What do your favourite after dinner mints taste of – yes peppermint, that pre-curser to bedroom fun and antics. Girls who put peppermint into their baths definitely take on a very sexy aroma. The aphrodisiac comes from the menthol which is naturally found in mint plants and will help boost male libido, and can prevent erectile dysfunction even increase penis size. Pass the Polo’s!
There is much belief that aromas are a huge sexual turn on – in that case horseradish must get the gold award. Eaten with fine roast beef or smoked salmon it suggests luxury and that can prove highly seductive. It’s a fact that sex starts in the mind and works its magical way into your body. Think of horseradish, that great big, creamy, spicy root and that will surely make your eyes water in anticipation…
This anise scented bitter emerald green spirit has been the tipple of the Paris set in the 30s, artists, painters, poets and writers and of course Oscar Wild. Absinthe shared with a lover, sipped slowly will lull you into such a desperate passionate mood. Girls with girls, guys with guys all have a story tell about absinthe seduction This beverage contains ‘wormwood’ which it is said has ‘mind shifting abilities’ better go easy on this one.
This is the most expensive ‘love herb’ but well worth the money. Not only does it spice up your cooking, it will also spice up your fun between the sheets. But first take a bath scented in saffron – Cleopatra used this before long love making sessions with her Roman. Used in cooking from the Mediterranean coast through the Middle-East to Asia, it is a formidable hero ingredient in this great summer salad - Indian Tomatoes with Saffron. A salad of cherry tomatoes, garam masala, turmeric, saffron, spring onions and olive oil – sexy, seductive and delicious.
Green olives are believed to make men more virile, while black olives are known for increasing a woman's sexual desire. What does the phrase ‘extra-virgin’ olive oil really mean? Dip pimento stuffed olives in melted chocolate and feed these ‘love bombs’ to you blindfolded lover. It may get a bit messy but who cares. In ancient Rome around what we now know as St Valentines Day, young Romans would get drunk and use animal hides to whip women they wanted for sex – it is also said that the women lined up for the punishment as they believed it made them better lovers. Time to rejuvenate this one!
Eating mussels as a prelude to sex is a must – there is a proven link between mussels and sex - ask any beautiful young Greek you fancy! Mussels definitely boost libido with the sex hormone D-aspartic acid and like many similar sea foods are rich in zinc. Prepare a dish of fresh mussels steamed in garlic, parsley and white wine, finished with cream and chunks of crusty bread with a chilled glass of Pouilly Fume. Then conduct your own research into the link between sex and mussels and their desire inducing effect.
Vanilla has such a sexy scent, late night vanilla ice cream, the ‘porn star martini uses vanilla in its composition, vanilla scented candles definitely promote a sexual scene about to happen. Pop a few drops of vanilla essence into a hot shared bath and your sensuous inner desire will be awakened – promise. If you want a dish that’s exotic as well as erotic present your lover with a sharing platter of coconut vanilla prawns served with saffron rice.
That’s prawns cooked in vanilla, rum, coconut milk and thick cream. Wow!
Just imagine you are sitting under the shade of a palm tree on a soft lounger and your lover, kneeling beside you feeding you ‘grapes’. OK grapes have a
history going back to ancient Egypt. Imagine Cleopatra being fed grapes by Mark Anthony – oh la, la. To take grapes a stage further they make wine which has devout connections in every type and style of romance. Pour another glass and take her to bed - go on…
If you need a little sexy romantic nudge then consider mixing radish with honey – it’s a proven oriental aphrodisiac. In Japan, radish served in many ways is considered ‘erotic’, its small nipple like red flesh with a crunchy spice taste certainly teases the taste buds and sparks arousal. It is, as we say, a sexually charged vegetable.
The history of lobster as an aphrodisiac goes back to Greek mythology, but more important is that if your lover has either cooked lobster for you or treated you at your favourite restaurant – it has passion scored into its delightful pink shell. A favourite of Aphrodite, it certainly enhances lovemaking. Picture the scene, a barbeque on the beach, lobster bought from a local fishing boat cooked to perfection as the sun slides behind the billowing sails, he turns to you and cracking the shell with his fingers he feeds you – lobster, passion and then …
The beautiful vision of a peach and its cute bottom or pert cleavage is enough to class it as an aphrodisiac, however fresh peaches are believed to drive girls wild with passion, sweet, soft and delicious. The Chinese consider them a magical sexual foreplay and their powerful ingredients will increase sexual performance. On lazy summer nights serve your lover a chorizo, peach and mozzarella salad with a crème de pêche infused ice tea, lay back and let it happen…
Lavender becomes a powerful aphrodisiac when cooked or used in drinks.
It’s aroma can drive men horny wild and it gives the girls a good sexy nudge as well. First make a lavender syrup by boiling lavender flowers with water and white sugar, let it cool and bottle it then make a sensuous lavender cocktail with home made lavender syrup, vodka and freshly squeezed lemon juice serve as a martini over crushed ice. Prepare tiny crisp lavender potatoes to serve alfresco with the martini and you’ll notice the twitching beginning in their knickers.
Flowers often are an offering of sexual passion and intent – you know those 12 red roses mean more that they look… Edible flowers are very sensuous and will no doubt tickle your taste buds. Make an edible necklace to be nibbled with viola, nasturtium, corn flowers and geraniums. Scatter flower petals along the floor leading to the bedroom – then make your lover crawl along the line to find you – bring them on…
Courgette flowers or zucchini which sound just so much more sexy, can be stuffed with fish mousse and shared, or deep fried with tangy cheese while summer salads al fresco call out for fresh garden fruit and colourful edible flowers.
Fenugreek really improves testosterone levels in men and that means greater sex. This erect, strongly scented, robust annual, bush has been used as an aphrodisiac dating back to ancient Greece. Mediterranean women are known to use it to strengthen their sex drive.
Rustle up a hot and spicy Methi Merg Indian curry with chicken and fenugreek and watch the spices develop into ‘full of eastern promise’ romp.
This bulbous aphrodisiac contains phytoestrogens – the literal Greek translation of this word is a plant that creates sexual desire in women!!
If you are cooking get Florence fennel with its wispy fronds and celery like taste. Fennel oil is sweet and aromatic and great in a salad dressing.
Slip into something seductive and then barbeque smoked trout, with char grilled slices of fennel and a warm apple and beetroot sauce. Serve it on a blanket under the setting sun and wow…
Used for thousands of years for its aphrodisiac properties and was the standard ration of the Roman legends that conquered the western world. Use pearled farro to make a farro and porcini mushroom risotto with wild thyme and fresh lemons. Serve in a large bowl with hot crusty bread and share with your lover.
Cucumber definitely plays a part in sexual arousal. According to Alan Hirsch of The Smell & Taste Treatment Research Foundation, women taking part in a 2006 study on arousing scents were most turned on by the smell of cucumber with black licorice. The shape and size can be quite useful too but don’t mistake this for something that needs batteries!
Not an aphrodisiac by any merit of vitamin or mineral content, cream is here because it’s so useful in food sex play. If you can’t get draft a can of squirty whipped cream can be wondrous in the bedroom.
Apply a whipped cream bikini and a couple of Maraschino cherries and invite your partner to lick it off.
Cinnamon and milk have been proved to have real sexual benefits. Ladies report a tighter pussy and longer enjoyment after drinking cinnamon milk. Alternatively a little drop of cinnamon oil on your genitals will be heaven scent.
Try a bowl of cinnamon porridge with fresh strawberries to set the scene for exciting Sunday morning sex.
This is the world’s most traded commodity which says a lot for it. Where would we be in the kitchen without freshly milled black pepper, the aroma alone is very seductive and for centuries the Arab culture recommended it for its lust inducing properties. As versatile as sex itself black pepper raises the game (and lowers the knickers) on fresh strawberries, the perfect steak au poivre or Pasta Carbonara.
The golden, tender apricot had been known as an aphrodisiac for centuries. In the court of James I they were referred to as ‘apricocks’. Even Titania in Shakespeare’s Midsummer Nights Dream fed apricots to Bottom to fancy her…
Aniseed is a sexually powerful herb according to the ancient Greeks and Romans, who recommended sucking the seeds to increase libido.
Try a shot of ice cold ouzo as foreplay or serve Prawns Sambucca.
These crunchy nuts exude an aroma which is particularly arousing when toasted.
Known as an age old aphrodisiac, leading to a higher sex drive, these are the ones to plan in your menu whether they are whole, flaked, ground or even the essence. Watch their knickers slide down slippery thighs after feeding them layers of strawberries, acacia honey and home made almond ice cream topped with crumbled dark chocolate. Even a steamy bowl of creamy white almond soup will get the job done…
The Aztecs called chocolate as the nourishment of the gods. All chocolate is good but dark chocolate, the king of aphrodisiacs, with a high cocoa content is what makes the magic happen more. Chocolate is the surest way to get into a better mood and contains substances believed to evoke the same reaction in the body as falling in love.
The Aztecs allegedly called the avocado "ahuacuatl" - their word for 'testicle'... but if that doesn't turn you on (it doesn't do much for us either) avocados are at least a veritable treasure trove of vitamins and good stuff.
The flesh of the avocado is without doubt sensuous & silky but there are good things beneath that dark green skin. Avocados are rich in Vitamins E & B6
as well as potassium. All of these help relieve stress – always a good thing. They will also help you look good. High sterol levels in avocado oil help boost collagen production, keeping skin soft, supple & springy and lips plump & ready, Aphrodisiac Food indeed!
It’s all about the potassium. While the phallic shape may immediately fuel the passion, and that’s enough to get this fruit on the aphrodisiac list, the banana is also making an appearance due its levels of potassium and B vitamins which aid your sex hormone production and help deliver muscle strength, so in theory intensifies orgasm. Get your lover to undress one and then eat it! See what we mean by Aphrodisiac Food.
Champagne packs a poky punch of aphrodisiac trace minerals. These include potassium, zinc & magnesium, all absolutely essential for male & female sex hormone production. It is also said that the yeasty bouquet of dry Champagne accurately mimics the scent of female sex pheromones.
The ritual involved in serving champagne is testament enough. There is a pent up energy in the heavy reinforced bottle, a teasing provocation in the undressing & unwiring of the bottles phallic neck & bulbous cork. The release is either sudden with a foamy jet of excitement or controlled as the pressure is released with a sigh of anticipation. The choice is yours…
The faintly mushroomy smell of a ripe Camembert is apparently stimulating to both sexes. Cheese boasts an array of goodies including one shortened to PEA which triggers the release of the pleasure – craving chemical dopamine. Some varieties contain as much a ten times that of chocolate Aphrodisiac Food indeed!.
Try a simple cheese fondue by baking it in the oven in its box. Here comes the sensuous bit. Dip in crusty bread and crisp fresh crudités – be careful not to drop anything in or you will have to pay a forfeit!
Eggs are a storehouse of vitamins B6 and B5, which help to balance hormone levels, and also vitamin B12, which is key to healthy testosterone production. Little wonder they're traditional symbols of fertility and rebirth. Eggs can help boost libido in both men and women. A 2 egg breakfast provides an abundant quantity of good nutrition which will help to keep eyes bright, tails bushy & libidos alert & ready. Chicken eggs are said to be a good aphrodisiac food if eaten raw before sex – think mayonnaise or Zabaglione! Eggs a powerhouse of Hero Ingredients.
MACA ROOT & POWDER
Known as the "Peruvian Viagra", the sex-enhancing power of this radish-like root is legendary in its native country and beyond. Cherished by the Incas back in the day and now used as dietary supplement around the world, a 1998 study by Pure World Botanicals found maca root to contain two unique compounds, macamides and macaenes, which are directly related to its aphrodisiac food effect - including a lift in energy and libido. It’s a good source of calcium, iron & zinc – wink, wink!
The ancient Greeks used anchovies as an aphrodisiac increasing their potency by marinating them in white wine. Where would we be without Lea & Perrins Worcester Sauce – made from anchovies, go on add a bit extra.
They contain a high level of the B Vitamin – Niacin. This feeds the glands that secrete the hormones that make you firm & frisky for perfect pokey-pokey.
Testosterone is great for your sex life - it makes both men and women more randy and sexually stimulated. Zinc, found in caviar, stimulates the formation of testosterone so it stands to reason that posh fish eggs are, in fact, an aphrodisiac food.
Not only is it packed full of nutritional goodies but also a whammy of amino acids, some of which act like a natural Viagra for more intense & longer orgasms in both men & women. It is a sensuous, silky smooth eating experience with a burst of the sea sensation.
The most famous & expensive (an aphrodisiac in itself) are the wild Beluga, Ossetra & Sevruga from the Caspian Sea.
There are more than 500 varieties of this exotic aphrodisiac food, intriguing & mysterious little fruit that packs a surprising number of health benefits. It contains a high percentage of vitamins & minerals which among many other properties can help boost the immune system, improve eyesight & boost our old friend circulation – crucial. Drinking a glass of cold passion fruit juice helps to relax our nerves and has a calming effect on the mind.
Parsley is known as a wonder herb and is one of the most nutritious herbs containing high amounts of vitamin A & C, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and other essential minerals. Now that collection can certainly pack a healthy punch. It was used as far back as the time of Hippocrates as an Aphrodisiac Food (the father of modern medicine) believed to improve general health with aphrodisiac properties so its an all round good guy.
Oysters are without doubt sex on a plate. They are probably the world's most well-known hero ingredients or aphrodisiac food and they've been top of the sexy food list since the time of the ancient Greeks. They're full of zinc which helps in the production of testosterone which not only acts on male libido but is also great for the female libido too.
The Romans were probably the first to delve into the delights of the oyster.
Ladies would dip oysters into honey before embarking on a night of lustful decadence. Not sure about the combo but it obviously worked for them
In Rome walnuts were thrown at newly weds instead of rice. During harvest festivals in Rome maidens would offer bowls of nuts as symbols of fertility. These nuts have had a reputation as an aphrodisiac food for centuries.
In Italy and France walnuts are believed to intensify desire. Nuts in general contain high levels of fatty acids which are key to the production of hormones needed to maintain a healthy sex drive.
The mango’s nutritional bounty of beta-carotene & vitamins C & E is responsible for its rich colour & addictive sharp-sweet flavour as well as its aphrodisiac food reputation. Mangos are rich in copper, a mineral necessary for the production of red blood cells & hence good circulation.
In India, where they produce a massive 13 million tonnes a year, it is believed that the mango tree can grant wishes & is a symbol of fertility & love and that the leaves bring luck at New Year & the fruit is the food of the gods. That’s good enough for us !!
This ‘morning after’ staple can also be your pre-bedtime fuel, high in testosterone boosting L- arginine and rich in B vitamins.
Oats are probably the humblest & heartiest of all the aphrodisiac foods. Oats thrive in a cool climate and cost very little, but don’t be misled. They have long been associated with virility & have been shown to free up testosterone in both men & women.
A great favourite of Venus, the Roman Goddess of love, “her pleasure and loves delight”. And just in case you get lost among the duvet or the Gods, it will help you see at night. Carrots are believed to be a stimulant to the male; the phallus shaped carrot has been associated with stimulation since ancient times.
Artichoke is a ‘turbo charged’ aphrodisiac food, first among our hero ingredients.
The globe artichoke was praised as an aphrodisiac by the ancient Greeks. They believed that Zeus turned a former lover into the first artichoke plant – watch out girls!
Artichokes make for sexy eating, sucking the dipped leaves and finally discovering the heart hidden under the bristly choke
In France newly weds are given onion soup after their wedding night to restore their libido. Since pre-historic times onions have been considered aphrodisiacs. They are mentioned in many classic Hindu texts on the art of making love and were commonly used as an aphrodisiac food in ancient Greece.
Mushrooms contain zinc and zinc is key to blood flow – without blood flow you can’t have an orgasm, simple as that! Zinc has also been shown to boost SEX drive by increasing the flow of testosterone. Shitake mushrooms are used in the orient as they are believed to make girls more responsive…
Thyme is used widely in cooking in many areas of the world. The ancient Greeks used thyme in their baths and as incense In their temples believing that Thyme was a source of courage, so if you are a bit reserved or shy break the ice by sharing a Thyme bath – it works every time…
At the end of a perfect date you stand on your doorstep & think of mentally undressing each other for a night of hot lust but instead you say ‘how about a coffee?’ However coffee is on the aphrodisiac food list for its stimulating properties as well its power of suggestion.
Broad beans are the main ingredient in the Egyptian national dish ful Mesdames and a key ingredient in the ubiquitous falafel. They are a good source of protein and iron and unlike other beans they contain the active amorous ingredient levodopa, a chemical the body uses to produce the feel good dopamine.
Succulent red fruits are perfect to feed to your lover. It’s a fact that women who eat red berries taste better. In addition they are high in vitamin c, which may not turn you on but will certainly help you stay healthy.
The flavour and heat in ginger comes from three oils – gingerol, shogaol & zingerone – great names! Ultimately through a biological sequence these can cause a warming effect that can become totally arousing. If you want to inflame your loins (and frankly who doesn’t) do as the Romans did … eat sweet spicy ginger before the orgy!
Rosemary is known not only for its intoxicating aroma but also the fact that its oil is an excellent physical stimulant. For the perfect Sunday slow cooked lamb studded with rosemary will do the business – who cares about Monday.
In classical myth rocket was sacred to the ever randy son of Aphrodite & Dionysis – best known for his large and ever ready erect member. It’s the hot peppery taste that does it by lifting the metabolism & dilating the blood vessels, and we know what happens next – rampant sex! Hero ingredients, rocket powered aphrodisiac food.
Nutmeg can imitate the effects of serotonin otherwise known to us as the Happy Hormone allowing for greater relaxation and elevated moods – always a good way to start. Nutmeg was highly prized by Chinese women as an aphrodisiac food. A light sprinkling of the spice in a warm pumpkin soup can help perk up your sex life
Mint grows plentifully in any garden and is a wonderful aphrodisiac food. Mente, the alluring wood nymph whose name mint is derived from, is said to have seduced the god Pluto with mint leaves in ancient sexual rituals. Don’t hold back on the mint sauce…
The Greek physician Hippocrates, who was one of the most outstanding figures in the history of medicine, prescribed honey for sexual vigour and encouraged the taking of milk and honey to induce love and ecstasy. Always keep a jar in your store cupboard to drizzle whenever and wherever you wish!
Try a glass of warm mead at bed time – wow… what Aphrodisiac Food!
Ancient Romans used beetroot to improve their sex drive and the vegetable's libido-lifting qualities remain true to this day. Beets also have high levels of the trace mineral boron, which is directly related to the production of sex hormones. Since Roman times beetroot has been seen as a potent aphrodisiac food. The walls of the Lupanare, Pompeii’s brothel were adorned with murals of beetroot, bringing some colour to our hero ingredients.
Garlic is a pungent member of the lily family. It has been used as an aphrodisiac food by the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Chinese and Japanese – They can’t all be wrong!
A professor at USC Medical School has suggested mixing garlic with lard used externally to bring on an erection (Do not try this around a hungry Doberman!)
When Baby talked about carrying a watermelon in Dirty Dancing, she perhaps wasn't aware of its sexual potency. Both the rind and flesh of this glorious fruit are packed with amino acid citrulline, which relaxes the blood vessels and increases blood flow to the genitals, in an effect similar to Viagra. In turn it can bring on erect nipples, sexual flush and a gun in the trousers in the words of Mae West.
This perfect little pink crustacean is known to create sensual delights in heart & body. You may never have considered doing this but eating prawns in bed can help your staying power & is believed to give you mega orgasms. What’s not to love!
The Perfumed Garden has many references to this seed of the pine tree including this to restore a man’s libido. “A glass of thick honey plus 20 almonds and 100 pine nuts repeated for 3 nights” Good luck with that one.
Originally known as love apples by the French, maybe it was the texture or just maybe that the acids they contain stimulate blood flow to the lips and mouth and can improve muscle control (!!) but whatever fresh, ripe tomatoes locally grown and eaten in season are a very seductive food to add to our list of Aphrodisiac Food hero ingredients.
Drop this luscious symbol of Venus into your champagne glass or dip it in melted chocolate…this little edible Valentine is sensual, sexy and we love it’s slut red, zinc loaded essential sex appeal.
This powerful aphrodisiac spear not only looks phallic but contains Vitamin E which makes you gorgeous (think healthy skin, nails & hair). It is also packed full of goodies said to be hormone boosters and who doesn’t want that?
As an aphrodisiac food this deliciously fragrant herb is famous for it’s mention in the “Arabian Nights” where it was used in a concoction to cure a merchant of impotence. The Chinese, the Greeks & the Romans all used it in their love potions so who are we to doubt it’s powers!
The scent of basil has long been associated with arousal, with women rubbing basil powder and oil on their bodies back in the day to attract the guys. Granted, we’re more likely to pesto up a linguine with it these days, but the fact remains that basil is great in boosting circulation for a super-revved libido and its fragrance is a natural aphrodisiac.
There’s a reason why red hot chillies have long been associated with a spicy sex life. The hot flavour comes from a massive dose of capsaicin, a chemical which releases mood-enhancing endorphins and increases blood flow and heart rate to stimulate nerve endings and can actually plump the lips. Forget the curry but instead try chilli in ice cream and chocolate brownies. Hot Aphrodisiac Food.
This one’s for your partner - ask them to open a ripe fig and eat it seductively in front of you. This is supposed to be a powerful aphrodisiac food because the fruit’s insides look like a female love nest. Ancient Greeks celebrated fig harvests with an orgy. Good for them! Figs peeled and quartered wrapped in Parma ham – very sensuous on the taste buds.
The seeds of this luscious red fruit improve blood flow and are said to increase genital sensitivity. Some say that the forbidden fruit referred to in the Bible wasn’t an apple at all but a pomegranate. The luscious fruit has long been considered a sensual symbol and with its antioxidant properties it increases vitality and is a very sexy food to share with someone you love. Scatter these hero ingredients like jewels over salads and meats.
Legend has it that the goddess Aphrodite was transported to earth on a scallop shell and since then scallops have enjoyed a gold star aphrodisiac reputation. The scallop is a frisky aphrodisiac food when cooked the right way, meunière, deep fried in golden breadcrumbs or wrapped in pancetta and threaded onto a skewer. King scallops for him and Queen scallops for her and you will both feel like royalty in a four poster bed. Their texture is soft and voluptuous on the tongue and their shells make beautiful serving dishes.
Not a universally loved veg but apparently it gets women going. Granted it’s not the sexiest of vegetables, but raw celery boosts production of an odourless hormone released via male perspiration. This in turn is thought to act as a pheromone to turn women on. Something to bear in mind the next time you deliberate in the supermarket aisle...
Food photography and digital manipulation by Helen Ives