In steady use for at least the last 5000 years, aphrodisiacs are
substances believed to increase sexual powers, desire and may include
such items as foods, herbs, scents, beverages, drugs or various
Named after Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of sexual
love and beauty, aphrodisiacs are strongly rooted in every culture
yet there is no hard evidence or proof of what actually works and
what doesn't. Our available information consists mainly of folklore
and myths as opposed to science. In fact, the United States Food
and Drug Administration declared, "there is no scientific proof
that any over-the-counter aphrodisiacs work to treat sexual dysfunction".
Many of the current products used as aphrodisiacs are based on Chinese
herbal medicine and the Chinese are thought to be the first to use
aphrodisiacs. India was also an originator of the codification of
these substances - a whole section of the Kama Sutra being devoted
to it. Worldwide, aphrodisiacs have been in existence for thousands
of years and each culture seems to use plants, spices, herbs or
animal species that are specific to their geographical location.
As technology has progressed, we still use many of the natural forms
of aphrodisiacs, but we now also use a number of synthetic ones
as well. If you are looking for a sexual boost, the following are
a number of categories of aphrodisiacs and some interesting facts
about them that you and your lover may (or in some cases, may not)
want to try out to get you in the mood!
There are many common foods that enjoy the reputation of being
aphrodisiacs. Oysters have been used as aphrodisiacs since Roman
times; this may have something to do with oysters containing zinc,
which is thought to increase testosterone production, which in turn
regulates sex drive. Since Aphrodite was born of the sea, many types
of seafood in general have gained reputations as having effect on
Onions are another everyday food that have been deemed
aphrodisiacs, in fact Egyptian priests were not allowed to eat them!
So next time your lover says that you have onion breath, tell them
that you are trying to get in the mood! Related to onions, garlic
also enjoys a long history of utilization as an aphrodisiac by ancient
Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Chinese and Japanese.
In the case of
impotence, some modern clinicians even suggest crushing a few cloves
and mixing them with lard to form a concoction to spread on the
penis! Other foods used as aphrodisiacs include: asparagus, beans,
betel nuts, celery, coco-de-mer, gingko, grapes, leeks, peas, pine
nuts, radishes, quince, and walnuts. There are many recipe books
that cater to healthy libidos which you may want to check out.
Originally, herbs and spices were used not only to make meals
taste better, but also because in pre-refrigeration days, a lot
of food wasn't exactly fresh. Over the years they have been also
used to get libidos going.
One of the most notable spices used in
China as an aphrodisiac for over two thousand years is cloves. For
impotent men, it was recommended that cloves be mixed with honey
and milk to be consumed daily. Also originating in China is ginger
- the prime ingredient in quite a number of potions to be applied
externally to encourage female desire. Nutmeg, used in very small
doses, (due to its hallucinogenic properties), may be mixed with
honey and a half-boiled egg to prolong the duration of sexual intercourse
according to ancient Indian tradition.
Other popular spices used
as aphrodisiacs either through ingestion or topical application
include: anchovies, asafetida, cardamom, licorice, mint, pepper,
rosemary, saffron, salt, thyme, and vanilla. Don't forget to add
one or more of these spices or herbs to your everyday cooking to
spice things up in the bedroom!