Spanish fly. Chinese aphrodisiacs. Herbal aphrodisiacs. Natural aphrodisiacs. Homemade aphrodisiacs. Aphrodisiac food.
Since the Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians, humans have wanted to partake of a variety of foods, beverages, herbs, and animal parts to increase their sexual desire and performance. Do any of these love potions really work? There has been a lot of debate as of late about the efficacy of many of these products on the market right now. Coco Swan has analyzed the promises and the facts to give you the answers.
An aphrodisiac is defined as “an agent that increases sexual desire”. The name comes from Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of sensuality. Aphrodite was said to hold sparrows sacred due to their loving nature, and as a result, they were often included in a variety of aphrodisiac concoctions.
Over time, many foods and drinks have had a reputation for making sex more enjoyable. Many wonder if these results have been achieved thanks to the placebo effect, in which the participant expects a result, rather than an actual effect. All the continents of the world have been involved in the production and consumption of aphrodisiacs. In ancient times, people had to rely primarily on aphrodisiac plants, although animal parts were also used. Anise, carrot, basil, orchid bulbs, sage, sage, arugula, fennel, turnips, pistachios, skink lizard meat, and river snails were thought to increase sexual performance. Interestingly, lettuce, dill, watercress, lentils, and water lilies were avoided as they were considered to decrease sexual pleasure.
Aphrodisiac supplements. Most aphrodisiacs found online or in health food stores contain one or more of the following ingredients:
Arginine Arginine is an amino acid found in eggs, nuts, meats, cheese, and coconut milk. Increases blood flow to the genitals by forming nitric oxide in the body. It is said to improve sexual desire in women when combined with other supplements.
Epimedium. Epimedium has been shown to increase the sexual function of male animals. It acts as a sex hormone and can stimulate sexual desire in sex hormone deficient women.
Fennel. This plant increases the libido of both men and women. Fennel contains compounds that mimic estrogen. In doses greater than a teaspoon, it can be toxic.
Ginseng. Long touted as an aphrodisiac.
Rhino horn. Year illegal substance.
Spanish fly. (Cantharides) The Spanish fly is one of the most famous aphrodisiacs. It is made by squashing a beetle. It has an unpleasant odor and a bitter taste. It is sometimes given to farm animals to encourage them to mate. Cantharides causes inflammation of the genitals, painful urination, fever, and bloody discharge. It can cause permanent damage to the kidneys and genitals, and can also cause seizures and death. The difference between an effective dose and a dangerous dose is very small. Cantharides are illegal in the United Statesexcept for animal husbandry use. The Spanish fly was also banned from Moroccan markets in the 1990s. Most of the products that advertise Spanish flights in them now only use a mixture of peppers.
Yohimbe. Yohimbe is both an herbal aphrodisiac and a prescription aphrodisiac. Yohimbe is used to treat erectile dysfunction in men. Yohimbe increases blood vessel dilation and blocks alpla-2 adrenergic receptors, both essential for achieving and maintaining an erection. Yohimbe in its herbal form can be dangerous if taken in the wrong amounts.
Aphrodisiac drugs. Here are drugs that are used in prescription drugs to increase sexual desire and performance.
Testosterone. A decrease in sexual desire occurs in people with relatively low levels of testosterone (eg, postmenopausal women). Libido has been clearly shown to be related to levels of sex hormones, including testosterone. Testosterone supplements often increase libido. Natural testosterone production can be enhanced through the use of herbs such as tribulus terrestris or eurycoma longifolia. (More on these 2 little plants later). Testosterone supplements are less useful in people who have normal testosterone levels because their body will react to the external supply of testosterone by shutting down its own manufacturing.
Bremelanotide. Formerly known as PT-141. Bremelanotide appears to be a true aphrodisiac. It is a new drug used to treat erectile difficulties in men and sexual dysfunction in women. Bremelanotide is the only known synthetic aphrodisiac … Bremelanotide is used as a nasal spray. Unlike Viagra, it does not act on the vascular system, but directly increases sexual desire. This drug was originally developed as a sunless tanning agent, until 80% of the original male volunteers noted spontaneous erections and increased sexual arousal as unexpected side effects. Phase 3 of clinical trials for this drug is scheduled for the first half of 2007.
PEA. Phenylethylamine is an active ingredient in chocolate.
Viagra and Levitra. These 2 drugs are not considered true aphrodisiacs because they have no effect on mood.
Yohimbine. Formerly known as Aphrodin. Yohimbine is the main alkaloid in the bark of a West African tree. Some researchers state that there is no evidence of an improvement in sexual desire and that it is not proven for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Yohimbine has numerous side effects, such as overstimulation, anxiety, insomnia, rapid heart rate, and increased blood pressure.
Aphrodisiac herbs. These 4 plants have been used for their aphrodisiac properties in Asia, India, and Malaysia for many years.
Damiana. Damiana is a shrub native to Central and South America. With the leaves, a tea is prepared, which has a smell similar to that of chamomile, and a taco used by the natives for its reputed aphrodisiac effects is used. Coco read somewhere that this little plant now has a cocktail named after her in Europe. The cocktail supposedly contains this little herb.
Eurycoma longifolia. This plant has testosterone-boosting properties and is native to Malaysia and Indonesia. Historically it was used as a libido enhancer and to treat various sexual dysfunctions. Malaysian universities have conducted many studies confirming its effects on increased sexual behavior in animals. This herb is also known to increase muscle mass.
Bruise. Maca is native to the high Andes of Peru and Bolivia. It has been considered an aphrodisiac there for over 2000 years. Small-scale clinical trials have shown that maca extracts can increase libido and improve semen quality, however, it does not affect human sex hormone levels.
Tribulus terrestris. This is a flowering weed native to southern Europe, Africa, southern Asia, and Australia. Common names include Goathead and Bindii. In Indian Ayurvedan practice it is known as “gokshura” and has long been used as an aphrodisiac and tonic. In the 1970s, in Eastern Europe, it began to be promoted as a testosterone booster to increase sexual desire and build muscle.
Aphrodisiac foods. Possibly the safest way to increase your libido may be to consume these foods.
Wormwood. (The green fairy). Absinthe was a popular aphrodisiac drink in the 19th century, especially among artists in Europe. However, by 1915 absinthe had been banned in most parts of the world, including the United States, due to its terrible publicity. The UK, Spain, Portugal and Mexico never banned the drink and in these countries the drink has seen a renaissance in popularity in recent times.
Anise. Sucking on the seeds is said to increase desire. Anise has been used as an aphrodisiac since the Greeks and Romans.
Asparagus. To get the most powerful aphrodisiac effect, it is supposed to be eaten for 3 days in a row.
Champagne. Commonly known as the “drink of love”, champagne is popular in many parts of the world as an aphrodisiac. The champagne will lower your inhibitions and give your body a nice warm glow. Be careful with too much of the good stuff.
Chile. The effects of the chemical capsaicin in chili pepper mimic feelings of sexual arousal. A good helping of chilli pepper will increase your heart rate, make your skin flushed and your lips plump.
Fennel. Fennel has been used as a libido enhancer since Egyptian times.
Honey. The fructose content of honey provides a slow and steady release of energy. Hindu tradition requires the bride and groom to consume honey on their wedding day. Honey is rich in boron, which helps the body use and metabolize estrogen.
Licorice. Licorice has been used as an aphrodisiac since ancient China. Chewing licorice root is said to increase love and lust. It is considered particularly stimulating for women. In one study, the smell of black licorice increased blood flow to men’s penis by 13%.
Nutmeg. Nutmeg was prized by Chinese women as an aphrodisiac. However, too much nutmeg causes hallucinations.
Oysters Oysters are rich in rare amino acids that cause increased levels of sex hormones. This may also be due to its high zinc content.
Vanilla. Both the aroma and flavor of vanilla are said to increase lust.
Chocolate as an aphrodisiac. Chocolate is popularly regarded as an aphrodisiac and, at the very least, a feel-good food with romantic overtones. Montezuma allegedly drank 50 cups of chocolate per day to increase his sexual performances! The BBC reported a study that showed that melted chocolate in the mouth produced an increase in heart rate and brain activity that was more intense than that associated with passionate kissing, and after the activity was over, it lasted four times longer. The consumption of chocolate has been linked to the release of serotonin in the brain that produces feelings of pleasure. Theobromine is a primary alkaloid found in cocoa and chocolate and is one of the reasons for the mood-enhancing effects of chocolate. Chocolate also contains triprophan, which is an essential amino acid. Tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin, which is an important neurotransmitter involved in regulating moods. Lastly, chocolate contains phenethylamine, which is often described as the “chemical of love.” Phenethylamine can cause endorphins to be released in the brain.
The above list of aphrodisiacs certainly seems to encompass everything from the illegal to the bizarre, the downright dangerous, the highly questionable, the medically prescribed, and the innocent funny. Coco does not endorse illegal activities or anything remotely dangerous from a medical point of view. If in doubt, consult your doctor first. Perhaps they can cure you with the nasal spray, which as we all observe is the only true synthetic aphrodisiac. For the more cautious among us, aphrodisiac foods certainly sounded like fun. With chocolate as an aphrodisiac, I don’t need to look any further!
Have fun, Coco Swan.