Mustard has a prominent history as an aphrodisiac in European culture. From the ancient Greeks to modern French, this spicy condiment keeps things spicy. In fact, in the Middle Ages, monks were not permitted to ingest the yellow spice. It was believed to lead the men of God down the path to temptation.
So what makes mustard an aphrodisiac?
The ancient Greeks were the first people that we know of to use mustard in a medical application. (Interestingly, mustard seeds were found in Egyptian tombs, indicating that the Egyptians enjoyed the pungent flavoring. And perhaps they also used the seeds in medicinal applications.) But it was the Greeks who were the first to document the spice’s ability to increase circulation. And good circulation leads to good sex! That may be why this spice was regarded as a sexual aid throughout most of European history.
However on the other side of the world in China, mustard seed was also embraced for medicinal purposes. But in the East, mustard was considered aphrodisiac for its heat in the mouth and ability, when ingested in large enough doses, to warm the body as well.
And as it turns out, the Chinese were really on the right track. Mustard’s intense, spicy flavor can cause a rise in adrenalin. According to the research of Dr. Max Lake, the spice causes “maximal stimulation of the pain fraction of taste.” And it is this balance of pain and pleasure that brings eaters to gastronomic climax.
<h3>The science that helps explain what makes mustard an aphrodisiac</h3>But it might be that pungency and heat is only part of the story. You see, mustard is nutrient-rich. And it’s rich with nutrients beneficial to sexual health. It is a good source of selenium, magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids, all essential for maintaining sexual health. (It is also a source of manganese, zinc and dietary fiber).
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