Johan's Guide to Aphrodisiacs
The most indecent fruit in the world, the nut of Lodoicea maldivica, commonly known as coco-de-mer, is not only visually stimulating by its close resemblance to a certain part of the female body, but also acts as an aphrodisiac when consumed. It is the largest fruit in the plant world, reaching a weight of 10-20 kgs.
Even if commonly called a "double coconut", it is not a coconut but grows on a fan-leaf palm with the two sexes on different trees. The "female" trees do not bear until they are more than 100 years old; furthermore they are confined to two out of the twelve islands of the Seychelles. The annual production is limited to a few thousand nuts.
The interior of the coco-de-mer is jelly-like when ripe and much appreciated, not only because of its aphrodisiacal qualities but also because of the taste.
But even regular coconuts might be useful. The 14th century Arab geographer Ibn-Battuta sent some time on the Maldives, mainly living on fish and fresh coconuts. "I myself had four legitimate wives in this country apart from the concubines. I was potent for them all every day and besides that spent the whole night with whichever of them whose turn it was. Ilived like a prince for a year and a half."
Not a bad feat acquiring four wives during such a short period. But maybe it was the fish diet rather than the coconuts...
A special page is devoted to these nuts, which have such qualities that perhaps they should be X-rated.
The Ginkgo or Maiden-hair tree has a nut with remarkable properties.
The betel nut
Early Indian writings suggested multiple uses of the betel nut. Not only would it induce love but also expel wind, kill germs and subdue bad body odour.
The betel nut is the seed of Areca catechu, a single-trunked palm tree which can reach a height of 15-30 metre and which is widely diffused among the tropical islands of the southwestern Pacific and adjacent shores.
The reddish-yellow "nuts", which are not true nuts but berries, are 6-8 centimetre long and contain a small kernel. A slice of the nut is taken, sprinkled with finely ground lime and any suitable spices, and wrapped in a leaf of the betel pepper (Piper betle). This small package is then chewed.
Already the latin name of the walnut genus, Juglans, indicates its properties: literally the name means the glans of Jupiter. The origin of the name might be the ancient Roman use of walnut in fertility rites. This included the practice of throwing walnuts instead of rice in marriage cermonies. Walnut preparations have also occasionally been used in France and Italy to increase the desire.
A walnut festival is celebrated on the second Sunday of October in Vianden, Luxembourg, when useful products, such as walnut liqueur, walnut wine and walnut patÈ can be bought.
Quince, Cydonia oblongata (=C. vulgaris) (Rosaceae) has long been cultivated in the entire Mediterreanean area. The fruit is, e.g. mentioned by the Greek physician Theophrastos 300 B.C., and is believed to have been the golden apples of the Hesperides. Some even say quince was the apple which lured Eve.
Due to its colour, fragrance and many seeds the fruit was dedicated by the Greeks to Aphrodite and by the Romans to Venus, the godesses of love, and a symbol for beauty, love, fertility and a happy marriage.
The eating of a Quince pear at weddings is said to be preparative of sweet and delightful days between the married persons The high concentration of mucilage in the seeds made them very popular as an aphrodisiac. Quince jelly has also a good reputation as an amorous adjuvant.
Quince is very rich in pectine. Thus, the addition of small quantity of quince will rapidly solidify any quivering mass of jelly.
The Greek god Dionysus was not only the god of wine but also the god of fertility and procreation. Naturally, even unfermented grapes were ascribed stimulating properties.
Last update 20 August 2000 by [email protected].