An expert has revealed just how couples can reignite their passion in the bedroom, with the simple help of a few libido-boosting herbs.
According to new statistics, 52 per cent of couples have sex twice a week or less, and the initial passion in most Brits’ relationships now lasts an overall average of just 3 years, 3 months and 26 days.
Surprisingly, those aged 18-24 tend to lose the passion even faster, with the average time the spark takes to die standing at just 1 year, 2 months and 2 weeks.
But now Katrine Van Wyk, 35, an author who lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children, has shared the recipes which will get the spark back in a natural way- including a latte infused with the powder of Peruvian plant maca – which is found to boost the libido .
The holistic wellness coach, a former model from Norway, has been studying the effects of plants for several years, and this month released a book called ‘Super Powders’, listing the ‘adaptogens’ which can target specific problems.
Recipe: Tahini Maca Latte
The creamy richness in this recipe comes from tahini, a sesame seed paste that is loaded with calcium and healthy fats. This creamy, sweet, and luscious drink is a real treat, and with maca and pearl, you’ll feel glowing and harmonized to boot. Makes 1 serving
Harmony, Hormone Balance, Beauty Boost
1 tablespoon tahini
2 Medjool dates, pitted
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more for garnish
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon maca
1/4 teaspoon pearl powder
1 cup warm water
1. Place all the ingredients, except the warm water, in a blender that tolerates warm liquids, then pour the water on top. Blend on high speed until frothy and creamy.
2. Pour into a cup, sprinkle with cinnamon, and enjoy!
Katrine Van Wyk, a holistic wellness coach and author who lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children, has shared the recipes which will bring back the spark using adaptogens
Adaptogens are roots, leaves, and berries which support the adrenal system, and have the four ‘Ns’- they must be nourishing, normalising, non-toxic, and non specific, meaning that they act on multiple parts of the body simultaneously.
Their name refers to the fact that they adapt to what your body needs and can increase or decrease the hormones in your system, depending on your needs.
Some, in their powder form, are used to increase the libido, including rhodiola, ashwagandha and maca.
Ashwagandha, a plant using the root and berry, is used to treat stress, arthritis, anxiety, fertility problems and can also increase sexual desire and treat fertility problems.
Meanwhile maca, a root vegetable related to the radish and also known as ‘Peruvian ginseng’, can be eaten baked, in soup or as capsules or powder, and is used to boost sex drive, stamina, menopausal problems and more.
Speaking to FEMAIL, Katrine revealed how she uses a range of adaptogens in her recipes to treat a range of problems.
Ashwagandha, a plant using the root and berry, is used to treat stress, arthritis, anxiety, fertility problems in men and women and also to increase sexual desire and treat fertility problems
The roots of rhodiola, a plant which originates in Europe, Asia, and Alaska, are used in a powder or capsule form to help decrease stress and boost performance
Katrine said: ‘Many couples in long term relationships begin to find they are too tired, stressed out and run down to have sex.
‘When we don’t feel energized and well in our own body we are much less likely to want to get romantic.
‘Being stressed means that the body is sending blood out to our limbs to help us ‘fight or flight’ what we perceived as a threat -even if the trigger was just an email from your boss- and away from our digestive and reproductive system.
‘When we’re under stress the body is more concerned with keeping you safe than it is with digesting and absorbing nutrients, or sex and reproduction.’
Super Powders by Katrine Van Wyk is published by Countryman Press (26th February 2019)
Explaining how you can help your body boost the areas which have been sidelined, she continued: ‘Try adding in a powerful group of intelligent plants called adaptogens that have been used for thousands of years.
‘Adaptogenic plants can range from roots, leaves and berries to mushrooms and help the body better adapt to stress, help support the body’s endocrine (hormonal system) and immune system.
‘That means that adaptogens can help you stay calm and focused, and not react immediately and with such severity to every single little potential trigger in your life.’
Listing some of the adaptogens that can be used in her delicious recipes to boost the libido, she said: ‘Ashwagandha is a powerful aphrodisiac, maca is a great hormone balancer and libido booster and pine pollen has the ability to increase testosterone levels.
‘Schisandra berries supports the sexual organs overall and can help increase stamina, sensitivity and circulation.
‘Shilajit, an ayurvedic herb and adaptogen, may also increase libido and help balance sex hormones.
‘And, of course, cacao – not an adaptogen but certainly a superfood- is a well-known pleasure booster and aphrodisiac.’
She added: ‘It’s also worth mentioning that sex – connection and human touch – is stress busting and may help increase endorphins and decrease tension. So, the more you do it – the less stressed out you’ll hopefully feel.’
Recipe: Chocolate Bark with Goji Berries and Rose Petals
This beautiful bark contains rose petals and energizing goji berries. Make it as your own self- care treat, or gift it to someone special in your life
Energy, Brain Boost, Focus
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup ghee, at room temperature
- 1 cup raw cacao powder
- 1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan sea salt
- 1/4 cup raw honey or pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons pine pollen
- 1 teaspoon rhodiola
- 2 tablespoons goji berries
- Culinary- grade rose petals, crushed (optional)
- 1 tablespoon cacao nibs
1. Make sure the coconut oil and ghee are soft or liquid, then mix them well in a medium bowl. If needed, you can gently melt the coconut oil over low heat or hot water.
2. Add the cacao powder, salt, and honey and stir well before adding the pine pollen and rhodiola.
3. Pour the chocolate mixture into an 8- inch square glass dish, or you can shape aluminum foil into a rectangular shape with a 2- inch rim and use that! This is supposed to look like a homemade treat so just improvise and use what you have on hand.
4. Sprinkle crushed rose petals, if using, and the cacao nibs over the chocolate mixture.
5. Let set in the freezer for 30 minutes or more.
6. Remove the bark from the mold and, using your hands, break it into rough pieces.
7. Eat right away or store in the fridge.
Recipe: Unbeatable Brownies
Slightly bitter, like really dark chocolate. Loaded with fiber, healthy fats, antioxidants, and adaptogenic power. Makes eight brownies
Antioxidant Boost, Calming, Mood
- 1 cup Medjool dates, pitted
- 1 cup raw walnuts
- 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder, plus more for dusting
- 1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ashwagandha
- 1 tablespoon maca
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips (or chop up your favorite chocolate bar!)
- Optional: chocolate sauce
1. Place all the ingredients, except the chocolate chips and sauce, in a food processor and process until well combined into a crumbly ‘dough.’
2. Pour into an 8- inch square glass container and add the chocolate chips.
3. Press the mixture into an even, 1- inch- thick layer in the container. Let cool in the fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
4. Dust the brownies with cacao powder and cut into 2- inch squares.
5. Drizzle with chocolate sauce, if you want!
Recipe: Mayan Hot Chocolate
Treat yourself with antioxidants all around, healthy fats, stress relief, a dopamine boost, and a great mood boost from chocolate and Mucuna pruriens! Serves 1 (or split it with a friend for a slightly smaller indulgence)
Pleasure Boost, Aphrodisiac, Energy
- Three ounces chopped dark chocolate (I use 70% cacao. You could use stone- ground Mexican chocolate if you want to be really authentic and fancy!)
- 1 cup nut milk (page 100)
- 1/8 teaspoon chili powder (cayenne pepper would also work here)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ashwagandha
- 1/4 teaspoon maca
- 1/4 teaspoon Mucuna pruriens
- Optional: a few red pepper flakes or marshmallows to sprinkle on top
1. Place the chocolate in a small pot and melt over low heat.
2. Warm the nut milk in a separate small pot and stir the warmed milk into the melted chocolate.
3. Whisk in all the powders.
4. Pour into small mugs, top with your garnish of choice, if using, and sip very slowly with your eyes closed.