Foreword Review — Jan / Feb 1999
Do you know which “aphrodisiacs” actually work and which are superstitions? Which herbs increase sex drive, stamina and performance? Which essential oils reduce tension, energize and arouse? You can learn this information, along with much more, in Nature’s Aphrodisiacs, a comprehensive, practical and easy to read overview that explores the use of natural substances to boost sexual desire, pleasure and performance.
Nickell, an educational writer, researcher and member of the Holistic Health Association, utilizes her interest and experience in natural foods, nutrition and alternative therapies when covering a range of topics from legendary aphrodisiacs to the different effects that herbs, pheromones, aromas (including oils and perfumes), foods (including nutrients and minerals) and hormones have on sexual relationships.
Nickell is quick to advise that a majority of the information on aphrodisiacs is anecdotal and time-tested—the results have been garnered by generations of use over the centuries instead of through scientific research. Even though anecdotal use isn’t scientific, it nonetheless provides substantial information since very few so-called aphrodisiacs have been lab tested. Why not? Because most research is done by major drug companies which depend on patents for profits…and “you can’t patent a carrot or an herb.” The author is also very careful to point out warnings (“pregnant women should avoid”) and cautions (“overdoses may interfere with calcium absorption”) and also lists easily available food sources for specific vitamins and minerals.
Most sections are in-depth (such as how to obtain herbs and use them safely and effectively, with advice such as, “Unless you are well educated in plant lore, it is safer to obtain your herbal supplies in a health food store or pharmacy rather than gathering them yourself in the wild.”), yet some sections could be more comprehensive, using more comparative tables and lists. The book does provide an in-depth resource list, as well as a list of products that inhibit sex or are completely worthless.
Do you know that the so-called “Spanish Fly” aphrodisiac is classified as a Class 1 poison by the United States government—and that it can be fatal? Do you know that ambergris, a very rare and expensive aroma, is actually manufactured from whale vomit? If not, and if you want more facts like this, then this is the book to read.