Best Spices with Aphrodisiac Qualities

a brief guide to Spices with Aphrodisiac Qualities

Aphrodisiacs are defined as any food, drink or drug that helps to stimulate sexual desire. The term ‘aphrodisiac’ is derived from the name Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, beauty and fertility.1 Aphrodisiacs have been popular throughout history to reduce symptoms of sexual dysfunction, and can help both psychologically and physically. Not only can aphrodisiacs help to ensure procreation for generations to come, but they can also be used to increase sexual pleasure and boost the quality of romantic relationships. Listed below are the best spices known for their aphrodisiac qualities; many of them may be in your pantry right now!

Aphrodisiacs are commonly classified into one of three different groups: those that increase libido, those that increase sexual potency, and those that increase sexual pleasure. While some aphrodisiacs are thought to merely be placebos, a handful of scientific studies have been conducted to shed light on the particular spices that can help give you the confidence you need in bed. Instead of reaching for an over-the-counter or prescription medication, try a more natural way of increasing performance and pleasure.

nutmeg coming out of jar


Nutmeg has been used since ancient times for its medicinal properties, but it is also known as a powerful aphrodisiac. Nutmeg has been used for its stimulating properties, as well as its ability to treat low libido in men. In a study published in 2003 in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the aphrodisiac activity of the extracts of both nutmeg and clove was studied. The study was conducted on rats, and the effects of the nutmeg and clove extract were compared to a common impotence drug. The results of this study showed that the herbal extract increased mating performance.2

Nutmeg is a warm, sensual, exotic spice that can be added into drinks or desserts to spice up your evening. Try adding nutmeg to a spiced hot chocolate or your favorite dessert.



Although saffron is known as one of the more expensive and luxurious spices in the world, its aphrodisiac properties might make it worth the price. Saffron has been used in traditional Indian and Ayurvedic medicine for many years to increase libido. In a comprehensive 2011 study conducted by the University of Guleph, the aphrodisiac effects of hundreds of natural and synthetic substances were tested. The results showed that both saffron and ginseng showed the highest levels of increase in both libido and sexual performance.3

You can make a warm, stimulating saffron tea, or infuse saffron into your favorite romantic meal to add delightful color to the dish.



Cardamom is another spice with a hefty price tag – it’s the third most expensive spice in the world! Even so, it has been used throughout history as an aphrodisiac, known for its ability to treat impotence. It is also known as a stimulant, which can help increase libido, boost performance, and increase blood flow to the genitals.4

In aromatherapy, cardamom can be used to soothe nervous tension and ease feelings of stress and anxiety, which can also lead to increased sexual performance. For a romantic evening, try diffusing cardamom essential oil throughout the bedroom and adding a bit of the spice into a warm drink.



Ginseng is widely regarded as an aphrodisiac in traditional Chinese medicine and has been used to treat sexual dysfunctions and increase libido. Ginseng has also been found to increase sperm count and quality and treat impotence. In a 2002 study, 45 men who were treated with Korean red ginseng for 8 weeks reported significantly fewer instances of impotence. A similar study conducted in 2007 found that Korean red ginseng increased sexual performance in 60 men.5

Ginseng can be added to the diet in the form of a natural supplement or drank as a tea, and is one of the best spices to use as an aphrodisiac.

cinnamon sticks and ground cinnamon in bowl


Cinnamon is a warming spice that can increase blood flow to the genitals and boost libido. Cinnamon can be made into a tea, added to your favorite desserts, or even used aromatically to add a higher quality of intimacy to your romantic relationships. Try diffusing cinnamon essential oil throughout your room to set the mood, or try it in our Sexy blend to add an element of temptation and charisma to your evening! 

Final Thoughts

If you are looking to boost your intimate relationships, you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on supplements or prescription medications. Many common kitchen spices are scientifically proven to help increase libido as well as boost sexual performance and function. The next time you are planning a romantic evening, try baking an aromatic dessert and diffusing warming, stimulating essential oils throughout the bedroom.

Photo credits: MichelleLeePhotography/, barmalini/, BrentHofacker/, tarapongsrichaiyos/, amphaiwan/, wavebreakmedia/

Kiri Rowan

By Kiri Rowan

Kiri Rowan is a writer, photographer, and traveler with a strong interest in alternative medicine. She helps friends, family, and other travelers treat their symptoms with essential oils and medicinal plants.

Favorite MONQ blend: Vibrant

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The above information relates to studies of specific individual essential oil ingredients, some of which are used in the essential oil blends for various MONQ diffusers. Please note, however, that while individual ingredients may have been shown to exhibit certain independent effects when used alone, the specific blends of ingredients contained in MONQ diffusers have not been tested. No specific claims are being made that use of any MONQ diffusers will lead to any of the effects discussed above.  Additionally, please note that MONQ diffusers have not been reviewed or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. MONQ diffusers are not intended to be used in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, prevention, or treatment of any disease or medical condition. If you have a health condition or concern, please consult a physician or your alternative health care provider prior to using MONQ diffusers. MONQ blends should not be inhaled into the lungs.

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