Ingredients

What Are Aphrodisiacs & How Do They Work?

February 6, 2017

Aphrodisiacs can be a powerful way to get the in the mood.  If you’ve wondered “What are aphrodisiacs?”, you can find out now. Plus, aphrodisiac recipes to help spark some romance!

Aphrodisiacs can be a powerful way to get the in the mood. If you've wondered "What are aphrodisiacs", you can find out now. Plus, aphrodisiac recipes to help spark some romance!

I’m really excited about our theme of aphrodisiacs this month, friends.  I had originally planned to do this last year, but the move and hotel life got in the way a bit.  As a result, these recipes have been stewing for an entire year waiting to meet your acquaintance.

You may be wondering if aphrodisiacs really work, or why they matter, so I thought before we kicked off with the recipes that we’d cover the background behind them.

What Are Aphrodisiacs?

Aphrodisiacs are foods that are believed to heighten arousal and desire by stimulating your senses and/or by increasing blood flow.  The science behind aphrodisiacs is a little bit woo-woo and there aren’t a lot of hard facts or studies done on them; however, the belief in aphrodisiacs goes back to cave paintings.

Many people believe that aphrodisiacs are only placebos.  Nevertheless, we hear all the time that the brain is the most powerful sex organ.  So consider this: if you spend an evening wining and dining someone with aphrodisiacs, the mental foreplay is going to pay off; regardless if they are placebos.

In the case of aphrodisiacs, it’s great for it to all be in your head.  🙂

How Do Aphrodisiacs Work?

Like I mentioned earlier, aphrodisiacs work by stimulating your senses, which results in a hormone boost that sends signals out to the rest of your body.  Some aphrodisiacs work directly on your body, while others tempt you by taking your mind to other places (aka: the gutter).   Let’s take a moment and look at how aphrodisiacs stimulate in different ways:

  • Sight.  Some foods, like avocado, banana, or figs, are only considered aphrodiacs because of their resemblance to genitalia.  Just looking at these foods can put someone in the mood because it makes them think about getting down and dirty.
  • Smell.  Certain aphrodisiacs can increase circulation or cause arousal just by smelling them; like basil, ginger, and anise.
  • Taste.  Some aphrodisiacs, like chile peppers, can cause reactions similar to those experienced during sex.  For example: sweating, increased circulation, rapid heart rate, etc..
  • Touch.  Direct application of certain aphrodisiacs can help promote blood flow.  Usually these aphrodisiacs, like cardamom, have to be directly applied to the area you want impacted.
  • Lowered Inhibitions.  Foods like alcohol are not directly considered to be aphrodisiacs, but they can have some of the same impact by lowering your inhibitions.  In turn, this makes you more comfortable being aroused as well as more willing to participate.  Some foods, like chocolate, are believed to have a similar effect.

Aphrodisiacs can be a powerful way to get the in the mood. If you've wondered "What are aphrodisiacs", you can find out now. Plus, aphrodisiac recipes to help spark some romance!

What Are Anaphrodisiacs?

Anaphrodisiacs are the anti-aphrodisiac.  These stimulate hormones that work against your libido and result in a lower sex drive.  One of these foods is alcohol.  “But how?” you may ask, since I just mentioned them above.  Well, too much of a good thing can become a bad thing, right?  That’s the case with alcohol; too much of it lowers sensation and prevents stimulation.  Some other anaphrodisiacs include: soy, marjoram, hops, and coriander.

Practice Makes Perfect – #SexyEats

Now that the question of “What are aphrodisiacs?” has been answered, if you want to play around with some and cook something up for your next hot date, I recommend:

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Have you tried cooking with aphrodisiacs?  Which are your favorites for getting in the mood?  Tell me about it in the comments or show me on social media – @foodabovegold.  If you used this post to help you set the mood and answer the question “What are aphrodisiacs?”,  make sure to tag it with #CallMeMichelin and #SexyEats.

Happy Cooking!

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