In the Mood

Published February 1, 2013

The Top 10 All-Natural Aphrodisiacs

So, you’ve turned up the heat on your workouts, but now you want to turn up the heat on your love life. Just as sculpting your body is best achieved the all-natural way—i.e., with exercise and a balanced diet—upping your libido can be done naturally, too. Which aphrodisiacs really work is hotly debated, but if you’re willing to experiment, try these tantalizing 10 all-natural ingredients and see if they add a little spice to your life.

Peppermint: Galen, an ancient Roman physician and philosopher, believed that peppermint was an aphrodisiac, and it certainly can put pep in your step when smelled, or provide an energizing tingle when used as a body wash.

Celery: This vegetable’s good for you—and might just be good for arousal, thanks to a hormone called androsterone that’s produced by males and stimulates females.

Chocolate: The classic food of romance, chocolate was a favorite of emperor Montezuma back in the early 1500s, and he was quite the ladies’ man. Just make sure it’s dark chocolate, which is much healthier than milk chocolate.

Raw oysters: Long thought to have a positive effect on passion, oysters are high in zinc, a mineral that may boost libido.

Bananas: A suggestive shape makes this popular fruit an easy pick for an aphrodisiac, but it’s got more than just looks going for it—potassium, magnesium and B vitamins all help in the production of sex hormones.

Chili peppers: By releasing endorphins, raising your body temperature and speeding up your heart rate, chili peppers can give you that flirtatious feeling.

Horny goat weed: With a name like this, you know it has to be effective. Jokes aside, this leafy plant has long been used in Chinese medicine to improve erectile dysfunction and prevent fatigue.

Peaches: Soft and supple, this sweet treat is packed with beneficial stuff, including vitamin A, which helps keep your skin as smooth as this Southern fruit. In Japan, peach blossoms are a symbol of fertility.

Vanilla: Va-va-voom vanilla’s strong and pleasing smell can only mean good things. According to legend, the daughter of a Mexican fertility goddess fell in love with a mortal, but unable to marry him, turned herself into something that would provide pleasure: a vanilla vine.

Beets: Beets have been considered seductive dating back to Roman times. What makes this root so saucy? It’s probably the high amounts of boron, which increases the level of sex hormones in the body.