Turmeric, also known as the golden spice, is a popular ingredient in many cultures. Its acclaimed health benefits range from relieving inflammation and arthritis pain to improving brain function and giving a natural glow to tired skin. However, as an authority on aphrodisiac foods, what I’m most interested in is the spice’s potential link with better sex. In this article, we’re focusing on turmeric sex benefits and exploring this spice’s legendary aphrodisiac potential. So, does turmeric help sexually and is turmeric an aphrodisiac? Let’s find out.
What is turmeric?
Turmeric is a flowering plant in the ginger family native to India and Southeast Asia. The part of the plant used in cooking comes from the rootstock. It is most commonly used in cooking to add flavor and color to a dish. In recent years, turmeric has gained popularity as a natural health supplement, with some very interesting potential benefits to sexual health.
Is turmeric aphrodisiac? The use of turmeric in history
Turmeric comes from the Indian sub-continent and Southeast Asia and is a member of the ginger family. It has been used as both food and medicine throughout history. Its use in Ayurvedic medicine includes boosting mood and promoting blood circulation, which may be where the sexual benefits of turmeric lie. Moreover, turmeric was also used as a fabric dye and is deeply rooted in Indian and Southeast Asian cultures.
Turmeric has been used as an aphrodisiac in many cultures throughout history. According to Erotic Cuisine: a natural history of aphrodisiac cookery, the Malays are particularly fond of turmeric as an aphrodisiac as well as a childbirth tonic. Turmeric’s use in Ayurvedic medicine includes boosting mood, promoting blood circulation, and giving sexual benefits.
Does turmeric help sexually?
The great Indian tome of lovemaking, the Kama Sutra, mentions turmeric as one of the key ingredients in distilled liquor. This use as a sex tonic is also repeated in other cultures. According to The Encyclopedia of Aphrodisiacs: Psychoactive Substances for Use in Sexual Practices, in Indonesia, it was mixed with galangal and fennel to create a supposedly potent love drink. Although all of these historic uses for turmeric sexually were based on folklore, not science, modern nutritional research and medicine have given us some scientific understanding of how turmeric may be able to boost your sex life, particularly if you are a man.
Turmeric benefits for men
Research on turmeric’s potential impact on men’s sexual health has been very promising. A 2008 study shows that a key health-boosting substance in turmeric called curcumin can help improve both cholesterol and blood pressure in men, supporting heart health. Healthy blood flow is essential for both sexual arousal and climax, so heart health is a key factor in assuring optimal sexual performance.
Curcumin and testosterone
In addition, recent studies have shown that curcumin may increase testosterone, a sex hormone essential to muscle development and sperm production. In addition to the indication that it may increase testosterone levels, it may also block estrogen production and accelerate fat loss. Shedding excess fat can help free up the testosterone you already have by reducing your body mass index (BMI).
Can it increase sex drive?
Testosterone levels are closely linked with men’s libido, so turmeric has the potential to be a potent, natural libido booster for men. However, the question remains, how much curcumin is enough, and what impact does it have on women’s sexual health? These are among the many mysteries of turmeric’s health benefits still waiting to be answered.
We do know that the spice shows some potential to improve mood. Studies on the potential of turmeric to reduce symptoms of depression and even anxiety indicate that turmeric may have a powerful influence on mood. And many sex experts agree that mood can play an important role in stirring sexual passion.
Can turmeric treat erectile dysfunction?
A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine in 2018 suggests that a topical ointment made from curcumin in turmeric can help treat erectile dysfunction. The ointment reduced inflammation, increased blood flow to the groin, and improved vasodilation. Although the study was done with male rats, for men suffering from erectile problems, it could be worth discussing the potential of turmeric helping sexually with a medical professional.
Potentially improves male fertility
While research into the potential sex benefits of turmeric is still in its infancy. there is some evidence that turmeric supplementation can improve male fertility. One 2014 study showed promising results that turmeric can improve sperm quality and motility. (Keep in mind that this study was performed using rats and greater research into the use of turmeric to treat male fertility is needed.)
Turmeric and ginger benefits sexually for mem
Both turmeric and ginger have benefits for sexual health, including the fact that they’re both linked with improving blood flow. But will you get greater sex benefits if you combine turmeric and ginger? I can find no studies supporting the use of the two in combination for greater sexual satisfaction. But there is a small amount of evidence that the combination may improve male fertility. Of course, both are delicious and nutritious flavorings. So if you enjoy the taste of this combination, there’s no reason not to cook with a delicious pairing of these powerhouse spices.
May fight prostate cancer
Lastly, there is some interesting research that shows curcumin’s potential to fight prostate cancer. In one 2015 study, researchers found that a combination of turmeric and the alpha-tomatine found in tomatoes can help stop the growth and spread of prostate cancer cells.
Are you using turmeric all wrong?
Now, if you’re planning to boost your sexual health – or reap any of the health benefits of turmeric – there’s something about curcumin you should know. Many of the recipes recommending turmeric as the flavoring of a “healing tonic” or curative soup, tea or porridge are using it all wrong. That’s not to say that you can’t use turmeric in any dish for flavoring and color. But it’s important to keep in mind that the curcumin in turmeric is absorbed poorly into the bloodstream. To increase its absorbency, it must be combined with the right ingredient.
Why you need to combine turmeric with black pepper or fat
When combined with black pepper, the absorbency of curcumin increases by about 2,000%. This is because black pepper contains a compound called piperine, which enhances the absorption of curcumin. Similarly, combining turmeric with fat can also increase its absorbency, as turmeric is fat-soluble.
Should you use fresh or powdered?
Whether you use fresh or powdered turmeric is up to you. Both forms contain the same beneficial compounds, and studies suggest that both can help with sexual health and libido when combined with the right ingredients. The key is to ensure that you’re using turmeric correctly to get the most out of its health benefits.
This article was written in 2010 and most recently updated in April 2023.
Disclaimer: Please note that the information provided in this article is intended for informational purposes only and not to replace medical care. It is important to consult your physician before making dietary changes. More information
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