Aphrodisiacs have been used to promote sexual wellness since the dawn of human civilization. From the great Roman Empire to the Chinese dynasties, rulers, consorts, and much of the citizenry across the globe have sought out these love potions in the hopes of spicing up their bedroom lives.
These libido-boosting foods can vary greatly in texture and type depending on the culture associated with them, from dark chocolate to ginger root. Many of these sexual foods have been purported to improve blood flow circulation, increase sexual desire, and restore hormonal imbalances in the body.
But do aphrodisiacs genuinely accomplish what they claim to? Or are they merely shams that have somehow withstood the test of time?
Let’s take a closer look at the science behind these foods to determine their effectiveness.
What’s an Aphrodisiac and Does It Work?
The word “aphrodisiac” is a derivative of the Greek word “aphrodisios”, which roughly translates to “pertaining to Aphrodite”. In Greek mythology, Aphrodite was the goddess of love, beauty, and pleasure.
Aphrodisiacs have been used for centuries in an attempt to increase sexual desire and performance. While there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that these substances directly influence your sexual organs, some people believe that the right foods can turn on the brain’s receptors and heighten that sense of arousal.
There are, however, some risks associated with taking certain types of aphrodisiac foods. For example, Yohimbe, which is extracted from the African yohimbine tree, can be a health risk due to its links to patients suffering from heart attacks, seizures, and digestive problems.
On the plus side, some aphrodisiacs have the added advantage of being good for your general health as well as your sexual needs. Much of the arousal gained from these so-called aphrodisiacs are a result of neurons firing from the brain—triggered by the cultural association, shape, texture, and smell of the food. Instead of gaining enhanced physiological functioning, aphrodisiac consumers may just be under the spell of a socially-approved placebo effect.
If a culture has deemed a nutrient-rich food to come with sexual benefits, there’s no harm to indulging in it. And eating these foods won’t automatically flick a light switch on your head and turn you into a pleasure-seeking maniac if you’re not explicitly looking for it. It’s mainly brain activity and associations.
That said, there are some ways certain foods can help counter sexual dysfunction. Let’s have a closer look at the most common aphrodisiacs that have been touted to have benefits in the bedroom.
Uses of Aphrodisiacs
There are three main reasons why people use aphrodisiacs.
These are the following functions:
- Improves sexual desire: Some foods are used to improve libido naturally.
- Enhances sexual performance: Certain foods are believed to increase performance and stamina when engaging in sex. Some foods may also improve fertility in males.
- Increases sexual pleasure: Some aphrodisiacs also have been claimed to increase the fun in the bedroom and help couples achieve a more active sex life.
While the mind can position aphrodisiacs as a key component in boosting sexual desire, there are more clinically-effective methods of improving sexual functioning in men.
ED medication, acoustic wave therapy, and surgical methods can give men the much-needed boost to address their sexual issues.
Types of Aphrodisiacs
Aphrodisiac is a broad term, varying from culture to culture. To better categorize the list, here are the types of aphrodisiacs that supposedly have sexual benefits.
- Foods that resemble sexual organs: Bananas and eggplants can stimulate the mind and increase feelings of sexual arousal.
- Exotic foods and spices: Foods that are rare and only found in specific regions of the world are deemed to have aphrodisiac properties.
- Spicy foods: Pepper and spicy foods can increase body temperature, which can induce feelings of sexual desire.
- Pungent foods: Foods that can evoke the senses can increase sexual arousal in men and women.
- Reproductive organs of animals: Animal testicles are said to improve sexual performance and potency.
Top Natural Aphrodisiacs
People from all around the world have different views on what foods can boost sexual vigor and what doesn’t.
Here is a list of the most common foods considered to be natural aphrodisiacs.
Asparagus is a nutrient-rich vegetable that’s often touted for its health benefits. It’s also a natural aphrodisiac because it contains high levels of folate and Vitamin B.
Folate is important for sexual health because it helps improve circulation, which is important for erectile dysfunction. Vitamin B has also been linked to increased levels of testosterone.
Maca is a Peruvian root vegetable that’s often sold in powder form. It’s said to improve energy levels, stamina, and libido in men.
One study supports the use of this root, claiming that patients who took Maca treatment experienced a small but significant improvement in sexual function compared to the control group.
3. Ginkgo Biloba
Ginkgo biloba is a popular traditional Chinese medicine that’s often taken for its anti-depression properties. It’s also known to improve blood flow circulation to the penis by relaxing blood vessels throughout the body.
4. Pistachio Nuts
One study found that men who consumed pistachio daily experienced firmer erections than those who didn’t. They also noted an improvement in blood flow in these patients.
Oysters are one of the most zinc-rich foods available. Zinc aids in the production of testosterone and prolactin, two important sex hormones found in the body.
Contact Tampa’s Leading Men’s Clinic for Erectile Dysfunction Treatment Options
While aphrodisiacs are useful in their own right, sexual medicine has advanced to the point that there are more effective treatment plans that can reliably increase libido.
Here are some treatment plans that doctors may recommend to patients suffering from low libido, erectile dysfunction, and male sexual dysfunction:
- Acoustic wave therapy
- Vacuum erectile device
- Penis pump
- Penile implants
- ED treatment
- Psychotherapy for psychogenic ED
- Testosterone replacement therapy
If you need further assistance, contact a medical professional today to achieve a healthy sex life and boost libido levels.
The medical professionals at Tampa’s Prestige Men’s Medical Center specialize in treating conditions that impact men’s health. Our concierge approach positions your unique case at the centerpoint of our focus. We don’t just give you a pill for ED and send you on your way. We treat the underlying issues that led to conditions such as ED, Low Testosterone, and more. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.