Thursday, June 18, 2009

Indian aphrodisiacs, Kama Sutra and Ayurveda

A land so vast, so full of insights, of eternal wisdom, sensuality, beauty, temples and statues, of priceless garments, silky smooth women and proud men, a land that has given us the epic Mahabharata as well as the Kama Sutra, what can it not tell us about the use of aphrodisiacs…?

Vatsyayana’s Kama Sutra, the Sanskrit aphorisms about love, is a practical guide to sexual interactions between men and women. It does contain some aphrodisiac recipes. It is also a part of ayurveda, the Sanskrit knowledge of life.

Some are every day nutritions, such as whole grains, dairy proteins such as milk, lassi and panir. Panir is a fresh milk cheese. Almonds, walnuts and sesame, as well as dried fruits such as dates, figs, and raisins. Sweet, juicy fruits such as mangoes, peaches, plums, and pears. Aloe vera also does good. Stewed apples are recommended for breakfast and banana cooked in a clarified cow-milk butter called ghee together with cinnamon and cardamom, as is rice pudding.

A particular dish is mung dal (or pappu or parippu, depending on if you are in Nepal, India, Pakistan or Bangladesh, or any of the other countries where it is well known). It is a thick, spicy mung bean stew. Then there are more specific aphrodisiacs.

Ajwain (Trachyspermum copticum) or carom seeds is a spice from used mostly in India, but also in Iran, Egypt and Afghanistan. It smells almost like thyme, and it does contain thymol. This could also be crushed and fried in ghee together with tamarind seeds, or mixed with honey and milk, said to reduce fast ejaculations. Cardamom can be used in the same way, with honey and milk.

Arjuna (Terminalia arjuna) is a tree found in India, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. Its bark can be mixed with milk and if taken regularly, it allegedly will stimulate your will for sex.

Butea leaves, from the Butea tree (Butea monosperma), and the fleshy leaves of the Indian aloe (Liliaceae, aloe barbedensis) plant are said to be aphrodisiacs.

Saussurea lappa is a flower growing in the Himalayas. The root contains an oil, used as an aphrodisiac. The root of the Hydrophilia (Asteracanthus longifolia) can also be boiled with water, for virility. It is a thorny plant that grows in swamps, and its seeds and the dried plant can also come to use, as it is said.

Mentioned in this context are also Indian liquorice seeds (Abrus precatorius root). Be ware, though, the seeds contain an extremely dangerous toxic chemical compound, called polypeptide abrin, which can be lethal.

Indian mallow (Abutilon indicum) is used as aphrodisiac. So is Kuthimithi (Withania somnifera, sometimes called Indian ginseng), a shrub also known as Ashwagandha, which root could promote the libido if mixed with milk.

Spices are also popular, traditionally ginger, nutmeg, and crushed almond and pepper are mentioned. Along with red chilli powder, turmeric, garam masala, cumin powder, cumin seeds, black mustard seeds and the garlic-smelling asafoetida (Ferula asafoetida), native to Iran.

Another ingredient is hemp, used for many thousand years as a stimulating, erotic drug. It is an alluring sexual detail. Hemp seeds can be mixed with yoghurt together with sugar or honey to make a Bhang lassi, Bhang simply being Sanskrit for hemp.

But just as alluring, just as invigorating, is just taking in this eternal state of India, its bustling cities, its Ganeshas, its Shivas, its incredibly ornamented temples, its majestic countryside and far-streched beaches of white sand… India is an aphrodisiac in itself, arousing to the eye and to the senses…

No comments:

Post a Comment