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Aphrodisiacs: truth, myths and unexpected details
Aphrodisiacs: truth, myths and unexpected details

The Internet is teeming with collections of products supposedly capable of increasing libido and improving the body's sexual performance. But not all of them have real effect. We have collected aphrodisiacs, the effect of which is proven by science, as well as those that are actually dummies.

Aphrodisiacs: truth, myths and unexpected details
Aphrodisiacs: truth, myths and unexpected details

People started using aphrodisiacs long before pharmaceutical companies began to churn out drugs to improve potency. Named after the goddess Aphrodite, these products were designed to enhance sexual desire, sexual performance and pleasure during sex. And to this day, there are legends about the miraculous properties of some of them.

Scientists could not stand aside and tested the effectiveness of aphrodisiacs in practice. In 2015, researchers in California analyzed the findings and released a scientific review., which shed light on the effectiveness, benefits and possible harm of "love products". The most important takeaways from their work are presented below.


Peruvian poppy

Native to the Peruvian Andes, this root vegetable has been used since time immemorial to heighten sexual arousal. Several scientific studies have confirmed its effectiveness. According to them, maca helps fight sexual dysfunction in women and erectile dysfunction in men. In addition, it has almost no side effects.


Seven studies were found that confirmed the effectiveness of ginseng in the treatment of erectile dysfunction. A separate plant species, Korean red ginseng, has also been shown to increase arousal in menopausal women.

Ginkgo biloba

The extract obtained from this ancient tree is used in Chinese medicine to treat depression, sexual dysfunction, and other conditions. One small study has shown that ginkgo is good for treating sexual dysfunction associated with antidepressants (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). However, further clinical trial could not confirm the findings.

At the same time, scientists note that in rare cases, ginkgo increases the risk of bleeding. For example, if taken at the same time as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen. In general, it should be used with caution.

According to an earlier review of aphrodisiacs., real action is also possessed by:

  • saffron (helps in the treatment of erectile dysfunction);
  • nutmeg (improves male sexual performance);
  • Indian almonds (enhances arousal, increases sexual energy).



Alas, one of the main attributes of romantic dating has not been proven to be effective as an aphrodisiac. The researchers note that chocolate can increase serotonin levels in the brain, which in turn should increase sexual desire. But in practice, this is not confirmed. But chocolate is good for improving memory and heart health.


Honey has long been considered a powerful aphrodisiac. Even the expression "honeymoon" comes from the tradition of drinking mead within the first 30 days after the wedding (it is believed that it allegedly increased libido). However, there is still no reliable study that would confirm the effectiveness of honey to improve sex life.

In addition, scientists advise avoiding the so-called mad honey, which is produced mainly in Turkey and is advertised as a sexual stimulant. It contains a toxin that can lead to serious health problems, including heart disease.


This is perhaps the most famous product, which is credited with magical sexual properties. There is even a legend that Casanova ate 50 oysters a day to increase sexual stamina. It is often cited as an argument that they contain zinc, which is necessary for the production of testosterone, as well as amino acids and serotonin associated with feelings of pleasure. However, there is not a single serious study that can confirm the sexual potency of oysters in practice.

Wild yam

Wild yam extract is added to some creams to relieve symptoms of menopause and increase arousal. However, the report says there is not a single study proving the effectiveness of such products.

Vitex sacred

This medicinal plant affects the hormonal background of the female body, helping to cope with premenstrual syndrome. However, there is no scientific evidence that it solves sexual problems. Moreover, when taking oral contraceptives, Vitex can even harm.

Researchers emphasize that the use of such ancient aphrodisiacs as yohimbine, Spanish fly and bufo toad extract can cause serious harm to the body.

Another point of view

American nutrition expert Elaine Magee notes that aphrodisiacs can act not only chemically, but also psychologically.

She says sex is more associated with soft, thick and creamy textures, as well as exotic and spicy foods. This should be taken into account when preparing a romantic dinner.

In addition, Magi advises to use as a personal aphrodisiac those foods and dishes that a person ate before or during some particularly successful sexual experience. Re-flashed memories can significantly increase desire.

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