With Valentine’s Day upon us, many couples look to turn up the heat in the bedroom and these twenty natural aphrodisiacs will give you a helping hand.
Aphrodisiacs – named after the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite – are foods, herbs, spices, drinks and scents that help to boost sexual desire so if you’re looking to spice things up this Valentine ’s Day and far into the future, then try out these twenty foods, drinks, herbs and fragrances that are sure to get you, and your partner, in the mood.
1. Oysters are probably the food most commonly associated with being an aphrodisiac. They are rich in the nutrient zinc which is responsible for increasing testosterone production – a key factor in enhancing both male and female libido.
2. Chocolate is a nutritional powerhouse when it comes to stimulating sexual desire. A compound known as phenylethylamine contained within chocolate stimulates the same hormone your body releases during sex. Dark chocolate also causes the production of dopamine – the body’s feel good chemical – when consumed.
3. The heart-shape of strawberries lends itself to being an incredible natural aphrodisiac. In rural France, strawberry soup is sometimes served to newlyweds to enhance the honeymoon romance. Dipped in melted dark chocolate, this makes the perfect aphrodisiac food.
4. Another food with a high zinc content is pumpkin seeds. These little seeds heighten sexual arousal while also increasing fertility. As an added benefit, the omega-3 fatty acids present help to unclog arteries and capillaries improving general health, and improving blood flow to the nether regions.
5. Chilli peppers contain a compound called capsaicin which heats the body and increases blood flow. It also results in the release of endorphins, a feel good chemical that may result in enhanced sexual desire. On top of this, the chilli causes external signs of sexual desire such as swollen lips and flushed cheeks.
6. Watermelon works in much the same way as Viagra does – an ingredient known as citrulline is converted to arginine which boosts nitric oxide which helps to relax blood vessels and improve blood circulation, including to the sexual organs.
7. Cinnamon is a magical spice that we’ve previously revealed is a fantastic natural weight loss aid, but research also suggests it’s an incredible aphrodisiac. High blood sugar restricts blood flow to both male and female sexual organs. Cinnamon helps to lower blood sugar levels allowing blood to flow to the most intimate of areas. Sprinkle a little in your morning coffee or grab a cinnamon bun to make the most of this wonderful spice.
8. Cardamom is a warming spice native to India that has long been regarded as an aphrodisiac. Grind it down and sprinkle over curries, stir frys and soups to stimulate blood flow. Alternatively, crush and brew with boiling water for a cardamom aphrodisiac tea.
9. Ginger has an incredible number of health benefits, and also has historical uses as aginger aphrodisiac natural aphrodisiac. French legend Madame du Barry reportedly served ginger to all of her lovers, including Louis XV. Ginger, served fresh, pickled, candied, or as a herbal tea, helps to improve circulation while also increasing sensitivity in the sexual organs.
10. FertliTea, a herbal tea containing a blend of green tea, red raspberry, ladies mantle, nettle leaf and peppermint leaf is primarily designed to increase fertility, but there is evidence to suggest that it also helps to stimulate libido while balancing hormones.
11. Coconut water extracted from young green coconuts contains more electrolytes than most sports drinks, according to research published in the August 2009 issue of U.S. News & World Report, and the same number as human blood. Rich in potassium, magnesium and calcium and with an ability to balance pH, coconut water raises energy naturally while also stimulating blood flow. It is also rich in fiber, which reportedly makes us feel fitter and leaner and enhances sexual self-confidence.
12. If consumed in moderate quantities, red wine helps to relax blood vessels and lower inhibitions. Make a mulled wine enriched with ginger and cinnamon for an even more potent natural aphrodisiac.
13. Garlic, with its pungent aroma, may seem to be a surprise inclusion in this list of natural aphrodisiacs, but it is rich in allicin, a compound responsible for increasing blood flow, stimulating sexual desire and even improving sexual performance.
14. Basil is a versatile herb that can be chopped and sprinkled over soups and salads to increase heart rate, blood flow and libido.
15. Ginseng works in a number of ways to stimulate sexual desire. Firstly, it is an effective stress reliever which is one of the most common causes of sexual dysfunction. Secondly, ginseng contains compounds commonly known as ginsenosides which are reported to enhance physical performance, boost energy and increase vitality. Finally, ancient Chinese Medicine believes that the phallic shape of ginseng is one of the major reasons for its aphrodisiacal properties.
16. Ashwagandha is a herb from the Ayurvedic system which has been found to balance both the male and female sex hormones. It is reported to bring “the strength of the stallion” to a man and is a food of love for a woman.
Aphrodisiac Scents & Fragrances
17. The scent of clary sage essential oil has been identified as an effective anxiety and tension reliever, while also treating frigidity and increasing libido. Light up a clary sage candle to get you in the mood.
18. Applying a few drops of jasmine essential oil to the back of a woman’s neck acts as a fantastic natural aphrodisiac and can help to stimulate both sexual partners. Burning jasmine incense can further enhance the effect.
19. TheGreenBeautyGuide reports that the crystalized root of angelica essential oil has been used since the 19th century to help women raise libido and sexual desire. Take a look at this libido boosting angelica fragrance recipe and let it help you get in the mood.
20. Sandalwood essential oil has a musky fragrance very similar to human sweat. It is this scent that gives sandalwood its aphrodisiacal properties.