Whether induced by stress, physical health or aging, for some people, their libido just isn’t as vigorous as it used to be. This might explain the growing popularity of Viagra™ and similar medications. While pharmaceuticals work fine for certain individuals, others prefer a more natural method for re-fueling sexual desire. It might be surprising to learn that a libido boost could be hiding right in plain sight, in the kitchen spice cabinet.
Here are six stimulating spices to jump-start your sex drive.
The heady aroma of basil is a telling giveaway of this ancient aphrodisiac. Touted as a product that stimulates circulation and delivers a sense of relaxation and well-being, basil might help enhance activity in the bedroom. Because chances of conceiving are better when relaxed, consumption of basil is also thought to boost fertility. Basil makes a pungent and zesty ingredient for pasta sauces and stir-fry dishes.
Fun Fact: A very light dusting of basil between a woman’s breasts is said to drive men wild.
Valued in India, China and the Middle East for its sweet, seductive scent, cardamom is also popular for its potent libido-boosting properties and has been nicknamed the “Queen of Spice.” A rich source of cineole, cardamom increases blood flow to areas of the body essential to sex. Some cultures combine cardamom with maca for an invigorating impotence treatment. Cardamom makes a delicious cooking ingredient or enhances a cup of hot tea.
Tip: Sprinkle cardamom over the top of warm tapioca pudding for a delicious, desire-inducing dessert.
The key ingredient in cayenne pepper, capsaicin, triggers the brain to produce endorphins, which promote relaxation and well-being. Spicy cayenne pepper also boosts heart rate, circulation and sweating – bodily reactions that typically occur during sex. It’s no wonder this zesty pepper is touted as the ultimate aphrodisiac. Try a sprinkling of cayenne pepper in taco filling and homemade chili.
Fun Fact: In ancient Mexico, a mixture of cayenne pepper and chocolate served as an exclusive treat strictly reserved for Aztec royalty.
Given that garlic generates somewhat unpleasant breath, it might be surprising to find that it is an aphrodisiac. It contains a chemical that stimulates the production of the enzyme responsible for erections, and garlic is a rich source of allicin, a compound that thins the blood and boosts circulation. As specified earlier, improved blood flow means better-performing sex organs for strength and endurance.
Tip: To avoid bad breath but enjoy the libido-boosting benefits, try odorless garlic supplements.
Ginger emits a warm, pungent flavor and aroma. With a host of health benefits to its credit, it is virtually a wonder spice. In addition to relieving colds, congestion, and treating various digestive issues, consumption of ginger boosts blood flow to the sex organs and triggers the same body heat generated during sex. The dried root is used in the production of potent tea, and ground ginger makes a zesty ingredient for stir-fry dishes and salads.
Fun Fact: It has been said that Madam Du Barry, mistress to King Louis XV, served ginger to her lovers, a ritual that induced full-blown submission.
Dating back to ancient times, women in China valued nutmeg as a powerful aphrodisiac. In fact, animal studies have shown that compounds in nutmeg stimulate the nervous system, possibly causing a boost in mating behavior. Further aiding increased desire, consumption of nutmeg imitates the effects of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that promotes relaxation and elevated mood. Reduced sex drive can sometimes be attributed to sleep deprivation. Nutmeg can help with this problem as well due to its high levels of tryptophan, a sleep-inducing amino acid.
Tip: Reserve nutmeg for culinary use only. Large quantities can produce a hallucinogenic effect.
Sexual arousal or the lack of it plays a large role for adults when it comes to a fulfilling and happy life. Fortunately, prescription medications and other chemical treatments aren’t the only alternative for a waning libido. Foods that contain aphrodisiac properties can be useful in maintaining a healthy sex drive. Add the six spices above to your next shopping list for a naturally zesty libido boost!