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9 Valentine’s Day Aphrodisiacs


7. Licorice

  • In ancient China, people used licorice to enhance love and lust.
  • The smell appears to be particularly stimulating.
  • Alan R. Hirsch, MD, neurological director of the Tip: Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, conducted a study that looked at how different smells stimulated sexual arousal. He found that the smell of black licorice increased the blood flow to the genital area by 13 percent.

8. Ginseng

  • Asian ginseng is an adaptogen, or a substance that helps keep proper hormone balance in your body.
  • Ginseng, helps moderate the harmful effects of stress, enhances your energy and stamina and may improve your sexual function.
  • Caution: Because ginseng has an estrogen-like effect, pregnant or breastfeeding women should not take it. Although ginseng is not a kitchen food in the west, it is so well known and universally used that I have included it.

9. Sweet Basil

  • Sweet basil herb is known across cultures to naturally increase sex drive and fertility by fostering a feeling of total relaxation in the body and muscles while increasing circulation.
  • In Italy, it is a symbol of love.
  • The scent of basil was said to drive men wild–so much so that women would dust their breasts with dried and powdered basil.

Tip: For dinner you can make White Bean and Asparagus Stew. Besides basil, this has another traditional aphrodisiac: asparagus.

Is it all in your head?


Each of these foods and activities can affect your chemistry but the effects are often subtle.

If we are cued for love though, even a boost of energy from carbs could be perceived as an emotion or an attractive force. The body then enhances that effect since it can manufacture any number of its own mood enhancing brain and body hormones.

“Money is a powerful aphrodisiac. But flowers work almost as well.” Lazarus Long

This is why western science officially states that there are no effective aphrodisiacs. Scientists are looking for something as powerful and immediate as steroids or Viagra.

But why would we want to use those strong drugs when we could simply have fun eating real food that will enhance our health? An attractive happy body and mind comes from a healthy body and mind.

I say let’s eat real food for love of our self and our loved one.

Read more: Diet & Nutrition, Health, Life, Love, Valentine's Day

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Diana Herrington

Diana Herrington turned a debilitating health crisis into a passion for helping others with healthy, sugar-free, gluten-free, eating and cooking. After testing and researching every possible healthy therapy on her delicate system she has developed simple, powerful principles which she shares in her recent book Eating Green and Lean, and as host to Care2 groups: Healthy Living Network and Healthy Cooking. She is the head chef at Real Food for Life, where she shares recipes and tips. Sign up for the Real Food for Life weekly newsletter or catch her on Facebook or Twitter (@DancinginLife).


+ add your own
12:02PM PST on Feb 12, 2013

Looks like I'm going to be growing sweet basil this year

3:38PM PST on Feb 10, 2013


3:37PM PST on Feb 10, 2013

Take the chocolate and use it to dip big, juicy strawberries ~ now that works for me!

8:46PM PST on Feb 9, 2013

I know a bit about romance and aphrodisiacs. Partner and myself will be eating chocolate covered almonds and washing it down with champagne...guys: women LOVE champagne and will love you for it...!

6:02AM PST on Feb 9, 2013

For me daily kindness and consideration does more than anything else. Sex starts in the head and then travels elsewhere!

11:23PM PST on Feb 8, 2013

I take all of them - except the ginseng - every day

10:28PM PST on Feb 8, 2013

Nice article!

Thanks for sharing!

10:26PM PST on Feb 8, 2013

Not feeling the love yet both of us are eating this stuff.

9:01PM PST on Feb 8, 2013

i love all the above foods, watch out lol

11:49AM PST on Feb 8, 2013

Thank you.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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