Spice up your sex life
    Spice up your sex life

    Herbs and spices have been used for centuries for their healing and health-booting properties. A number of herbs and spices are recognised as aphrodisiacs. An aphrodisiac is a food, drink or substance that increases sexual desire. This can be accomplished through a number of ways, such as reducing stress, increasing blood flow, or positively affecting neurotransmitters – all of which are able to improve your libido!

    A lack of sex drive is common in both men and women, although generally less so in men. Low libido can be caused by a number of factors, including depression, fatigue and anxiety. Like many other people, you may find that your sex drive decreases at some point in your life. This doesn’t necessarily mean that there is something physically or psychologically wrong with you, but at the same time it doesn’t mean that you will not benefit from making use of the herbs and spices that nature has made readily available to us.

    Herbs and spices are widely available from supermarkets and health stores and come in various forms, such as extracts or dried powders – or they can be found fresh at some markets. When making use of herbs and spices for their healing properties, their most potent forms would be either as an extract, dried, powder or a tincture. If you choose to use powdered spices, opt for ones that say ‘non-irradiated’. The process of radiation is to kill off any possible bacteria but at the same time it also destroys the medicinal properties of the spices.

    Here is a list of popular herbs and spices that have become widely known for their aphrodisiac properties and ability to increase your sex drive.

    ginkgo biloba


    Ginkgo biloba is extracted from the ginko tree, also known as the maidenhair tree. This herb has been shown to increase circulation in blood vessels just below the surface without increasing blood pressure, and helps to boost sexual desire in both men and women.

    Siberian ginseng


    Ginseng has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for hundreds of years in the treatment of a wide range of medical conditions and is well known for its sexual properties. Ginseng extract helps to promote blood circulation as well as stimulate the production of sex hormones in both men and women. Ginseng can help improve your circulation, energy and general vitality.



    Epimedium, also known as horny (no pun intended) goat weed, fairy wings or rowdy lamb herb, was, according to legend, discovered by a Chinese goat herder, who noticed an increase in sexual activity in his goats after they ate this plant. Epimedium is said to increase low levels of testosterone in men and to have aphrodisiac properties.



    Cinnamon is one of the oldest known spices, and is mentioned numerous times in The Bible. This spice was so highly regarded in ancient nations that it was considered a gift fit for monarchs or even a god. Today it is available in two main forms, powder and quills/sticks. Cinnamon heats up your body and in turn helps to increase your sex drive. This fragrant spice is a great addition to most fruity dishes and is especially tasty in a glass of warm almond or oat milk.



    Ginger has been used as a medicine for centuries, and in India is called maha-aushadhi which means ‘the great medicine’. A knob of fresh ginger, bruised and added to hot water to make a tea, is believed to have aphrodisiac qualities. This is thought to be because of its heady smell and the way in which it promotes the circulation. Ginger is also a wonderful addition to most Asian dishes or curries.



    Cardamom is one of the most popular spices in the world. It is known as the ‘queen of spices’, second only to black pepper, which is known as king. It is mentioned in Greek literature as far back as the 4th century BC. It has a unique taste and an intense aromatic fragrance. Cardamom warms the body and increases the blood flow, which could account for its aphrodisiac properties. It is used around the world in spiced cakes and bread, and is especially delicious in rich, red Indian curries. In India cardamom is added to tea and coffee for added flavour.



    Nutmeg was a prized and costly spice used for flavourings, to preserve food and for medicinal purposes during medieval times. Indians have always prized nutmeg for its medicinal value. It is available in whole or ground form, but fresh, whole nutmeg gives off more of an aroma while ground nutmeg loses its flavour quite quickly. The use of nutmeg as an aphrodisiac goes back to early Hindu cultures, in which it was believed that the warming properties of the spice stimulated sexual appetite, while its ability to sweeten your breath further increased the attraction. Nutmeg can be added to meat dishes, rice or desserts – or add freshly grated nutmeg to tea or hot water for a delicious fragrant drink.



    Spices present a plethora of exciting and intriguing tastes, aromas, colours and textures that titillate the senses. Let go and freely relish their sensory gifts, which are so readily available to us, and do as the Romans did: ‘I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon. Come let us take our fill of love till morning.’ (Proverbs 7, 17-18).

    Editor's note: There are so many additional foods that can increase our sex drive. Cordyceps mushroom is used for erectile dysfunction, sperm production and to elevate sexual desire in men and women. For more on medicinal mushrooms, read the article Mushrooms as Medicine.

    Spice up your sex life

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