Also called the nectar of Aphrodite, honey is one of the most seductive foods in the world, not to mention one of the world’s best-known aphrodisiac foods. Sticky, viscous, deliciously sweet, it is as much a sensual experience as it is a delicious indulgence. So if you’re wondering is honey aphrodisiac? The answer should be clear.
Honey is a sexy food
Even in manufacturing, honey’s lore is pure romance. Culled by honeybees, it is created from the nectar of flowers. As such, it is an emblem of sexual ripeness.
But although honey’s sweetness and sticky, sensual texture are compelling, honey experts will tell you that the best thing about this liquid gold is the number of varieties.
What do I mean? Not all honey looks or tastes like the stuff in the bear-shaped bottle. In fact, experts say that there are as many variations of honey as there are styles of wine. (Here’s an interactive map with honeys by type.)
In flavor and body, kinds of honey run from bold and thick as molasses to soft and creamy as butter. Some jars of honey are as rich as maple syrup and perfect for pancakes. While others are as aromatic as a bouquet of spring wildflowers.
Honey aphrodisiac history
And there are almost as many legends about honey’s aphrodisiac powers as there are varieties of this sweet syrup. It’s been considered a potent aphrodisiac by cultures around the world.
It is traditionally offered at Indian weddings to symbolize the sweetness of life. In addition, the word honeymoon stems from a wish for a sweet marriage. Furthermore, this viscous liquid gold was used by many cultures as a symbol of fertility.
And it often symbolized more than fertility. In some cultures, it was straight-up linked with sex.
To the ancient Greeks, was honey an aphrodisiac? As a matter of fact, Hippocrates, the famed Greek physician, prescribed it for sexual vigor. He was also fond of recommending a drink of milk and aphrodisiac honey to induce sexual ecstasy.
And although Hippocrates couldn’t have known it, today it does appear that honey benefits for men are potentially greater than the aphrodisiac benefits for women. (More on this later…)
Sexual benefits of honey
Honey can help get you in the mood for loving by providing the body with a quick shot of natural sugar. It primarily offers fructose but also contains sucrose and glucose. (Incidentally, did you know that honey is about 17% water?)
But beyond its ability to provide fast energy, honey contains some interesting nutrients. According to the USDA’s FoodData Central, honey is a source of potassium, a nutrient considered essential to sexual health. Honey is also a source of iron, zinc and folate, all of which contribute to a healthy sex life.
Does honey make you horny?
Honey has a reputation for increasing sexual desire. And although most people don’t realize it, this is probably because it contains about two percent of the vitamins and minerals essential to sexual health. That may not sound like much but much of honey’s nutrition includes some key nutrition for libido.
One of those key components is boron, a nutrient believed to regulate hormones. Some nutritional authorities believe that boron may be able to treat erectile dysfunction.
In fact, one 2015 study showed that just a week of boron supplementation can result in increasing free testosterone levels by 25%. And it appeared to reduce indicators of inflammation by half. (Inflammation is the enemy of libido and can prevent both men and women from achieving sexual arousal and climax.)
Just because some experts link increased boron consumption with treating erectile dysfunction, don’t think that boron is only for men. Scientific evidence links boron to regulating sexual hormone levels in both men and women.
But keep in mind that honey is not among the best sources of boron. It offers about .5 mg per 100 grams of liquid sweetener.
If you’re looking to increase your boron intake for a potential libido boost, better sources might be things like raisins, almonds or peanut butter. Believe it or not, even red wine is considered a source of boron, offering more than one and a half times the boron in honey.
If you’re concerned about your boron intake, please consult your physician before making any substantial dietary changes.
A honey benefit for men
Although boron is a nutrient found in honey that can add to honey’s aphrodisiac appeal for both men and women, there is a benefit of honey specifically for men.
As I alluded to earlier, for those like the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, who believe honey is linked to sexual vigor, it just so happens that honey increases nitric oxide.
Why is this significant for men?
It won’t necessarily increase sex drive, but nitric oxide is released in the bloodstream during arousal. This means that, potentially, honey has a benefit to men who suffer from erectile dysfunction. (However, as with boron, honey is not among the foods most highly regarded for boosting nitric oxide.) But maybe just the suggestion that it could be working to improve blood flow is enough to make honey a food of sexual fantasies.
Heart benefits that equal sexual benefits
The antioxidants in honey show some promise in reducing blood pressure. In addition, there are some indications that honey may help improve cholesterol levels. And don’t forget that whatever is good for blood flow will not only benefit your heart health but also your sexual performance.
Some surprising honey benefits to general health
If we look critically at the nutritional benefits of honey to sexual health, it’s clear that honey alone will never improve your sex drive. Yes, it contains many nutrients that support blood flow and sexual hormones. But you’re getting a trace of most nutrients in a serving of honey.
Yes, it’s a great choice of sweetener because it’s a natural sugar and it does provide some of the nutrition your body needs for sexual health. Additionally, it’s a sexy syrup with an alluring golden glow and some great aphrodisiac history. But we can’t kid ourselves that the nutrients in honey will turn anyone into a ravishing sex god or goddess.
That being said, there are some remarkable, evidence-based benefits of honey that help promote overall health.
A link with weight loss
There is some evidence that honey may be the best choice of sweetener for those trying to lose or maintain a healthy weight. According to one 2011 study, replacing sucrose with honey may prevent weight gain.
There is also a belief that a mixture of honey and lemon water may promote weight loss. This ayurvedic treatment has many supporters. However, the claim that it will actually promote weight loss is not backed by science.
Lastly, honey appears to be an effective all-natural treatment for coughs and dry or sore throats. Natural and inexpensive, not to mention tasty, licking a spoonful of honey is without question a great alternative to an over-the-counter cough suppressant.
All in all, the benefits of aphrodisiac honey make it one of the best choices of natural aphrodisiacs. Whether you want to splurge for the added benefits of Manuka honey is up to you but keeping honey in your pantry is a must for anyone looking for an ingredient with health benefits.
What kind of honey is best?
There are a lot of choices when it comes to buying honey. If you want to reap the most health benefits from eating honey, you probably want to choose raw honey. Or you might consider Manuka honey.
Organic and raw honey
Raw organic honey benefits are basically the same as any raw honey not certified organic. However purchasing organic honey helps to ensure you’re not getting pesticides along with your shot of sweet, golden bliss. Now raw honey benefits versus pasteurized honey, that’s a different story.
Pasteurization appears to reduce some of the most popular health benefits of honey including honey’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Heating honey also diminishes or destroys some of this sweetener’s amino acids and enzymes. However, it is unclear exactly to what degree pasteurization alters honey.
Many of those who believe in honey for health prefer Manuka honey. From an aphrodisiac standpoint, all honey offers seductive benefits. But if you’re eating honey for health, you may be interested in the benefits of Manuka honey.
This honey is made by bees who pollinate the flowers of the Manuka bush, native to New Zealand. In addition to offering all the benefits of raw honey, Manuka honey promotes oral health by inhibiting the growth of oral bacteria. (And if you’re thinking about aphrodisiac honey, who doesn’t love a product that gives you a clean and healthy mouth?)
In addition, Manuka honey may work as an acne treatment. Although there isn’t a whole lot of data available on the benefits of honey on the skin, one initial trial showed some promising results.
Cooking and recipes
You don’t need to do much with honey to make it seem sexy. Sticky, golden and sweet, honey just naturally is sexy. But if you want to cook with honey, there are many ways to use this natural sweetener in aphrodisiac recipes. One of my favorites is the hot honey nuts recipe from my first cookbook, Fork Me, Spoon Me.
But we also have several aphrodisiac recipes with honey here on Eat Something Sexy for you to enjoy:
Aphrodisiac Honey Thyme Gin Fizz
Tequila Hot Toddy
Fig and Basil Lassi
Almond Cake with Honey Balsamic Strawberries
Pomegranate Cider-Glazed Smoked Salmon
Sexy Italian Sausage Stew
Massaged Kale Salad with Cranberries and Persimmons
Cold Soba Noodles for Two
This article was written in 2010 and most recently updated in July 2021.
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