If you’ve heard the term “aphrodisiac” explained within the realm of food, chances are it was an article that came out around Valentine’s Day helping you plan the sexiest meal to get you and your partner in the mood before the romantic “afterparty.” But what if I told you that incorporating aphrodisiacs into your diet consistently can positively affect your health and relationships overall, in addition to strengthening your performance in the bedroom?
Photo by Jess Bernstein
At a recent educational offering at transformative music festival Lightning in a Bottle, famed raw chocolate aphrodisiac wizard Jacqui Lalita shed light on the fact that many of the foods we consider aphrodisiacs are adaptogens, as well. For those who might not have heard the term, an adaptogen is a food that helps your body adapt to stress or adverse scenarios.
Consumption of certain adaptogens can cause reactions like increased blood flow, increased brain focus & output of serotonin, increased oxygen in the blood, and more. Coincidentally, these effects are also known to help prepare and assist our sexual organs for the tryst in the bedroom.
In Lalita’s session, she educated us on mushrooms like Lion’s Mane and chaga, which are known to increase brain focus and immunity, respectively. She also shared the magic of He Shou Wu, which promotes longevity and youthfulness, and even went as far to share a personal testimony of the impact of these herbs on her life.
“My dad had esophagus cancer a few years ago and it was really bad,” Lalita explained. “He was in a feeding tube for six months, and it really seemed like he was dying. He couldn’t eat for six months, he lost weight, was passing out… So I shipped some reishi power and moringa powder and I had him mix it with water and pour it in his feeding tube. He started getting strength and feeling better and he came out of malnourishment, and that became known as his daughter’s magic powders in the hospital.”
Outside of potential health benefits, adaptogens and aphrodisiacs have been known to enhance personal relationships and interaction as well, and not just ones rooted in intimacy. Chefs Michael Montano and Monique Benabou, founders of When Chefs Talk Dirty, held a seminar at Lightning in a Bottle entitled “Four Course Foreplay,” where they taught how to make a sensual three-course-meal for your significant other. But it’s not just about the sexy time.
Benabou states, “When we do our pop-up supper club, people are asked to use their hands instead of utensils… which [taps] into something primitive and rooted. That paired with different spices that get certain endorphins running opens up such good conversation.”
Photo by Analiese Trimber
In this way, adaptogens and aphrodisiacs can also serve as a way to open yourself to social interaction without involving alcohol, the traditional “social lubricant.” This certainly was the case at Lightning in a Bottle, where the crowd huddled inside the Learning Kitchen tent was ready to devour and learn about a cooled melon & coconut lemongrass soup, which packs a hard punch of adaptogenic power.
The base of the soup consisted of cantaloupe and watermelon, which are full of niacin, potassium and Vitamin A, known to boost fertility, and was accented by spicy jalapeño to increase blood flow. At the end of the day, this all really boils down to the idea of treating food as fuel, honoring plants like mushrooms and cacao that have crazy benefits for us, and overall building the foundation for a healthier life.
As Jaqui Lalita accurately sums up, “I truly believe that food is medicine. I think that going forward, this is becoming more and more obvious, people are realizing the connection between what they put in and how they feel. And I think that with diabetes and obesity and cancer and all these things just rising, people are starting to see actually: transition to a cleaner diet and getting off processed food, GMO food, stranger than science fiction food.”