the truth about aphrodisiacs.

09 13 19 — Science

While aphrodisiacs have been the topic of old wives tales for centuries, there’s now so much science-backed research behind the phenomenon. Paying attention to the studies and overall culture behind aphrodisiacs can potentially help us in between the sheets. Findings say that foods like oysters and chocolate can, in fact, support sex drive and increase libido. By the same token, foods like avocados and fresh figs have sensuous appearances and textures.

These factors of psychological importance can also work with the brain’s sexual receptors to increase our sex drive. The data that backs up these old-school claims for certain foods also supports various natural supplements, such as teas and herbs. Adaptogens like ashwagandha also rank high on the list because of their stress-reducing properties. Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine are the earliest known examples of evidence-based aphrodisiacs. 

With a combination of modern science and wisdom, many of the most effective natural aphrodisiacs have been around for centuries but more thoroughly understood today. In terms of results, the impact of natural aphrodisiacs tends to be more subtle than the results of prescribed pharmaceuticals, but adding a few of these items into the daily routine can certainly have an impact on sexual performance over time. 

We’ve compiled a list of several natural aphrodisiacs that are worth trying.

Foods

Almonds: Sexual thoughts are hormone-driven, and hormone synthesis is directly connected to balanced nutrition. Like most nuts, almonds are high in omega-3’s, which work to support the hormone synthesis process and lead to more sexually-driven thoughts. 

Chocolate: The chemical composition of cacao beans involves feel-good compounds that help in sexual performance. Theobromine is a central nervous system stimulant that’s similar to caffeine, but it also has mood-boosting capabilities. Chocolate also contains phenylethylamine, which works with theobromine to trigger the release of endorphins and dopamine. 

Oysters: While many people think of oysters as an old wives tale, the shellfish actually have a high concentration of zinc that’s related to fertility and sperm production. They also contain an abundance of essential amino acids that help to promote better sexual function.

Sultan’s Paste: This Turkish food paste is a combination made up of more than 40 herbs and spices such as saffron, fenugreek and ginger. The ingredients work together to improve blood flow, increase energy and enhance desire. 

Avocados: This fruit has an undoubtedly sexy shape and texture that helps with psychological factors of sexuality. They’re also filled with vitamin E, which is known to be associated with fertility in both men and women.

Pomegranate: If you cut into a pomegranate, the seeds and color display inside makes it one of the sexiest fruits. It’s been called the ‘fruit of love’ for centuries, and it’s also packed with antioxidants. The fruit has recently shown results of increasing testosterone and sex drive for both men and women. 

Basil: It’s still unknown by researchers what exact properties of basil make it such a strong aphrodisiac, but many studies claim it comes down to the natural, sensual fragrance that it exudes.

Adaptogens

Ashwagandha: There’s clinical research stating that this adaptogen works to improve the quantity of sperm. It’s also a powerful stress reducer, which is often at the root of a variety of fertility and conception problems.

Maca: First discovered in South America more than 3,000 years ago, maca is known to improve sexual function in both men and women. It also can promote healthy ovulation for women. In early studies, maca showed results of increased sexual desire and performance, but it wasn’t affecting sex hormones directly. Researchers now have found out that the supplement was effecting the psychology of sex, in particular, our internal capacity to create sexual dreams and fantasies. 

Chinese Mushrooms: For centuries, mushrooms have known for their health properties and included in many Chinese Medicine tonics. One of the best varieties for sexual enhancement is cordyceps sinensis. This mushroom works to increase testosterone levels in both young and elderly men. It’s also been known to reduce fatigue and help with blood circulation. Research notes that it can additionally stimulate sex centers in both male and female brains.

Mucuna Pruriens: This legume of African and Asian origin is full of L-dopa, which our bodies convert to dopamine. This powerful brain chemical works to boost our internal systems that are directly related to ecstasy. In studies, researchers have found that Mucuna pruriens has the power to put people in the mood. Additionally, it’s an energy-booster and a strong natural anti-depressant.

Ginseng: This traditional Chinese herb works with energy and vitality. Studies have shown that it can be effective in increasing desire and performance in both men and women. It also helps to support and improve reproductive capabilities.