Ah, honey—this sweet golden nectar has been considered a stimulant as far back as 500 BC when many today believe Greek philosopher and father of modern medicine Hippocrates prescribed it to increase sexual vigor. In Biblical times, Palestine was the “land of milk and honey,” denoting its abundance of blessings and fertility. Honey is believed to be the nectar of Aphrodite, the ancient Greek goddess of love, procreation, and beauty. The Persian polymath Avicenna of tenth century AD described honey as “the food of foods, the drink of drinks, and the drug of drugs.” He also recommended that it be mixed with ginger and pepper and consumed to cure impotence. There’s an old French wives tale that a honeybee sting was like of shot of aphrodisiac. Honey is even mentioned in the Kama Sutra!
It sounds too good to be true. Unlike popular aphrodisiacs asparagus and raw oysters, raw honey can go on nearly anything and won’t leave you with bad breath. Could honey taste delicious and increase libido? Is honey really an aphrodisiac? Let’s find out!
Health Benefits of Honey
The Food and Drug Administration defines an aphrodisiac drug product as “any product that bears labeling claims that it will arouse or increase sexual desire, or that it will improve sexual performance.” We love telling people about the health benefits of raw honey. It stands to reason, then, that if you feel healthier, you’re more likely to have a better sexual performance than if you didn’t, right?
Those who advocate for honey as an aphrodisiac tend to point to its boron and B vitamins. Honey contains boron, a trace mineral used for building strong bones and improving muscle coordination. The results of a study in Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal conclude that boron beneficially impacts the body’s use of estrogen, testosterone, and vitamin D.
According to Green Facts, however, here are only 7.2 mg of boron per kilogram of honey. This would mean that for 3 mg of boron, the lowest active daily dose, you would need about half a kilogram of honey, which is more than this entire jar. That’s a lot to consume. Foods like prunes and raisins have more than three times the amount of boron, but no one is considering them as aphrodisiacs. In our opinion, prunes for a romantic dinner just doesn’t have an appetizing ring to it.
Honey is rich in a chemical called chrysin. Similar to boron, chrysin blocks the conversion of testosterone into estrogen. Studies have shown that this can have a short-term testosterone boost.
A Shot of Energy
For every tablespoon of honey, you ingest 17 grams of carbohydrates. We love that sweet boost! Getting sleepy on your date? Grab a spoonful of honey.
Raw honey is rich in vitamin B2 (known as riboflavin) and vitamin B1 (thiamin), which both help fuel the body by converting carbs into sugar, as well as vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) that lives in your blood plasma where it helps to balance hormones. Remember that honey is metabolized as sugar so it will affect your blood sugar level. A boost of energy is a kind of arousal, after all.
The Origins of Honeymoon & Benefits of Nitric Oxide
While the origins of the word honeymoon are widely disputed (with many pieces of folklore to go along with them), one explanation is linked to a bride’s fertility during the first month of marriage. During the medieval times of the fifth century, newlyweds were gifted a month’s supply of mead, a fermented beverage made with honey and water. The Babylon calendar was lunar, so this supply would last them one full moon (and hopefully help the couple conceive during that cycle).
While honey itself has no bearing on fertility (that we’re aware of), it can affect sexual activity. In addition to preventing cardiovascular disease and improving the effectiveness of a workout, nitric oxide is also the chemical behind penile erections. When nitric oxide is released by the blood vessels lining during physical activity and arousal, blood flow is increased. Smoking and high blood pressure or cholesterol can decrease nitric oxide production.
Research shows that just a three-ounce helping of honey can significantly increase nitric oxide levels in the blood.
Show Your Ooey Gooey Love
As we’ve discovered, there are many theories (some evidence-based, others not so much) on whether or not honey is an aphrodisiac. Raw honey has so many benefits on its own that you can’t help but feel good eating it. Whether or not you are swayed to consider honey an aphrodisiac, think of it as a wonderful romantic gift for your sweetie. It’s a gift we believe they’ll fall in love with.