It’s that time of the year when love is in the air. But forget oysters and chocolates, here are five surprising aphroTEAsiacs to set the mood this Valentine’s Day…
1. Rose petals / rose hip:
No flower is more associated with romance, love and beauty than the rose. According to Greek mythology it was named by Aphrodite, the goddess of love herself. Tea infused with rose petals or rose hip has been shown to relieve stress and can create a mild feeling of europhia. Perfect for setting the mood, no florist required!
Teas with rose petals: Hugs & Kisses, Raspberry Vanilla, Courtesan, Berry Berry Nice, Regent’s Park
Ginger has a reputation for romance which is linked to its warming effect on the body and its ability to increase heart rate. This spice has been used by cultures throughout history to ‘get the fire started’ so to speak… In many Asian cultures, ginger is prized for its ability to increase circulation and blood flow to the hands and erm, other extremities… The ginger plant even makes an appearance in the ancient Indian text the ‘Kama Sutra’ under “aphrodisiacs, herbs, and spells” that improve love making. Madame du Barry (the famous French courtesan), believed this spice was so seductive that she served it to all her intended conquests, including King Louis XV. In fact, ginger has been used for medicinal purposes as far back as the year 500 B.C., appearing in the writings of the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius. He praised ginger for its myriad health benefits and reportedly added it to every meal (Confucius, you old dog!)
Teas with ginger: Chai Black, Chai Red, Chelsea Chai, Chocolate Gingersnap, Chilli Chilli Bang Bang, Sobrie-tea
3. Matcha Green Tea:
We adore matcha! This superfood is packed with nutrients (read more here), including an amino acid called L-Theanine, which may increase dopamine levels. Dopamine is a “feel good” chemical that activates the reward centre of the brain, responsible for feelings of pleasure. And there’s nothing sexier than feeling good!
Try matcha: matcha powder, matcha honey, matcha smoothie recipe
Ginseng has been used as an aphrodisiac for centuries, perhaps due to its erh, tubular, shape… The word ‘Ginseng’ actually translates to ‘man root’! We could just leave it at that, but suggestive shape aside, there is some science to suggest this herb could improve your love life. Ginseng increases the output of nitric oxide in the body which leads to enhanced blood flow and it’s high in compounds called ‘ginsenosides’ which can boost energy levels.
Teas with ginseng: Ginseng Guardian Blend, Gentle Giant
5. Vanilla pods
Let’s face it, vanilla just smells sexy. And smell is a big player when it comes to the game of love, a fact that perfume companies have exploited for decades. Since vanilla became widely available at the end of the 19th century it’s been added to everything from perfumes to lotions to shampoos because of its sweet and sensual aroma. In an experiment conducted by the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, volunteers were asked to rate various scents. Vanilla was ranked as the more alluring smell, beating out other high ranking scents such as lavender and doughnuts (take that Krispy Kreme!)
Teas with vanilla: Hugs & Kisses, Raspberry Vanilla, Red Velvet, Berry Berry Nice
So there you have it, the best way to win over your sweetie is with tea! Go get em tiger!