Samui Wining & Dining
Mood Food

Will aphrodisiacs help you romance on Samui ?

Will aphrodisiacs help you romance on Samui ?There’s nothing more delightful than being with the one you love. Well – as long as you’re not tense or work-stressed, that is. No – being able to take time out and relax together is great. And so much more so if you’re somewhere as lovely as Samui. There are the beaches and the islands and the sun. And when the sun goes down? Why, then it’s time to eat.

A delicious meal with the stars twinkling and the sea gently lapping over your toes. Sensual, isn’t it? It really gets you in the mood. Yes, the whole thing’s quite an aphrodisiac in itself.

Speaking of which – ways to kindle and stimulate mankind’s physical appetites – this has been a preoccupation for centuries. The name aphrodisiac comes from Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of sexual love. And there’s been no end of debate about what sorts of things will add to the feeling of the moment. Some experts shake their heads and mutter about it all. Others wax poetic about the benefits of this and of that – herbs, plants and extracts of all sorts, potions and lotions.

Well it’s certainly true that anything that makes you feel good – boosts the libido – is stimulating. Even something as simple as lots of eye contact. Let your partner know that they’re appreciated and the glow begins. And, of course, the setting’s important – hence the near-cliché of soft lights and sweet music. But is there more to all of this? Are there really things to eat or drink that can actually turn you on?

Take oysters, for instance. It’s generally accepted that there’s something about them that does the trick. It’s true that they’re rich in vitamins and minerals (zinc in particular) that can’t be found in most land animals. But, sadly, that’s also true of most other similar shellfish (mussels, clams etc.). And a steady diet containing these things would certainly increase your well-being and general levels of health.

Another centuries-old favourite is spicy food, particularly if it contains chillies. These raise the body’s metabolic rate, increasing heart rate and blood pressure. And, yes, this is another thing that you can say is conducive to a more romantic interlude. More than this, eating this sort of food gives your face a rosy – almost sexual – kind of glow. Most alluring.

So what about nuts then? Pine nuts in particular. The ancient Greeks were big on these. And you’ll also find pine nuts in many Middle Eastern dishes, which are traditionally regarded as stimulating. Again, they’re rich in natural vitamins and are a useful addition to anyone’s diet. But that’s about it.

Historical Hindu texts on the art of love-making seem to hold the humble onion in high regard – as did the Greeks and Romans. Indeed, no self-respecting orgy was complete without a small sack of shallots. Onions and garlic share much the same properties. Despite the accompanying bad breath, chemically and nutritionally, they’re both most beneficial.

So far, most of these ‘stimulants’ are pretty helpful to your overall vitality, if not directly passion-inducing. And you can add others to that list. Asparagus, for example. ‘Johan’s Guide’ (a long and scholarly text on this very subject) states that, (ahem) “…asparagus stimulates men, but not women. Its action is diuretic; the effect on the male genitals is a consequence of this.” Hmm. Okay. I think I understand what he’s getting at.

And you can also add to this list: cucumber, banana, anchovies, dark chocolate, liquorice, cinnamon, caviar, scallops, lard (lard!) and dozens of others. But let’s cut to the fun stuff.

How about powdered rhino horn? An age-old favourite. Never fails to do the trick. Well, yes, it does contain calcium and phosphorus – but then, so does a cat’s pelvis. Maybe, for a person with dietary defects, munching on a few rhino horns now and again would improve his well-being. And, anyway, having some large horns lying about the place may raise libido levels for some. But let’s get serious.

The cantharis beetle, when dried and powdered, forms the basis of the legendary aphrodisiac, Spanish Fly. And it works! It causes a rush of blood to the private parts. But it does this by irritating the urogenital tract. It’s also caustic and burns the mouth and throat, not to mention other, more sensitive, areas. Not such good news.

No, if you’re serious, you’ll have to turn to the Dark Continent to get your pick-me-up. Search for the bark of the West African corynanthe tree. You’ll be able to extract a substance called yohimbine from it. This really seems to work, and is marketed under the trade name of Procomil.

Right at this moment, all you understandably fascinated readers are probably experiencing a noticeable loss of libido. And quite rightly. Because this has now created the very opposite of a feel-good factor. You see, the best formula for romantic love is – romance! It works every time. An intimate location, two people gazing into each other’s eyes. Soft lights, gentle sounds. Delicate fragrances that tantalise your senses. A feeling of togetherness and sharing. A hint of alcohol – a fine wine perhaps? And of course, a delicious meal that makes your mouth water…

Well, here, I can help you out a bit. There are many restaurants on the island that are romantic and conducive to love. Some have soft lights and others, sweet music. Some have both. And yet others have all this, and are right on the beach too.

Wherever you decide to go, wherever you are and whoever you’re with, at some point during the night, stop, and take a quick look around. An exotic island, a whispering sea and the sky ablaze with stars. Who needs the potions or the tonics? You’ve already taken the best aphrodisiac. A tropical holiday on Samui!


Rob De Wet


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