APHRODISIACS OF ANCIENT GREECE

  
  

An aphrodisiac is a defined as a substance which is used in the belief that it increases, arouses or intensifies sexual desire, and is most commonly thought to come from foods or plants in the form of a drug. The name is derived from Aphrodite, the Greek classical mythological goddess of love, sex and beauty. Aphrodisiac salads were available which contained honey. Honey has been known to have curative benefits for some time now, and a libido booster. Sesame seeds were also put in into these salads for more libido-boosting effects. Mushrooms were considered aphrodisiacs as well.
 
Throughout history, many foods, drinks, and behaviours have had a reputation for making sex more attainable and pleasurable. Examples range from herbs, the powdered horns of large animals to preparations made from beetles and insects. In the majority of cases, these have no physical effect on the body but, because they were and still are in some countries, recommended by respected authority figures in local society, the affected men usually find them effective. This goes to prove the general rule that, if the mind is willing, the body responds. The medical profession calls this the 'placebo effect'. The tendency of any medication or treatment, even an inert or ineffective one, to exhibit results simply because the recipient believes that it will work!

 

Hippocrates 4th century B.C. the physician who is traditionally known as the 'father of medicine'. He viewed the practice of medicine in a holistic way. He considered food, herbs, massage, medicinal waters, exercise, climate and occupation of great importance in regard to the treatment of illness. His medical ethics are still respected today. He is reported to have recommended lentils to keep a man virile well into old age.
Lentil soup recipe
 

 

Hippocrates also believed that frequent eating of mint diluted sperm, hindered erection, and tired the body. There was, however, the diametrically opposed opinion that mint was a very effective aphrodisiac. It is reported that Aristotle advised Alexander the Great, not to allow his soldiers to drink mint tea during campaigns because he believed it to be an aphrodisiac. Aristotle the renowned Greek philosopher, scientist and biologist who studied in Athens under Plato during the  4th century B.C. also agreed with theory of lentils being a help to man and cooked them with saffron. Bean soup, 'fassolatha' the national dish of Greece as the way to a strong libido, and others believed that artichokes were not only aphrodisiacs but also ensured the birth of sons. Fassolatha recipe

  

THE APHRODISIACS

  

Aniseed: A very popular aphrodisiac with many culinary uses. Anise is a native of Crete, Greece, Egypt and Asia Minor. It has been used as an aphrodisiac since the Greeks and the Romans, who believed aniseed had special powers.  Sucking on the seeds aids the digestion of rich foods and is said to increases your desire.

  

Asparagus: Given it's phallic shape, asparagus is frequently enjoyed as an aphrodisiac food, a natural Viagra. Feed your lover boiled or steamed spears for a sensuous experience. The Vegetarian Society suggests 'eating asparagus for three days for the most powerful affect'. The magical vegetable is loaded with potassium and Vitamin A that boost sex drives and the folic acid produces histamines that increase the power of an orgasm in both men and women! Asparagus recipe

  

Almond: A symbol of fertility throughout the ages. The aroma is thought to induce passion in a female. Try serving Marzipan (almond paste) in the shapes of fruits for a special after-dinner treat.

 

Arugula:  or 'rocket'  has been documented as an aphrodisiac since the first century A.D. This ingredient was added to grated orchid bulbs and parsnips and also combined with pine nuts and pistachios. Arugula greens are frequently used in salads and pasta.

  

Avocado: The ancients thought the fruit hanging in pairs on the tree resembled the male's testicles. This is a delicious fruit with a sensuous texture. Serve in slices with a small amount of Balsamic vinegar and freshly ground pepper. Avocado salad recipe

 

Edible bulbs: When we think of bulbs, the first thing that comes to mind probably isn't 'aphrodisiac', yet, they were highly prized for their reputed positive effect on the libido. Ancient Greeks believed that certain bitter edible bulbs stimulated passion. They were cooked in various ways, and eaten with 'aphrodisiac salads' containing honey and sesame seeds Ė two other foods considered libido-boosters. Bulbs can still be bought today in some markets in Crete. Edible bulbs recipe 

 

Fennel: Ancient Greek athletes ate fennel seed so they would gain strength, but not weight. The use of fennel as an aphrodisiac dates back to the Egyptian times where it was used as 'libido enhancement'.

  

Figs: An open fig is thought to emulate the female sex organs and traditionally thought of as sexual stimulant. A man breaking open a fig and eating it in front of his lover is a powerful erotic act. Serve fresh figs and be sure to eat with your fingers!

  

Garlic: Garlic has been used for centuries to cure everything from the common cold to heart ailments. From the most ancient of times, garlic was believed to have magical and therapeutic properties, and was also considered an aphrodisiac. In the times of Homer, Greeks ate garlic daily - with bread, as a condiment, or added to salads. The 'heat' in garlic is said to stir sexual desires. Make sure you and your partner share it together otherwise the urge might dissipate as soon as you hit the bed!  This is a good time for moderation and it could lead up to something spicy in the bedroom later. Prawn Salad, Brandy and Garlic recipe

   

Ginger: Ginger root raw, cooked or crystallised is a stimulant to the circulatory system. Perhaps a stir-fry with freshly grated ginger can stir something spicy up in the bedroom later.

   

Grapes: Were getting people off way before records were ever kept. Just ask the Egyptians or Greeks or Romans who can attest to the effectiveness of feeding this anti-oxidant finger food to their lovers. And we havenít even touched on the subject of wine yet!

  

Honey: Many medicines in Egyptian times were based on honey including cures for sterility and impotence. is rich in Vitamin B (root of testosterone) and boron (helps body process oestrogen) so both sexes are covered. It was the nectar of Aphrodite. Medieval seducers plied their partners with Mead, a fermented drink made from honey. 

  

Leeks: Ancient Greeks considered leeks to be aphrodisiac, probably because of their phallic shape. But beware they were also used as a diuretic and laxative, maybe not a good time to have reminded you of that!

 

Onions: Like garlic, the ancients ate onions regularly. In addition to their perceived therapeutic benefits, onions were believed to be an aphrodisiac.

 

Oysters: Oysters were documented as a aphrodisiac food by the Romans in the second century A.D. as mentioned in a satire by Juvenal. He described the wanton ways of women after ingesting wine and eating 'giant oysters'. An additional hypotheses is that the oyster resembles the 'female' genitals. In reality oysters are a very nutritious and high in protein. Eating oysters can either evoke thoughts of sex, or bring on the gag reflex. Avoid until youíre certain your date is united in your love for oysters.

 

Pine Nuts: Zinc is a key mineral necessary to maintain male potency and pine nuts are rich in zinc, like oysters and have a long history as a natural Viagra. Pine nuts have been used to stimulate the libido as far back as Medieval times.  These magical nuts have been used in medieval European love potions and the beds of Arabian lovers. Spinach with avocado, feta and pine nut salad recipe 

 

Rosemary: Is high in iron, calcium, and Vitamin B6, which can increase blood circulation to the skin and increase oneís sensitivity to touch. Itís powerful scent plays on our scent memories, the strongest tie to emotional and sexual experience.

  

Satirio: is a type of wild orchid and was referenced as an excellent aphrodisiac by Dioscorides.

  

Stafylinos: This was actually a wild carrot, the first writer to distinguish the difference between a carrot and a parsnip was Dioscorides he gave the carrot the name of stafylinos and the parsnip he called elafoboskon This was a plant that grew from seed in the wild that was believed to heighten sexual desire, so much so that it was referred to as a 'sex potion'. Probably once again because of their phallic shape.

 

Truffles: In ancient Greece Truffles were considered exceptional aphrodisiacs. They grew below the surface on sandy shorelines, an in the mountains and were rare and very expensive (just as they are today) The musky scent is said to stimulate and sensitize the skin to touch. The poet Lord Byron kept one on his desk for inspiration.

  

Wine: A glass or two of wine can greatly enhance a romantic interlude. Wine relaxes and helps to stimulate our senses. Drinking wine can be an erotic experience. Let your eyes feast on the colour of the liquid. Caress the glass, savour the taste on your lips. Do remember that excessive alcohol will make you too drowsy for the after-dinner romance. A moderate amount of wine has been said to 'arouse' but much more than that amount will have the reverse affect!
  

  
 
 
 

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