Spices can bring more than a spark to your meal; they can in fact delight your senses and ignite your libido. The magic lies in the phytochemicals they contain – some of which act as hormonal stimulators, others are circulatory boosters and even endorphin triggers. So combined together they won’t just work to put you in the mood but can contribute to physically facilitate some peak experiences. Most of these spices you will have right now on your spice rack and if you don’t you won’t have to track a million miles to pick up some. So why not stay in for valentine’s night and cook up something delightful and carry that kitchen heat over to the bedroom. If that piques your interest then here are 10 of my own personal favourites – tried and tested but I’ll have to hold back the testimonies for my autobiography.
1. Cinnamon – often called sinful cinnamon it stimulates the appetites, both gastric and sexual. A tincture of it known as Rou Gui or Gui Pi in traditional Chinese medicine is a potent tonic to cure impotence. Cinnamon can be a convulsive in high doses so all you need is a tablespoon to your apple pie or a teaspoon on your morning porridge – bearing in mind the added boost that porridge supplies – there is a reason they feed oats to stud stallions.
2. Cloves are pungent and sweet of flavour – harmonious with virility delivering fruits such as apples, oranges and plums but also great in a bouquet garni for rice or stews and of course on cold nights for mulled wine and punches. Utilized for centuries in eastern medicinal systems to tone sexual muscle and intensify any contractions – no wonder love is in its centre.
3. Ginger is a hot spice and considered aphrodisiacal through its stimulating effect on the circulatory system and its warming nature. So it gets blood to all the right places but it also stimulates the brain – perhaps even more importantly. Its perfume-like fragrance lends it to both sweet or savoury dishes and even baked deserts. Hot ginger syrup on homemade coconut or banana icecream can get you into all sorts of trouble.
4. Garlic compliments ginger in many dishes and bridges both eastern and western cuisine. Through its dilating action on blood vessels it is known to contribute to stronger erections and greater vaginal and clitoral sensitivity ~ intensifying sexual experience and offering stronger orgasms to both partners. So that’s garlic starter, main and dessert.
5. Parsley, while more a herb than a spice is very useful none the less as it helps neutralize the volatile oils in garlic that linger on the breathe without undermining its medicinal and ‘love life’ benefits. Better still parsley builds female libido and encourage hormones and neurotransmitters conducive to arousal and satisfaction responses.
6. Fennel is a vegetable with its seed more a herb than spice but it contains in all forms oestrogen-like substances which increases female libido but which also has a moderating effect on male orgasm response, benefiting ejaculation control and prolonging intercourse. Braised vegetable fennel is wonderful and fennel seed is amazing in homemade bread.
7. Cumin (ground or seed form) is a real spice, utilized in so many curry blends. In its own right it makes roasted carrots zing and baked tomatoes ping and may I note both those veg are longstanding aphrodisiacs. Cumin is versatile as a flavour but it is its ability to blasts away fatigue and boosts up libido that makes it into the top ten.
8. Coriander (as foliage herb, cooking seeds or powdered spice) has a strong phyto-estrogen content, making it a bona fide aphrodisiac. In China it is considered a conferrer of immortality and an inciter of sexual arousal. The brilliant thing about it is its culinary versatility from traditional spice mixtures including harissa and garam masala to more savoury favourites of pickled veg, chutneys and soups and its enhancement of stir-fries and casseroles.
9. Saffron is the world’s most expensive spice so adds a bit of decadence to the affair but it has a long history as a potent aphrodisiac – somewhat narcotic and definitely fatal in high doses – so just a pinch in some clotted cream ready for the dip of some sexy strawberries or to bejewel a bed of rice. It is said to vibrate at the frequency of joy so why not do likewise.
10. Last but not least if you think you haven’t a spice to your name then remember pepper is considered one and both black and white pepper contains the sexual stimulant myrystin – so all is not lost and pepper even perks up a bag of greasy chips –if your going all out on the romance tonight.