah. Wow, the steaming… Whoo!

00:42:39 Jessica Pratt

Take a big gulp of water!

00:42:42 Jessica Godfrey

I gotta tell you, I I’m amazed at how powerful it is. I’m I’m. I’m so in love with it. It is…It’s very–for something so subtle, it’s really powerful… It’s such a big, energetic shift that kind of stays with me in in the following day. Like I’m just so unshakably soft and grounded following a steam… Like I get out of the thinking brain. I sink into the body. I sink into. I guess you know, what one might call it the root chakra. I’m not, I’m not terribly well-versed in in that language, but yeah, like….

00:43:32 Jessica Godfrey

WHOO… you just SINK into the physical body. It’s a really primal experience.

It’s like a hug for this kind of core of your being, I find. It’s been really a beautiful practice…. and as far as libido goes, I mean, I am my libido over here runs high.

00:43:57 Jessica Pratt

You have all the tools!

00:43:59 Jessica Godfrey

I have been that way since I can remember myself. Really. But I’m also, you know, I’m working with these plants, so if I’m formulating and I’m taking a bunch of stuff, you know, I’m like, I mean, I am just really awakened for a few days afterwards, you know, to say the least. But so I’m no, I’m no stranger to being like, oh, wow, you know, libido is high over here.

Like following a steam one night I was trying to make dinner, and I  could not get through making dinner. I was uncomfortable. I was like, I have to stop and make love to my husband immediately… Like I just, I was like. Like a wild animal.

00:44:42 Jessica Pratt

And what you’re talking about your own formulas, how those the action is really increasing circulation and blood flow and oxygenation to this to our pelvic area to these tissues and steam is doing that exact same thing. So I can imagine like… the coupling of some of the team shares with steaming can be like a really… it can feel probably pretty intense, but you’re right, there’s something about herbal medicine, where it’s kind of giving you what you need and that it can feel really subtle in the body as well, you know, and I think you use the word like “softening and opening and relaxing… “

00:45:20 Jessica Pratt

Like that can feel like a really foreign state to our bodies and the way that we’re operating on these 24 hour cycles. So I think, yeah, it’s such a relief to be able to really, like, almost involuntarily, let yourself be there.

00:45:33 Jessica Godfrey

Yeah. Ohh, yeah, yeah, I think too… There’s a there’s a lot of parallels with, you know our fieldsand and what we’re working in… but the with the herbs, we have more of the science piece of kind of understanding them. So if we look at for instance the Epimedium and the yohimbe, they’re both something called PDE-5 inhibitors, which means that they relax the corpus cavernosum and they engorge the the penis or the the clitoral tissue which is actually running behind the and into the vagina.

You know much deeper than than we realize. Yeah, but it’s engorging those those parts of our our body with blood flow. So we do see that there is very real quantifiable pharmacologic action there and they can be really intensifying and in a wide variety of applications.

So there’s of course the the people that are not feeling connected to libido that have shut down from libido, the three main reasons that this happens for women are trauma and unhealthy relationship with the body, andhormones.

I think of the seat as an incredible place to be working when there’s sexual trauma.

00:46:52 Jessica Godfrey

So we see those women that have just kind of shut down long term from libido and and it awakens, we see the men that are feeling really a a lack of confidence because the performance… Just that their Body’s not responding the way that they wanted to or that they have experienced in the past.

00:47:10 Jessica Godfrey

And then we see people that are just looking to kind of take that whole experience to the next level where they’re just like it’s getting bigger, it’s getting brighter, it’s getting more intense, you know.

I think a lot of women are accustomed to something that we call a blunted orgasm, where it’s not this, you know, the whole body is kind of invited into this experience, but it it gets bigger somehow, like these herbs really understand how to do the sex thing, but that is  their Forte. So yeah… I’m not sure if I’m bringing things together here, I’m just kind of toucing on…

00:47:45 Jessica Pratt

Yeah. No, I think, yeah, no, I’m I’m curious. I I just loved hearing you speak about, you know, taking your herbs orally as you’re making medicine and then sitting down for a steam and how all of that is processing… from the root up and the throat down.

So it’s just kind of like an interesting visual to understand. You know, how we can work with the plants and all these different ways to kind of have the same or similar types of effects and maybe a lot of it too.

 

Yeah, there’s more, you know, clinical information about how these herbs are working when taken orally, but when applied to the skin or you know directly to the area that we’re targeting, let’s say for healing… That there are like empirical data in in that you can see and feel even from the outside exactly what’s happening of the engorgement of the, the dropping and opening. Like that’s a physical action that’s happening. You know, that’s clear to the eye and clear to the feeling.

00:48:51 Jessica Godfrey

Oh yeah.

00:48:52 Jessica Pratt

And that is super helpful for experiencing the fullness of orgasm… or of pleasure. You know, in a in a way that, like everything is super sensitive and alive. I think in in the steam.

00:49:06 Jessica Godfrey

Mm-hmm.

00:49:07 Jessica Pratt

Yeah. So I’m so excited that you have a Steam Seat and you’re really experimenting with it.

00:49:10 Jessica Godfrey

Oh my God, I’m hopelessly in love with this thing.

00:49:07 Jessica Pratt

So which herbs wer you steaming with? I’m so curious.

00:49:19 Jessica Godfrey

I just ran out of because you sent me a couple little bundles. Yeah, and I just ran out of them and made some more.

00:49:21 Jessica Pratt

I sent you some.

00:49:32 Jessica Godfrey

Yes, and I put some… what did I put? A lot of rose… . There’s some mugwort, some damiana. Damiana is a really is is thought of as a classic aphrodisiac. I don’t use much of it for several reasons. I don’t see the, you know, back to the science: I don’t see the clinical data to really support Damiana. I think it’s more, maybe anecdotal. It’s much mellower and softer than than the aphrodisiacs that I work with. I really I like potency, so I’ve gone for the  kind of big guns, if you will.

00:50:09 Jessica Godfrey

And the flavor and the smell is very distinct and some people just don’t really care for it.

Oh, I put some catnip in my blend, some lavender. So yeah, plants that are really high in volatile oils and have a really kind of rounded and and nurturing scent and ….

I don’t think…I mean, I think that as long as you’re using aerial plants, aerial parts rather and you’re not using roots and barks that take longer to break down that there’s so many herbs that could be beautifully used with this thing.

00:50:46 Jessica Pratt

Yeah, I feel the same way and it’s really nice that like the process of extraction of those volatile oils is like happening in real time as you’re receiving them. So I just feel like in terms of being able to connect with the plant’s medicine in a more immediate way is like very…. Real and in how you know, steaming works as a self-care ritual.

I just think that that’s kind of unique about it versus tincturing. I’m not trying to make it a competitive thing, but I just it’s a unique way of really experiencing this type of medicine I think.

00:51:21 Jessica Godfrey

It really is, yeah.

00:51:22 Jessica Pratt

And you’re right. Like all of the herbs that are aromatic, like, are great for this practice. And there’s so much that’s you know, almost growing like weeds in this part of the country that you and I are living in that amazing for seeming like mugwort or Yarrow or calendula.

00:51:41 Jessica Godfrey

All those ones I love and I love.

00:51:43 Jessica Pratt

Rose too.

00:51:43 Jessica Godfrey

And plantain? Maybe. And dandelion leaf.

00:51:45 Jessica Pratt

Plantain, I mean, that’s everywhere too.

00:51:49 Jessica Pratt

Dandelions. Great, I think.

00:51:50 Jessica Godfrey

It’s really it’s got the tannins and maybe postpartum application there for the the  herbs that have more of that tannic quality to the tonify the tissue. Mm-hmm.

00:52:00

Mm-hmm.

00:52:04 Jessica Pratt

Red Raspberry too is like very nourishing for our womb. Yeah, I love that you have a seat and that you I get to hear about it more through your sensual herbalist lens.

00:52:05 Jessica Godfrey

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I really love it. I love it. I tell. I tell people that all the time.

00:52:24 Jessica Pratt

So are there any other like parting words or things that you really want to like? Hit home with the LEIAMOON crew?

00:52:31 Jessica Godfrey

Touch on. Let me see. Let me look back real quick at your kist because it was  really thoughtful.

00:52:42 Jessica Pratt

I was asking too, about herbal medicine. Working for well, you mentioned trauma healing and just make making peace with the body.

00:52:53 Jessica Godfrey

Ohh yeah, I think trauma is so big for a disconnect from the womb and a disconnect from pleasure and receptivity for women. There’s so much grief and pain that a lot of women carry that really tightens energetically around that whole experience of sex and pleasure.

00:53:21 Jessica Godfrey

I hear that from women all the time. Whether it’s one particular event, whether it’s a really negative, shameful self-talk that they’ve carried around for years, whether it’s an upbringing in, you know, in a…. Whether they’re introduced to sex as shameful and dirty in in their childhood, and they carry that around.

Whatever that looks like. Or a traumatic birth!

And you just kind of solidify your yourself into, you know, not being able to open again, to pleasure or explore the body anew. Yeah, I think that’s huge. And I think that.

00:54:12 Jessica Godfrey

I recommend Muira Puama for this all the time. I like the formula #16 for this and I’ve had some women, one in particular, who had lost sensation and was completely incapable of experiencing pleasure or orgasm for years…. And started working with that formula almost daily and is now able to orgasm regularly and has found such an emotional and energetic shift in that work that she’s doing with herself. So not only is she taking the medicine every day with the intention of shifting out of this pattern, she’s gotten herself in…. She’s engorging the genitalia with blood flow, and she’s bringing back all of those emotions and feelings, you know, emotion and emotion. You know, there, there, there’s this link there.

00:55:04 Jessica Godfrey

So another thing that’s hard to talk about through a scientific lens, but when we’re bringing all of this energy and blood flow back to a region where we’ve really cut ourselves off from, all kinds of emotions can come up. So then she’s kind of moving through those with that consciousness and that intention and kind of letting that leave her body. And suddenly she’s having this whole new experience and she’s more at ease.

00:55:28 Jessica Godfrey

And it’s really beautiful to witness that kind of awakening in people. And I think that the herbs are such a supportive part of that practice of “I want to get out of this habit or pattern.” “I want to shift out of this traumatic response.”

And that’s where the herbs and the steam are just such beautiful applications, yeah.

00:55:51 Jessica Pratt

And I think that is a great point too, of having the intentionality or the awareness of what it is that you’re holding and what it is that you’re ready to let go of, release, and shift. And sometimes we’re like, we’re not ready yet and… it doesn’t happen in an instant and I love like the transformational process of steaming in like the literal sense of like, you know, you’re transforming…the water is transforming into the vapor.

 

But then in how it works on the body, that it’s like a slow softening and it is cumulative over time of like how deep you can go with that sensation. But I think you’re right. Like for people that have experienced trauma ranging from the little T’s to the hyper Capital T’s there’s there’s like a seizing or like a  closing that happens as a way to really protect ourselves.

And I think almost every woman I speak to, like has experience or knows that experience in their body, and it can be really compounded over time from when we’re really little.

And having a practice around softening and releasing, especially in your own space and on your own terms where there’s not a threat there and you can talk to your body about being, you know, in its fullness. And in it’s true, like beauty. And that doesn’t have to hide that and that it’s safe steaming with herbs can be a really great venue for, for reconnecting in that way. So I love it for that too. But yeah, it’s like.

00:57:24 Jessica Pratt

There’s so much in it, and you’re right. It’s not like we need a clinical trial for that. It’s an immediate feeling that almost every woman that has an opportunity to  work with their body in this way, connect with their body in this way, can feel immediately. And then when you’re creating ritual or the intention behind it, you know, that’s like also, letting your body know that it has something to depend on, like happening in this rhythmic way too, which I think is really nice.

Where you know like…. The way our menstrual cycle works, steaming can be really great because you can really like, plan for where it happens around menstruation, like whether it’s a few days before or after, is like a cleansing ritual versus like a relaxing ritual before your uterus is about to contract and do the work.

I think it can just be… a very healing thing to kind of set as part of your self-care regimen for the month. But yeah, like anything, it’s really hard to prioritize these practices and your own healing when we’re still kind of working on that like high stress cycle of getting all the stuff done.

00:58:31 Jessica Godfrey

Oh totally. And I think that that people will actively or subconsciously avoid it because they’re afraid of what is going to change. They’re afraid they’re not going to be able to hold up. Maybe that level of productivity or hold up those emotions and “what’s going to happen if I move through them.?”

00:58:50 Jessica Godfrey

So when you first approach some of these tools or practices, I think that that’s subconsciously a reason that people put it off for so long.

00:58:59 Jessica Pratt

That’s a really good point because I think it’s true like the… You know the narrative of being in pain to it can be addictive or like that’s your reason. That’s why you are how you are. You you if the prospect of changing and shifting out of that is on the table for you that can feel really scary and overwhelming like do you do you want that or do you want to continue to be in that place of like this is what I’m going to be a  victim to my whole life.

00:59:28 Jessica Pratt

It really doesn’t have to be that way. But I know that that, yeah, that can be a hard cycle to break.

00:59:33 Jessica Godfrey

Ohh yes. Ohh.

00:59:34 Jessica Pratt

But that’s why these plants are so amazing, like energetically too that it can be like a really soft entry and it can be gradual and you can turn on the gas and you or you can kind of turn on the brakes and it doesn’t have to happen instantly. But yeah.

00:59:50 Jessica Godfrey

Oh yeah, there’s so much there that you’re touching on around that, that victimhood and not staying in the pain. I  was diagnosed with PTSD in in 2015 after my first marriage and and getting out of a PTSD pattern was one of the most difficult things in my life and it took a really long time and a lot of work and a lot of herbs….

And a lot of communicating with the body. You know, we don’t communicate with the body through the mind. Well, we’d all be able to heal ourselves much more easily.

That’s not. That’s not entirely true. The mind is an important tool there, but there are communicating with the body somatically, and in these these subtler ways. It’s really important. And and we’ve forgotten how to do that. This, this steaming is such a valuable practice there.

Teaching body that we’re safe again and letting go of that “This happened to me, So I have to be this…” “I can’t do. I can’t experience this kind of joy. This kind of pleasure. This kind of being at home in the world, in my body again. Because this happened to me…”

And so many people in different ways get into that.

And I remember the experience of meeting this woman that said to me, So what?

01:01:14 Jessica Godfrey

I was like, WTF? You know, I shared this, you know, horrific story that I was living actively in at the time and she said “So what?”

And I it was huge for me, you know, to  think that we can let go of whatever has happened in the past to the extent that it that we can free ourselves from it. And release ourselves from it and really be at home again in, in ourselves is so exciting and terrifying sometimes.

01:01:43 Jessica Pratt

Yeah, and I love that. Like uh, it just reminded me to like that the Community piece or, like the friendship reflective piece of having people look at you and tell you what they’re hearing and seeing and, like supporting each other and offering space to, yeah, to be ourselves and stand in our truth.

And I think that’s such a big part of releasing or at least feeling more comfortable and dropping our stories because like, we’re not alone in that.

And I think we’re all, like, reconnecting as a community of women to allow more….

More of that healing to take place or transformation to take place so that we can feel really good together as a collective. And I know you and I are doing that in our own ways too. So I really appreciate this connection and everything you’re sharing here. And as like female and entrepreneurs doing things differently, I think that’s another arena where we’re like….

01:02:28 Jessica Godfrey

Oh yeah.

01:02:36 Jessica Pratt

You know, co-creating together and supporting each other, so I appreciate this conversation so much.

01:02:43 Jessica Pratt

I want to also let everyone know where they can find you. I know sexpotapothecary.com on Instagram. Sexpot dot apothecary?

01:02:49 Jessica Godfrey

Mm-hmm.

01:02:55 Jessica Pratt

Where else? How else?

01:02:56 Jessica Godfrey

And jessica@sexpotapothecry.com. Reach out anytime. I love hearing from people and I set up calls with people all the time. If they have more questions.

Or it’s easier just to talk about hormones or how the herbs could be supportive. Yeah, I really like the connections with–I love the products and I love the formulas, but when I’m able to really connect with people is even better. So reach out anytime. Yeah.

01:03:28 Jessica Pratt

Thank you. Again, I’ll put all this information in the caption and show notes . And I’m really grateful for your time and energy and everything that you’re making. So thank you so much!

01:03:32 Jessica Godfrey

Thank you.