Explains what aphrodisiacs are and lists some of the products and substances that you may not have heard of.
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"An aphrodisiac is an agent which increases sexual arousal. The name comes from the Greek goddess of Sensuality Aphrodite."
We thought you may be interested in some facts on aphrodisiacs. So here are just some of the so called aphrodisiacs that you may, or may not, have heard of.
An aphrodisiac is an agent which increases sexual arousal. The name comes from the Greek goddess of Sensuality Aphrodite.
Men and women have sought aphrodisiacs, agents that arouse or increase sexual response or desire, since the beginning of time. Aphrodisiacs may well be the one thing that crosses all barriers, race, culture, ethnicity, age, making it unanimous: We all want to have better sex!
Throughout history, many foods, drinks, and behaviors have had a reputation for making sex more attainable and/or pleasurable. However, from a historical and scientific standpoint, the alleged results may have been mainly due to mere belief by their users that they would be effective (placebo effect).
Some psychoactive substances such as alcohol, cannabis, methaqualone, GHB and MDMA can increase libido and sexual desire. However these drugs are not aphrodisiacs in the strict sense of the definition, as they do not consistently produce aphrodisiac effects as their main action and often actually impair function.
Aphrodisiac Food List:
Aphrodisiac reputation comes mostly from legend and the intimacy of eating it with another, pulling off the leaves to reach the center. Artichokes are packed with vitamins and antioxidants, which are critical to proper body function and blood flow.
This peppery plant has been documented as an aphrodisiac since the first century A.D. The minerals and antioxidants found in dark leafy greens like arugula have also been proven to block environmental contaminates that could negatively harm libido.
Also known as Indian ginseng, Winter cherry, Ajagandha, Kanaje Hindi and Samm Al Ferakh, is a plant in Solanaceae or nightshade family. All parts of the plant are used in herbal medicine. The fresh roots are sometimes boiled in milk, prior to drying, in order to leach out undesirable constituents. The berries are used as a substitute for rennet, to coagulate milk in cheese making. It has been also used for sexual vitality, an aphrodisiac, and as an adaptogen.
Asparagus is very low in calories, and is a calorie negative food due to the amounts of cellulose contained. Asparagus contains no fat or cholesterol, and is very low in sodium. Asparagus is a great source of potassium and fiber. Asparagus is also widely reputed to be an aphrodisiac maybe due to its phallic shape?
It could be the sensuous pear shape, or the rich flavor of the fruit that gave avocado its aphrodisiac reputation as far back as the Aztecs. And while the jury is still out on just how lust-ful avocados are, the fruit's high levels of vitamin E could help keep the spark alive because of its role in maintaining youthful vigor and energy level.
With its phallic shape, bananas already look like a feel-good food; but they also contain bromelain, an enzyme which triggers testosterone production, and the fruit's potassium and vitamin B elevate energy levels.
The typical spices in this brew-ginger, cloves and cinnamon-will get the blood flowing!
This invigorating spice has an exotic reputation and a bright red color, which could be why it's considered an aphrodisiac and a symbol of love. But there's scientific backing, too. Chili peppers stimulate endorphins (the brain's feel good chemicals), speed up heart rate and make you sweat, which all mimic how you feel when you're aroused.
Romantics identify chocolate as an aphrodisiac. The reputed aphrodisiac qualities of chocolate are often associated with the simple sensual pleasure of its consumption. Chemicals found in chocolate, most notably phenethylamine, can act as mild sexual stimulants.
The caffeine in coffee is a stimulant that ups the heart rate and makes the blood flow. A study suggested that coffee could put women in the mood for sex.
A shrub native to Central and South America. The leaves have traditionally been made into a tea which was used by native people of Central and South America for its reputed aphrodisiac effects. The leaves of damiana are sometimes smoked for relaxation and for its mild psychoactive properties, described as similar to those of cannabis.
A plant native to Indonesia and Malaysia that has become popular for its testosterone enhancing properties. It is included in certain herbal supplements for bodybuilders and has been used as a libido enhancer and to treat various sexual dysfunctions.
Used by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, the fig paradoxically symbolizes both sexuality (the ripe fruit with seeds representing fertility) and modesty (the fig leaf). They are full of potassium and are an antioxidant powerhouse.
Also known as the Maidenhair Tree. Ginkgo biloba was thought to be extinct, but is now known to grow wild in two small areas in Zhejiang province in eastern China. Ginkgo nuts are used in congee, served at occasions such as weddings and the Chinese New Year (Buddha's delight). In Chinese culture, they are believed to have health benefits - some also consider them to have aphrodisiac qualities.
A wide variety of ginseng is generally available in many Chinese or Korean herbal medicine shops. The rhizome is taken orally as an adaptogen, aphrodisiac, stimulant, and in the treatment of type II diabetes, including sexual dysfunction in men.
Honey is made through pollination and is a symbol of procreation. It also contains boron, which helps regulate estrogen and testosterone levels and provides a natural energy boost.
(Piper methysticum) is an ancient crop of the western Pacific. The word kava is used to refer both to the plant and the beverage produced from it. Kava may be effective in the treatment of ovarian cancer and leukemia. Kava is used as a religious and visionary herb and an aphrodisiac.
An important traditional food and medicinal plant in its growing region, the high Andes of Peru. It is regarded as a highly nutritious food and as a medicine that enhances strength and endurance and acts as an aphrodisiac.
A drink made from allowing rum, red wine, and honey to soak into a bottle together with tree bark and herbs. It is advertised as an aphrodisiac.
Often cited as an aphrodisiac. According to a research team they are rich in rare amino acids that trigger increased levels of sex hormones. A joking theory states, "If you can get a woman to eat a raw oyster, you can get her to do anything!
Used for dilating the pupil of the eye, and has been used to treat erectile dysfunction. It is claimed to be an aphrodisiac. It is also used as a weight loss supplement as it increases noradrenaline (norepinephrine) levels. Studies suggest that it is not a particularly effective treatment for impotence, and evidence of increased sex drive (libido) is anecdotal only.
Eringoes (the Sea holly, Eryngium maritimum)
A species of Eryngium in the plant family Apiaceae and native to most European coastlines. The protected dune plant grows to a height of 20 to 60cm and although widespread it is considered endangered. In Elizabethan times in England, these plants were believed to a strong aphrodisiac.
Packed with antioxidants, olives and their oil have been used for centuries for health. The Greeks believed they made men more virile as well. Olive oil is a good source of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are critical for a healthy heart, blood flow and hormone production.
High in energizing zinc, which has been linked to a healthy sex drive, pine nuts are also considered aphrodisiacs because of the effort required to procure these oily gems from pine cones. Make a pesto with pine nuts, basil and olive oil.
Filled with antioxidants which support blood flow. A study by The Male Clinic in California found that pomegranate juice had a positive effect on erectile dysfunction.
In olden times were ruputed to be a powerful aphrodisiac. Herbalists insisted that the potato could cure everything from diarrhea to tuberculosis. People in Shakespeare's time viewed the potato as an aphrodisiac and labeled them "Apples of Love."
Pumpkin seeds are very high in magnesium and according to Dr. Oz, magnesium helps raise testosterone levels by making sure more enters the blood stream.
Spanish fly (Cantharidin)
Spanish fly is actually the dried, crushed body of the green blister beetle known as Cantharis Vesicatoria. Spanish fly, or cantharides, is often given to farm animals to incite them to mating. Cantharides are illegal in the United States, except for use in animal husbandry. Some internet or mail order suppliers of sex stimulants advertise such products like "Herbal Spanish fly", "Mexican Spanish Fly", or "Spanish Fly Potion". Most of these products are simply cayenne pepper in capsules, sometimes blended with the powder of ginseng, kelp, ginger or gotu kola. Research done in 1996 by the FDA shows that the drug has no so-called sexual effects.
Contrary to popular belief, the Chinese do not use rhino horn as an aphrodisiac - a few tribes in the north of India are practically the only people who use rhino horn as an aphrodisiac. Rhino horn is said to make men sexually unstoppable.
The tiger penis is much revered as an aphrodisiac in China, Taiwan and South Korea. The price of soup made from the supposed aphrodisiac, tiger penises, can reach $350 a bowl.
Eaten raw with salt and lime juice, are said to be an aphrodisiac.
The Greeks and the Romans considered the rare Truffle to be an aphrodisiac. The musky scent is said to stimulate and sensitize the skin to touch.
The seminal fluid of fish, mollusks, and certain other water-dwelling animals who reproduce by spraying milt onto roe (fish eggs).
The sea cucumber is an echinoderm of the class Holothuroidea, with an elongated body and leathery skin, which is found on the sea floor worldwide. Sea cucumbers are an important food source in many parts of the world, known as trepang, and have renowned aphrodisiac properties.
According to Science Daily, watermelon may have a Viagra-like effect on the body, as it relaxes blood vessels and improves circulation.
To put a damper on aphrodisiacs, medical science has not substantiated claims that any particular food increases sexual desire or performance. However, a fairly new drug called Bremelanotide seems to be the first real aphrodisiac. Its effect stimulates sexual desire in men and women, and clinical trials are currently testing it for the treatment of sexual arousal disorder and erectile dysfunction.
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