The natural world is brimming with aphrodisiac herbs and spices with the power to improve the human sexual experience. Fenugreek, for example, contains compounds the body uses to produce estrogen and testosterone. Men who supplemented daily with fenugreek in a six-week study experienced increased strength and improved sexual function, Healthline reports. When looking for aphrodisiacs to spice up your sex life, it’s important to know which are safe and effective and which are likely to be ineffective and potentially toxic.
Naturally spicy, the heat from Jalapeño chillies raises your body temperature once eaten. The heat is generated by a special chemical compound known as capsaicin, which works to stimulate nerve endings, boost heart rate, and get your blood pumping. Capsaicin is also known to boost metabolism and trigger the release of feel-good endorphins. Jalapeño chilli powder can be used in a number of your favorite dishes, including chilli, stew, salsa, guacamole, and enchilada sauces.
Saffron is an unusual spice derived from the Crocus sativus flower in Southwest Asia. It’s a proven aphrodisiac and even has positive results for people taking antidepressants. In one randomized controlled trial, a group of men on antidepressant medication consumed 30 mg of saffron daily for one month and experienced greater erectile function than men who took a placebo. A follow-up study found women on antidepressants who took saffron daily experienced increased arousal and lubrication as a result. Saffron’s one of the most expensive spices you can buy, but it’s certainly worth it. When small amounts are added to a dish, saffron lends a subtle and pleasant taste — floral and sweet, yet earthy and grassy. It works best in classic rice dishes like risotto and paella.
Derived from the inner bark of the Cinnamomum tree, cinnamon has been used as a potent aphrodisiac since ancient times. In particular, this warm and sweet spice is an excellent source of manganese, an essential trace mineral which boosts libido and sexual performance. Moreover, cinnamon also increases circulation and raises body temperature to benefit sexual function, just like a number of other warming spices such as ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. There are a number of different types of cinnamon available, all of which can aid sexual health. However, Saigon cinnamon (aka Vietnamese cinnamon) is the most concentrated kind. It’s sweet, warm, and peppery. Saigon cinnamon can be a tasty addition to sweet and savory dishes, including, coffee, tea, cookies, muffins, curries, chilli, couscous, roast vegetables, and soups.
Oysters and insects: do they really work?
In addition to herbs and spices, certain foods like Spanish flies and oysters are also widely considered aphrodisiacs. According to foodienarium, male Spanish flies secrete cantharidin, a substance used to attract mates. When it comes into contact with humans, however, cantharidin results in blisters, stomach pain, vomiting, kidney failure, and even death. While Spanish fly products can be found on the market, these supplements actually contain safe herbal aphrodisiacs — like maca and ginseng.
As for oysters, they’re high in zinc, which has been shown to boost libido and sexual performance in animal studies. However, science hasn’t yet been proven an increase in oyster consumption actually makes a positive difference in stimulating sexual desire. While zinc deficiency can hamper sexual health, it should be treated with supplements and correct dietary changes. Otherwise, feel free to enjoy oysters if you’re so inclined, but make sure they’re fresh to avoid food poisoning.
When it comes to natural aphrodisiacs, you have plenty of delicious herbs and spices to choose from. Add these options to your diet and enjoy a healthier, better sex life.