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Aphrodisiacs: Are they really effective?

Feb 12th 2010
One Comment

This blog post was written in collaboration with Rumeroo who posted it here.

Derived from the Greek goddess of love ‘Aphrodite’, aphrodisiacs serves as a form of ‘lust stimulant’ or agent that evokes concealed sexual desire in both males & females. Throughout history, aphrodisiacs have been known to be present in several concoctions,brews & even scents, some queer, but still popularly embraced worldwide & still, for many years to come.

How they work:

First, let’s be clear that Viagra is not an aphrodisiac in the sense that even if it does improve performance & ability, it does not however, create sexual desire. Now according to experts, aphrodisiacs works in two ways. One, there are those that directly influence or affect the brain, while others have that pleasurable impact on parts of the body. Like for example, an increase of blood flow in the sex organs leading to the simulation of feelings associated with intercourse or sexual desire. Our hormone levels play a key role, most specifically the testosterone in these cases & if the balance is off, things would not function as they should. That is, if there is a lacking in testosterone, our sexual interest would decline.

Some commonly known aphrodisiacs:


This exotic fruit has long been considered an aphrodisiac. Bromocriptine is said to be responsible to give off that boost of desire.


Chocolate through time has been popularly associated with love & romance. The Mayan civilizations even called it ‘food of the gods.’ And why not? Besides the iressistable taste, researchers have studied this delicacy & have found it to contain phenylethylamine & serotonin, which are both ‘feel good’ chemicals. They occur naturally in our bodies & are released by our brains when we are feeling passionate or in love. Aside from these two chemicals, some researchers have also discovered chocolate to contain a substance called anandamide, which has the same effect as marijuana on the brain.


Besides being a favorite among early morning risers, coffee has been known to be an aphrodisiac in which the caffeine in it acts as a stimulant, increasing our awareness & arguably enhances sexual appetite as well.


Scents are the most powerful of human senses & can instantly trigger that hidden craving or desire & even dig up some buried memories in the past. Perfumes in any angle you put it, does the trick & attracts the opposite sex like a powerful magnet.


Music sets the perfect mood, along with minimal lights plus the couch. Or so, it varies. Human senses are powerful reactors & can trigger emotions. Music has a tremendous effect on human emotion whether it be depressing or joyful. What more if you’re with a special companion & temperatures begin to rise. Put on that music!


A massage or touching another person represents a form of intimacy, whether based on friendship or something beyond that. It creates a special bond between two people & often arouses that sexual desire in most cases.

So do aphrodisiacs actually work?

Throughout extensive research over the years, results showed that certain foods, supplements & herbs increase production of hormones or natural chemicals that affect our libidos.

We did find a couple of those studies proving the potential of these substances. In one study,  the potency activity of Eurycoma longifoli, a flowering plant in Indonesia and Malaysia, was tested among male rats. The results showed recurrent and significant increase in in the episodes of penile reflexes as evidenced by increases in quick flips, long flips and erections of the treated male rats during the 30 min observation period. In another study, the aphrodisiac activity of nutmeg and clove were tested. They found out that these two substances stimulate the mounting behavior of male mice, and also to significantly increase their mating performance.

However, despite these works, the FDA suggests that aphrodisiacs are merely folklore & lack concrete scientific basis.

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One Response

  1. rumer certeza (2 comments) says:

    I go with chocolates & coffee. Perfect stimulants. And not to forget music, of course. Put all these three together, you’ve got Dane’s Peak.

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