If you've already checked out our list of aphrodisiac foods in your quest for the perfect Valentine's Day meal you'll probably also enjoy this round up of "seasonings for the season," so to speak. All these supercharged spices are a great addition to your healthy lifestyle in any season at all!


This rare spice with floral origins can fight depression as well as antidepressant-related sexual dysfunction in both men and women. Saffron may also improve sperm quality in men who struggle with fertility and increase sex drive more generally. To read more about saffron's benefits and get some awesome recipes, click here!

2. Cayenne

Along with being a super metabolism booster, cayenne is one of the steamiest spices around. It stimulates the release of epinephrine and endorphins, which will raise your heart rate to keep you energized and excited throughout a demanding night. Additionally, it will boost your circulation by dilating your blood vessels and may serve as a painkiller.

Cayenne can liven up nearly any savory dish and even some sweet ones. For example, the Aztec emperor Montezuma famously added cayenne to his daily drinking cocoa to keep himself keyed up for his concubines.

Why don't you try it out yourself with some Strawberry Compote or a Bloody Hot Thin Mary?

3. Ginseng

Another fat-burning standout that can do double duty in the bedroom is the revered Chinese herb ginseng. Red ginseng in particular is often used as an aphrodisiac in traditional Chinese medicine. It's been found to be twice as effective as a placebo in treating erectile dysfunction in men, and its thought to work by improving blood flow and relaxing muscles. Ginseng may also fight diminished libido in both genders and increase sexual arousal in menopausal women.


Ginger has been traditionally thought of as an aphrodisiac in Arabian and Indian medicine and widely used for that purpose throughout Asia.

Along with its romantic scent and thrilling tingly aftertaste, ginger's high antioxidant content can boost circulation. It's also been found to increase testosterone levels in diabetic rats!

See for yourself and make your sweetie some Sweet Ginger Shrimp!

5. Vanilla

This "nectar of the gods" is thought to be particularly effective in enticing men. This is indicated by a study in which vanilla intake was associated with increased sexual activity in rats, while other research suggests it may have a direct effect on penile blood flow, especially in older men.

This sensual aroma was also allegedly used by famed courtesan Madame Du Barry to entice King Louis XV. Why not try it out in this recipe for Warm Vanilla Sauce?

6. Cinnamon

Good old cinnamon! This spice was once thought to be more valuable than gold, in part because of its rumored ability to rev up sexual appetite. Along with improving alertness and circulation, cinnamon can stimulate sexual desire in women by raising their progesterone levels and can excite both genders by providing energizing nutrients like manganese and Vitamin C.

If you want to try it out, some Baked Apple Cinnamon Chicken can do double duty since apples made our aphrodisiac list as well!


In the world of aphrodisiacs, cloves are known for their alleged ability to prevent premature ejaculation in men and to rekindle the sex drive of women who have lost it due to anxiety.

Cloves are also thought to stimulate the nervous system more generally and have been associated with improved testicular function in mice and an increased sexual behavior in rats.

Cloves can also add to the romantic atmosphere by eliminating bad breath and soothing muscle pain. For best results, try mixing them with some cinnamon!

8. Maca

Known as the "the Peruvian Viagra," this secret spice ought to be on more Americans' radars. Studies suggest that it can combat erectile dysfunction, reduce sexual dysfunction in menopausal women, boost sexual desire in men, and fight antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction.

9. Nutmeg

Along with clove, nutmeg was found to have a sexually stimulating effect on male mice, and research done on male rats found similar results. Nutmeg may also kill pain and stimulate the circulatory system, and its psychological effects are so potent that it is sometimes used for relaxation in lieu of alcohol in areas where the substance is banned.

Just be careful not to don't overdo it—overdoses of nutmeg can cause psychosis, and you don't want your romantic night to end in a trip to the mental ward! Stick to adding just a pinch to our Hot Apple Cider!

10. Cardamom

This spice was referred to as an aphrodisiac in Arabian Nights and its oil is sometimes called the "Fire of Venus" because of its alleged ability to attract the opposite sex when worn as perfume.

Cardamom is also high in a compound called cineole that can increase blood flow to an area when applied topically. For your purest cardamom, choose the green variant over the white, which is just green cardamom that's been bleached!

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