I am a foodie—a self-declared lover of languid meals cooked with intention and loads of flavor. An intuitive eater, I have for the most part chosen real, sometimes raw, mostly colorful cuisine, a testament to my European upbringing and preference for Mediterranean delicacies regardless of food fashion.
One trend that’s been around for eons and is likely to remain here for the long haul is: aphrodisiacs. From Cleopatra to the Mayan Kings, humanity has licked those bananas and gulped those oysters with sexy things on the mind. Is there any truth to the legends about foods that put you in the mood?
Conventional medicine has long scoffed at the idea that certain substances can rev up your engine, and until recently, it seemed that the naysayers were right. Recent anecdotal studies are more promising. A publication from Canadian researchers found that the world’s most expensive spice, saffron, is indeed a likely lust enhancer.
It isn’t alone. In no particular order, here are five herbs that will tickle your palate and your parts… or your lover’s parts, if you so choose.
Saffron is popular in cuisine from the Mediterranean coast and throughout the Middle East and Asia. Cleopatra is said to have bathed in saffron scented waters before making love. Even the Bible describes saffron’s seductiveness in the Song of Solomon: