Ever tried cherry-covered chocolate for an aphrodisiac, or fruits like avocados and bananas, or cinnamon, garlic, honey, and champagne? If not yet, then welcome to the world of aphrodisiac enhancers for vegans!
But what is an aphrodisiac really, and how does our modern vegan diets come into the mix? The term “aphrodisiac” derives from the name of Aphrodite, a key Greek goddess who was identified with love, sexuality, and procreation.
Fast-forward to the modern world -- an era of potent elixirs, love potions, libido-enhancing pills, and synthetic chemicals -- and we can learn a thing or two from the ancients.
Ancient Greeks and Romans discovered a wide range of foods, drinks, and behaviors that were used to increase their sexual desires and satisfaction. This is particularly noticeable in plant foods that have aphrodisiac properties. But if we put their placebo effects aside, modern Western medicine may not actually have many proven claims to the efficacy of these items. However, very many lovers still continue to enjoy the presumed properties of these aphrodisiacs since they turn up the heat in our bodies, with one key effect being that they are able to stimulate our senses: taste, smell, touch, sound, and sight.
One renowned authority in this field is Colleen Patrick-Goudreau; a writer, chef and public speaker whose five ground-breaking books also include the award-scooping “The Joy of Vegan Baking”, “The Vegan Table”, “Color Me Vegan”, and “Vegans Daily Companion”.
Being a compassionate lover of animals, Colleen is also a star in the vegan universe. She mostly focuses on wellness and health, as well as the ethical, practical, and social aspects of a compassionate lifestyle. She writes about everything you need to learn how to live a conscious vegan lifestyle.
Ms. Patrick-Goudreau’s latest feat is “The 30 Day Vegan Challenge”, an elaborate authorship that teaches you all you need to know about foods that help boost your libido. And, these are not the famed powdered rhino horn kind of aphrodisiac or even exotic oysters. No, these are great and natural wholesome foods that are available to all of us!
Believe it or not, there are aphrodisiacs that are aphrodisiacs just because of their texture, and various other reasons that would seem non-medical to most of us. For instance, the nectar that is derived from the cactus-like monocot agave oozes a thick sweet syrup. Even the so-called “romantic effect” of champagne is more associated with its bubbles than with its alcohol. Others like apricot, peach, mango, and tomato (also called “love-apples”) make the list of sensual foods basically because of their built-in natural succulence. Chocolate is referred to as a sexy love potion due to the fact that it releases dopamine into the brain’s pleasure center. Spices like chili pepper boost blood flow, increase body heat, and also cause blushed skin, swollen lips, and the release of endorphins.
On the other hand, some aphrodisiacs just provide symbolism, for instance, the biblical "forbidden fruit” or the cherry’s association with virginity, or the belief that looking at the color red raises one’s passions.
One 17th century English herbalist, Nicholas Culpeper, once wrote that asparagus stirs things up for both man and women, is light and filled with vitamins, and also adds a welcome freshness to typical meals.
Other vegan food aphrodisiacs include almonds, celery, figs, ginger, pine nuts, pomegranates, sweet basil, and vanilla.