There’s a long history of aphrodisiac use, but can it really help improve your sex life? Keep reading to learn all about it.
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In this article:
- What Is an Aphrodisiac?
- How Aphrodisiacs Are Supposed to Work?
- What Are Popular Aphrodisiacs?
- Are Aphrodisiacs Real? Does Science Back Them Up?
- If Aphrodisiacs Don’t Really Work, What Can You Do to Improve Your Sex Life?
Aphrodisiac: Fact or Fiction?
What Is an Aphrodisiac?
An aphrodisiac is a substance that stimulates or increases sexual desire. It usually comes in the form of food, herb, beverage, or drug.
Aphrodisiacs are distinct from substances which can help improve sexual performance. A true aphrodisiac is supposed to make you want to have sex, not just enhance your ability to have sex.
For instance, viagra is not an aphrodisiac. Viagra is a drug that enhances sexual performance whether or not there’s any sexual desire, to begin with.
The use of aphrodisiacs is well documented throughout history and around the world. One of the earliest aphrodisiacs was found in an ancient medical textbook from 2,600 BC.
An aphrodisiac potion with 22 ingredients was created for the reigning emperor in China. There are also records of aphrodisiac use in ancient Egypt, Rome, Greece, and Africa.
How Aphrodisiacs Are Supposed to Work?
Sexual desire often begins when your mind interprets a certain experience as a sexual stimulant. It could be something you feel, see, hear, smell, taste, or even just a thought that suddenly popped into your mind.
If the stimulation is strong enough, your brain sends signals from its limbic region to your pelvic area. It tells your body to make the blood vessels dilate in the pelvic region.
This dilation then leads to an erection in a man’s penis. For women, the erection occurs in their clitoris.
So for an aphrodisiac to work, it has to have an effect on either the mind or the body. For instance, a substance that increases the blood flow to the penis can make it more sensitive and heighten sexual desire.
There are also certain chemicals and hormones in our bodies associated with sexual desire. Some aphrodisiacs can even help increase the body’s production of these chemicals or hormones, such as testosterone.
Certain substances also help lower your inhibitions, such as alcohol or certain recreational drugs. For some people, these help increase their sexual desire.
What Are Popular Aphrodisiacs?
Some cultures identify aphrodisiacs based on how they look. For instance, if a particular food or substance is shaped like a penis or vagina, they believed it has a potential aphrodisiac.
On the other hand, others believe certain substances can alter your body’s chemistry and stir up sexual desire.
Here’s a list of the most well-known natural aphrodisiacs, and their sexual benefits:
1. Avocados – Aztecs called avocado trees “testicle trees” because the fruits hung in pairs making it look like male genitalia. They’re also a good source of vitamin E, which many believe to have anti-aging benefits.
2. Bananas – Aside from its auspicious shape, bananas are also rich in bromelain. Many believe bromelain stimulates testosterone production.
3. Capsaicin/Chili peppers – Eating chili can make your heart rate speed up, skin flush, and sweat. These are the same things that happen when you’re sexually aroused.
4. Chocolates – Apart from being a well-known mood enhancer, chocolates are also widely associated with romance.
5. Garlic – As vegetables go, garlic packs a lot of flavor and many believe it can awaken sexual desires. Other people also believe garlic improves blood circulation, which could make it easier to achieve erections.
6. Ginseng – There are many types of ginseng, but red ginseng and maca are specifically known to increase sex drive. In fact, some even use Korean red ginseng as an alternative way to treat erectile dysfunction.
7. Honey – It’s believed to be a natural energy booster which can help you get in the mood for love.
8. Licorice – The scent of this medicinal herb is said to have an arousing effect.
9. Oysters – They are rich in zinc, an essential mineral the body uses for sperm production. Zinc is also essential for sexual maturation.
10. Pumpkin seeds – Pumpkin seeds are rich in magnesium which may help increase testosterone levels.
Apart from scents and food, certain types of music can also be considered an aphrodisiac. For some people, choosing the right song can help put them in the mood for sex.
Are Aphrodisiacs Real? Does Science Back Them Up?
There may be historical evidence of the use of aphrodisiacs, but modern science doesn’t back it up. There aren’t enough scientific studies to prove the effectiveness of any of the aphrodisiacs.
While some people swear by the effectiveness of certain aphrodisiacs, others believe that it’s likely due to the placebo effect.
What is the placebo effect? This is a phenomenon that occurs when people claim to experience the therapeutic benefits of a substance or treatment that has no effect. Simply believing in a treatment or substance allows some people to experience its supposed benefits.
Many popular aphrodisiacs are naturally rich in vitamins and nutrients. They may promote your overall health, but there’s little to no evidence proving it has a direct impact on sexual desire.
On top of that, it’s also really tricky to measure sexual desire or libido. Experimenting with aphrodisiacs may be a fun way to spice things up in the bedroom, but it may not be enough if you’re looking for real and long-lasting results.
If Aphrodisiacs Don’t Really Work, What Can You Do to Improve Your Sex Life?
If you’re looking for effective ways to help improve your sex life, you may want to consider doctor-recommended medication. For instance, sildenafil is a drug and an effective treatment option for erectile dysfunction.
Aside from that, Tadalafil is another drug which can help you achieve and maintain erections. Sildenafil and Tadalafil are both FDA-approved drugs.
When it comes to your sex life, don’t settle for pseudoscience. You deserve treatment that won’t let you (and keep you) down.
Have you tried using aphrodisiacs for sex life enhancement? Was it effective? Share your experience with us in the comments section below.
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