Do Aphrodisiacs Work?

Being the confirmed sensualist that I am, I’m a true believer in the power of food to affect our moods and desires.  That said, I loved this terrific article by Diana Herrington (@DancinginLife) on the power of aphrodisiacs to affect our love life.

Do aphrodisiacs really work? Can you change your mood with food chemistry? Here are famous foods and activities known for love, the science behind them, and tasty recipes to share with your sweetie.

Aphrodisiacs

  1. Honey
  • Honey is a great source of boron, the mineral that helps the body metabolize estrogen, the female sex hormone.
  • Studies show that boron may also increase testosterone, the hormone responsible for promoting sex drive in both men and women.
  • Medieval hopefuls drank mead, a fermented honey drink, to promote sexual desire.
  • Ancient Persian couples drank mead every day for a month (known as the “honey month”–a.k.a. “honeymoon”) after they married to prepare for a successful family life.

Tip: Start the morning with Honey Syrup on pancakes or waffles.

Chocolate

  1. Chocolate

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” ~Charles M. Schulz

  • Chocolate contains phenylethylamine, which mimics the brain chemistry of a person in love. It also promotes serotonin production. Together they give you a hormone rush that feels like the rush of love or love making.
  • There are other foods that may contain more of these ingredients (like cheese) but who cares? Chocolate tastes so good!
  • The problem with chocolate is that you risk a sugar crash, putting a damper on your “happily ever after.”

Tip: Create Homemade Walnut Dark Chocolate, a healthy choice since it has no refined sugar unhealthy oils, or preservatives!

Almonds

  1. Almonds
  • Through history, almonds were regarded as fertility symbols.
  • The aroma of almond supposedly arouses passion in females–or so thought the poets and scribes.
  • Almonds provide high doses of vitamin E, magnesium and even fiber.

Tip: Share some Almond Milk that you made yourself with love.

Beets

  1. Beets
  • One of the first known uses of beets was by the ancient Romans, who used them medicinally as an aphrodisiac.
  • Beets contain high levels of nitrates which increase blood flow by expanding blood vessels walls. Increased blood flow to the genital areas is one of the mechanisms Viagra and other pharmaceuticals create their effects.
  • Beets also contain high amounts of boron, which is directly related to the production of human sex hormones.
  • Beets have a host of other health benefits.

Garlic

  1. Garlic
  • Garlic is full of allicin, another ingredient that will also increase blood flow.
  • In eastern traditions monks and priests are not allowed to eat garlic (or onions) because they are particularly stimulating.
  • Garlic has a host of other health benefits, many of which boost your immune system.
  • The obvious trouble with this food is that unless your partner is also a garlic eater, they might not like your smell!

Exercise

  1. Exercise
  • Exercise doesn’t sound romantic unless it’s a “moonlit walk on the beach.”  But it turns out, exercise is so good for the body, that it triggers romantic moods, as well.
  • During vigorous activity, endorphins–the ”feel good” chemicals–are released. They can feel like a rush of love.
  • Exercise increases blood flow to the whole body and thus like beets and garlic, can increase moods and desire.
  • Exercise and building muscle mass also usually increases testosterone levels.

Tip: Go for a walk together. What better way to deepen your love then while connecting with nature.

Licorice

  1. 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.

Ginseng

  1. 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.

Basil

  1. 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.

Is it all in your head? Well…yes. 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.

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I can’t say it better.  Let’s eat real food for love of our self and our loved one. And to feed all of our senses, check out this terrific Box Set from my Author’s Billboard gang.

Sweet and Sassy Heroes

 

My book in this Sweet and Sassy Heroes collection is:

Exposed Taylor Lee

EXPOSED

Prequel: The Criminal Affairs Collection

By

Taylor Lee 

 EXPOSED: The Prequel Novella in USA Today best-selling author Taylor Lee’s Sizzling Hot Detective Series, The Criminal Affairs Collection.

  • A renegade police officer infiltrates a dangerous cartel intending to take down its leader. 
  • Little does she know that the handsome Drug Lord is a special operative hotshot heading up a mission two years in the making. 
  • Learning who the outrageous woman is, the undercover commander does the only thing he can to protect the mission, and her. He claims her for his own.  

WARNING: Romance so HOT it singes the pages.  HOT, tough, explicit. Not for the faint at heart.  Definitely bring a fan!

 

15 Feel Good New Year Resolutions

Many people will make New Year resolutions to ring in 2020, but we seldom keep our promises for very long. Reevaluating your life is hard stuff! Here’s a list of New Year resolutions that will make you feel better, physically and mentally. These suggestions aren’t that difficult and are sure to make you feel happier about who you are.   

  1. Practice anonymous random acts of kindness.
  2. Make at least one person smile each day.
  3. Read at least one book each month. (Don’t forget to review it. The author will SMILE! See resolution #2.)
  4. Go someplace you’ve never been.
  5. Be kinder to yourself.
  6. Be kinder to others.
  7. Be quick to listen, slow to speak.
  8. Take the stairs. It’s good for you.
  9. Let go of old hurts and grudges.
  10. Forgive.
  11. Try a new hobby.
  12. Donate all clothing you haven’t worn in a year.
  13. Start and end each day consciously feeling happy and grateful.
  14. Buy less plastic. It’s bad for our planet.
  15. Stay in touch with the people who matter.

What New Year resolutions would you add to the list?

Jan 99¢ Sale!

TWO HEARTS IN WINTER is book 2 of The Ocean City Boardwalk Series. The book is available for Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and iTunes iBooks.

15 Feel Good New Year Resolutions

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

How to be a Cool Cat: Then and Now

First, let me say, by *Cool Cat* I mean hip, as opposed to arctic–as  in freezing temperatures. Myren, my chauffeur, thought I should mention this since he felt that few would associate me with anything to do with hip. We had a loud long discussion about this, but I won’t bore you with those details.

How would I know about cool? you ask. (Or I should say, Myren asked this very thing. Numerous times.)

Let’s say, I’ve had the chance to observe many of the cool-as-in-hip over the years. Sometimes I’ve even acted cool myself.

Why should I care? you ask. Everyone wants to be cool, I say. What planet are you from?

Here are my coolest handy hints!

Top 6 ways to be a Cool Cat:

  1. Don’t use the term Cool Cat unless you travel back in time to the 50s and join a band of beatniks. Or unless you’re referring to the old cartoon character based on beatniks from the 50s. Come to think of it, those beatniks were really cool cats.
  2. Wear a beret. Preferably black.
  3. Never smile.
  4. Always wear sunglasses.
  5. Get some bongo drums.
  6. Wear black. Or black & white stripes.

Okay, so if you don’t want to be a beatnik from the 50s, maybe you can skip the bongos.

Now you’re asking “Can I be a Cool Cat in the 21st century without imitating some ancient-times goth-looking characters?”

Sure, I say.

Top 6 Ways to be a 21st Century Cool Cat:

  1. Change out the beret for a baseball cap or knit cap.
  2. Wear very baggy pants or very tight pants.
  3. Get a tattoo or 4 or 5. Large and colorful ones.
  4. Grow a beard if you’re a guy and enhance your hair and nails if you’re a woman.
  5. Change out the bongo drums for the latest mobil with at least 479 apps.
  6. Join a gym. Muscles are in.

Keep the sunglasses. Shades are forever cool.