Aphrodite is the Greek goddess of love, beauty and sexuality. According to the Greek poet Hesiod, she was born when Cronus cut off Ouranos’ genitals and threw them into the sea, and from the aphros (sea foam) arose Aphrodite.  This was long before science had invented in vitro fertilization, so you can’t  really blame them for this rather barbaric form of procreation.

One of the things we love to do at Beekman 1802 is look at things from the past and try to figure the thought process behind them.  We most commonly this with old farm and household equipment and old recipes, but given the modern celebrations that go along with Valentine’s Day, we thought we’d turn our attention to aphrodisiacs.

The ability to stimulate desire is an old quest fueled by our individual insecurities.  In the absence of molecular science, people often drew more basic assumptions about what natural elements could stoke the libidinous flames and they generally fell into one of three categories.

1.  Foods that make you tingle

Wine and other alcoholic beverages have long been tried as aphrodisiacs but one should not confuse the lowering of inhibitions with the rising of desire

2. Foods that make you warm

Cinnamon, nutmeg, and cayenne were among the most common spices thought to arouse things other than the appetite

3. Foods with suggestive shapes

Oysters, figs, strawberries, asparagus and whole vanilla beans along with other more blatantly phallic objects like rhinoceros horns and deer antlers

While none of these have ever been scientifically proven, we still like to think that there are simple things one can do to stimulate desire, but perhaps we are hopeless romantics

How about drawing the perfect bath?  Need some help?  Click here

Need a swig of Love Potion No. 9?  Click here

Share with us what gets your blood flowing (no scientific measurements necessary)

by Dr. Brent

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Donna " Mingy &

We have five kids 19 – 3 with our combined family ..and I am only 39 years old …the mother of the 19, 17 , and 3 year old … I'm thinking I need an anti aphrodisiac , ;p

PS ..if I was to contribute , Red Velvet cake ..the women of civil war soilders use to make it for there husbands before they left for battle to remind them of…welll… You get it ! Or the Geisha girls would wear certain hairstyles to entice ……

teri tighe

I agree with Linda. I'm more of a scent person, myself. Love colognes or even a good soap smell, on a guy.

Really good food smells are an added bonus, as well.

Linda Turner

And scents….perhaps reminiscent of a past 'experience' or is there a scientific explanation? Certain florals, (perfumes and colognes) are individually pleasing….don't forget the rose petals, either.