Friday, January 24, 2014

Spice Up Relations

Evidence points to the many health benefits of an active sex life. When a couple has a desire discrepancy for sex, it can create a great deal of stress, and for some who don't ask for help in dealing with the problem, it can even result in a breakdown of the relationship. One partner may reach breaking point, start looking elsewhere, or begin pressuring their partner for a change. Ultimatums escalate distress levels and make it even more likely that the pair will split.

Trying to create a sexy relationship once it has gone stagnant takes a gradual shift and both partners need to feel comfortable each step of the way. We might not find ourselves alone with our partner as often as we would like. Exhaustion, stress, hormonal fluctuations and less than optimal health can all leave you feeling less than your sexiest, which can adversely affect your sex life. Perhaps you find yourself saying “not tonight babe” more often than you’d like.

Since a healthy sex life is stress diminishing and a great way to connect with your partner, sex itself, is not something that you want to forfeit. The yogis would say not to overdo it, but finding a good balance is the key. If you’ve been turning your partner down a little more in the bedroom that you’d like, perhaps it’s time for some natural spices to Spice Up your Sex Life!


The fragrant leaves of this plant are the main ingredient in pesto. The oils derived from basil have been shown effective against various bacteria in a laboratory setting. This sweet herb has a pleasant taste and stimulating scent that is known to increase sex drive. In fact, Italians call Basil “Kiss me Nicholas,” and ancient Greeks served basil to horses before they bred them. Many attribute basil’s sweet scent with its sex-boosting properties, so take a heady whiff and see if it doesn’t get you in the mood! Basil also contains apigenin, a bioflavonoid which is presented in leafy plants and vegetables (e.g., parsley, artichoke, basil, celery) and may help the immune system fight cancer. Current research trials indicate that apigenin may reduce DNA oxidative damage, inhibit the growth of human leukaemia cells, induce cancer cell death, act as an anti-inflammatory, and as a muscle relaxer.


Cardamom has a strong, unique taste, with an intensely aromatic, resinous fragrance. Black cardamom has a distinctly smokey aroma, though not bitter, with a coolness some consider similar to mint. The ancient healing art of Ayurveda recommends cardamom for low libido. This spice contains high levels of cineole, which increases blood flow to the male and female sexual regions. That may increase desire. Cardamom also balances doshas (Ayurvedic body energies), and has detoxifying properties. Green cardamom is broadly used in South Asia to treat infections in teeth and gums, to prevent and treat throat troubles, congestion of the lungs and pulmonary tuberculosis, inflammation of eyelids and also digestive disorders. It also is used to break up kidney stones and gall stones. I find cardamom pods a nice addition to herbal root tea or homemade chai tea. Herbal Root Tea 


The cayenne fruits are generally dried and ground, or pulped and baked into cakes, which are then ground and sifted to make the powdered spice of the same name. It only makes sense that hot peppers will cause a little sizzle in the bedroom. Cayenne and similar hot peppers not only heat up the body, but they also speed metabolism. Cayenne pepper is also claimed to be a male aphrodisiac because it contains capsaicin which can increase blood flow to all parts of the human body. Eating cayenne also gives you an attractive, flushed appearance, which may help heat things up for your partner. Cayenne may also be beneficial to heart health, and could help you lose weight by firing up your metabolism. Ideas for adding cayenne to your meals - Herb and Spice Recipes 


This warming, slightly sweet spice increases blood flow and body temperature. Cloves also increase energy and ingesting them, will leave you sweetly scented. All of these serve to create a powerful sexual attractant. Cloves are also high in omega-3 fatty acids, manganese, and vitamin K, and also contain eugenol, which serves as an antiseptic and mild anaesthetic. Cloves are considered a very strong spice due to the eugenol chemical that makes up most of the clove's taste, the quantity of clove used in recipes is usually minimal. It pairs well with cinnamon, allspice, vanilla, red wine, and basil, as well as with uncommon combinations such as citrus peel, star anise or peppercorns. The essential oil is used in aromatherapy when stimulation and warming are needed, especially for digestive problems. Herbs and Spices 


Florence fennel or finocchio is a selection with a swollen, bulb-like stem base that is used much like a vegetable. This liquorice flavoured herb looks a little like celery with lacy fronds at the top. You can chop fennel stalks and add them to foods much like you would celery, or use the fronds to flavour foods. You can also grind the seeds as a spice. The ancient Egyptians used fennel to boost women’s libido, and as it turns out, there was good reason. Fennel contains phytoestrogens, also called "dietary estrogens", they are a diverse group of naturally occurring nonsteroidal plant compounds that have the ability to cause estrogenic and/or antiestrogenic effects that may increase sex drive. Fennel is also used to aid digestion, assist with lactation, to loosen phlegm in bronchial passages, and as an after-meal digestive and breath freshener. 


The seeds of this plant are commonly found in curries, and other Indian cuisine. The spice itself has a warm, intriguing flavour. A study conducted at the Australian Centre for Integrative Clinical and Molecular Medicine in 2011 found that taking fenugreek increased the sex drive in low-libido men. Fenugreek may also help lower blood sugar levels in diabetics, and lactating women have used the spice for decades to increase milk production. Several human intervention trials demonstrated that the antidiabetic effects of fenugreek seeds reorganize most metabolic symptoms associated with type-1 and type-2 diabetes in both humans and relevant animal models by reducing serum glucose and improving glucose tolerance. Fenugreek seeds are one of my personal favourites. 


Garlic is widely used around the world for its pungent flavour as a seasoning or condiment. People on dates often avoid garlic because they don’t want to kill the mood with foul breath when the evening turns to romance. Still, regardless of how it makes your breath smell, the high levels of allicin in garlic improves blood flow to your sexual organs. There’s always parsley for your breath. Early research studies in humans, have suggested possible cardiovascular benefits and anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties. Another study had similar results, with garlic supplementation significantly reducing aortic plaque deposits and also inhibited vascular calcification in human patients with high blood cholesterol. People taking insulin should not consume medicinal amounts of garlic without consulting a physician. Herbs & Spices Cardiovascular Protection 


This warming herb comes from the root of the ginger plant, and it imparts a spicy, slightly sweet flavour and scent. Like garlic, ginger increases blood flow, especially to the sexual organs. It also warms you up, and it smells a lot better than garlic. Many cultures have used ginger as an aphrodisiac, and Dr. Mehmet Oz confirmed it on a recent show, when he listed ginger as one of his top 4 libido boosters. Ginger is also high in potassium, magnesium, and copper. It is also a great anti-nausea substance, and has anti-inflammatory effects. The traditional medical form of ginger historically was called Jamaica ginger - it was classified as a stimulant and carminative and used frequently for dyspepsia, gastro paresis, slow motility symptoms, constipation, and colic. 


Nutmeg has long been used in Indian culture as a very popular libido booster. In Africa, many people refer to nutmeg as “Viagra for women.” Researchers at the Aligarh Muslim University in Aligarh, India tested nutmeg as an aphrodisiac using animal studies and found that it did, indeed, increase sexual behaviours. In low doses, nutmeg produces no noticeable physiological or neurological response, but in large doses, raw nutmeg has psychoactive effects. In large doses nutmeg was also reported to induce hallucinogenic effects, such as visual distortions and paranoid ideation. If using nutmeg while pregnant keep in mind that it inhibits prostaglandin production and contains hallucinogens that may affect the fetus if consumed in large quantities. A worthwhile addition to your diet - just be sensible!


These little yellow threads add flavour and colour to the traditional rice dish paella. While saffron is expensive, a tiny bit goes a long way. Large amounts can result in overdose (so don’t take it as a supplement), but just a thread or two can increase sex drive, according to a 2011 University of Guelph study presented in the journal Food and Research International. Saffron also has antioxidant qualities and supplies selenium, zinc, potassium, and magnesium. Early studies show that saffron may protect the eyes from the direct effects of bright light and retinal stress apart from slowing down macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa. Saffron has a long medicinal history as part of traditional healing - Several modern research studies have hinted that the spice has possible anticarcinogenic (cancer-suppressing), anti-mutagenic (mutation-preventing), immunomodulating, and antioxidant-like properties. Saffron stigmas, and even petals, may be helpful for depression. Herbs & Spices Cancer Prevention

If health and wellness are your top priorities, don’t neglect the immune system. It fights bacteria, viruses, fungi, moulds and even cancer cells. Simply put, if you want to expand your healthy life span, boost your immune system with herbs and spices. 

Set the right mood and enjoy each other!
Simmering Incense:
Half fill a small saucepan with water.  Add a healthy splash of red wine.  To this mix add equal parts cardamom, coriander seeds, caraway seeds, dried or fresh ginger and cocoa powder.  Add a slice of apple peel, a pinch of cayenne, a pinch of paprika and two or three cloves.  Bring this mix to a boil, and then reduce heat to a very low simmer. Let the mix simmer (adding water throughout the evening to keep the pan from drying out) to fill your home with this beautiful aroma! 

Sesame Seed Massage Oil
Sesame seed oil (not toasted sesame seed oil) is associated with the element of fire and can inspire lust when shared between a couple. Not only is sesame seed oil associated with lust and boosting fertility, it’s also known to be great for your skin (fast absorbing and very moisturizing).  Indulge in some sensual massage and take things slow!