Down the ages there have been many foods which have been considered aphrodisiacs; some are still considered to be so; but others? They are very common foods and not at all sexy. The humble swede is one of these and celery is supposed to be a natural Viagra, lasting for a few hours. If you boil five or six celery stalks to a pulp, then your man should be able to conquer any erectile dysfunctions if he eats them hot.

Oysters and other seafood allegedly have aphrodisiac properties, as does caviar. However, could it be that the cost of these items and the rituals around eating items such as caviar give them a potent sexual aura? Lobsters are reported to be aphrodisiacs, but not necessarily crayfish, whereas a friend of mine swears by prawns. What is it that these foods have in common? The answer is quite simple- the minerals zinc, potassium and selenium combined with vitamin B1 thiamin. Oysters also have iodine, iron, calcium, manganese and phosphorous packed into them, but it would seem that males need zinc and potassium especially to help them.

Throughout the centuries saffron has been regarded as an aphrodisiac as have cinnamon, vanilla, sesame seeds, pistachio nuts, almonds and walnuts, pomegranates, pine nuts, avocado, angelica, lychees, bamboo shoots, and the oils of patchouli and jasmine, along with the most expensive oil of all — oud oil. Then there is kiora or kewra which is obtained from the screw pine and can be used in cooking, particularly in desserts.

One of the foods that you can find in the wood is the pignut, earth nut or earth chestnut, and Nicholas Culpeper, the 17th century English herbalist says of this tuber: –

“They are called earth-nuts, earth-chesnuts, ground-nuts, ciper-nuts, and in Sussex pig-nuts. A description of them were needless, for every child knows them.

Government and virtues. They are something hot and dry in quality, under the dominion of Venus; they provoke lust exceedingly, and stir up to those sports she is mistress of; the seed is excellent good to provoke urine; and so also is the root, but it doth not perform it so forcibly as the seed both.”

Remember that these could be an endangered species, where you live, so check before you rush out to forage for them. They grow in bluebell woods and the roots look similar but bluebell roots are poisonous.

The easiest aphrodisiac to find is celery or swede, and of course, tomatoes, once called “Love Apples” also had a reputation as an aphrodisiac. We now know that tomatoes contain lycopene which is best heated and this can enhance a man’s sexual prowess as well as helping to reduce the risk of prostate problems. Any red fruit also contains lycopene, watermelons, red raspberries and strawberries for example.

While some foods undoubtedly have an aphrodisiac effect on some people, it may be that they do not work in he same way for everyone. You can set the mood with a few glasses of champagne which will serve to lower inhibitions of course, and then compose a meal of any of the foods mentioned above. Combine this with jasmine-scented candles, and with some patchouli oil somewhere in the room, but not too much as it can be overpowering, have a candlelight dinner which I hope you will remember for its good points.