Aphrodisiacs are foods which heighten desire and arousal by stimulating the blood flow or the senses. You must have seen them in various sexy tv show and movie scenes. But whether aphrodisiacs actually work or not is a question for which there isn’t any concrete scientific answer. But this belief in the stimulating power of aphrodisiacs goes back to cave paintings. Do aphrodisiacs actually work? Let’s find out more about them:
How Do Aphrodisiacs Work?
Aphrodisiacs are thought to work mainly by stimulating the senses. This in turn results in a hormone boost which sends out signals to the other parts of the body. There are some aphrodisiacs, which work pretty directly on the body. But there are also others which tell you to direct your mind to other places. Here is how they affect different senses:
- Sight: Foods like banana, figs, avocado and such are only thought to be aphrodisiacs because they resemble genitalia. Only looking at these foods can arouse one and so it solely affects due to sight.
- Smell: There are some aphrodisiacs, which increase circulation to induce more production of sex hormones and this is done just by getting a whiff of them. Some examples include ginger, basil and anise.
- Taste: Did you know that chili peppers are also an aphrodisiac which has side effects similar to ones which are experienced during intercourse? This involves increased circulation, rapid heart rate, sweating and more.
- Touch: You might not know that cardamom is also an aphrodisiac. But more than that, you might not know that it can be applied directly on the body to help stimulate blood flow.
- Lowers Inhibitions: Alcohol and drugs aren’t considered to be direct aphrodisiacs, but they do have the same impact of lowering inhibitions. In actually, then makes you more comfortable with your sexual arousal and in turn also makes you a more willing participant. Many believe that dark chocolate also has a similar effect.
Do Aphrodisiacs Work Differently For Men and Women?
The answer is neither here nor there. Some aphrodisiacs do work this way, but not all. There’s also the fact that some aphrodisiac foods are going to be way more potent than others towards one sex. For example- pine nuts and ginger are thought to increase potency so they are useful in men more. Other foods are asparagus contain a high amount of vitamin E which is effective in increasing the sex drive in both women and men. But women do get the short end of the stick here since there isn’t really any aphrodisiac which is exclusive to women. Although spicy food like chili peppers are thought to be the most effective. They work by stimulating the nerves, opening up the veins and heightening the senses along with increasing the heart rate.
Examples of Aphrodisiac Food
- Maca: Maca is actually a root vegetable which is sweet to taste. In various places of South America it is used as a fertility boost. So it is known as the name of “Peruvian Viagra” as well. Maca is actually one of the few natural aphrodisiacs which are backed up by some actual science. Maca has libido boosting effects in humans as well. Along with this, there has been a small study as well, which suggests that this vegetable can help by reducing the loss of libido. This is experienced as the side effect of anti-depressant drugs.
- Fenugreek: Fenugreek is something which you may have heard of as it is cultivated pretty much worldwide. Its seeds are used in South Asian dishes a lot. Along with this it is also popular in Ayurvedic medicine as well since there it is used as an inflammatory and libido boosting treatment. This can have some merit to it since the herb does appear to have certain things which the body can make use of to create sex hormones like testosterone and estrogen.
- Ginkgo Biloba: This is an herbal supplement which us derived from one of the oldest species of trees called the Gingko Biloba tree. In Chinese traditional medicine, it us used for treating ailments like poor sexual appetite and depression. This act as as an aphrodisiac by increasing the blood flow since it relaxes the blood vessels. As for actual scientific studies regarding it? They have yielded mixed results. For more known benefits of Ginko Biloba, read this article.
- Pistachio Nuts: Pistachio nuts are the most common aphrodisiacs on this list. They are rich in fiber, healthy fats and protein as well. Pistachios have a lot of health benefits like controlling weight, blood pressure, reducing the risks associated with heart diseases and more. Along with this, they are also thought to decrease symptoms of erectile dysfunction. Some experts have suggested that this effect could be due to pistachios having the ability to improve blood cholesterol as well as stimulate better blood flow.
- Red Ginseng: This is another kind of popular herb which is used in Chinese medicine. Red ginseng is also used to treat a variety of diseases in both men and women and this includes low sexual and libido functions. Several studies with its effects in men have suggested that red ginseng was at least twice as effective than a placebo when it came to improving erectile function. A little study of its effects on menopausal women saw that red ginseng could very well improve sexual arousal.
- Saffron: This is a spice which has been derived from a flower called Crocus sativus. It is a native spice of Southwest Asia and it was also one of the most expensive spices just going by weight. Saffron is famous for its aphrodisiac properties as well, especially in individuals who are consuming anti depressants. But there are mixed results from people who don’t have depression.
Overall, know that the there are government facilities which don’t acknowledge that aphrodisiacs even exist. Many people also believe that they are just placebos. As such it’s better to consider that aphrodisiacs might effect some while it might not effect others. So it could very well work on a more personal level.