You know I am no stranger to taboo topics on my site. I am quite happy to discuss darn near anything and that includes topics related to your libido, natural lubricants, and erectile dysfunction. So it just makes sense that I would take on the super fun and tasty subject of aphrodisiacs!
The world of aphrodisiacs is quite large! There are aphrodisiac foods, aphrodisiacs herbs and spices, and aphrodisiac essential oils. All of these hold the potential of increasing your libido and improving your sex life.
Let’s start with the basics shall we?
What is an Aphrodisiac?
For those of you new to the world of aphrodisiacs, let me give you the basics. An aphrodisiac is something that causes excitement, creates pleasure, or instills a sense of sexual desire.
Yes, it is really that simple. The “something” in question can be a food, herb, beverage, a certain scent, or even things like music. Basically, anything that gets you in a certain mood. Ahem.
Today I want to focus on foods and herbs that are known to be pretty effective natural aphrodisiacs for men and women. I will give you the basics on each one and then let you know if I thought it did anything for me. But just because something worked or didn’t work for me, doesn’t mean it will or won’t have the same effect on you. So please – do your own experimenting. I will cover aphrodisiac essential oils as well.
Everyday Aphrodisiac Foods
Is high in a B vitamin known as folate that aids in increasing the production of histamine. Histamine is important for a healthy sex drive in men and women. I can see how this can help your sex drive over the long term. I wouldn’t say it works immediately like some of the other aphrodisiac foods do.
This fruit was one of the most famous aphrodisiac foods in the ancient Aztec times. Even the avocado tree was called “Ahuacuatl” which translates to “testicle tree.” They’re also packed with vitamin E, which is associated with fertility for both sexes. I eat avocado all the time. Can’t say I equate it with an aphrodisiac.
It is high in essential nutrients necessary for great sex. It contains two chemicals, androsterone and adrostenol, which serve as a sexual attractant when ingested. Hahahah! Didn’t work for me. Not even slightly.
Pure, dark chocolate has a centuries old reputation as an aphrodisiac. Chocolate contains phenylethylamine (PEA), which stimulates the same hormone your body releases during sex. It also sparks dopamine production in the brain. It doesn’t take much either. The higher the cocoa content, the quicker it works! Yeah – this one works. Very effective!
While coffee doesn’t normally come to mind when we think of aphrodisiacs, who can resist the morning scent of freshly brewed coffee? In fact, the scent was found to be a major turn on for women in a study conducted by Mindlab International Laboratory in Sussex, UK. Coffee’s hefty dose of caffeine also boosts heart rate and increases blood flow, while its alkaloids can help to maintain sexual performance while also increasing stamina. In addition to all of this, it gives us a rush of dopamine which may help us make an spontaneous decision to ignite a little morning fire. I don’t drink coffee these days but I won’t knock it. I think there is some truth here.
The Spaniards call it the Apple of Love. The eggplant is known for its blood moving properties and can also aid men in semen production. It increases stamina and can balance out hormones. All of these are great qualities when it comes to getting you more in the mood. I like eggplant a lot but can’t say it ever did much for me in the “desire” department.
I LOVE figs so I had to include them in this list. Figs have long been prized as a sensual food for their resemblance of the female sex organs. The ancient Greeks valued figs more precious than gold and many cultures associated figs with fertility. But what makes them an aphrodisiac? Figs are rich in amino acids which does a lot for your whole body. Beyond that – it has everything to do with the fig itself… the scent, the shape, the texture, the flavor. Drizzled with honey and bam!!!! I love figs. I think I mentioned that. Tee hee.
Hippocrates prescribed honey for sexual vigor. According to an old French wives’ tale, a bee sting was supposedly like being given a shot of pure aphrodisiac. Honey contains boron, which may regulate hormone levels, and nitric oxide, which is released in the blood during arousal. Intake of organic raw honey aids in testosterone production, which further increases sexual desire. It’s also a symbol of fertility and procreation in some cultures. I think honey is a better one for the men to try unless you are drizzling figs with it. That’s a double whammy for both men and women.
These are considered a powerful aphrodisiac for women. It is suspected that hormone-like compounds present in fungus may have some similarity to human neurotransmitters released in females during sexual encounters. Unfortunately, the theory also implies that the effects are neutral in men. Interesting eh? From personal experience, I think mushrooms might indeed give me a push in the right directions.
In the days of the Egyptian pharaohs, celibate priests were forbidden to eat onions because of its potential effects to raise their libidinous desires out of control. They are mentioned in many classic Hindu texts on the art of making love and were commonly used as an aphrodisiac in ancient Greece. Do they work? I’m not sure. I haven’t noticed anything special happening after I eat them. And I eat a lot of onions.
Loaded with zinc, which is essential for producing testosterone, pine nuts have reportedly provided men with sexual stamina since the Middle Ages. Did nothing for me but I am a woman so maybe that is why.
The seeds of this delicious and juicy fruit aids in improving blood flow and are believed to enhance genital sensitivity. I think I am too exhausted from the process of getting the seeds out to do much else afterwards but I have found that drinking pomegranate juice does a little something.
In moderation, red wine increases blood flow, relaxes you, and lowers inhibitions. Red wine works. Always. The end.
Have you ever really given thought to their shape? A perfect little red heart…a symbol of love. Beyond that, strawberries get their superpowers from Vitamin C – something that keeps blood flowing. Ahem. I think strawberries are quite romantic myself and dipped in chocolate they can become quite the little aphrodisiac.
This water-rich melon is rich in citrulline. It opens blood vessels and consequently, speeds up the blood circulation, which enhances sexual arousal. I am a watermelon lover but can’t say I really found it to be an aphrodisiac. However, I have known people who have gotten a little randy after consuming it. 😉
There are a ton of other aphrodisiacs foods that I am not highlighting in this post but if you are interested, you might research almonds, beets, chili peppers, date palm wine, guava and sweet potato.
Exotic Aphrodisiac Delicacies
It contains zinc which stimulates the formation of testosterone. It is known to make both women and men sexually energetic and keep them going for a long time. Ahem. Cough cough. Let’s just say I like cavier. A lot.
Mussels and Oysters
Contain large amounts of zinc, which could help correct any deficiencies which could be hindering arousal. Hands down my favorite aphrodisiac. Without a doubt. Why mess with perfection?
An excellent source of protein–essential for stamina–it is also loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, proven to elevate serotonin levels in the brain and thereby enhance mood. This fish is vitamin rich. Its gives a great dose of A, D, B and calcium; which are all known to be necessary for giving the all-important libido lift. Salmon live to spawn. What could be a more perfect aphrodisiac than an animal that lives to reproduce? Be sure to purchase wild salmon. Salmon is one of those aphrodisiacs that is more of a long-term game. I try to eat it regularly.
This is one of the best aphrodisiacs for men. Scallops are rich in vitamins A, E and B, which accelerate nerve impulse transmission, including sexual arousal time. They are also rich in fatty acids and microelements as well selenium and zinc—minerals that improve sex drive. I love scallops and even though I am not a man I do think there is a lot of aphrodisiac potential here.
Many cultures value sea vegetables for their aphrodisiac properties. This may because sea vegetables are high in vitamins B1 and B2, which aid in production of sex hormones. It is also a source of manganese, iodine, and selenium, which may all have an effect on metabolism and mood. While I love my sea veggies, they didn’t exactly have me swinging from the chandelier.
Shrimp provides the body with iodine. Iodine is essential to the thyroid gland and basal metabolism. Iodine deficiency has been documented as reducing sex drive. In addition, like many forms of seafood, it offers Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3’s are great for circulation and vital in the battle against aging. Shrimp also offers a serving of iron and zinc. Best of all, its protein breaks down in the body to the amino acid phenylalanine. This very special amino is proven to increase levels of sex drive-boosting neurotransmitters in the brain. Shrimp is known to have more of an aphrodisiac effect on women than men. I’d say it works for both!
10 Effective Aphrodisiac Herbs and Spices
This herb is warming and pungent, and can increase blood flow, which may account for its aphrodisiac properties. I adore cardamom and it always does seem to elevate my mood. So I’d say maybe this could indeed be an effective aphrodisiac. Grab some cardamom here.
Supposedly this warming herb is best geared towards women. I haven’t noticed anything different after consuming it. I do like these cinnamon sticks though.
This herb increases blood flow and is said to be a better aphrodisiac for men. Didn’t do a thing for me. If you’d like, try these cloves.
A plant from Mexico which is used to stimulate sex drives. The leaves and heads of the plant are mixed with small amounts of plantain and consumed with a meal. Supposedly magic happens short thereafter. My friend swears by it. I have never tried it.
Contains allicin, which increases blood flow. The result may be improved stamina and sexual energy. I’ll vouch for this one especially when consumed in conjunction with mussels or oysters.
A well-known Chinese herb for sexual stamina. While it definitely gave me an energy boost, it didn’t boost anything else. This ginseng supplement is a good one.
Contains phytoestrogen sterols, which affect sex hormones (estrogen and testosterone levels), although exactly how and to what degree has not yet been fully determined. Some believe that the strong smell of licorice may be a factor. I think that there is something to this licorice business. It may have worked once or twice for me. This is the licorice root I used.
This sweet spice’s aphrodisiac reputation dates back to early Hindu cultures, where it was believed nutmeg’s warming properties stimulated sexual appetites while its ability to sweeten breath increased attraction. This herb didn’t do it for me. Too bad since I love it!
Also known as Turkish Viagra, Sultan’s Paste is a thick, pungent, honey based ancient Turkish concoction containing 41 quality herbs and seeds including fenugreek, saffron and ginger. It was originally formulated over 700 years ago for the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. The thick honey blend dissolves into water, and makes a very tasty drink. You can also eat it off a spoon! Its’ ingredients really can improve blood flow and increase energy and sexual desire. You can find Sultan’s Paste here. I have not personally tried Sultan’s Paste but I have no doubt that it works well!
This herb plays on our scent memory – our strongest tie to emotional experiences. So if you had a rather memorable encounter and the scent of rosemary was involved, all it takes is one whiff and those emotions come flooding back bringing with it the need to recreate that moment. I have no experience one way or another with this. Although I might like to create a memory and see what happens.
Vanilla has long been thought of as a natural aphrodisiac. Whether vanilla’s power of seduction is due to some sexy, stimulating ingredients or simply because of it’s sensual, calming scent and exotic taste, is a matter of debate. Either way it is known to kick the libido into high gear! My take seeing that vanilla definitely puts me in the mood? Taste and smell are very important components when it comes to love and romance. There is certainly a connection between the alluring aroma of vanilla and romance. I believe vanilla is a very effective herbal aphrodisiac. This non-toxic vanilla candle is my favorite for setting the mood.
Just in case you want to move beyond the more commonly known herbal aphrodisiacs, there is a little graphic with some more ideas unique to eastern herbalism.
10 Best Aphrodisiac Essential Oils
These ten essential oils have science behind them that proves that they do have some aphrodisiac prowess. They have been used for centuries to help create desire and set the mood both in men and women. And the players are…
Want to learn more about aphrodisiacs used around this world? This article is an absolute must read!
If you are a research junkie like me or simple find yourself curious, I cannot recommend these two books highly enough!
- Lewd Food: The Complete Guide to Aphrodisiac Edibles.
- The Aphrodisiac Encyclopedia: A Compendium of Culinary Come-Ons.
And there you have it! A definitive guide to aphrodisiacs including aphrodisiac foods, aphrodisiac herbs, and aphrodisiac essential oils. These aphrodisiacs for women and men are a must for a better sex life but also just a great addition in daily living.
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