Long before the days when Marc Antony fed grapes to Cleopatra, certain foods and beverages had developed a reputation as aphrodisiacs and became entwined with romantic lore. The word itself, “aphrodisiac”, comes from the name of the Greek goddess of love – Aphrodite – and conjures up ideas of magic ingredients and mystical love potions. Not surprisingly, then, wine tops the list of aphrodisiac beverages.
In ancient times a distinction was made between a substance that increased fertility versus one that simply increased sex drive. One of the key issues in early times was nutrition. Food was not as readily available as it is today. Under nourishment creates a loss of libido as well as reduces fertility rates.
Aphrodisiacs were first sought out as a remedy for various sexual anxieties including fears of inadequate performance as well as a need to increase fertility. Procreation was an important moral and religious issue and aphrodisiacs were sought to insure both male and female potency.
Wine will raise the testosterone level in women and those piqued levels will result in a dramatic increase in libido. However, drink more than half a bottle of wine and those gains are lost by the sedative effects of intoxication. So, no more than two glasses! Apparently red wine is better than white.
A California Winery has come up with the ultimate in seduction and created their own Love Potion. Madera Vineyards has created dessert wine called "Deviation." You can find this at http://www.quadywinery.com/. The secret ingredient is the Damiana herb (Turnera diffusa), a small shrub with smooth, pale green, oval leaves, aromatic yellow flowers and which is a sexual stimulant. The plant is found in hot, humid climates such as Mexico and South America as well as Texas and California.
The dried leaves of the shrub were used by the Aztecs as a remedy against impotence, the Maya's used it for pleasure and it was drunk as a healing tea by Indians throughout South-America.
For more on this topic check out Nick’s blogs:
Pick Your Potion
Tokaji, the King of Wines
Images Courtesy of www.flickr.com