TNN | Jun 2, 2010, 12.00AM IST
Think you know what foods turn someone on? Do you keep a pantry full of love potions and shop from a list of foods for sex that are “guaranteed” to work?
Check out our list of alleged natural sex aphrodisiacs and see if you can tell the love potions from the love poisons.
Oysters are a favourite among erotic foods and research now shows this shellfish to be a rich source of zinc a mineral required for the production of testosterone. Not only the hormone behind the male sex drive, testosterone is believed to stimulate the female libido as well.
A pepper’s heat comes from “capsaicin,” a chemical that stimulates our nerve endings, raising our pulse and making us sweat. Some researchers believe that eating hot foods also triggers the release of endorphins, body chemicals that gives us a natural high that is conducive to love-making.
In addition to the sensuous texture of melted chocolate, this quintessential lovers’ gift contains a stimulant called phenylethylamine, considered by some researchers as the “love chemical” as it gives you a feeling of wellbeing and excitement that is very similar to the endorphins giving us a natural high.
Wild yam has a traditional use as an aphrodisiac and chemical analysis shows that it contains chemicals that can increase sensitivity in the genitals. It also has a reputation for inducing erotic dreams, when drunk at bedtime, although it has not been proven in clinical trials.
Ginkgo is commonly used for age-related memory loss, but some have had success using it to treat sexual dysfunction; possibly by stimulating the release of nitric oxide, widening blood vessels of the genitals and erectile tissue. Ginkgo shouldn’t be taken with blood-thinning drugs or by people with heart disease.
Many foods thought to be aphrodisiacs were considered so because of their phallic shape. Asparagus however, has more than suggestive form. It is rich in vitamin E, a vitamin considered to stimulate production of our sex hormones and may be essential for a healthy sex life.
Due not only to its shape, but also its creamy, lush texture, some studies show its enzyme bromelain enhances male performance.
It is high in zinc, which stimulates the formation of testosterone, maintaining male functionality.
One of the most notorious of the modern love potions, Spanish Fly is actually quite dangerous. Made from the dried body of a special beetle, it irritates the urinary tract, sending a rush of blood to the genitals.
Viewed as the “drink of love,” moderate quantities lower inhibitions and cause a warm glow in the body.
Seasonal crops were celebrated by ancient Greeks in a frenzied copulation ritual.
Yohimbine, extracted from Yohimbine bark, can facilitate erections by stimulating the nervous system and increasing blood flow to the penis. But it is not for everyone. Common side effects include increased heart rate, raised blood pressure, anxiety and nausea. Available by prescription, Yohimbine should be used under a doctor’s supervision.