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aphrodisiacs-msg – 1/5/19


Medieval aphrodisiacs.


NOTE: See also the files: p-sex-msg, M-Aphrodisiacs-art, perfumes-msg, P-Condoms-art, birth-control-msg, cosmetics-msg, Thorns-o-Rose-art, Sex-in-the-MA-art.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that

I  have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some

messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium.

These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I  have done  a limited amount  of  editing. Messages having to do  with

separate topics  were sometimes split into different files and sometimes

extraneous information was removed. For instance, the  message IDs  were

removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I

make  no claims  as  to the accuracy  of  the information  given  by the

individual authors.


Please  respect the time  and  efforts of  those who have written  these

messages. The  copyright status  of these messages  is  unclear  at this

time. If  information  is  published  from  these messages, please give

credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

   Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                         Stefan at florilegium.org



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: bq676 at torfree.net (Kristine E. Maitland)

Subject: Re: Medieval Aphrodisiacs

Organization: Toronto Free-Net

Date: Sun, 31 Dec 1995 14:15:49 GMT


A good lady requested some medieval aphrodisiacs.  I suggest that she

look to _The Book of Secrets of Albertus Magnus of the Virtues of Herbs,

Stones and Certains Beasts_ ed. Michael R. Best & Frank H. Brightman

(London: Oxford University Press,1973).  The english version of this  

anthology dates from 1550.


I took a gander at the text and found the following(WARNING: much of this

stuff is poisonous -- do NOT attempt this at home!)


Periwinkle "When it is beaten unto powder with worms of the earth wrapped

               about it, and with an herb called Semperviva, in English

               Houseleek, it induceth love between man and wife if it be

               used in their meats." p.8


Henbane              "...and to them that desire to be loved of women, it is

               good that they bear it with them, for it maketh the

               bearers pleasant and delectable." p.21


Eaglestone (a geode)

               "If thou wilt engender love between any two. Take the stone

               which is called Aetites, and it is called of some Aquileus,

               because the Eagles put these in their nests...<snip>

               It is said of the ancient Philosophers that this stone,

               hanged up in the left shoulder, getteth love between the

               husband and his wife." p.46


Another interesting read is Jacqueline Murray's "On the origins and role

of 'wise women' in causes for annulment on grounds of male impotence" in

_Journal of medieval History_ vol. 16 (1990).  In essence, if he couldn't

get it up the church sent old women to feel him up.  If that didn't work

-- marriage was made void.  


You may want to take a look at _Dictionary of Aphrodisiacs_ by H. E.

Wedeck (London: Bracken Books, 1994) -- but I'd double check the



gleefully researching the obscene

Ines Carmen Maria de Freitas da Firenze



From: dickeney at access1.digex.net (Dick Eney)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Medieval Aphrodisiacs

Date: 2 Jan 1996 09:44:45 -0500

Organization: Express Access Online Communications, Greenbelt, MD USA


Or try "The Magical and Ritual Use of Aphrodisiacs".  Or listen to

Brillat-Savarin (OOP, but what the heck): "the truffle, though not a

positive aphrodisiac, can under certain circumstances render men more

gallant and women more amiable".


And then consider what would happen if it really worked perfectly.  There

are several ladies I could fantasize about, but then comes Conscience and

points out that it would be about like seducing them by getting them

drunk or slipping drugs into their food.  I might be enough of a pig to

enjoy the ensuing hours, but after that I'd feel less like patting myself

on the back than like crawling off and hiding under a rock.


|---------Master Vuong Manh, C.P., Storvik, Atlantia---------|

|----------------(dickeney at access.digex.net)-----------------|


From: Mark Schuldenfrei <schuldy at abel.MATH.HARVARD.EDU>

Date: Thu, 24 Apr 1997 09:42:28 -0400 (EDT)

Subject: Re: SC - Humor - where birds come from


> >   Annejke, that sounds quite heavenly!  Where does it come from?

> >

> > Alys, Birds come from Bees.  I thought everyone knew that.

> >   Tibor (:-)


> But geese come from barnacles, or so Gerard says, so not all birds

> come from bees!


Alys, I know you are "joking".  But, in period it was believed that barnacle

geese were from barnacles, and hence fish.  Not to mention that beavers

"breathed" water through their tails, making beaver tails also fit for Lent.


It is obvious that the writers of the Heraldic Bestiaries weren't in touch

with that Lenten rule...  the stories of the "habits" of a frightened beaver

are vulgar, but make it clear that it wasn't exactly a fish....


(The sexual organs of beavers were considered an aphrodisiac.  A beaver,

when chased through the woods, would bite those organs off, throw them at

the pursuer, and race away.   They would "grow back".  At least, according

to those bestiaries.  And we think Pelicans are self-destructive just for

biting blood out of their breasts!)





From: "Sharon L. Harrett" <afn24101 at afn.org>

Date: Tue, 1 Jul 1997 02:57:45 -0400 (EDT)

Subject: Re: SC - Aphrodisiacs


On Mon, 30 Jun 1997, MS JENNIFER RADTKE wrote:

> I am interested in finding out what foods and herbs people in the

> middle ages belived to be aphrodisiacs.  I would also like to know

> what books would be a good resource for this subject.

> Thank you in advance,

> Luveday Tyreman


        The best I can recommend is "The Herbal and General History of

Plants" by John Gerard 1633 copyright 1975 Dover Publications, Inc. ISBN

0-486-23147-X. It is expensive (75.00) and late, but within is covered

nearly every type of plant known by 1600 or so. "The Vertues" of each plant

are listed, with *many* of them supposedly having aphrodisiac qualities.

Gerard often refers to earlier sources for his information. (He didn't

actually write it, but updated an earlier manuscript).

        Good libraries should have it. Good Luck!





Date: Mon, 15 Dec 97 10:33:32 PST

From: "Alderton, Philippa" <phlip at morganco.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Seven deadly sins & spices


At one time, I was curious about aphrodesiacs, and I found most of them

seemed to share certain physical characteristics with human genitalia, ie

penis or breast or testicle shaped or coloured. Oysters, carrots,

cucumbers, rhinocerous horns, ginseng, mandrake and tomatoes all fall in

this catagory. Others were actual body parts from animals perceived as

being very fecund or virile such as snakes, bulls, rabbits, and the like.

Chocolate is a more human /societal aphrodesiac in that its rarity made it

a common courtship gift, as in "see how much I'm spending on you because I

value you so much and incidently will make a good providor" kind of thing-

some birds gift their would-be mates with food for the same purpose. Roses

are often given for the same purpose- plant genitalia similar to the female

vulva, of a "passionate" color, and with the additional irony of thorns.

Perhaps adding some candied red rose petals to your concoction might be

appropriate? The other catagory of aphrodesiacs is dangerous- "Spanish

fly", for example, causes an inflamation of the urogenital system which

could be mistaken for lust by the uninitiated.


phlip at morganco.net



Date: Tue, 16 Dec 1997 01:13:46 -0800

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: Re: Aphrodisiacs was Re: SC - The Seven Deadly Sins


At 9:58 PM -0500 12/15/97, John and Barbara Enloe wrote:

> I need info on sources to find out about and/or period aphrodisiacs.


Take a look at either of the published versions of Tacitas Sanitatem--_The

Four Seasons of the House of Cerruti_ or _A Medieval Health Handbook_ (I

think). They discuss lots of foods, with medical properties.





Date: Tue, 16 Dec 1997 21:59:00 -0500

From: "Sharon L. Harrett" <Ceridwen at commnections.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Seven deadly sins & spices


Greetings to Daniel, and whomever else asked about the aphrodisiacs;


I have a slim little volume called " Aphrodisiac Cookery Ancient and

Modern" by Greg and Beverly Frazier, Published by Troubador Press, San

Francisco, 1970. No ISBN, but the Library of Congress catalog number is

71-128534. It is not what I would recommend for true period cookery, but

a fun volume of folklore and beliefs about certain foods gleaned from

books on sexual practices through the ages. It has recipes with the

disclaimer that the authors were not recommending any of these "ancient"

recipes because of their sometimes strange or dangerous ingredients.

however, many of the recipes are do-able and some are excellent. It's

also just a fun book to read.


For period ideas of the effects of herbs, spices and foods look at

herbals written in period, as most of them describe the uses and effects

of a particular edible. Gerard's is 1603, reprinted from 1597, and is a

compilation of earlier knowledge with additions from himself and a

DoctorJohnson. It really is amazing the beliefs put in it.  Also, some

cookery books have reciepts for medicinals, with thier intended results,

amd much can be gleaned from them.





Date: Fri, 23 Apr 1999 01:17:32 +0200

From: Thomas Gloning <Thomas.Gloning at germanistik.uni-giessen.de>

Subject: SC - Superstitious Foods....


Many articles on food and superstition in:


Handwo:rterbuch des deutschen Aberglaubens. Hg. von Hanns

Ba:chtold-Sta:ubli unter Mitwirkung von Eduard Hoffmann-Krayer.

10 vols. Berlin 1927-42. Reprint Berlin/ New York 1987.


Vol. 10, the index volume, has many cross references s.v. "Speise";

s.v. "Geburt" there are references to "Aalleber zur Erleichterung",

"Brotzauber", "Ka:se", "Wolfsfleisch essen", "Wurstessen", "Zwiebel"

etc.; see also s.v. "Geburtserleichterung".


On food, birth etc. see also:


Britta-Juliane Kruse: Verborgene Heilku:nste. Geschichte der

Frauenmedizin im Spa:tmittelalter. Berlin/ New York 1996.

Index s.v. "Erna:hrung".


She mentions among other things a 12th century medical recipe that was

used "als Aphrodisiakum und zur Stärkung einer Frischentbundenen" (p.

210; the recipe published in Sudhoffs Archiv 50, 1966, 207-210).





Date: Wed, 28 Apr 1999 17:01:04 -0500

From: "Sharon R. Saroff" <sindara at pobox.com>

Subject: SC - Now this is mideval cooking


My lord husband, Sfi Mordehai, sent this to me.




>              Legendary aphrodisiac draws mobs of Turkish lovers

>   Paste

>   _Packets of a paste reputed to be Turkey's strongest aphrodisiac are

>   flung to waiting throngs

>   _April 26, 1999

>   Web posted at: 10:54 p.m. EDT (0254 GMT)_

>   MANISA, Turkey (CNN) -- Hoping a centuries-old secret recipe will

>   inject new romance into their lives, more than 14,000 people flocked

>   to the western Turkish town of Manisa this week to grab a piece of a

>   legendary aphrodisiac.

>   Local authorities planned to throw hundreds of kilograms of a

>   mysterious paste, known as Mesur Macunu, from the top of the Sultan

>   mosque in Manisa's main square.

>   The paste, made up of 41 different spices, has gained the reputation

>   of being the strongest aphrodisiac in the country, due to its

>   energizing qualities.

>   It was said to have been invented in 1540 by a prominent medicine man

>   of the Ottoman Empire, Musluhittin Ephendi, who devised the formula to

>   save the life of the terminally ill mother of Sultan Suleyman the

>   Magnificent.

>   Girl

>   _Manisa has been celebrating the aphrodisiac paste for more than 400

>   years _

>   The recipe has been secretly transferred from generation to generation

>   among the town's ruling class, known only to the top municipal

>   authorities and officially appointed makers.

>   Every year since Mesur Macunu's creation, the town of Manisa has

>   thrown a special festival to distribute the elixir to the masses.

>   This year's celebration, the 459th festival, was marked by the

>   announcement that the formula has been officially approved by the

>   Turkish Pharmaceutical Standards Institute.

>   Manisa authorities said almost 40 tons of the paste would be produced

>   this year, with a quarter of it exported to European countries.


>Matthew Saroff



Date: Tue, 24 Aug 1999 17:49:01 -0500

From: "Mark.S Harris" <rsve60 at email.sps.mot.com>

Subject: SC - chick peas = aphrodisiac???


Just a bit I just read on chick peas that I thought some would find



Barbara Santich notes on page 26 of "The Original Mediterranean Cuisine"

In a different context, chick peas were regarded as the perfect

aphrodisiac: they were nourishing; they were defined as hot and moist,

as was semen; and they caused flatulence, the emission of gas

somehow being seen as analogous to the 'soul' contained within semen.


Perhaps this gives a whole new meaning to "soul food".


Stefan li Rous

stefan at texas.net



From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

To: "'sca-cooks at ansteorra.org'" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: RE: [Sca-cooks] online glossary

Date: Fri, 20 Jul 2001 14:48:47 -0500


Saterion is probably more correctly spelled Satyrion, the purple orchis,

Orchis mascula.  It contains starch and is used to produce salep, a starch

meal used as food, as a drink, and as an aphrodisiac.


Here are a couple of period references:








Diasaterion (try diasatyrion) appears to be Orchis militaris.



or possibly, a preparation of satyrion:



the previous URL is only part of Culpepper's Herbal:



Scincus is a genus of skinks, but this may be a point where the taxonomy

varies from previous usage.


From some of these ingredients, I would say this recipe is meant to be an

aphrodisical comfort to gentlemen and ladies.





Date: Tue, 21 Oct 2003 23:40:34 -0400

From: "Christine Seelye-King" <kingstaste at mindspring.com>

Subject: RE: [Sca-cooks] Aphrodisiac foods

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


Do we have any info, or are there published resources, on what types of  

Food were considered aphrodisiacs in period?




We've had this conversation before, when I posted this list the first time.

At the time, there were a couple of other suggestions, none of them period,

and the entire discussion turned to the chemical properties involved in

creating that particular smell in your urine when you eat asparagus.

        So, here is the list of aphrodesiac foods I've got.

        Mistress Christianna


While perusing the "Book of Lists" the other day (my lord wanted me to read

Benjamin Franklin's 8 Reasons To Marry An Older Woman), I came across the

list of:


10 Foods Claimed To Be Aphrodisiacs


1. Asparagus.

        Asparagus contains a diuretic that increases the amount of urine excreted

and excites the urinary passages. The vegetable is rich in potassium,

phosphorus, and calcium - all necessary for maintenance of a high energy

level.  However, it also contains aspartic acid, which neutralizes excess

amounts of ammonia in one's body and may cause apathy

and sexual disinterest.


2. Caviar

        In addition to being nutritious (30% protein), caviar has been considered

an aphrodisiac because of its obvious place in the reproductive process.

All fish and their by-products have been linked to the myth of Aphrodite,

the goddess of love who was born from the foam of the sea. Supposedly,

anything that came from the sea would partake of Aphrodite's power.


3. Eel

        Eel, like most fish, is rich in phosphorus and has an excitant effect on

the bladder.  In addition to its general associations with the aphrodisiac

effect of fish, it has probably been favored as and aphrodisiac because of

its phallic appearance.


4. Garlic

        Both Eastern and Western cultures have long regarded garlic as an

aphrodisiac. The Greeks and Romans sang its praises and oriental lovers

claimed to be towers of strength because of eating it.


5. Ginseng

        The Chinese call ginseng the "elixir of life" and have used it for over

5,000 years.  Although medical opinion is sharply divided as to its merits,

recent Russian experiments claim that ginseng increases sexual energy and

has a general healing and rejuvenating influence on the body.



6. Honey

        Honey is highly nutritious and rich in minerals, amino acids, enzymes,

and B-complex vitamins.  Galen, Ovid, and Sheikh Nefzawi, author of "The

Perfumed Garden", believed that honey has outstanding aphrodisiac  




7. Lobster

        The lobster has been described as an amatory excitant by many writers,

including Henry Fielding in "Tom Jones".  In addition, it shares the

Aphrodite-derived power attributed to all seafood.


8. Oysters

        Oysters are one of the most renowned aphrodisiac foods.  Like other

seafood, they are rich in phosphorus. Although they are not a high source

of energy, oysters are easily digestible. Among the eminent lovers who have

vouched for oysters was Casanova, who called them "a spur to the spirit and

to love."


9. Peaches

        "Venus owns this tree... the fruit provokes lust..." wrote herbalist

Nicholas Culpepper.  The Chinese considered the fruit's sweet juices

symbolic of the effluvia of the vagina, and both the Chinese and Arabs

regard its deep fur-edged cleft as symbolic of the female genitalia.  A

"peach house" was once a common English slang term for a house of

prostitution, and the term "peach" has been used almost universally to

describe a pretty or sexually appealing girl.


10. Truffles

        Truffles, the expensive underground fungi, are similar to oysters in that

they are composed mostly of water and are rich in protein. Rabelais,

Casanova, George Sand, Sade, Napoleon, and Mme. Pompadour are a few of the

many notables who have praised the truffle's aphrodesiac powers,  An ancient

French proverb  warns "Those who wish to lead virtuous lives should abstain

from truffles."


Contributed to "The Book of Lists" by Robert Hendrickson

"The Book of Lists" by David Wallechinsky, Irving Wallace and Amy Wallace

Bantam Edition, February 1978





Date: Tue, 21 Oct 2003 23:45:24 -0400

From: "Christine Seelye-King" <kingstaste at mindspring.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] A Persian Ritual

To: "SCA Cooks" <Sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


Another aphrodisiac food thing I have is this Persian Ritual. It came off of

a website called The Aphrodesiac Exchange, but the web address I have for it

no longer works.




A Persian "Ritual"


Lady Katherine D' Armagh's contribution to the Aphrodisiacs Exchange (many

thanks!) is as follows:

"When I was a young teenager, my parents bought a house with an apartment

attached. The first tenants were a young married couple from Tehran, Persia,

now modern day Iran. The woman was mysterious and very, very beautiful. She

was quiet and soft spoken, and I was fascinated by her.


She taught me many things, how to knit, how to cook Persian food and best of

all, the "ritual" Persian women have used for centuries to ensure capturing

the heart, body and soul of the men of their choice. She said that in a

country where men made all of the decisions, the only trick was to make them

think that what you wanted them to do, was their idea in the first  

place. The ritual is:


The Wanton Maid


On the head of she who will choose,

a drop of gardenia to catch the zephyr and float to him whom she would choose.

On the eyelids of she who will choose,

a drop of rose oil to entice him whom she would choose.

On her mouth, a drop of honey, to soften the mouth of him whom she would choose.

On her tongue, a drop of peppermint,

to spark the flame in the loins of him whom she would choose.

On her neck, a drop of ambergris, to give the flush of heat to him whom she

would choose.

On each breast, a drop of almond milk, to nourish him whom she would choose.

On her stomach, a drop of vetiver to awaken lust in him whom she would choose.

On her mound of mirth, a drop of patchouli to unleash the throbbing serpent in him whom she would choose.

On the lips of her maiden flower,

a drop of lilacs to lick for him whom she would choose.

For when these drops are combined with her lover's milk of passion,

their union inside her will bring the fruit of happiness and long life to

she who will choose, and he whom she has chosen.



Date: Tue, 21 Oct 2003 23:19:52 -0500

From: Robert Downie <rdownie at mb.sympatico.ca>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Aphrodisiac foods

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


Patrick Levesque wrote:

> Do we have any info, or are there published resources, on what types of food

> were considered aphrodisiacs in period?

> Petru


Generally nourishing foods, animals thought to be...er...prolific, or foods that

resembled genetalia had aphrodisiac properties associated with them. A look

through Platina, where each foodstuff is analysed from a humoral/health

perspective could yield some useful results.  I won't check right now cause it's

past my bedtime! I can follow up tommorow unless one of the super talented and

resourceful members of this list beats me to it.   I recently did a quick

internet source and found these (not necessarily all documentable in period, but

hey, it's a place to start):


beavers, oysters, carrots, cucumbers, snakes, bulls, rabbits, spanish fly, chick

peas, aniseed, asparagus, almond, basil, corriander, figs, garlic, ginger,

honey, liquorice, mustard, nutmeg, pine nuts, strawberries, truffles (I remember

this one specifically mentioned in Platina), sparrows (which were sacred to

Athena due to their amorous nature)


Sounds kinda like the Tasmanian Devil's menu....and especially rabbits!





Date: Wed, 22 Oct 2003 09:38:00 -0700

From: david friedman <ddfr at daviddfriedman.com>

Subject: RE: [Sca-cooks] Aphrodisiac foods

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


My favorite comment on the subject--I don't remember where I saw

it--was that, considering the wide variety of foods that have been

considered aphrodisiac in the past, it's clear that all anyone really

needed was a square meal.






Date: Wed, 22 Oct 2003 18:38:10 -0400

From: "Kirsten Houseknecht" <kirsten at fabricdragon.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Aphrodisiac foods

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


> Do we have any info, or are there published resources, on what types of

> food were considered aphrodisiacs in period?

> Petru


well, for general listings. try

The Magical and Ritual Use of Aphrodisiacs

by Richard and Iona Miller


it is not "period" but they do their research really well.....

Kirsten Houseknecht

Fabric Dragon

Philadelphia, PA     USA



From: Gretchen Beck <grm at andrew.cmu.edu>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Oysters

Date: Sat, 07 Feb 2004 12:33:52 -0500

Organization: Carnegie Mellon, Pittsburgh, PA


<asmith1946 at aol.com> wrote:

> Like so many other foods, oysters are supposedly aphrodesiacs (I've tried

> them, and they did work for me, but perhaps some of you have different

> experiences?).

> Is this a 20th century invention or historically were oysters considered

> aphrodesiacs? Does this go back to the humoral system of medicine?

> Andy Smith


Platina says of all fish "Nevertheless, they are thought to moisten the

belly and increase fertility".  He also says specifically of the oyster

that "these stimulate dulled passions, are highly prized among the suptuous

and libidinous."


That takes it back to at least the 15th C.


toodles, margaret



Date: Sat, 27 Nov 2004 17:47:37 -0500

From: "Daniel  Phelps" <phelpsd at gate.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] The Perfumed Garden

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


Was written:


>Has anyone a reference for an online source for the contents of The

>Perfumed Garden by al Nefzawi?


>> Is that Burton's translation?  Could you give me the online address  

>> for it?

I can find no reference to the translator on cursory examination.  

Perhaps you can take a peek,

and see if it matches up with your copy of Burton:



> In this edition, I am specifically looking for Middle Eastern references for

> medicinal/aphrodisiacal properties of various ingredients, which are alleged

> to be in there

> somewehere.  I have not yet had the opportunity to give it more than a

> quick glance.

> I have personal reason to suspect that some of these alleged aphrodisiacs

> are, in fact, very powerful ;)


Yes if it is the book I think it is the recipes you seek may be there. I

last read my copy of Burton's translation several years ago and recall

reading several such recipes.  Also IIRC a rather interesting cure for

impotence that involves leather and hot pitch is included.  From my

remembrance of the treatment I would not recommend even to the desperate.

Lots of odd things such as how to save yourself when confronted by a lion

unexpectedly are in it as well.  All and all a rather odd read.





Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2005 13:19:37 -0500

From: "Elise Fleming" <alysk at ix.netcom.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] PPC #77

To: "sca-cooks at ansteorra.org" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>,

        "mk-cooks at midrealm.org" <mk-cooks at midrealm.org>


Greetings! The newest Petits Propos Culinaires (#77) arrived a few days

ago and there are several articles of interest to SCAdians.


The first is "Parisian Bread Circa 1654". <snip>


Andrew Dalby wrote "Platina, Brantome and the Female Libido" which

mentions some aphrodisiacs and connections to Platina.




Alys Katharine



From: "Volker Bach" <carlton_bach at yahoo.de>

To: <SCAFoodandFeasts at yahoogroups.com>

Sent: Sunday, May 01, 2005 3:31 AM

Subject: Re: SCA Food and Feast List aphrodisiacs!!


Am Sonntag, 1. Mai 2005 07:46 schrieb Sarah Lynn:

> Got into a big discussion with some folks about historical Aphrodisiacs

> and was hoping someone/s out there might add to my growing store of

> information on historical types and uses of. I'm being "encouraged" to

> teach more and this sounds like an interesting subject. Any sources ,

> tidbits or general information would be appreciated. I'll file my results

> when I get it compiled


Here's some I typed up for an A&S Entry I hope to do in the distant future.

Note the translation is from the German translation, not the Arabic original,

and I am doubtful about some points.





Abu Abdalla Muhammad An-Nafzawi, based on the new translation by Ulrich

Marzolph 2002 (Munich 2002, ISBN 340649580x)




"To gain strength for the sexual act, mix ground ant eggs with oil and

clear honey; take this on an empty stomach and it will strengthen for

intercourse. Or the penis or the vagina should be rubbed with the gall

of the jackal wolf; this grants additional strength for intercourse."


"Wise Galenus said 'those who have little strength for intercourse should

drink a glass of thick honey and eat twenty almonds and one hundred

pine nuts before bed three days in a row'"


"The same effect have ground onion seeds, sieved and mixed with honey;

this should be taken on an empty stomach."


"Melted fat from the camel's hump, rubbed onto the penis before

intercourse, effects a remarkable increase in strength and will make

the partner happy."


"To increase the experience of sexual joy, chew cubeb peppers, which is a

kind of large cardamom, and rub a little of the chewed pulp onto the glans;

This will afford man and woman great joy. Balm oil has a similar effect."


"Further, for strength during intercourse you can grind a little pyrethrum

and ginger, mix it with oil of lilies and rub it onto the pudenda, the

scrotum and penis. This lends strength."


"To increase strength during intercourse, produce more semen and increase

the erection and sexual potency, take (a piece of) spurge the size of a

mustard seed; This will give a strong erection and improve all other

things mentioned."


"If you wish the woman to desire you during intercourse, take cubebs and

pyrethrum and chew it during sex, rub it on the penis and enter her; She

will desire you passionately. Rubbing the penis with asses' milk is

even more effective."


"If you cook chickpeas with onions, strew a mixture of pyrethrum and

ginger on it and eat your fill of that, this will work miracles during





"(Male) Infertility caused by coldness of the temperament, incontinence,

cold or fever, by premature ejaculation, a short member, or a cancer of

the penis or bladder, can be cured. Warming medicines such as mixtures of

honey, ginger, pyrethrum, garlic, cinnamon, grains of paradise, nutmeg,

/wachsblume/, cinnamon bark, /paprika/ (bell peppers? can't be) and

other spices can help."




"The best medicine for those who do not have any erection is the



Take Indian galingale, cinnamon, cloves, Indian liquorice, grains of

paradise, nutmeg, Indian cubeb pepper, /wachsblume/, /beifuß/, cinnamon

bark, Persian pepper, Indian /beifuß/, cardamom, laurel seeds, pyrethrum

and clove flowers; grind all of this exceedingly finely and drink it in

broth; it may be chicken broth, but it must in any case be well boiled. If

you like, you can also take the mixture in honey. Take it in the

morning and the evening."


"Those who have premature ejaculations should mix nutmeg and

frankincense with honey and take this carefully."


"He whose penis softens prematurely should mix pyrethrum, /nieswurzsamen/,

a little spurge, green ginger, cinnamon and cardamom and take it mixed with

honey. His weakness will disappear, and all problems will be solved."




"He who has a small penis and intends to enlarge and harden it before

intercourse should massage it in lukewarm water before sex until it

reddens, circulation increases, and it becomes hot and stiff. Then he

should rub it with a paste of honey and ginger and have intercourse.  The

woman will feel such great joy that she will not suffer him to dismount."


"You can also take equal amounts of pepper, lavender, musk, and galingale,

grind and sieve them, and mix the powder with honey and ginger. Rub this

onto the penis after thoroughly massaging it in warm water. It will

become large and hard so that the woman has great joy from it."


"You can also massage the penis in lukewarm water until it reddens and

becomes erect. Then take a thin strip of parchment, spread hot pitch on it

and wrap it around the fully erect penis; Leave it on until the erection

has ended and the penis become flaccid again. If this is repeated

often, the penis will become strong and large."


"You can also take a number of long leeches of the kind that live in water

and put as many of them as possible into a bottle. Then pour oil on them

and leave the mixture standing in the sun until the components mingle

through the action of the heat. This oil you must rub onto the penis on

several consecutive days and it will become strong and large."




"Daily eating egg yolks without the whites on an empty stomach increases

the desire for intercourse; the same is true for eating them with chopped

onions for three days in a row. Peeled asparagus, fried in butter with egg

yolks and ground aromatic spices, eaten several days in a row strengthens

for intercourse as well as causing inordinate desire."


"If you place chopped onions in a pot, add aromatic spices, fry this in

butter together with egg yolks and eat it on several consecutive days

it will grant indescribable strength for intercourse."


"He who takes camel milk mixed with honey over several days will be granted

similarly wondrous strength and his penis shall not rest night or day."


"He who eats egg yolk fried with tripe, cinnamon, and pepper will increase

his strength for intercourse; He will have persistent, strong erections so

that he almost can not sleep any more."


"If you desire to fuck through an entire night but have not had the

opportunity to partake of the abovementioned foods before, take as many

eggs as you need to eat your fill and fry them in a pan with fresh

butterfat or butter until they are done; Pour plenty of honey over them,

mix this and eat it with enough bread. Your penis will stand all night."


"As regards the drinks that stimulate sexual desire, many people consider

the following to be efficacious: First squeeze onions until the juice comes

out; Take one measure of this. Add to this two measures of clear honey. Mix

this and simmer it on a small fire until the onion juice is gone and the

honey remains as it was before. Take it off the fire, cool it and bottle it

for later use. For use, take one ounce of it and mix it with three ounces

of water in which chickpeas have been soaking for a day and a night.  Drunk

before going to bed in a winter's night, you will find no sleep. If you

take this medicine regularly your penis will stand so stiff and firm that

you will not find sleep. Men of a hot temperament ought not to take this

medicine as it causes fever in them. It should never be taken more than

three days in succession, except if one is very old or has a cold

temperament. It should also not be taken during summer."



Date: Wed, 27 Apr 2011 19:28:54 -0700

From: David Friedman <ddfr at daviddfriedman.com>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] period aphrodisiacs


My favorite comment on the subject, by whom I don't remember, was

that, considering how wide a range of things were believed to be

aphrodisiac in the Middle Ages, it looks as though all anyone really

needed was a square meal.






From the fb "SCA Cooks" group:

Urtatim Al-Qurtubiyya

2:54pm Nov 8, 2018


I have this book. It has some recipes that sound like they will be tasty. There are also some beverage syrup recipes that sound good, too.




The actual text in translation is about, IIRC, 50 pages. A great deal of the book discusses how Arabic-language and Persian books on erotology are serious and well-thought out. Basically the translator is stressing the scholarly and trying to get away from the blushing and giggling factor. So if you are interested, you might want to see if a library has it or can get it.



Urtatim Al-Qurtubiyya

7:44pm Nov 8


Also, there's an aphrodisiac dish in the 13 c anonymous Andalusian cookbook.


Carrot Paste



trans. by Charles Perry


Take a ratl of carrots, of which you have cleaned the interior. Cook it in a ratl of water, some two boilings, then take it off the fire and let it dry a little, over a sieve. Add it to three ratls of honey, cleaned of its foam, and cook all this until it takes the form of a paste. Then season it with ginger, galingale, cubeb and flowers [of clove?], half an ûqiya in all for each ratl. Eat it like a nut at meals. Its benefits: it fortifies coitus and increases desire beautifully; it is admirable.


I've made this several times, including for feasts. It's darn tasty. And tastes a lot like gajar halwa, altho no milk or butter. (my worked out version is on my website)


Also I used half honey and half sugar because I think the flavor of honey is too dominant when it's used alone. (I use raw honey)


Urtatim Al-Qurtubiyya

1:29am Nov 9

The original and my version are in this webpage:



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