Grow Your Own Aphrodisiacs

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    Grow Your Own Aphrodisiacs

    GrowYourOwnAphrodisiacsCollage.jpg

    In the mood for love? You don't need any expensive, artificial potions to have a good time. Here are 10 trees and shrubs you can grow to use as natural aphrodisiacs.While it can be debatable as to whether they really work (many are traditionally based on their shape alone), why not have a little fun? Try growing one of these to entice a lover or keep the fire stoked in your relationship.

    Ready to meet them? First up is the almond ....

    Disclaimer: This is meant only for education and entertainment, not medical advice.

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    Almond

    Almonds as an Aphrodisiac
    Image by Dag Endresen under a Flickr Creative Commons Attribution License

    The smell of almonds is said to induce passion in women. Combine it with cacao (chocolate), another natural aphrodisiac, for a double delight.

    You will need to plant at least two different kinds of cultivars since they are unable to pollinate themselves. If you do not have room for a full sized tree, check with your local nursery to see if they have any semi-dwarf or dwarf cultivars for sale.

    • Scientific Name: Prunus dulcis 
    • Family: Rosaceae
    • Native to: Middle East and South Asia 
    • Hardiness: Zone 5-9, depending on variety 
    • Size: 25'-30 tall 
    • More about the Prunus genus
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    Avocado

    Picture of the Avocado Tree
    Image by mauroguanandi via Flickr used under a Creative Commons Attribution license

     Many people assign an aphrodisiac quality to the avocado because of the way it grows in pairs on the tree. Indeed, the Aztecs named it Ahuacuatl, meaning "testicle tree".

    • Scientific Name: Persea spp. 
    • Family: Lauraceae
    • Other Names: Alligator pear, ahuacuatl 
    • Native to: Southern Mexico 
    • Hardiness: Zones 9-10. Grow in pots and bring inside in cooler Zones 
    • Size: Up to 80' tall
    • Avocado growing tips
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    Banana

    Bananas as an Aphrodisiac
    Image by Key West Wedding Photography under a Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License

    The banana has long been considered an aphrodisiac based on its shape alone. It is full of potassium and B vitamins, which are thought to aid in the production of sex hormones.

    • Scientific Name: Musa spp. 
    • Family: Musaceae
    • Native to: Indo-Malaysian - Australia 
    • Hardiness: Zones 9-10 
    • Size: Up to 25' tall 
    • Banana growing tips
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    Cacao

    Chocolate comes from the cacao tree
    Image by dennis.tang via Flickr

    Cacao is used to produce chocolate, one of the most well-known aphrodisiacs. Chocolate contains phenylethylamine and serotonin, two chemicals that are produced in the body when feeling happy, loving, or passionate.

    • Scientific Name: Theobroma cacao 
    • Family: Malvaceae
    • Other Names: Chocolate, cocoa 
    • Native to: Central and South America 
    • Hardiness: Needs a location with temperatures between 40-100F (tropical) 
    • Size: 10-20' tall 
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    Coconuts

    Coconut as an Aphrodisiac
    Coconut. Image by juniatha under a Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License

    In the Caribbean and other places where they grow, coconuts are believed to enhance the libido.

    • Scientific Name: Cocos nucifera 
    • Family: Arecaceae
    • Native to: Unknown (able to travel across oceans and still germinate) 
    • Hardiness: Zones 10-11 
    • Size: 20-50' tall in cultivation, up to 100' tall in the wild  
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    Durian

    Durian as an Aphrodisiac
    Durian. Image by bingregory under a Flickr Creative Commons Attribution License

    Besides being renowned for its taste (if you can get past the smell!), durian has another reason it is called the "king of fruits". Southeast Asians believe the durian has aphrodisiac powers. Be careful where you try to eat this; some locations are so turned off by the smell that it's deemed illegal.

    • Scientific Name: Durio zibethinus 
    • Family: Malvaceae
    • Other Names: Civet fruit 
    • Native to: Malaysia and Borneo 
    • Hardiness: Must have temperatures above 40F
    • Size: 90-130' tall 
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    Fig

    Fig as an Aphrodisiac
    Image by jacilluch under a Flickr Creative Commons Attribution License

    Watch out if you are attending a wedding in Southern Europe - some countries have the tradition of throwing figs instead of rice since they are associated with fertility and love.

    • Scientific Name: Ficus carica 
    • Family: Moraceae
    • Native to: Western Asia 
    • Hardiness: Zones 8-10, though there are some varieties that can grow as low as Zone 5 
    • Size: 10-30' tall, sometimes up to 50' tall 
    • More about fig trees
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    Ginkgo biloba

    GinkgoSummerRainbowFlickrMeganEHansen.jpg
    'Summer Rainbow is a beautiful variegated cultivar of ginkgo biloba. Image by MeganEHansen under a Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License

     While Ginkgo biloba is more widely known for sharpening the mind, leaf extracts are also in use to treat male impotence.

    • Scientific Name: Ginkgo biloba 
    • Family: Ginkgoaceae
    • Other Names: Maidenhair tree, Japanese silver apricot
    • Native to: China 
    • Hardiness: Zones 3-8 
    • Size: 50-75'tall and 50-60' wide 
    • Ginkgo biloba growing tips
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    Pine Nuts

    Pine Nuts as an Aphrodisiac
    Image by Zwedlana under a Flickr Creative Commons Attribution License

    Pine nuts are an ingredient in many a love potion. They are full of zinc, which is said to be good for the libido.

    • Scientific Name: Pinus edulis. Other Pinus species also 
    • Family: Pinaceae
    • Other Names: Piñon, pinyon 
    • Native to: Western United States 
    • Hardiness: Zones 5-8 
    • Size: 10-40' tall and 5-15' wide 
    • More about pine trees
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    Roses

    Roses as an Aphrodisiac
    Image by Joe Shlabotnik under a Flickr Creative Commons Attribution License

    The fragrance of the rose has the same effect on women as Valium - relaxation and lessening inhibitions. However, unlike Valium, the scent of roses does not affect good judgement, coordination or memory.

    • Scientific Name: Rosa spp. 
    • Family: Rosaceae
    • Native to: Asia / North America 
    • Hardiness: Zones 1-11 
    • Size: Wide variety from miniature roses to tall climbing vines
    • Rose pruning basics
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