Aphrodisiacs Explained

Throughout the ages, men and women have eagerly swallowed almost any substance that was called an aphrodisiac, no matter how unappetizing or bizarre.  In our never-ending search for better sex, humans have consumed such diverse items as oysters, eels, elephant tusks, lion blood, bull testicles, rhino horn, ram penis, pig genitals, marijuana, and the dried remains of the Mediterranean cantharis beetle, otherwise known as “Spanish Fly.”

The sea is a rich source of legendary aphrodisiacs.  Oysters, shrimp, clams, anchovies, and eels have been reputed since ancient times to increase sexual desire.  Actually, the word Aphrodisiac came from Aphrodite the Greek goddess of love and desire, who herself was a gift from the sea. Many roots, vegetables, and fruits became known as aphrodisiacs simply because their shapes were designed by nature as a clue to their use.

And the ancients were always on the look out for such secret signs.  So, based on shape alone, they chose to eat asparagus, bananas, carrots, celery, cucumbers, dates, figs, and tomatoes among others in the hope that they would arouse passion and bestow vigor. Eating the genitals of animals noted for their potency, such as bulls and rams, is another historical practice meant to ensure virility.

Are these substances of mythology really aphrodisiacs?  As it turns out, some of them do work as sex boosters.  For example, oysters are a prime source of zinc, one of the essential minerals for men.  Semen is rich in zinc, and adequate zinc is needed for sperm production and hormone metabolism.  Oysters also release testosterone in women.

Phallic or Vaginal Foods Designed By Nature
Male: Female:
Banana Fig
Carrot Peach
Turnip Pear
Cucumber Kiwi
Celery Mango
Asparagus Passion Fruit
Licorice Pomegranate
Zucchini Artichoke
Vanilla Bean Oysters
Leek Clams
Eel Mussels
Aphrodisiacs for Flirting
Chili Peppers  Gets the face flushing, heart pumping, pores sweating, & blood flowing towards the genitals.
Bananas  Contains bufotenine, a chemical that acts on the brain to increase happiness, self-confidence, & sex drive.
Carrots  Have strong fibrous ingredients that supercharge the body & lead to a feeling of strong sexual desire.
Damiano  This “lover’s herb” contains alkaloids, which stimulate blood flow to genitals & increase sensitivity.
Clary Sage  Is known for decreasing inhibitions with its relaxing, euphoric, mildly intoxicating effects.
Aphrodisiacs for Seduction
Oysters  Contain zinc, essential mineral for men needed for sperm production. Also releases testosterone in women.
Shrimp  High in iodine, which is needed by the thyroid gland that regulates energy, including sexual energy.
Chocolate  Includes caffeine and a plant substance called phytosteral that mimics human sex hormones.
Ginger  Comes from the root of the plant & increases blood flow to the genitals in both men and women.
Olives  Green ones make men more virile while black ones are believed to increase sex drive for women.
Tomatoes  Known as “love apples” & forbidden by Puritans because of its reputation as a potent sexual stimulant.
Asparagus  Rich with potassium, phosphorous, calcium, and vitamin E, all vital for increased hormone production.
Apples  Ever since Biblical days apples have been known as the fruit of temptation.  They are also filled with vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that stimulate sexual desire.
Aphrodisiacs for Exploration
Licorice  Contains plant estrogens and stimulates the sex glands, bringing oxygen to the female genitals 40% faster.
Pumpkin Pie or
Pumpkin Seeds
 The top contender to increase penile blood flow an average of 40% faster.
Muira Puama  The American Journal of Natural Medicine stated: “One of the best herbs to use for erectile dysfunction or lack of libido (also known as potency wood)
Cinnamon  This sweet, spicy flavor and aroma has been used to aid in the treatment of impotence and proven to be sexually stimulating for men.
Basil  Considered the sacred herb of India, it awakens the senses, stimulates blood flow, and relieves fatigue.
Artichoke  Share this sex vitamin, high in Vitamin C, folic acid, magnesium, and phosphorus with your lover because it’s fun to eat together!
Celery  Contains androsterone, a powerful male hormone released through sweat glands to attract women.
Aphrodisiac Aromas
Pheromones  Designed by nature to ensure we attract a biologically suitable mate.  Produced in sweat glands that are attached to hair follicles: head, underarms, and genitals.
How they work  Pheromones are released into the air from sweat that evaporates from our skin in the 40 million skin cells we shed each day.
Erotic aromas for men  Cinnamon, popcorn, pumpkin pie, and doughnuts.
Erotic aromas for
women
 Melon, chocolate, oranges, and bread.
Erotic scents for men  Vanilla, lavender, and Jasmine
Erotic scents for
women
 Musk, orange blossom, and sandalwood

An aphrodisiac is described in the Encyclopedia Britannica as:

“…the psycho-physiological reaction that a well-prepared meal can have upon the human organism.  The combination of various sensuous reactions, the visual satisfaction of the sight of appetizing food, the olfactory stimulation of their pleasing smells and tactile gratification afforded the oral mechanism by rich, savory dishes tend to bring on a state of general euphoria conducive to sexual expression.”

An aphrodisiac is anything that turns you on.  This could mean anything from driving your new sports car or eating a marshmallow.  These are common ones; people also tend to have extremely personal turn-ons that most people would never think of, or that might even turn others off – perhaps clown shoes, or balancing a checkbook, or even having a good bowel movement.  There are two kinds, psychological, which include fantasies, and physiological, which have physical effects on your body such as mood, setting, and food.

Psychological Aphrodisiacs Include:

  • things which bring back memories of pleasant or pleasurable events
  • ideas which you find exciting, such as fantasies
  • being made to feel important or special
  • wearing sexy clothing

Physiological aphrodisiacs are those substances which somehow have a physical effect on the body.  Typically, these may have relaxing effects on the nervous system, but they may stimulate as well.  They could be substances which have direct effects on the sexual organs, or they could simply work by strengthening the whole body.  The most powerful aphrodisiacs work on both physiological and psychological levels.  The smell of jasmine perhaps, a physiological aphrodisiac, which also brings you back psychologically to that incredible night when you made love in the garden by jasmine bushes.

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Dr. Ava Cadell is America’s #1 Sexpert as a Clinical Sexologist, Sex Counselor, Founder of Loveology University & President of the American College of Sexologists International. Author of 9 books including the upcoming Sexycises by Sexperts: Intimacy Through Yoga, Dr. Ava is also a sought after media therapist & global speaker; her mission is to empower people to overcome sexual guilt & shame so they can enjoy the benefits of healthy, sexual relationships.

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