The kids, the phone, the daily grind and all the tensions that build up — it’s no wonder that when you fall into bed at the end of the day, sex and intimacy take a back seat to sleep. If your love life is suffering from a loss of libido — yours or your partner’s — herbs that nudge your sex drive into overdrive may provide the spark you need. Remember to consult with your health care provider before you begin taking any herbs.
Garlic may be the reason that Italians have a reputation for being lusty lovers. The allicin in garlic improves blood circulation and lowers your blood pressure, which could improve the blood flow to your genitals. Garlic also increases your energy and stamina, so add it to your spaghetti sauces with a free hand.
Anise is high in anethole, a phytochemical with similarities to estrogen, says James Duke in “The Green Pharmacy.” Its folk uses include increasing female libido and helping with male libido problems. Add the spicy bite of star anise to curries, or sprinkle crushed anise over rice pudding or whipped cream.
The many varieties of mint have a long history of inspiring lust. Hippocrates prescribed mint tea as a love brew, according to Marc Bonnard, author of “The Viagra Alternative,” and Dioscorides recommended all species of mint to encourage sexual intercourse. If nothing else, a cup of mint tea after dinner will help settle your stomach and encourage digestion — and no one feels sexy when she has heartburn.
Fenugreek, a Mediterranean herb, is one of the most important spices in Indian curry powder. Its complex flavor is both smoky and bitter, according to Nancy Nelson, who wrote about fenugreek for the Moscow Food Coop newsletter in Idaho. It also contains estrogenic compounds which may increase your sex drive. In “What Your Mother Never Told You About S-E-X,” Hilda Hutcherson notes that it increases libido and arousal, as well as increasing lubrication, which could make sex more comfortable.