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Chufa–The Ultimate Aphrodisiac

Chufa, the “Weeds,” Has Long Been Used as an Aphrodisiac in Asia and Africa

By Rabbi Joseph Shapiro

The small wrinkled “nuts” have a delicious flavor, sweet and nutty, and especially popular all around the world is the milk which can be easily pressed from chufa. In Spain this milk is called horchata de chufa, in Nigeria kunun aya, and it is known by many different names in many different cultures.

***Chufa is believed to fight erectile dysfunction, increase testosterone production, sperm count and motility and increase libido. Clinical and pharmacological studies support much of this, and a long history of especially positive anecdotal reports offer even more compelling evidence, consistently claiming, as they do, that these little tubers never fail to greatly enhance the overall sexual experience.

   A great deal of the strong effectiveness of chufa as an aphrodisiac is due to their power as a vasodilator and vasorelaxant, which can encourage the release of nitric oxide, open the flow of blood to the penis and thus provide strong, hard, long-lasting erections. The increased blood flow also makes intercourse and all related physical and sexual contact far more intense and enjoyable, increasing as it does physical sensitivity in the genitals and all throughout the body.

   In addition, increased blood flow promotes health, healing, and functionality, again in the sexual and reproductive systems and the rest of the body, while chufa’ antioxidant agents can protect, heal and even rebuild damaged organs, cells and tissues and this, particularly in relation to the urinary tract, can have a strong positive effect on sexual functionality, performance and enjoyment.

   Chufa have also been shown to increase the production of testosterone in men. This can directly counteract the many negative side effects of the drop in testosterone men experience as they grow older, and in the case of sexuality can increase libido, sexual stamina, and sexual activity, as well as having many other positive effects on sexual performance. While this can be especially helpful to men of a certain age, it is true of all adult males, and can have similar salutary effects for women as well, and chufa also seem to raise other fertility factors in both sexes.

Chufa for Women

High levels of magnesium in chufa make them especially valuable for treating certain issues related to menstruation and menopause, as do the anti-inflammatory agents and antioxidants. Women who suffer from difficult menstruation, including headaches, body pain and cramping, heavy or irregular menstrual flow, find chufa offer them substantial relief in the short term, while eating them as a regular part of the diet can offer more long-term healing which can prevent many of these difficulties from ever appearing.

   Chufa are perhaps even more well-known and more beneficial, though, to women who are going through, or have gone through, the menopause. They have been show to significantly reduce hot flashes and help establish regular sleep patterns, and seem to have a salutary effect on mood and outlook as well. The potent antioxidants benefit the brain and central nervous system, clarifying the mind and improving concentration and slowing or even reversing age-related declines in cognitive ability and memory. The magnesium and general nutritional profile of chufa also strengthens the physical body, increasing the strength of bones, muscles and joints and again helping to slow or even reverse age-related decline in physical strength, degradation of posture and loss of mobility and flexibility, and even the onset of osteoporosis.

Chufa Botanical and Herbal Information

The tiger nut is not actually a nut, but instead a tuber, a rhizome of the sedge grass Cyperus esculentus which is native to Africa and India but has been found growing naturally, evidently as a result of long-distance dispersal, around the Mediterranean and as far away as the Americas. It is a hardy and easy to grow grass, especially in temperate zones, and is even considered an invasive weed in many parts of the world.

   Chufa are rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamins C and E, calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc, are high in insoluble fiber and monounsaturated fat and resistant starch, and contain argine, antioxidants and other flavonoids, alkaloids, tannins and phenolics.

Taking Chufa

It is important to soak chufa before eating or using them. This improves their flavor and texture, and more importantly increases their antioxidant content. As with many nuts and seeds, they can also be sprouted, or germinated, before eating, which makes them much healthier, particularly for the gut, reducing the amount of antinutrients and increasing the absorption of their, and other foods’, nutritive elements.

   They are popular as a snack by themselves, with a smooth, sweet flavor, and can also be added to cereal, smoothies, salads and many other dishes. Chufa can also be ground into flour, and are a good gluten free substitute for baking, or can be added to wheat or other flour to improve both the flavor and the nutritional value. Ground chufa can also be used in cooking, and add a great texture to veggie burgers, as one example.

   Perhaps the most popular and well-known way to use chufa, however, is in horchata de chufa, as the Spanish call it. Horchata de chufa is a creamy summer drink made from the milk of pressed chufa. Indeed, people all over the world, including in Africa, India and the Americas, have since ancient times been pressing chufa and drinking the milk, by itself or in combination with spices, fruit juices or other ingredients, and this ends up being an especially healthy and delicious way to enjoy these little tubers, as well as perhaps the best way to use chufa as an aphrodisiac (see Tiger Nut Combinations, below).

Chufa Combinations

Chufa are, as mentioned above, often pressed to yield their delicious, creamy milk. While enhancing or increasing many of the already abundant health benefits, this milk is also considered as probably the best form to take chufa as an aphrodisiac, especially in combination with certain other foods and spices which can enhance these effects.

   The most popular of these is tiger nut milk blended with dates, which drink in is called kunun aya, and has been used for centuries there to improve fertility, increase libido and sexual energy and fight erectile dysfunction. Also popular is the combination of chufa, dates and coconut, and other spices such as ginger, jaggery and dandelion are often added.

   It is also important to learn that chufa is not actually nutty, but they are tubers of sedge grass. They are extremely nutritional and have a wide array of medicinal qualities as well. As an antioxidant with a strong complement of vitamins, minerals, monounsaturated fat, resistant starch and insoluble fiber, they are an excellent choice as a regularly consumed food and a long-term health supplement, and they have many specific medical applications as well, especially around heart health, digestion, circulation, sexual and reproductive health, and as a weight loss agent. These uses are appreciated both in Eastern and Western medicine.

   These “gold nuggets” are also a complete sexual food, which act as an effective treatment for erectile dysfunction, increase stamina and libido, and enhance the physical pleasure of sexuality. More importantly, perhaps, chufa, taken over a long period, will heal the urinary tract, the sexual and reproductive organs, and in this way can help heal the issues underlying sexual dysfunction.

   The so-called “weeds” that sugar cane farmers called are both nutritious and delicious, and their milk is especially popular in many cultures around the world, notably Spain and Nigeria. In addition, they can be eaten raw, germinated, used in cooking, and ground into flour for baking.

(Parts of this article are from the Chufa chapter in the Food for Love book coming out soon.)


Rabbi Joseph Shapiro

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