Aphrodisiacs: Fact or Fiction?

We all have heard the rumors about certain foods increasing your libido and stimulating your desire for sex.  When it comes to such edible aphrodisiacs the evidence is somewhat inconclusive. Some people swear by certain foods and their ability to turn up the heat  while others say they just haven’t experienced any miraculous effects. We think almost all aphrodisiacs very likely have general libido increasing qualities that affect each person differently–whether physiologically or psychologically. We’re all built a little bit different, so you have to find the one that works best for you.

Recently 2 University of Guelph researchers,  Massimo F. Marcone and master’s student John Melnyk examined hundreds of studies on commonly used consumable aphrodisiacs to investigate claims of sexual enhancement, either psychological and physiological–results of their study appeared in the journal Food Research International. Here’s what they found:

Ginseng, saffron and yohimbine, a natural chemical from yohimbe trees in West Africa, improved human sexual function.

Wine and chocolate, improved sexual function, but their amorous effects are likely psychological.

Spanish fly and Bufo toad–while purported to be sexually enhancing, they produced the opposite result and can even be toxic.

People report increased sexual desire after eating muira puama, a flowering plant found in Brazil; maca root, a mustard plant in the Andes; and chocolate. Although despite its purported aphrodisiac effect, chocolate was not linked to sexual arousal or satisfaction, the study said. ”It may be that some people feel an effect from certain ingredients in chocolate, mainly phenylethylamine, which can affect serotonin and endorphin levels in the brain,” Marcone said.

Alcohol was found to increase sexual arousal but to impede sexual performance.

Nutmeg, cloves, garlic, ginger, and ambergris (formed in the intestinal tract of the sperm whale) are among substances linked to increased sexual behaviour in animals.

While their findings support the use of foods and plants for sexual enhancement, the authors urge caution. “Currently, there is not enough evidence to support the widespread use of these substances as effective aphrodisiacs,” Marcone said. “More clinical studies are needed to better understand the effects on humans.”

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of B Intentional, LLC or its staff.