A proline-thiourea host-guest complex has been described as a good catalyst for asymmetric reactions such as aldol and Mannich reactions. High stereoselectivities were obtained under optimal conditions. Thiourea was observed to have an important effect on the reactivity and selectivity, even in an unconventional nonpolar reaction medium and without the need to utilize low temperatures. This proline-thiourea host-guest system has the ability to participate in a hydrogen bonding network. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.