Editor’s note: The author is not a nutritional expert. Please heed warnings about consumption amounts.
Your body is a machine that runs on fuels derived from the foods we eat. It is no wonder that our eating habits can significantly affect our sexual health. The right foods can affect the health or our heart, nerves, blood, muscles, immune system, and influence the health of our sexual organs. Moreover, our sexuality not only has to do with our sexual organs; our sexual experience starts with how we feel physically and how attractive we seem to others. According to Rick and Lorie Baker, authors of the book Herbal Aphrodisiacs: A Turn-On for Lovers, aphrodisiacs affect and influence the chemistry of sex in our bodies. For instance, the Pituitary Gland, which is in charge of producing hormones that influence all other glands and regulates sexual activity. In order to function properly, this gland needs an ample supply of vitamins B, B2, and E. Conversely, adrenal glands need an ample supply of Vitamin C to regulate female sex hormones.
You may not have to run to the health store to stack up on herbs and spices that can improve your libido as you can easily find some sexual boosters in your kitchen. The following aphrodisiacs are commonly used foods and spices in many households.
Red Capsicum (Cayenne Pepper): A spicy-hot red pepper, it grows and can be found almost anywhere in the U.S. Cayenne is a positive stimulant, which helps purify the system, increases blood circulation, and strengthens the immune system, among other properties. Daily consumption is known to increase sex drive.
Vanilla: When used as a flavoring, the amount of vanilla is too small to stir up any erotic results. However, larger quantities of vanilla have aphrodisiac effects. CAUTION: Large amounts of vanilla can be harmful, so use it sparingly. Usually, 2 to 3 pods of vanilla per day are sufficient to boost libido.
Cinnamon: In the Middle Ages, cinnamon was thought to be an aphrodisiac. Cinnamon has been measured to increase heat in the body, and increase appetite, both physical and sexual. Moreover, a drop of cinnamon oil rubbed onto the genitals can produce a powerful sexual stimulation.
Ginger: Ginger is a good stimulant for sex organs and the body in general. The dried root or the root powder can be used to make tea. Ginger is known to help the circulatory system and improve sexual arousal.
Garlic: Rich in iodine, it stimulates the thyroid gland, which produces hormones that are essential for sexual health. Additionally, garlic has been associated with improved stamina and libido. Make sure the odor of garlic will not turn into a libido-killer.
Cardamom: This aromatic spice has been deemed by certain cultures as a powerful aphrodisiac. This spice is high in cineole, which increases blood flow to the areas to which it is applied.
Raw Unfiltered Honey: Honey is believed to be effective to boost sex drive. Moreover, the word honeymoon comes from a tradition called “honey month”—when married couples in Persia drank mead (fermented honey) every day for a month to promote libido. Rich in B vitamins and boron, these compounds stimulate testosterone and help the body metabolize and use estrogen.
Nutmeg: Dating back to ancient times in China, women prized nutmeg as an aphrodisiac. Studies have shown that nutmeg significantly increases mating behavior in mice, with further research suggested for humans. CAUTION: Large quantities of nutmeg can produce a hallucinogenic effect.
Fennel: Fennel has been reported to increase libido. The essential oils of fennel have been considered to be an active estrogenic agent, thus helping in the production of estrogen. CAUTION: doses greater than about a teaspoon can be toxic.
Paprika: Considered to have warming effects, this spice is also valued as an aphrodisiac.
Saffron: Studies have shown the aphrodisiac effects of saffron. In ancient India, saffron was mixed with milk (a drink named kesar milk) and taken by couples to increase libido as part of their wedding rituals.
Basil: Known as an ancient aphrodisiac, basil is believed to boost fertility, boost sex drive, promote circulation, and producing a general sense of well-being. In fact, women used to dust their breasts with dried and powdered basil, which drove men wild!
Aniseed: Ancient Greeks and Romans named this food an aphrodisiac believed to increase female sexual desire and promote arousal. Aniseed has estrogenic compounds (female hormones), and it has been reported to produce effects similar to testosterone.
You may have everything you need to improve your sexual health and increase your libido in your kitchen pantry. That spices can act as aphrodisiacs is plausible, especially if you practice good nutritional habits. Eating right can improve our overall health, thus improving our sex life. So next time you open your kitchen pantry or your refrigerator, be aware that you may be cooking something that can spice up your life; your love life that is!
I have not used cinnamon as an aphrodisiac. However, when I smell cinnamon, I get a warm and cozy feeling that is very soothing for me. I guess it puts me in a good mood. I will test it, however, as an aphrodisiac. It may work! —Lourdes V., San Juan, PR
I love the smell of basil. But now that I’ve heard that it can be used as an aphrodisiac, I will add lots of it to my foods. —Jasmin O., Dallas, TX
I have heard that cinnamon can make your lips pouty and sexy. I have tried it and it provides a tingling sensation that is very pleasurable. I am thinking about putting some on my genitalia and see how it feels! —Anna V., Chicago, IL
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