Thursday, 13 February 2014

Valentine's experiment with Baldwins aphrodisiacs!

When I spotted an email entitled "Valentine's experiment with Baldwins aphrodisiacs" in my inbox, I almost deleted it as yet another Viagra spammy email in amongst the numerous others asking me if I want to get my blog to the top of Google search engines or informing me that someone in Nigeria wants my bank details so that they can divert a million dollars into my account or telling me that my paypal account needs the password resetting. But then, as my finger hovered over the delete button, I realised that this was actually a genuine email. Well, me and my big mouth ... I always say that I love blogger challenges and am always up for them, especially as most of them involve cooking. This one would apparently focus on turning up the heat in a different department altogether !

Well, I had a quick giggle as I read about the "slightly unusual, fun and pretty cheeky project" that they had in mind and breathed a sigh of relief at the precision that "in no way are we asking for anything personal to be divulged or any kind of graphic descriptions" (!) so I thought it could be a rather cheeky and humorous gift for Madhouse Daddy for Valentine's Day !

Well, the postie dropped off an innocent looking package containing four products from G Baldwin and Co, who is one of London’s oldest herbalist and apothecaries. Inside were four separate products. I headed to the website to scrutinise the write-ups :

Peruvian Maca - now this one's name was a total passion killer before I even opened it because it reminded me of Macca Pacca on In The Night Garden. It is actually also known as Maca-Maca ! OK, time to put my mum persona away for the moment and set my mind to the project !

The website informs us that Maca (Lepidium meyenii) is a root vegetable grown at altitudes of over 10,000 feet in the harsh terrain of the Peruvian Andes. It is packed with vitamins, plant sterols, essential minerals, proteins, amino acids and fatty acids, as well as alkaloids, tannins and saponins. The website explains : "Regarded as an adaptogen and superfood, Maca is also known as ‘Peruvian ginseng’ for its similarity to Asiatic ginseng in supporting physical and mental performance. It has been used for centuries in the Andes to enhance fertility, and to increase energy and stamina." See, it doesn't mention being an aphrodisiac - it's more of a general tonic. The label on the bottle does though ! "Maca is often used by those in need of energy and may contribute to healthy sexual function." Maca comes in several forms - we got the vegicaps but there is also an elixir or a powder, which can be used in cooking and baking or added to porridge, nutrition shakes or fruit juice. We had a laugh about the Maca roots on the label looking like sperm, swallowed one then sat back and waited to see what would happen. Well, nothing did really, but we didn't fall asleep in front of the telly so it might have given us a bit of extra energy. (It's been a long week - believe me, that's already an exploit !) (These cost £16.39 for 90 Vegicaps and you're supposed to take 3-6 per day, which sounded like a lot to us !)

OK, on to the next one !

Korean Panax Ginseng - The write-up says : "A highly esteemed herb that has been valued for thousands of years as an 'adaptogen'. In its traditional place, it was taken by older people - late middle age - to 'quieten the spirit'. Living up to its reputation, Ginseng tends to support the body's needs in an individual way - stimulating to a strong constitution and toning the long term poorly or aged. For general tiredness, physical exhaustion or just overwork, Ginseng could be the answer." I remember Madhouse Daddy's mum giving him ginseng capsules as a boost when he was taking his exams, so I think many people view ginseng as an energy boost more than an aphrodisiac. These ones have a bit of a strange herbal taste but you only need to take one capsule a day. They do seem to work as a pick-me-up, taking the edge off your tiredness rather than sending you wild with desire, but that's already a pretty good start ! (£9.99 for 30 caplets)

Asian Cornus (shan Zhu Yu) - Off to another far flung destination. After Peru and Korea, the next product originates from China. It's a tincture which means that it's a liquid that needs to be added to a little water - 15-20 drops three times a day. That's not very practical - imagine pulling this out in your lunch hour at work and explaining what it is ?! - but it's quite pleasant. It has an indefinable taste - quite sharp, somewhere between sherry and mouthwash ! - and again, it did seem to act as an energy boost, almost like an energy drink. Checking the label, this contains 25% alcohol which is why I thought it tasted like sherry/mouthwash ! (£5.65 for 50ml)

Harmonising Bath Oil - This is a blend of Lavender, Marjoram and Geranium oils mixed with dispersable bath oil to soothe, restore and balance the system. This is a really heady blend which is absolutely fabulous for unwinding. Even just smelling it in the bottle is enough for you to feel your head clear, your muscles start to relax and your stress fade away. If you're feeling tired, stressed or under the weather, a luxurious bath with some of this is is bound to perk you up. Whether that leads on to a night of passion or just a great night's sleep is up to you though ! (£7.39 for 100ml which is enough for up to six baths, according to the bottle)

So, what did we think? Well, I think they probably do work as an energy boost. Whether is that is down to the products themselves or the placebo effect, I have no idea. I also think that in terms of being an aphrodisiac, they again have the psychological effect of setting yourself up for a romantic night. If someone buys you champagne and chocolates, serves up oysters, ginger and other reputedly aphrodisiac foods, scatters the bed with rose petals or dims the lights and puts on a romantic movie, they all act as (more or less discreet !) signals that you have an ulterior motive at the end of the evening ! Buying and consuming any of these products, especially as a couple, sets the mood and gets you in the right mindset, which combined with the added energy boost that some of them seem to provide could indeed help you spice up your (love) life ! For a humorous, tongue-in-cheek Valentine's gift for your other half, I think they're perfect too !

for more information :
(who, I discovered, don't just sell aphrodisiacs - they have everything from natural cleaning products, candle-making kits and organic baked beans to aromatherapy oils, toiletries and incense)

Disclosure : We received the products in order to write an honest review.

Other reviews you may be interested in :

TV Celebrity Chef Martin Blunos Creates Aphrodisiac Recipe For Valentine's Day

1 comment:

  1. I was looking into aphrodisiac foods that really work. How's that?

    All the best!
    Shruti xoxoxox