Lad's love

Artemisia abrotanum


Lad's love - Artemisia abrotanum Author:  André Karwath aka   Aka

Aphrodisiac properties

‘Sotherne wood being laid under ye beeds [sic] head, doth provoke venery.’

In early modern England, medical writers attempted to assist couples who struggled to conceive through promoting aphrodisiacs or, 'provokers of venery'! Above, is a quote from Anthony Lewis’ 1606 book, ‘Medical Receipts’ advising that placing a few sprigs of lad's love increases the likelihood of a sexual encounter. (

The name Lad's Love was born from a tradition in which young men would bring their lovers a bouquet of flowers with the plant inside. Often known as sotherne wood, it may also be called maiden's ruin or maid's passion, which quite obviously alludes to its stimulating effect on young lovers. (,

Funnily enough, it may also be called ‘Old Man’s Beard’ though we are not sure its aphrodisiac qualities can explain this one.