Ashwagandha Aphrodisiac Muffins (That Actually Work!)
- Published on: 05 March, 2018
- Last update: 05 March, 2018
Have you ever googled ‘aphrodisiacs’ in preparation for a special night, only to find out that most of the items on the list are everyday foods like garlic and asparagus?! I don’t know about you guys, but a big old plate of asparagus doesn’t exactly get my juices flowing.
Ever since I began my journey into the world of herbs, I’ve been searching for an aphrodisiac that actually works. I’ve tried cleverly titled ‘love potion’ tinctures from my favorite herb shop in the city (Flower Power on E 9th), I’ve eaten my body weight in oysters, and I’ve even taken something called “horny goat weed.” I’m pretty sure it just made me uncomfortably energized at 9pm rather than horny like a… goat?
Safe to say, I’m a tough critic when it comes to true aphrodisiacs. I almost thought they were a myth until I started consistently taking a hefty dose of my herbal friend Ashwagandha. When I woke up at 2 in the morning and tried to jump my boyfriend’s bones, I knew I had found my unicorn. I also knew I had to find a way to keep taking this magical substance, which is how my aphrodisiac muffins were born.
OVERVIEW OF ASHWAGANDHA: AN ADAPTOGENIC HERB
Ashwagandha quite literally translates to “smells like a horse,” although our Ayurveda teacher K.P. Khalsa prefers to interpret it as “carries the vibration of a horse” or “makes you like a horse.” You can already see where this is going, huh? 🙂
Ashwagandha is the root of a nightshade plant that is native to India (the winter cherry), and it’s one of Ayurveda’s most famous aphrodisiacs. It’s pretty much equivalent to ginseng in Chinese medicine: a prized tonic that enhances energy, muscular stamina and the ability to tolerate daily stress in general. It’s often prescribed to men, and as I mentioned in my last post, my teacher said he’s been taking 1 gram a day for the last 40 years as a sexual / vitality tonic. He however made a point to stress that it is not a gender-specific herb, and women take it with much success for sexual health as well. I believe it’s more commonly associated with men simply because ED is a topic our culture is pretty comfortable discussing, whereas women having low libido is taboo and off-limits. I think women struggle much more with this issue which is why I’m so excited about sharing this recipe today.
I also want to share something I learned about “aphrodisiac” herbs in general as I’ve gotten further into my education. This category is not limited to herbs that simply stimulate your libido (because sometimes, libido isn’t even the root issue!) Aphrodisiacs can be anything that relaxes and grounds you enough to help you be PRESENT in your body. In today’s world, we have so much on our plates and to-do lists. I know I’m not the only one that’s stuck thinking about work well beyond the time that I’m technically “off the clock.” Sometimes your body and your adrenals need to feel that it’s okay to go into rest mode in order to move into sex mode. Sometimes we need to stop thinking in order to feel. For me, that’s what ashwagandha does, and I think it’s anti-anxiety properties have more to do with the aphrodisiac effect than we think!
To tie this altogether, I’m brought to my last bit of info on this beautiful herb: it’s a grounding tonic. That means it resonates with and strengthens the root chakra. Even though the sacral chakra is the one related to sex, I believe that strength of the root must come first. We must feel safe and comfortable in our bodies (and with our partner) in order to fully let go and express our desires.
If you have an imbalanced root chakra, you may struggle with problems such as:
- Feeling disconnected from yourself and others
- Worries about basic needs (food, money, shelter)
- Never feeling “at home” anywhere you go
- Persistent anxiety
- Poor circulation
- Eating disorders
When you feel worried, anxious, or disconnected from yourself, it’s completely understandable that sex and pleasure would not be at the top of your to-do list. How can you accept pleasure when your basic needs feel like they aren’t met? This is where ashwagandha comes in as a deeply strengthening and nourishing herb that helps you feel less stressed about / and more in control of the issues listed above.
My teacher K.P. said he believes it is the “best remedy in the world for treating anxiety” because of these grounding, anti-vata characteristics (see the chart in my last post to learn more about what vata means in Ayurveda).
He explained that while valium works in 15 minutes, Ashwagandha works in 15 days… so you have to be a little patient here and let these muffins work their magic over time!
DOSAGE PER MUFFIN
What if I told you that there’s a 2500mg dose of hormone-balancing, aphrodisiac herbal medicine in each and every one of these muffins? That’s equivalent to five standard 500mg capsules — something not many of us want to swallow on top of our existing supplement regimen!
It’s important to understand why we’re eating this herb via food in the first place: you simply couldn’t get enough of it (for this particular purpose) through capsules alone.
Incredibly, 12 grams per day is the beginning dose of most Ayurvedic herbs from the medical scriptures. Ayurvedic texts recommend anywhere from 5 – 45 grams of Ashwagandha, and K.P. says that he has used up to 60 grams per day in people with acute conditions that need relief fast.
Of course, I would never recommend this large of a dose without proper supervision from a well-trained herbal practitioner. Read: do not try this at home! I simply wanted to highlight the traditional range of dosages since I found that interesting when I learned it in class. K.P. says that one of the reasons Americans never really consume herbs at this high amount is because they won’t “eat a bowl of mush” (AKA you pretty much *have* to put this stuff in your food if you want to get that much down the hatch).
K.P. explained that an average dose for anxiety in his practice is around 15 grams daily (which means you would have to take a whopping 30 500mg capsules). As the anxiety improves, you can drop this down to a more reserved dose for maintenance and daily nourishment.
I am quite sensitive to herbs and drugs of all kinds, so I’ve found that a dose of 5-6 grams/day is the sweet spot for me (in terms of both anxiety and libido). Each muffin contains 2.5g, and I usually eat 2 a day – one as a midday snack, and one for dessert. Some days I only eat one and I still get positive effects because I’m so consistent with it. It all depends on the person.
Lastly, remember that Ashwagandha takes 2 weeks of consistent use to kick in. These aren’t an overnight cure, but rather an easy and delicious way to nourish and strengthen your libido over time.
You will need:
- a small kitchen scale
- powdered ashwagandha (30g)
- 2 eggs (or 2 flax eggs – vegan)
- 2 cups almond flour
- 1/4 cup softened coconut oil
- 1/4 cup honey (or maple syrup – vegan)
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- Preheat your oven to 350 and grease or line your muffin tin (I use unbleached baking cups).
- Measure out 30 grams of ashwagandha powder using your scale. (We want 2.5g per muffin and this recipe makes a total of 12 muffins).
- If you’re using flax eggs to make this recipe vegan, mix 2 tbsp ground flaxseed with 6 tbsp water and let it set in the fridge for 10 minutes to get gelatinous and “eggy.”
- Mix the dry ingredients first (ashwagandha, almond flour, baking soda, and salt) until evenly combined.
- Then add in the wet ingredients (eggs, coconut oil, honey, vanilla, apple cider vinegar).
- Lastly, gently fold in the blueberries and chocolate chips. Use very light motions to mix so that the blueberries don’t burst and bleed.
- Evenly drop the batter into your baking cups and bake for 30 minutes.*
*NOTE: I used to make this recipe in my old apartment and it would bake in 20 minutes flat. In my new apartment, our oven is tiny and European which apparently means it bakes everything wrong?! Now, I have to leave these muffins in for anywhere from 30-45 minutes until they’re nice and golden brown on the outside, which is why I wrote 30 minutes in the recipe. I know this is super annoying, but check in on them at 20 minutes to see if they brown up early in case your oven is a boss like my old one!
*NOTE #2: I’m so used to taking herbs that bitter flavors don’t bother me anymore. In fact, I’ve become one of those crazy herb ladies that loves terrible-tasting herbal concoctions. For that reason, I don’t mind the slightly bitter note that the ashwagandha lends to these muffins. If you’re sensitive to it, up the honey to 1/3 cup instead of 1/4.
Hope you love not only this recipe, but the benefits too 🙂 Thank you for reading and don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter for more posts like this! x