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Posts Tagged ‘Aphrodisiacs’

Aphrodisiacs- Happy Valentines Day

Posted by chefmax on February 13, 2010

I first became aware of aphrodisiacs during my time as the Operations Manager of The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in the Napa Valley. Chef Bill Reynolds used to do a lecture on the symbolism, placebo, and real biological effects of food on the human sex drive. He would enter the lecture carrying the largest root vegetable he could find, usually a white dikon radish that was 2-3 feet long. This always got a big laugh (which is another good aphrodisiac). Since that time at Greystone I have had the opportunity to meet others that have been very interested in the food/sex connection. I have referenced a couple in this article and I am very grateful they have done such great research on this subject. One of my main reasons I wanted to become a Chef was to meet girls and play golf.

Some foods, herbs and spices have always been associated with sex throughout history. The Greeks are where we get the term Aphrodisiac, which was named after the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite. Mayans had their drinking chocolate. There have been oysters, figs,

It seems the quest for the perfect love potion has only been slightly behind the quest for everlasting youth. Every culture has a history and lore of herbs, spices, and foods that can be used to stimulate both men and women and to increase or heighten the sexual experience.

What follows below are foods, herbs, spices and some items thought to have been thought to have aphrodisiac properties. Some can be very dangerous and others do not work at all but I have tried to have as complete a list as possible. Some add minerals or stimulants that give us energy. Overall, have fun with it.

*The contents on this page are informational only. Experiment at your own risk.

We take no responsibility the Author, Host, or web-host for misuse.*


Alcohol, is a false aphrodisiac, and just lowers inhibitions. Even alcohol can contribute to erectile dysfunction, according to Karen Boyle, director of Reproductive Medicine and Surgery unit at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore: “These drugs effect blood flow by their actions on arteries and veins and [negatively] impact testosterone levels, and thus libido.” A few drinks are all right, but relying on alcohol to get in the mood could be a sign of a deeper problem.


(Prunus dulcis) have been a symbol of fertility throughout the ages.  The aroma of almonds are thought to induce passionate feelings in a female.


(Pimpinella anisum) Has been a very popular aphrodisiac since the Greek and the Roman times. It is said that just sucking on the seeds can increases your sexual desires.

Areca Nut

(Areca Catechu) is a strong stimulant. Betel seeds are eaten along with Betel leafs, which contain alkaloids that have a stimulating effect on the entire body. Betel seed is a traditional aphrodisiac in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine.


(Ferula assafoetida) This Central Asian spice is also a mild stimulant. Asafetida can be eaten or burned as an incense and is considered the best aphrodisiac from Tibetan Medicine.


(Physalis somnifera) is considered the king of herbs and is also India’s most potent hot plant. Used equally by men and women, supposable widely prescribed by physicians for adults with low libido and to improve sexual function. It is also claimed that it improves memory function.


(Asparagus officinalis ) as an aphrodisiac food, asparagus with it’s phallic shape, has been frequently enjoyed. The Vegetarian Society suggests “eating asparagus for three days for the most powerful affect”.


(Persea americana) The Aztecs referred to the avocado tree as the “testicle tree”. There is no real proof out side of that to make it an aphrodisiacs.


(Musaceae Musa) Banana flowers have a phallic shape and are partially responsible for popularity of the banana as an aphrodisiac food. An early Islamic myth tells the tale that after Adam and Eve succumbed to the “Apple” they started covering their “nudity” with banana leaves rather than fig leaves. Bananas are rich in potassium and B vitamins, which are necessities for sex hormone production.


(Ocimum basilicum) 
Is said to stimulate the sex drive and boost fertility. It is also said to produce a general sense of well being for body and mind.

Broccoli Rabe

(Brassica rapa)
The ground seeds of various plants in the brassica family were believed to increase virility. Broccoli rabe may have been more likely a myth that was created to get people to eat this vegetable that can be very bitter.


B vitamins are involve with production of the synthesis of hormones, energy, and metabolism. B vitamins may be the most important nutrient for healthy function of the nerves. A lower level of B vitamins can mean lower levels of female hormones.


(Atropa Belladonna) is known as Nightshade or the “witch’s plant,” The Greek Thessalian witches combine Belladonna root with wine to make powerful love drinks. It is also rumored to be used middle ages, ancient Rome and by Macbeth of Scotland. Fresh berries are eaten, leaves smoked. An overdose will lead to death via respiratory paralysis.


(Culebra Borrachero ) A strong inebriant from Columbia used as an aphrodisiac which is made from the fresh leaves of the plant. All parts of the plant contain highly active tropane alkaloids, with 80% scopolamine. This is being used in South American, mostly Columbia, kidnap/ rape cases. This plant used to be used by Colombian shamans of the Kamsa’ tribe. Very Toxic.


(Acorus calamus) A Psychotropic drug used as a sexual stimulant in high doses, but can also be a skin irritant. Calamus oil can be added to tea or even better, a bath to promote erection. Calamus has long been the symbol for male love starting in Greek myth.


(Elettaria , or Amomum ) are a sensual spice considered to have aphrodisiac properties. With a peculiar nature; it cools the body when it is hot, and warms it when it is cold. Cleopatra is said to have used cardamom in her baths.


(Daucus carota ) Carrots are believed to be a stimulant for males. The phallus shape has been associated with stimulation since ancient times and is said to have been used by early Middle Eastern royalty to aid in seduction. Carrots are full of high vitamins and beta-carotene.


(Capsicum annuum ) Also known as capsicum, it plays a very large role in blood circulation. When cayenne is ingested, it dilates blood vessels allowing increased blood flow throughout the body, especially in the major organs. The penis benefits greatly from the ingestion of cayenne. It is a widely held belief that cayenne aids in longer lasting erections, with stronger ejaculations and more intense orgasms.

Chile Peppers

(Capsicum ) Their heat releases endorphins, the pleasure enzymes. Just wash your hands very well after cutting them.


Chocolate has phenylethylamine and serotonin, two chemicals that light up pleasure areas in the brain. Chocolate is similar to sex in that it makes you feel good. The Aztecs associated it with their goddess of fertility. We put it in Valentines Day. It may not work, but it is fun trying.


(Cistanche deserticola) One of the more popular and more potent, yin-yang tonic herbs is found in many formulas designed to strengthen sexual function. Cistanches has been widely used to alter the fertility of both sexes, impotence for men and infertility for women. The ancient classics indicate that Cistanches increases both the flow of yang energy and blood flow to the genitals. None of this has been proven scientifically.


(Cinnamomum zeylanicum) The bark of the tree is used and has a stimulant sensation. This spice is used in cooking or as massage oil. Did you ever wonder why you were feeling romantic at Cinnabun?


(Eugenia caryophyllata) Used as a stimulant, as spice or oil, that has reported strong antiseptic and stimulating properties.

Cnidium Seeds

(Cnidium monnieri ) A sexual stimulant and longevity herb increases fertility, prevents premature ejaculation and weak sexual potency. Cnidium seed was often used in combination with Cuscuta seed in aphrodisiac formulations, since the two seeds are said to work well when combined.


(Coriandrum sativum) Refers to the whole plant but also the seed of the Cilantro plant. This has been used as a stimulant since ancient Egypt and Palestine. They would add coriander to wine to increase the sperm production. They also used to add seawater to the wine to make it more palatable. Sounds like the wine had issues. Use sparingly for some people do not like cilantro at all.


(Turnera diffusa) Damiana grows in Mexico, Central America and the southern parts of California and is known to increase the sharpness of a female orgasm. The Mayan Indians and the natives of Mexico have used Damiana leaf for generations. Made into a tea or used in Margaritas instead of triple sec.


(Known as Horny Goat Weed or Yin Yang Huo). Benefits are known to stimulate sexual desire, increases sexual activity, increase sperm production and increase sexual stamina.


( Foeniculum vulgare ) Fennel, as an aphrodisiac, dates back to the Egyptian times where it was used as an enhancement for the libido. During the 1930’s fennel was found to be a source of natural plant estrogens.


(Ficus carica ) Cut a fig in half and it is thought to emulate the female sex organs- Yonic symble. Figs have traditionally been thought of as sexual stimulant.


(Allium sativum) Essential oils have antibiotic and cell-activating effects. Used as an aphrodisiac since the Egyptians, the Romans consecrated it to Ceres the goddess of fertility. Make sure you both eat it so the fragrance is balanced.


(Zingber officinarum) A root eaten cooked, pickled, or made into tea and used as a stimulant. Ginger has a spicy/hot quality that heats up like fire in the body.


(Ginkgo Biloba) Aphrodisiac benefits that is said to increased sexual energy. Ginkgo has a circulation enhancer called terpene lactone which increases cerebral and genital blood flow. This enhances the production of dopamine, adrenaline and other neurotransmitters in the brain. This is responsible for improved pleasure arousal and alertness.


(Panax) Studies have suggested that the ginsenoside components including phytoestrogen have an effect on human sexual desire. Native Americans and ancient Chinese medicine have known this for millennia.


(Gynostemma pentaphyllum) Is widely believed to have age delaying abilities and is great for senility and fatigue. It is also known to increase sexual functions, vigor, and digestion and to reduce oxygen deficiency at high altitudes.


In Egyptian times honey was used in cures for sterility and impotence.  Medieval seducers plied their partners with Mead, a fermented drink made from honey.  A “Honeymoon” was a time that in-laws would give a months worth of mead, which it was thought to sweeten the marriage.


(Equisetum Myriochaetum) is from Central America and contains mostly silica. Horsetail is used to stimulate immune system and an infusion made out of fresh stalks may improve erections. This can also be very toxic.


(Piper methysticum ) A well-known Polynesian invigorator that increases performance. The ritual drink is made from the roots, and fermented which produces psychotropic and aphrodisiac qualities. This also can be very toxic.


(Macrocystis pyrifera) Kelp is rich in many vitamins and minerals, among them iodine like oysters, which is necessary for the proper function of the thyroid gland. Low levels of iodine can result in excessive physical fatigue and a low sex drive.

Liquorice Root

(Glycyrrhiza glabra) Liquorice has a very positive effect on the adrenal glands and helps to optimize hormone levels. The adrenal glands produce sex hormones and are needed for a healthy sex drive. A loss of libido produces less energy and poorer sexual responses and may be because of the reduction of these hormones from the adrenal glands. Liquorice root has been used all over the world and is a very positive ingredient. It can be overdone though and become toxic.


(Dimocarpus longan) This is a an ancient fruit from China that is said to be used to for a fantastic sex tonic.


(Levisticum Officinale) is a stimulant that is ingested as a spice. It is said that the fresh roots of lovage are used to prepare a love drink that makes a woman melt. I need to go plant some right now.


Is an amino acid, building block of protein, Tyrosine is believed to decrease reactions to stress, stimulate the sex drive and have aphrodisiac properties. Tyrosine is frequently used to alleviate depression, which can be a major block to normal sexual drive and enjoyment.


(Lepidium meyenii) A root that has been used for around 2,000 years as a medicine that enhances strength, endurance and an aphrodisiac. Currently being studied as a possible Viagra type medicine.

Mace and Nutmeg

(Myristica fragrans) Asia, Africa, Greece, Eruope. The nutmeg tree is a wide evergreen, native to the Spice Islands of Indonesia. It has been used in India as a spice and medicinally as early as 700 BC. Mace and nutmeg are two spices from the same fruit. Nutmeg is the dried kernel, or seed of the tree, and mace the dried shell that surrounds the seed. Nutmeg is sweeter and more aromatic and delicate than mace. Nutmeg is believed to convey strength and enhance sexual dexterity. It has been used in love magic potions. Myristicin, the main component of nutmeg, is used as the base of the “love drug” MDA or ecstasy.

Morning Glory

(Ipomoea aquatica) This plant is only available in Texas because of its toxicity. A strong psychedelic plant of prophecy when seeds are ingested. Used in pre-Columbian times for gynecological problems, divinatory and religious purposes. The seeds contain lysergic acid derivatives that cause uterine contractions.


(Kasturi) From the musk deer called Kasturi Mriga was used for an immune modulator as equally as it was for an aphrodisiac by ancient physicians. It was considered a medicine of last resort.


(brassica nigra) Monks were forbidden to eat mustard because of its simulative, irritant, and promotion of virility.


(bivalve mollusks) Several foods such as (asparagus, avocados, bananas, carrots,) have been considered aphrodisiacs because they resemble the penis or testicles. Oysters, as do figs, resemble a vagina.  Romans placed the oyster very high on their list of aphrodisiacs. The legend goes that Casanova would eat 50 raw oysters for breakfast. Oysters are high in zinc, which is necessary for sperm production. Oysters are also high in D-aspartic acid and N-methyl-D-aspartate, which has been shown to increased testosterone levels in one study. In theory increased testosterone levels should lead to increase libido.


(Petroselinum crispum) This can be a strong irritant in high doses can cause an abortion, but can be also cause sexually stimulating. The stalk is said to have been used for love magic and the root is mixed into witch ointments intended to induce erotic energy.


(Piper nigrum) stimulant, love magic agent, contains alkaloids– has irritating effects on mucous membranes. Cubeb pepper (Piper Cubeba) has substances that stimulate the sex drive.


(Ananas comosus) Used for impotence, pineapple is rich in vitamin C.

Pine Nuts

(Pinaceae Pinus)
Pine nuts a re a great source of Zinc and is a key mineral necessary to maintain male potency.   Pine nuts have said to have been used to stimulate the libido as far back as Medieval times.


(Papaver somniferum) A dangerous inebriant, narcotic, that may cause sexual stimulation.

Prickly poppy

(Argemone Mexicana ) A narcotic when smoked it was as an analgesic by the Mayas and Aztecs. The dried leaves and flowers are smoked as an aphrodisiac.


(Rubus strigosus) 
This is a perfect food feeding your lover by hand. Reminiscent of “nipples” and high in vitamin C.

Rhino Horn

Rhino horn has been prized by some as an aphrodisiac, offers no such sexual power; and its illegal.

Chinese medicine has used it for other ailments as well as aphrodisiac but it is very questionable whether it works. The horns look a little like an erect penis but besides that it does nothing.


(Rosmarinus Officinales) has a strong erotic effect upon the skin. Mostly ingested as spice, rosemary can be added to a bath or wine although I would not suggest adding it to your wine. The herb contains essential oils that have a psychotropic effect.


(Crocus sativus) Can be a stimulant or inebriant depending on the dosage, sun dried filaments ingested stimulates sexual desires for women. The essential oil can evoke long, distinctive orgasms. In high doses saffron oil is toxic and can be abortive.


(Sassafras Albidium) was the love tree of American Indians and it contains safrole, the basis of modern love drug MDMA and is a mild psychedelic. The empathogen and root cortex was used for brewing love drinks. The oil is used for erotic massage. Do not take more then 100 mg of Sassafras oil!

Saw Palmetto

(Serenoa Serrulata) The fruits can be eaten or the fermented juice has been made into a love drink which promotes circulation in the genitals. Also, contains essential oils, fatty acids, and estrogen-like compounds.

Schizandra Fruit

(Schisandra chinensis) Aphrodisiac that produces abundant sexual fluids, increase sexual endurance, and strengthen the whole body. Used by Chinese royalty and by Daoist masters.

Spanish Fly

(Lytta vesicatoria) Is not a fly but a blister beetle, indigenous to Europe. This is a potentially deadly aphrodisiac. The beetle is ground-up and contains a caustic acid-like juice called cantharidin. When  ingested and eventually excreted, it causes a burning and swelling sensation in the urinary tract misconstrued as sexual stimulation. Cantharidin is toxic, and the victims are usually women who unwittingly consume the powder in a drink. A lot of Spanish Fly sold today is just pepper or something to make you feel hot.


(Arthrospira platensis, and Arthrospira maxima) An algae that is said to effect women sexually giving them more intense sensations


(Fragaria ananassa) Like the raspberry, this is a perfect food feeding your lover by hand. Reminiscent of “nipples” and high in vitamin C.


(Helianthus annus) A stimulant, flower petals that are made into tea which contain chlorogenic acid, and vitamin E. This has a sexually stimulating effect. Some people cook the fresh petals in oil and eat them with salt and pepper.


(Fungi tuber) The musky scent of a truffle is said to stimulate and sensitize the skin to touch. Both the Greeks and the Romans considered the Truffle to be an aphrodisiac. The male pig is used to find and dig up truffles in Europe because the truffle sent is similar to a female pig in heat.


(Vanilla planifolia) A stimulant, ingested as a tincture, together with cocoa and arrowroot. Vanilla does increase levels of catecholamines (including epinephrine, more commonly known as adrenaline). This may be the reason it feels like an aphrodisiac.


(Triticum aestivum) Is said to strengthen the sexual organs if the wheat germ, oil or sprouts are ingested. Wheat contains estrogen and vitamine E that helps to strengthen the sexual organs.

Wild Rose Shrub

(Rosa) A floral stimulant, especially for women, that is used in love magic in tea or love potions. The oil from the rose is used as perfume. The Wood Rose (Argyreia nervosa) from Hawaii is a vine plant, that is said to have psychodelic seeds. The seeds contain indole alkaloids; lysergic acid amide and ergoline, both of which cause euphoriant and aphrodisiac effect.


(Achillea millefolium) a stimulant, love tonic and an additive for tea or wine. As an aphrodisiac, yarrow is chewed raw or drunk as a tea a few hours before intercourse.


(Cananga Odorata) originates from Asia and is used as an oil. Ylang-ylang can be inhaled or used internally or externally for impotency and frigidity. A highly erotic body lotion  is made when mixed with coconut oil.


(Pausinystalia Yohimbe) a bark from a West African evergreen tree. Yohimbine is said to improve sexual function in men and can increases proneness to arousal. It can also induce nervousness, anxiety, and too much yohimbe can kill you.


(atomic number 30, Zn) A mineral essential for healthy sexual function and the health of the sexual organs. Zinc is involved with production of several hormones involved with genital function and has been used to treat infertility.

*The contents on this page are informational only. Experiment at your own risk.

We take no responsibility the Author, Host, or web-host for misuse.*


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