It’s a well-known fact that aphrodisiacs have been around as long as we can remember. As a matter of fact, over the course of time, some legit medical texts from various countries (such as Egypt, China and India) have been written in which it’s claimed that there are some actual benefits from all sorts of unusual products. For example, some of these texts claim that you’ll perform better sexually if you start using cobra’s blood or even alligator’s testicles.(1)
Just like we said, some of these suggestions are very controversial and they vary from one culture to another. But one thing stays the same and is common for everyone – even if we don’t want to admit it – is the fact that every single person wants to get something that will boost their sexual performance. They want something that nobody else knows or the perfect cheat code for an amazing sex life. That’s why, considering that many people are curious about these aphrodisiacs, we decided to create an article in which we’ll discuss the history of this phenomenon, its origin, some bizarre products that have been used throughout history and some that are popular now. (2)
What Exactly is an Aphrodisiac?
Generally speaking, an aphrodisiac is any kind of substance that helps boost your sexual drive, whether it’s food, a potion, a drug, etc. But, to be completely honest, this isn’t the only way to define aphrodisiac, because we can always add or remove something from it, but, for the sake of saving time, we’ll stick to this one.
The bigger problem is how do we exactly measure someone’s sex drive? How do we know that the stuff we’re using as aphrodisiacs are actually helping us improve our performance? Or are we just another victim of ancient “voodoo” stories?
Unfortunately, for all of us who could use some help in the bedroom, and who aren’t afraid to experiment a little bit, most of these aphrodisiacs are not useful at all, or, in the best case scenario, their effectiveness is largely exaggerated. However, there is some good news, too. In the last couple of years, there has been some significant progress in medicine when it comes to these sex enhancer. But, before we start talking about legit, medically approved products, let’s take a trip down memory lane and see what people did in the past and if it was actually helpful for them, or just a placebo. (3, 4)
Are Aphrodisiacs Only a Placebo?
Now that we’ve come to the end of this (hopefully) interesting article, you’re probably expecting a final verdict on which aphrodisiacs are pretty much useless and which ones are actually beneficial. But, sadly, we cannot answer this kind of questions with certainty just yet. The reason why we can’t do that is simple: some things work for some, while others don’t.
For example, chocolate as aphrodisiac can make you perform better than you ever have, but your friend won’t feel any effects. This could also mean that all these “superpowers” we get from smelling and/or tasting our favorite aphrodisiacs could only be a placebo since nothing has yet scientifically proven, but hey, that shouldn’t really matter, should it? The important thing is that you find your favorite one, the one that suits you the best, the one that will transform you into everything you ever wanted and that’s all that matters.
The Origin of Aphrodisiacs
In case you are not familiar with Greek mythology, the word “aphrodisiac” comes from Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, beauty and…well…you see where I’m going with this.
Just like an aphrodisiac, Aphrodite is also very controversial. Actually, to be more precise, her origin story is. According to the legend, she was born when Zeus’ father, Cronus, decided to use the potency of Uranus by cutting his private parts off and throwing them into the sea. As we said, it’s not exactly the most romantic thing ever, but hey, you can’t blame us – that’s how the myth goes. The good thing about this is that not only may you have learned something new now that you’ve read this, but also you can use the information in the future. The next time your partner has the audacity to accuse you of not being romantic, just remind him/her that an actual goddess of love and romance was born as a result of a giant penis being thrown into the sea – and you’re off the hook.
Now that we’ve gone over Aphrodite’s gruesome story, you probably understand why we said that she’s controversial just like the little magic things that have been named after her. But, just in case you still don’t see it, and in order for you to better understand what are we talking about, here are some examples of the strangest aphrodisiacs that have been used over the last couple of centuries.
Bizzare Aphrodisiacs Throughout History
Saying that aphrodisiacs come in all different kinds of shapes and sizes would actually be an understatement, at least when it comes to the ones that were used in the past. For example, an ancient medical Sanskrit text suggested that men should prepare a mixture of butter, eggs and testicles of various animals, smear that all over his feet, and then, as long as their feet don’t touch the ground, they will be able to perform sexually like never before. (5)
If that wasn’t juicy enough for you, we have another brilliant example. Approximately 4,600 years ago, a certain Chinese medical text listed a “magical” potion consisting of 22 ingredients that apparently helped their emperor satisfy 1200 different women, and like that wasn’t enough, he became immortal afterward.
If you’re still not convinced that our predecessors had some of the wildest aphrodisiacs imaginable, here are some more examples. Ancient Egyptians made a mixture from crocodile heart and then covered their penis with it. A certain Greek philosopher named Pliny was convinced that mandrake root improved male sex drive because that plant reminded him of female genitals. Romans often drank semen of young males because they were certain that it would make them younger…and so on and so forth. (5)
Popular Aphrodisiacs Today
Now that we’ve gone over some “slightly” crazy things that have been used in the past, we can’t help but ask ourselves, “Is there something that actually works?” Well, don’t worry, there is, or at least, some experts claim that there is. So, here are some four examples of aphrodisiacs that are actually backed up by medicine.
Whenever someone mentions the word “aphrodisiac“, one of the first things that pops into everyone’s mind is definitely oysters. Not only do we mere mortals think that they’re in some way magical when it comes to potency, but Casanova himself shared the same opinion. Actually, saying that he only shared the same opinion would kind of be an understatement – he used to eat up to 50 oysters a day, just so he would be able to keep up with his sexual activities. So, when we take this into consideration, and the fact that Casanova was so successful with the ladies, we don’t have any other choice but to think he was right all along. Not surprisingly, science has backed up Casanova, too, as oysters are full of Zinc, which is crucial for the development of the sperm. Now, this doesn’t mean that eating a couple of them will transform you into an ultimate ladies man who can perform for hours but there are some positive medical things about them and that’s something that no one can take away from you. (6, 7)
There is a reason why we said that oysters are “one of the most popular aphrodisiacs” out there and not the definitive “most popular aphrodisiac.” And that reason is the second entry on our list: chocolate. Not only can chocolate get you riled up and ready for some action, but also chocolate is an incredible mood lifter. I mean, there is a reason why chocolate and Valentine’s Day are so closely related. However, even though there are plenty of pieces of evidence about how chocolate is beneficial to our heart, it has yet to be medically proven that it can be used as a powerful aphrodisiac, too. Actually, there has been a study in Italy in which women who ate chocolate on a daily basis were compared with those who didn’t, and sadly, no correlation to this delicious treat and improvement of sexual functions was found. But hey, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t still eat it daily. As we said, not only is chocolate is healthy, but also, many people feel that it actually helps them perform better, so, don’t let the lack of scientific proofs discourage you. (8)
Third on this list might not be as popular as the first two, but that doesn’t mean that it’s any less effective. For many years, people thought that chili peppers were an excellent aphrodisiac because they contain Capsaicin, an ingredient responsible for that burning sensation in your mouth, elevated heart rate, increased sweating and all the other fun things that are related to sex. However, just like with oysters and chocolate, chili peppers aren’t backed up by science. But who knows what will future bring.
Last but not least, we have Ginseng, the only one that has actually been proven to increase potency and help men with erectile dysfunction. Even though the sample sizes aren’t yet big enough for any definitive conclusions, the results are very positive when it comes to this supplement, and we hope for everyone’s sake that they’ll only get better over time. (9, 10)
APHRODISIAC FOODS TO GET YOU IN THE MOOD
Sometimes life can get to you and sex is the last thing on your mind. You may realize that, ironically, it used to be the first thing on your mind some time ago. These changes not only affect mental processes but have physical repercussions, too. If you let intimacy with your partner take a backseat due to everyday stress then you may be making a costly mistake. While it is normal to experience lulls, it is not quite normal to feel asexual and unbalanced for long stretches as it can produce some negative energy.
This is not a phenomenon experienced by men and women of today alone. Centuries ago, there were also such conditions experienced by men and women. These foods were found to increase sexual desire naturally by reducing stress, increasing blood flow, or affecting neurotransmitters positively.
Erections don’t come as easily if you’re eating the wrong stuff. If you have steak, burgers, or other meaty or high fat foods with your erectile dysfunction medication, you could be preventing it from working. With that in mind, here are the top aphrodisiacs that won’t mess with your medications and may actually boost your erectile capacity.
This aphrodisiac herb is used to enliven not only your meals but also your sex activity. You can use it in a homemade soup or add to fresh salad. It will help increase heart rate and fasten blood flow. (11)
Since the Middle Ages, pine nuts have been known to provide Zinc, which is an essential nutrient to produce testosterone. Grind them up with basil, garlic and olive oil for a delicious pesto, a sauce of Italian origin.
This spice comes in pods, which can be ground for use. The taste is warm and pungent and can increase blood flow. It also has an antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory agent. You can steep ground pods in hot water to make a tea, or sprinkle it over a stir-fry or soup. (12)
This mild, silky fruit has been touted as an aphrodisiac since the Aztec times as the Aztecs used to call it “huacuatl,” which translates into “testicle tree.”
Carrots contain vitamins that are important in hormone production. They may also be in the shape that does it for some people!
You cannot actually categorize L-Arginine as an herb as it is an amino acid, which makes up many dietary supplements. Although it can be obtained from animal proteins and nuts, the quantity is often low. L-Arginine may benefit in erectile dysfunction by relaxing muscles. Notably, it is also an ingredient in Viagra. (13)
Maca has been traditionally associated with inner strength. The Inca warriors used to ingest this root plant for energy and stamina and thus it may also be helpful in sexual function. There are many aphrodisiac pill and liquid formulations of Maca on the market. (14, 15)
You have probably not heard of this Asian tree but it may help increase testosterone levels in the body. The root of Tongkat Ali is used for medicinal purposes and it was consumed to treat erectile dysfunctions. (16)
You’ll recognize these mushrooms from your favorite Japanese foods. They are shaped a bit like an umbrella and are said to be powerful enough to make your desires (and more) snap to the ready. Some people argue shiitake mushrooms work better with wild game, but for people with erectile dysfunction, this will have the opposite effect. Eat shiitake straight or in a thick and creamy soup. (17)
Celery is a two-fold potency aphrodisiac vegetable. For starters, the stalks are best eaten raw, but can be braised if you don’t like the taste. They are great for hydrating and have the fiber necessary to clean out your arteries for increased blood flow. The crunchiness is also appealing to many. The roots are delicious, nutritious and said to really get the sexual appetites going. Celery root can be enjoyed when slow cooked with other root vegetables (potatoes, rutabagas, parsnips) but will do fine peeled, sliced and blanched. (18)
Garlic is known to have several medicinal effects and has long been used as a remedy for fevers, parasites, colds and flu. It isn’t even limited to one culture – it’s universal! From ancient Egypt to Rome; from China to America, garlic has long been enjoyed and applied medicinally – for sex. Supposedly, it contains a number of compounds that are similar enough to certain hormones the body produces to get you going. This is the top recommendation for older men in the audience. If you can stand it, try eating a clove of garlic raw. If not, sauté it briefly in the lightest oil you possibly can – not butter!!! – and try to eat a clove 30 minutes before sexual activity. (19)
Pore through historical accounts of medicines from China to Europe and back to the Arab world; you see one recommended food for sexual ability over all others: ginger. You can ingest it, or, if you are inclined to believe Sheik al-Nefwazi – the author of the 16th Century sex guide The Perfume Garden – you can make an ointment from it containing pyrethrum and lilac that will help if applied to the genitals, abdomen and anus. (20)
With these natural enhancers that can be found almost anywhere, there are other enhancers that have been created and designed by men. These aphrodisiacs have been researched and tested and they have been proven to work on anyone who tries them. However, before you go out and buy anything that is said to get you in the mood, remember what we discussed earlier. If something has adverse side effects, stay away from them. Illegal aphrodisiacs are not safe and they are harmful to not only you but the people around you as well.