Home    Number 3, 2022

Aphrodisiac Plants in the Traditional Culture of Modern Greece

[Rasteniia-afrodiziaki v novogrecheskoi traditsionnoi kul’ture]

DOI: https://doi.org/10.31857/S0869541522030034


Type of publication: Research Article

Submitted: 23.03.2022

Accepted: 10.04.2022

About author(s)

Svetlana Sidneva | https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2937-5434 | lucia80@mail.ru | Lomonosov Moscow State University (GSP-1, Leninskie Gory, Moscow, 119991, Russia)


modern Greece, traditional culture, folk medicine, food culture, aphrodisiacs, phytonyms, identity


The article discusses the use of herbal remedies for boosting male sexual power and female fertility in the folk medicine and alimentary culture of modern Greece. Focusing on a range of aphrodisiacs, both autochthonous plants and imported exotics, I attempt to examine the ways in which their “effectiveness” is variously associated with the nomination and symbolism of plants by different social strata. Of particular interest are cases of “controversial identity” of some herbal remedies. I argue that in the use of aphrodisiacs in the present day Greece, there is an amalgamation of influences coming from the traditions of the Ancient and/or Byzantine medicine and the practices of traditional healers, the family traditions directly transmitted and the attempts to reconstruct ancient recipes, a certain conservatism in the preferred choice of the “domestic product” – sometimes even endemic plants – and openness to innovations propelled by globalization processes and Internet networks.


Sidneva, S.A. 2022. Rasteniia-afrodiziaki v novogrecheskoi traditsionnoi kul’ture [Aphrodisiac Plants in the Traditional Culture of Modern Greece]. Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 3: 32–50. https://doi.org/10.31857/S0869541522030034 EDN: HTWUVV

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