Is cucumber an aphrodisiac? As a matter of fact it is!
And it turns out, this food with a folkloric history as an aphrodisiac, (mostly for its shape), has some real nutritional value. And much of that nutrition is going to benefit your sex life. Let’s explore the importance of cucumber sexually and how it may impact men differently from women as well as how you can use cucumber for wellness and aphrodisiac pleasure.
A brief aphrodisiac history of cucumbers
Did you know that cucumber is considered one of the oldest fruits or vegetables in the world? Turns out, what we think of as a ubiquitous salad garnish was once an essential food.
Cucumber has been cultivated for over 3,000 years. And did you know the Romans worked out a system to grow this slender, green fruit year-round? It appears they used an early version of a greenhouse system.
But although the ancient Romans seemed to appreciate what cucumbers brought to the table, they feared that this fruit would have a “cooling” effect on sexual passions.
The Romans may have decided cucumbers were anaphrodisiac but countless other cultures presented cucumber as a food of sexual temptation. More often than not, cucumber was declared aphrodisiac simply because of its slender, shaft-like shape, which (sort of) resembles the male member.
Anyone who questions whether eating a food simply because of a phallic shape is really going to help your libido is on the right track. It turns out, it’s actually the nutrients in cucumber, not the shape, that gives your love life – and your overall health – a boost. In fact, cucumber may improve everything from your skin health to your joint health to heart health. And it may even help men suffering from erectile dysfunction.
The health benefits of cucumber
From a nutritional standpoint, cucumber provides several vitamins and minerals essential to maintaining sexual health, including vitamin C and manganese.
It is also a source of vitamin K. In fact a 1/2 cup serving of cucumber offers 11% of the daily value for this vitamin. That’s pretty good! In addition, cucumber offers magnesium, potassium and fiber.
At around 95% water, cucumber is also hydrating. And believe it or not, hydration can beneficially impact your sex life in a number of ways.
RELATED: Stay Hydrated for Sexual Health
Cucumber’s high water content, along with its trace amounts of nutrients, can help both men and women with the maintenance of young, vibrant skin. (See the mention of silica above.)
In addition, this crunchy, green fruit is known for preventing water retention which means cucumbers not only work as a cure for morning-after eyes but can diminish bloat to keep you feeling your sexiest.
A link with weight loss
Lastly, cucumber can help you if you’re looking to shed some unwanted pounds. (Maintaining an ideal body weight can benefit sexual confidence as well as sexual performance.)
One 2016 study demonstrated how eating foods with high water content and low calories like cucumbers can aid in weight loss strategies.
The significance of silica
Some nutritional authorities claim that the silica in cucumbers makes this fruit something of a culinary fountain of youth. It is believed that silica can support connective tissue health. If it’s true, it means it can help keep the body limber and primed for bedroom calisthenics. (Incidentally, silica is also associated with heart health.)
Cucumber is considered a “good” source of silica. Yet there is little to no scientific evidence that the silica in cucumber really does improve joint health, or heart health for that matter. It’s more likely that the silica in cucumber just offers a talking point on the many nutrients found in this low-calorie salad topping.
TO TRY: Cucumber Salad with Chia Seeds
Can cucumbers boost sexual health?
Cucumber has many health benefits that have been specifically researched for sexual health. While most of the research has been on men’s sexual health, we know that many of the nutrients in cucumber can benefit women as well. The minerals in cucumber that support sexual health are equally beneficial to women as men. These include potassium, magnesium and manganese. But there is research to indicate that cucumbers can be more beneficial to men than women when it comes to sexual performance.
Benefits for men
There is a perception, perhaps because of its shape, that cucumber is especially beneficial to men’s health.
Although, as I mentioned it does contain manganese, which is needed for men’s sexual health, it should be made very clear that this slender, green fruit is over 90% water. That fact alone makes it pretty easy to imagine just how many cucumbers you’d need to eat to reap the benefits of its manganese, silica or other nutrients.
RELATED: The 10 Best Foods for Men’s Sexual Health
That being said, there’s a popular line of thought that cucumbers can help with erectile dysfunction because it is a source of citrulline. Citrulline is the phytonutrient in watermelon that gives the pink-fleshed, summer fruit a reputation as one of the best foods for men. It is linked with blood vessel dilation and can improve blood flow. Some experts say the citrulline in watermelon can be as effective as prescription erectile dysfunction medication.
But can cucumbers offer the same benefits as watermelon potentially can for men’s sexual health?
It is widely accepted in the natural health community that all foods containing citrulline can benefit vascular health. Nutritional authority Nat Hawes, author of Nature Cures even goes so far as to say that eating citrulline-rich foods will reduce issues of erectile dysfunction in men suffering from low blood pressure.
However, I can find no studies on citrulline specific to cucumber or its effectiveness in treating sexual disorders in men. But a clinical trial published in 2011 in Urology demonstrated that oral citrulline supplements can relieve symptoms of erectile dysfunction.
So although I recommend talking with your doctor before making any drastic dietary changes, it does appear that cucumber could have the potential to help in treating erectile dysfunction.
Cucumber’s link with women’s sexual arousal
You may never have guessed it but one of the most interesting things about cucumber is its scent.
That’s because a study by Dr. Alan Hirsch found that the scent of these slender, green fruits of summer, in combination with black licorice, is extremely arousing to women.
It really makes you look at, err…smell…cucumber a little differently, doesn’t it?
Is cucumber a fruit?
And since we’re on the topic of clarifying myths about cucumbers, cucumber is not a vegetable. In fact, it is a relative of watermelon, (which is, as I mentioned, also an aphrodisiac). Although it is green, cucumber develops from the flower of its plant and contains seeds. By the botanical definition, this makes it a fruit.
TO TRY: How to add cucumber to your smoothies
Why you should never use a cucumber for sex
Although this is something I simply won’t endorse, there are those who appreciate cucumber as a sexual tool because of the fruit’s size and shape and resemblance to a male sex organ.
However, there are safety and hygiene issues to consider that make this fruit a poor choice for acts of self-pleasure. Instead, look for a tool designed for such activities. My friends at Booty Parlor could suggest a few safe and effective alternatives.
So instead of using cucumber as a sexual tool, consider using the scent of cucumber to get you in the mood for loving.
Chia Seed and Cucumber Salad
Watermelon Cocktail with Cucumber
Cold Soba Noodle Salad for Two
Quick Cucumber Tzatziki
Shredded Veggie Chicken Bowl with Peanut Sauce
Discover more of the world’s greatest aphrodisiac foods
This article was written in 2010 and most recently updated in August 2022.
- From Farm to Bedroom: Surprising Strawberry Benefits for Women’s Sexual Health - March 14, 2023
- Chemical Kitchen Cleaners may be Hurting Your Sexual Health (What to Use Instead) - March 10, 2023
- The Best Brown Soda Bread Recipe (traditional, Irish brown bread) - February 28, 2023
Get on our mailing list
Don't miss out on a thing! Get news, deals & more!
I think we cover the ups and downs of cucumber as a support for sexual health in the article. Though you may experience some benefits, this fruit is mostly water. Beyond that, you be the judge.
Can cucumber boost my libido?