Secrets from My Macrobiotic Kitchen with Julie S. Ong

Eat better. Live better. Love better.


The Aphrodisiac Twig

While sensuous aphrodisiacs like rose or chocolate take center stage on date night, twig-like burdock root has largely been ignored. Growing deep in the earth, burdock’s downward gathering energy nourishes the lower half of the body, including the reproductive organs. But unlike stimulants that activate the adrenals temporarily, burdock provides healing benefits that are long lasting. When your reproductive organs are healthy, so is your sex life.

Adding meat-like flavor to this beautiful kinpira dish, burdock root is cut into brown matchsticks.

Deeply strengthening to the intestines, kidneys, and reproductive organs, burdock root is also used in the macrobiotic diet to purify the blood and cleanse the liver. Its meaty flavor enhances sautes, stews, soups, and gravies. A traditional Japanese healing dish called kimpira uses braised burdock and carrot. Because it contains volatile oils, saute burdock a few minutes to allow oils to evaporate before adding burdock to a dish.

Burdock, Carrot, and Caramelized Red Onion Kimpira
Serves 6

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup burdock root, matchsticks
3/4 cup carrot, matchsticks
1 pinch sea salt

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, add red onion and saute until caramelized. Remove onion from pan and set aside.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and burdock and saute over medium heat 5 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Add carrots on top of burdock. Add enough water to cover the bottom of the pan. Bring to boil, lower heat, and simmer 20 minutes, covered, or until vegetables are tender. Add water if necessary to prevent pan from drying out. Season with salt. Continue cooking, covered, 2 minutes. Remove cover and cook until water is evaporated. Top carrots and burdock with caramelized red onion.

Whether you are feeling lethargic or just want to improve your sex life, burdock is a natural way to increase youthful vitality in all the right places–without pills or surgery!

Allure of the Rose

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”
~Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

Wondering what to give your sweetheart for Valentine’s Day? Try roses for women and patchouli for men.

Roses For Women

Roses not only make a beautiful gift, they are sensual as well. The rose has been used for thousands of years as a female aphrodisiac, in love potions, perfumes, and massage oils. The sedative property of rose oil lowers inhibitions by helping to soothe emotions that block arousal. In aromatherapy, essential rose oil is used by women to alleviate depression, impotence, insomnia, frigidity, menstrual disorders, and headache.

You can make your own aphrodisiac by adding organic rose water in tea or your favorite beverage. (Add a third of a teaspoon rose water, which is rose essential oil diluted with water.) Or try this recipe for tea, using your own organic rose petals.

Rose Petal Tea

This tea stimulates appetite and improves digestion.

1 cup organic rose petals, rinsed
3 cups spring water
brown rice syrup, to taste

  1. In a saucepan, bring water to boil.
  2. Pour boiling water over rose petals in a teapot.
  3. Steep 5 minutes.
  4. Pour tea in cups and sweeten with brown rice syrup, to taste.

Patchouli For Men

While women prefer the smell of roses, men are attracted to the scent of an aphrodisiac called patchouli. Found in half of men’s colognes, patchouli has sedative effects like the rose, helping women relax and lower their inhibitions. The widely held belief is that patchouli stimulates the pituitary gland to release endorphins, opiate-like hormones that block pain and promote a feeling of euphoria.

Therapeutically, patchouli helps relieve depression, nausea, headache, abdominal pain, anxiety, and frigidity. (To treat anxiety, apply patchouli externally in small doses, as too much can be a sedative.) As a culinary addition, this herb can be used in many foods, alcoholic beverages, and soft drinks.

Whether it be the allure of the rose or the patchouli, natural aphrodisiacs can turn a good date into a spectacular one!