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Household Aphrodisiacs
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by: Celebrity Recipes Magazine
 

Believe it or not, exotic types of livestock, vegetables and fruits are not the only foodstuffs considered as aphrodisiacs. Some "ordinary" veggies and fruits, the kind that are probably found in typical household kitchens are - in terms of reputations in folklore at least - in fact considered "love inducing" as well. Here are a few of these "unlikely" love treats.

Okra.
Yup, that green staple in local cooking is in fact considered an aphrodisiacs by some people. In fact, cursory surfing in the internet would reveal that the okra has quite a reputation in the field of love. How so? Perhaps, the okra's shape and attributes has something to do with it - no one is certain. However, the fact that it's also an ingredient in typically "spicy" dishes like gumbo and jambalaya, may have also something to do with okra's "sticky" reputation. As a supposed aphrodisiac, the okra is usually steamed or served fresh, and served with lemon juice.

Tomatoes.
Hard to believe it may be, but tomatoes were once considered an exotic fruit (yes, horticulturally, it's a fruit). This is partly because the tomato was not endemic to Europe and was imported from far-off European colonies in the tropics - at least until it was acclimatized and new varieties were developed. Known as the "love apple" for some time, the lusciousness of the tomato and its attractive "red" skin were once deemed by Europeans as the horticultural equivalent of a beating heart.

Onions.
There was once a curious news item in one of the major dailies that strove hard to correlate the surprising increase in the population of a town in Central Luzon, vis-à-vis its main agricultural crop-onions. It seems that the town's citizens had this reputation as "hot lovers" even among neighboring towns. Well, onions are by nature spicy. Anyway, some aphrodisiac enthusiasts are quick to point out a particularly "effective" variety known as the "Vedalio" onion. Like most aphrodisiacs, it is supposedly best served raw, if not slightly fried.

Asparagus.
Another surprising entry in the aphrodisiac category is the asparagus. Like the okra, this veggie is probably at first considered and aphrodisiac because of its shape. Surprisingly, the asparagus turned out to be rich in Vitamin E - a vitamin considered effective in stimulating the growth of hormones. The debate is out though, as to whether canned or fresh asparagus is best. Our bet? Choose the fresh.

Chili peppers.
Bicolanos have this stereotypical reputation of being "hot" people in more ways than one! They point out that chili peppers have a lot to do with it. Indeed, the chili pepper's heat comes from "capsaicin," a chemical that stimulates nerve endings, consequently raising pulses and making individuals sweat. Researches note that raising body temperatures cause endorphins to be produced thus giving individuals a natural high that is allegedly conductive to love-making.

Garlic, clover, cinnamon and rosemary.
These "spices" may be considered dual aphrodisiacs as they are not only edible, but are considered aromatic aphrodisiacs as well. Obviously, they emit strong scents that are easily smelled by individuals. It seems that the sense of scent is considered one of the oldest senses and that scents are immediately processed by the brain for the appropriate response.

As such, anything as memorable (as a garlic blast) or subtly fragrant (like that of the cinnamon and rosemary's delicious scents) is easily recognized and given its proper reaction. Anyway, folklore has invested garlic, clover, cinnamon and rosemary with such a "lovely reputation. In the case of garlic though, it might also prove healthful, as studies have shown it to have and effect on blood pressure and cholesterol. Indeed, it's good for the heart in more ways than one!

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April 23, 2017

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