February 2020

Do Aphrodisiacs Actually Exist?

Millions of people worldwide believe in the power of aphrodisiacs. The big question however is, do they actually exists?

Just like magic, we're all drawn to things that'll enhance and tantalise our lives. And once we've found our muse, it feels as though we are constantly seeking that magic in order to bring us endless pleasure and joy.

The History of Aphrodisiacs

For thousands of years people have been seeking, cooking up, and eating certain foods and herbs in hopes that it would increase their libido. 

In Europe particularly, it was the Roman physician Galen who wrote that foods worked as an aphrodisiac if they were "warm and moist" and if they caused someone to pass gas. Gas? Galen believed that doing so would assist in gaining an erection. Right.

As for women, it was said that foods that resembled their anatomy would boost their sense of lust and desire. Things such as mandrake root was encouraged, as it held a strong resemblance to a woman's thighs. Oysters too, which mimicked a part of the female body. 

Then there's also the idea that aphrodisiacs were born from Greek mythology. This train of thought believed that some animals were more promiscuous, like the rabbit (hence the Playboy bunny), and sparrows. Interesting... 

Are These 7 Well-Known Aphrodisiacs For Real?

With our history lesson out of the way, many are left wondering...  are aphrodisiacs actually for real?

Let's take a journey through the world of popular aphrodisiacs to uncover the truth... 

Are Aphrodisiacs Real

1. Chocolate 

Chocolate is not only an indulgent treat, but is also associated with love and lust (hence a popular gift on Valentine's Day). 

Back in the day, It was said to be an aphrodisiac due to the link between the cocoa bean and desire. The emperor of the Aztecs, Montezuma, allegedly ate copious amounts of cocoa beans in order to fuel his romantic life.

Today, scientists say that the only link between chocolate and desire is that of the chemicals tryptophan and phenylethylamine. The first plays a big part in the production of serotonin (the 'happy' hormone), while the latter is associated with amphetamine, a stimulant that's released when people fall in love.

Having said that, these two chemicals have been studied by scientists who agree that the amount released is too small to have an effect on one's libido. They too found no direct link between the consumption of chocolate and arousal.

2. Olive Oil

Whether used in cooking or to dive a bit of tapas into, olive oil is rich in antioxidants. It's packed with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats which is great for the heart, hormone production, and blood flow. 

And what does one need in order to 'perform'? Efficient blood flow. What else does one need in order to perform? A significant amount of testosterone and estrogen. Thanks olive oil.

Bottom line however, is that one spoonful of olive oil will not magically increase your libido. Incorporating it into your lifestyle however could make an impact on your levels of arousal however.

3. Ginkgo Biloba

Coming from the oldest species of trees, the Ginko Biloba tree, this herbal supplement is a staple in Chinese medicine for an array of different ailments. 

And when it comes to getting in the mood, it's been said to relax blood vessels which, in turn, increases blood flow in the body. 

Is ginkgo biloba an aphrodisiac however? Well, there have been mixed results. One study found that this herb has more of an effect on women, while another showed no direct link between ginkgo biloba and the libido.

Interestingly, a third study showed that 84 percent those who were experiencing a loss of libido due to anti-depressant use found that their libido increased after using ginkgo biloba. 

Aphrodisiacs Foods

4. Pistachio Nuts

Particularly in men who have trouble finding lift off, pistachio nuts may just be something useful to incorporate into their diet. And this makes sense, actually. 

It was found that men with ED oftentimes have high cholesterol and diabetes, which essentially constricts blood vessels. Pistachio nuts contain acid arginine, a nonessential amino acid that helps relax blood vessels, thus helps the blood flow. But does this actually make a big impact? 

Well, a study of 17 men with ED were monitored over a period of 12 months whilst they added pistachio nuts to their diet. Within all categories, these men showed a positive increase, albeit small, in a number of different sexual facets. 

Bottom line? It can't hurt to try it.

5. Oysters

As previously mentioned, oysters have been considered an aphrodisiac for a number of centuries due to its appearance. In actuality, oysters contain a considerable amount of zinc which can aid in an increased level of arousal.

Zinc is said to play an important role in the production of testosterone in men, which we've already established is essential for a healthy level of desire. And while one could technically take zinc in pill form, it's been shown to have negative effects when taken in excess.

For that reason, eating foods such as oysters, pumpkin seeds, mushrooms, and flaxseeds is perhaps the better option.

On the other hand, a study was undergone showing that while oysters may have some kind of positive influence over libido in rats, there hasn't been a significant study in humans to prove the same. In other words, use at your own discretion. 

6. Watermelon

Again with the blood vessels, watermelon contains a nonessential amino acid called citrulline which is said to relax and dilate the blood vessels. 

"All that citrulline results in is an increase in blood flow, blood vessel relaxation and sexual arousal," says gynecologist, Diane Hoppe.

This is great news for those who love to indulge in watermelon on those hot summer days, but does it actually produce a significant effect? Unfortunately, the majority of citrulline is concentrated in the rind of the watermelon. So, if you'd like to see any kind of payoff, you'd have to go for the rind! Not fun.

7. Chili Peppers

Spice things up, literally and figuratively, with chili peppers! Why? Because they contain a colourless and odourless compound called capsaicin which stimulates the nerve endings in the tongue. This, in turn, results in the increase in the production of epinephrine (adrenaline) and endorphins. 

Is it worth it? Apparently so. According to Hoppe, the 'high' caused by the endorphins is very likely to get you going! 

Well isn't that a win when it comes to aphrodisiacs? Next date night dinner sorted.

And there you have it! The truth about aphrodisiacs, uncovered. 
Aphrodite Agency