Aphrodisiacs For Love (Part 1)

You have always heard, 'food for thought,' now here I am, telling, 'food.' What is 'love food' after all? From time immemorial people and cultures across the world have claimed that certain food, drink, drug, scent, can arouse or increase sexual desire, or libido. Some also claim cure for impotency and other sexual dyfunctioning. This is aphrodisiac, which gets its name from the Greek goddess of love, beauty and sexual rapture, 'Aphrodite.'

Many facts and myths are woven around aphrodisiacs. Do they really exist? Does it really work? How to use them? Lets now unravel this mystery.

Lets first see world's oldest and best-claimed aphrodisiacs.

Honey: Persian folklore says that couples who were engaged would drink honey and water every day for 30 days to ensure that their marriage began fruitfully. The science behind this is that honey is full of sugar, which provides sustained energy for long hours of lovemaking.

Carrot: is believed to be a stimulant to the male. Carrots have been associated with stimulation since ancient times and were used by early Middle Eastern royalty to aid seduction.

Pine Nuts: Big surprises come in small packages. Pine nuts though small, are storehouses of protein, which boosts hormone levels. So, the arousal is high and quick.

Mustard: is believed to stimulate the sexual glands and increase desire.

Asparagus: These greens contain potassium, which helps maintain good water balance in the body. This also acts as a mild detoxifier. Feed your lover boiled or steamed spears for a sensuous experience they say.

Ginger: Ginger root raw, cooked or crystallized is a stimulant. The spicy scent and taste of ginger increases blood circulation to great heights, making it an ideal stimulant for passionate lovemaking

Chocolate: They have been said to be the "nourishment of the Gods." Chocolate contains ingredients that cause the brain to release serotonin, the hormone responsible for feelings of relaxation and pleasure. Dark chocolate is a better aphrodisiac. The secret for passion is to combine red wine with dark chocolate.

The list of aphrodisiacs just goes on. Today however Scallops, Oysters and Spanish fly are believed to be highly aphrodisiac. Many types of seafood have reputations as aphrodisiacs because Aphrodite is believed to be born from the sea. Chilies, curries, and other spicy foods have been viewed as aphrodisiacs because their physiological effects, a raised heart rate and sometimes sweating, so similar to the physical reactions experienced during sex.

According to most researches, aphrodisiacs are myths based on ancient folklore, which have no scientific proof that they work to heighten sexual pleasure or treat sexual dysfunction. Then how is it that some vouch aphrodisiacs of having worked for them? Well, there is a psychological aspect here. Most times the very mention of aphrodisiacs, sets off in the mind the hope of a certain response might actually lead to an additional sexual reaction. Some may change a person's mood and therefore seem to be an aphrodisiac That is why it is believed that the mind is the biggest aphrodisiac.

To scientifically understand the working of aphrodisiacs and measure sexual stimulation, a valid human study would have to be performed in the laboratory. Cultural taboos however prevent such studies.

Despite lack of scientific explanation, aphrodisiacs and various drugs flood the market with huge promises. There is a need to be careful here. Spanish fly, or cantharides, is probably the most legendary aphrodisiac and the most dangerous. Made from dried beetle remains, the reported sexual excitement from Spanish fly comes from the irritation to the urogenital tract and a resultant rush of blood to the sex organs. But Spanish fly is a poison that burns the mouth and throat and can lead to genitourinary infections, scarring of the urethra, and even death.

There are however a lot of cases where in couples have whipped up dinners filled with aphrodisiacs, which have led to heights of sexual satisfaction. Some claim aphrodisiacs are for real and that their rich botanical legacy has survived the ages in traditional cultures worldwide. Will aphrodisiacs work for you, is something, which you would have to try. So go right ahead and see what suits you best.

Read more about: food
Story first published: Monday, March 27, 2006, 16:22 [IST]

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