It’s almost Valentine’s Day. And for me, it’s the perfect time to learn about the best aphrodisiacs for the big day.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. There are always chocolate, oysters, strawberries, almonds. All great aphrodisiacs, but what are some of the lesser-known ones? I did some research on the Internet, and you can find everything you need right here at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market.
Here are a few of my new favorites:
Pine Nuts: Once prescribed by ancient Arabic doctors for their reported powers, pine nuts are high in zinc, a mineral known to enhance male endurance. Pine nuts have been used to stimulate the libido as far back as medieval times. They have especially have been used throughout the Mediterranean and the East for centuries to make up love potions. I make a killer Cesar Salad by adding pine nuts. It will now be my new first-course “love potion.”
Ginger: Ginger has been valued over cultures and centuries as a powerful aphrodisiac and fertility enhancer. Lovers have long relied on ginger’s internal fire-enhancing properties to heat things up. Ginger is also touted as a natural fertility booster, invigorates the reproductive organs and assists with impotency and premature ejaculation. Fertility is not the main goal at my age, but avoiding premature ejaculation might be. I’ll be making gingerbread cookies on February 13.
Basil: Legend has it that wives once used basil as a body powder to keep their men from leaving them — basil’s aroma gives this plant its sensual qualities. Its scent enchants the mind with fresh, crisp, and clean flavors. Bye-bye baby powder…hello enchanting basil powder!
Avocado: The Aztecs believed this fruit to be an aphrodisiac due to its phallic shape. Oh, those funny Aztecs! We now know that avocado nutrition delivers a punch of nutrients essential to sexual health, including beta-carotene, magnesium and vitamin E (which is sometimes called the “sex vitamin.”) Yawza!
Chilies: These powerful peppers are known for getting our blood rushing, heart pumping, (plus, they boost our metabolism). It’s no surprise that chilies can add a little spice to our love lives, too. I throw in a few of these babies with everything I cook. Not so much for the sex – more for the metabolism booster.
Rosemary: Rosemary attracts attention with its powerful scent. Used in medieval times by women in their bath water, it’s now commonly incorporated into captivating perfumes and also makes wonderful additions to stews, soups, and roasts. OK, so I’ll take a bath with it first and then use it when I make my prime rib, all with the same bunch of sprigs!
Asparagus: Asparagus is often considered to be an aphrodisiac because of its suggestive shape. Filled with calcium, potassium, and vitamin E (aka the “natural sex vitamin”), these stalks were once consumed by French lovers before their weddings. Ooh la la!
Grapes: Before they became a staple for great glasses of wine, grapes were considered a sign of ecstasy and fertility. In ancient Greece, it was traditional to offer grape clusters to newlyweds to bless the couple with children. Ancient origin aside, the most sensual and powerful image of grapes is feeding them to your lover off a luscious vine.
Lavender: Lavender has been known throughout history as an herb of love. Women would scent their clothes, linens and trousseau with sprigs of Lavender long before Lavender sachets came about. It has been proven through scientific study that the scent of Lavender is a powerful aphrodisiac and many men cannot resist it. Ok, so rosemary for my bath, basil for my powder and lavender for my perfume. How organic!
The scent of Lavender came to represent purity and chastity and was thought to actually ensure fidelity between partners. Josephine would give Napoleon Bonaparte a drink, which contained among other things a healthy dose of Lavender flowers. Josephine was smart cookie.
See you at the Farmer’s Market!