An aphrodisiac is an agent which causes the arousal of sexual desire. The name comes from the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite. Desire can be stimulated by a variety of events or situations. This article focuses on foods to which an aphrodisiac effect has been attributed.
Some aphrodisiacs appear to gain their reputation from the principles of association, e.g. oysters, due to their shape; as well as the phallic-looking rhinoceros horn. Other animal-based aphrodisiacs gain their reputation from the apparent virility or aggressiveness of the animal source, such as tiger penis. The use of rhino horn and tiger penis to enhance male sexuality is popular among the Chinese, although no scientific basis has been established. Turtle eggs eaten raw with salt and lime juice are also said to be an aphrodisiac.
Although no one has ever proven that feeding our appetites will provoke our carnal urge, the belief in aphrodisiacs persists. For centuries men and women have swallowed the most delightful and alarming substances in order to fan their lover’s flames. Are aphrodisiac foods myth of fact? Have we eaten these foods and wondered why a certain sexual euphoria has suddenly taken control?
With its many culinary uses, Aniseed is a very popular aphrodisiac. It has been used as an aphrodisiac since the Greeks and the Romans who believed aniseed had special powers. Sucking on the seeds is said to increase your sexual desire.
Asparagus given its phallic shape, is frequently enjoyed as an aphrodisiac food. Feed your lover boiled or steamed spears for a sensuous experience. The Vegetarian Society suggests, “Eating asparagus for three days will undoubtedly produce the most powerful affect.”
Throughout the ages, Almond has been a symbol of fertility. The aroma is thought to induce passion in a female. Try serving Marzipan (almond paste) in the shapes of fruits for a special after-dinner treat!
Arugula or “rocket” seed has been documented as an aphrodisiac since the first century A.D. This ingredient was added to grated orchid bulbs and parsnips and also combined with pine nuts and pistachios. Arugula greens are frequently used in salads and with pasta.
The Aztecs called the Avocado tree “Ahuacuatl,” which translated means “testicle tree.” The Aztecs thought the fruit hanging in pairs on the tree resembled the male’s testicles. This is a delicious fruit with a sensuous texture. Serve in slices with a small amount of Balsamic vinegar and freshly ground pepper!
The Banana has a marvelous phallic shape and is partially responsible for its popularity as an aphrodisiac food. From a more practical standpoint, bananas are rich in potassium and B vitamins which are necessities for sex hormone production.
Basil 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.
The ground seeds of various plants in the brassica family were believed to increase virility. In the case of Broccoli Rabe, it’s more likely a myth created to get people to eat this bitter vegetable.
The Aztecs referred to Chocolate as a “nourishment of the Gods.” Chocolate contains chemicals thought to effect neurotransmitters in the brain and a related substance to caffeine called theobromine. Chocolate contains more antioxidant (cancer preventing enzymes) than does red wine. The secret for passion is to combine the two. Try a glass of Cabernet with a bit of dark chocolate for a sensuous treat!
The phallic shaped Carrot has been associated with stimulation since ancient times and was used by early Middle Eastern royalty to aid seduction. Carrots are believed to be a stimulant to the male. Perhaps, a justification for a piece of carrot cake?
Caffeine is a well-know stimulant, but remember too much and it becomes a depressant. Serve small amounts of rich, dark coffee in special little demitasse cups. Coffee stimulates both the body and the mind, so partake a little in preparation for an “all-nighter.”
The book of, ” The Arabian Nights” tells a tale of a merchant who had been childless for 40 years, but was cured by a concoction that included Coriander (cilantro seed). That book is over 1,000 years old, so the history of coriander as an aphrodisiac dates far back into history. Cilantro was also known to be used as an “appetite” stimulant.
An open Fig is thought to emulate the female sex organs and traditionally thought of as a sexual stimulant. A man breaking open a fig and eating it in front of his lover is a powerful erotic act. Serve fresh Black Mission figs in a bowl of cool water as it is done in Italy and eat with your fingers!
The “heat” in Garlic is said to stir sexual desires. Make sure you and your partner share it together. Garlic has been used for centuries to cure everything from the common cold to heart ailments. Enjoy a pasta with a light garlic sauce and it may lead up to something spicy in the bedroom later!
Widely practiced in the Victorian Age, peeled Ginger root is used to sensitize the female genitalia and areola to touch and stimulate libido. Perhaps a stir-fry with freshly grated ginger can invigorate the senses for a lovely encounter!
Many medicines in Egyptian times were based on Honey including cures for sterility and impotence. Seducing their partners with “Mead,” a fermented drink made from honey, on their honeymoon was thought to “sweeten” the marriage.
The Chinese have used Liquorice for medicinal purposes since ancient times. The essence of the Glycyrrhiza glabra-Licorice plant is 50 times sweeter than sugar. Chewing on bits of licorice root is said to enhance love and lust. It is particularly stimulating to woman.
Mustard is believed to stimulate the sexual glands and increase desire. Prepare a tenderloin roast (filet mignon) for two with a mustard and peppercorn sauce!
Chinese women highly prized Nutmeg as an aphrodisiac. In quantity, nutmeg can produce a hallucinogenic effect. A light sprinkling of the spice in a warm pumpkin soup can help spice up your evening!
Oysters were documented as an aphrodisiac food by the Romans in the second century A.D. They described the wanton ways of women after ingesting wine and eating “giant oysters.” An additional hypothesis is that the oyster resembles the “female” genitals. In reality, oysters are very nutritious and high in protein.
Zinc is a key mineral necessary to maintain male potency and Pine Nuts are rich in zinc. Pine nuts have been used to stimulate the libido as far back as medieval times. Serve pine nut cookies with a dark espresso for a stimulating dessert!
Pineapple is rich in vitamin C and is used in the homeopathic treatment for impotence. Add a spear to a sweet rum drink for a tasty prelude to an evening of passion!
Raspberries and Strawberries are perfect foods for hand feeding your lover. Both fruits invite love and are described in erotic literature as fruit nipples. They are high in vitamin C and make a sweet light dessert.
The Greeks and the Romans considered the rare Truffle to be an aphrodisiac. The musky scent is said to stimulate and sensitize the skin to touch.
The scent and flavor of Vanilla is believed to increase lust. Fill tall champagne glasses to the rim and add a vanilla bean for a heady, bubbly treat!
A glass or two of Wine can greatly enhance a romantic interlude. Wine relaxes and helps to stimulate our senses. Drinking wine can be an erotic experience. Let your eyes feast on the color of the liquid. Caress the glass and savor the taste on your lips. Do remember that excessive alcohol will make you too drowsy for the after-dinner romance. A moderate amount of wine has been said to “arouse” the senses.
Foods having that appealing shape or that enticing aroma can play havoc with one’s senses. Coupled with verbal deliverance, the sexual stimulus is put into motion and the “aphrodisiac” is conquered for your partner or lover.