We’ve been talking about sex quite a bit lately at the Yinova Center, with our director Jill Blakeway’s recent release of her second book Sex Again. In her comprehensive look at libido, Jill writes about how to rebuild the connection with our sexuality and desire from within ourselves and our relationship.
Since this week brings the big day for celebrating love and sex, I think it is an opportune time to share some recommendations for some specific libido boosting foods.
In Chinese medicine we always look to the internal organs when something is lacking. Sexual drive is connected to the energy of our kidneys, and the balance of yin and yang energies. Though generally lack of yang is focused on for sexual vitality, it is both the yin and yang that must be in equilibrium for one to have the motivation to pursue sex (yang) plus the ability to receive it (yin). However, this equilibrium is not meant to be rigid. As Jill writes, “ You’re aiming for a dynamic balance, not a fixed point and not a precisely even split. For most people, the sweet spot is where either yin or yang is predominant – but only slightly.”
To help nourish both the yin and yang aspect, here are a few suggestions for aphrodisiac foods and spices, whether for this Valentine’s Day or any day really!
Oysters – As the most highly prized of aphrodisiacs, these succulent yin nourishing creatures (they do come from the sea after all) are also high in vitamin B12 and protein.
Walnuts – Likely due to their kidney yang enhancing ability, an old Chinese folk remedy for impotence was to eat 20 walnuts a day for a month.
Chives – Their warm and pungent flavor is tonifying to the kidneys and specifically to sexual function. They also improve qi circulation, which is a huge benefit to your nether regions.
Apples – The legendary symbols of temptation, apples are cooling and moistening thus contribute to kidney yin.
Chestnuts – This deliciously meaty nut is both nourishing to the energy of the kidneys and helps stimulate the liver out of stagnation (because we all have stuck energy in there).
Lamb – Typically raised with far fewer antibiotics and allowed to graze on grass, this is an excellent choice for red meat lovers, especially for its kidney warming qualities.
Cucumber – This suggestive yin nourishing vegetable boasts the ability to cleanse the blood and purify skin.
Shrimp – Tasty, decorative and easy to prepare, shrimp has a warming and yang enhancing nature (inquire about allergies before offering this crustacean to any new lover).
Eggs – As a blood and yin tonic, eggs are also ascending in nature and have been used in the prevention of miscarriage.
Lentil – This little legume increases the vitality of the kidneys and is stimulating to the adrenal system.
Ginger – Dried ginger is said to direct the properties of foods and herbs to the lower region and sexual organs, making it an excellent spice accompaniment to your amorous meal.
String bean – This sweet flavored yin nourishing vegetable has known uses in the treatment of involuntary seminal emission.
Some delicious and sinful recipes utilizing the above ingredients can be found on Epicurious.com. One in particular caught my eye and may find its way to my table and my love’s lips soon…