It’s Valentine’s Day, which means that it’s time to get romantic. And what better way to achieve said romance than by using aphrodisiacs to spice things up? Best of all, the following list of aphrodisiacs double as beauty boosters. So feel free to use them to get in a more sensual mood today, and add them to your beauty arsenal tomorrow!

1. Saffron

As the most expensive spice in the world, I would hope that saffron has some impressive attributes. Turns out, it does. It is a reputed aphrodisiac, especially in the East; the spice contains crocin, which in addition to being responsible for saffron’s color, has been shown to increase “mounting frequency” and “erection frequency” in male rats. It has also been shown to decrease “ejaculation latency.”

Thousands of years ago, saffron was used in magic potions, to treat depression, as a body wash, in perfumes and in various medical treatments. Today, it is clear that ancient societies had the right idea. Many of these claims have at least some scientific backing. Multiple studies have shown that saffron is a viable anti inflammatory agent and an antioxidant; the spice has been shown to relieve burn wounds and to inhibit skin cancer.

2. Truffles

Yes, they are fungi. But apparently, they can be sexy despite that. Truffles are actually very expensive and considered a luxury food. The French have regarded them as an aphrodisiac for some time, and Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, a famous French gastronome, claimed that while “the truffle is not a positive aphrodisiac… it may under certain circumstances render women more affectionate and men more amiable." Since truffles are located several feet beneath the earth, truffle hunters rely on hogs or dogs to sniff them out. Interestingly, it is believed that the musky, earthlike scent of truffles is similar to the natural sex hormones of the male hog, which explains why the animals are so eager to find those truffles. The chemical responsible for that smell is also present in human male testes and in human female urine. In one study, researchers had both males and females either sniff the substance before looking at pictures of women or not smell it; those who did found the women more attractive than those who didn’t get a whiff of the chemical.

In terms of your beauty regiment, Claire actually discovered a lovely cream called OM Aroma & Co.’s Crème Luxe White Truffle Face Cream, which contains white truffle extract as a signature ingredient. It is packed with vitamin B, which contributes to healthy, glowing skin. Others claim that the truffle acts as a “natural botox” and is an antioxidant. It is also rumored that both Jennifer Aniston and Catherine Zeta-Jones have used truffles on their famous tresses; Aniston supposedly used Alterna White Truffle Luxury Shampoo, while Zeta-Jones has a special (and costly) hair treatment that involves truffles and caviar.

3. Watermelon

I know that watermelon is generally associated with summertime, but even if it’s not summer in your part of the world (I am currently experiencing a cold, miserable New York winter myself), try to get your hands on some for Valentine’s Day. According to researchers at Texas A&M University, watermelon may be a “natural Viagra,” thanks to its high content of citrulline, an amino acid that converts into arginine. This is the foundation for nitric oxide, which dilates blood vessels. Viagra works in the same way – by relaxing and expanding blood vessels in the right area.

Watermelon and watermelon oil (extracted from the seeds of the fruit) have a wonderful array of antioxidant properties, most notably their high level of lycopene, which is extremely effective at fighting free radicals. Watermelon oil moisturizes without clogging pores and may help clear acne from skin. I happened to find a DIY watermelon toner recipe that has been published on no less than a dozen websites; though I personally am not a fan of toners, I know that plenty of TIA readers can’t live without them, and I have to say that this particular recipe is intriguing. If you decide to try it out, be sure to leave a comment below and let us know how you liked it!


2 tablespoons fresh watermelon juice

1 tablespoon vodka

2 tablespoons witch hazel

2 tablespoons distilled water

Directions: Combine the watermelon juice with the other ingredients in a bowl and stir well. Pour into a clean bottle. To use: Apply to skin with a clean cotton pad.

*Note: To make fresh juice, put watermelon in a blender or food processor and strain to remove all solids