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Famous aphrodisiacs - The best, the worst, and other ways to boost your sex drive. 

12 September, 2023

Whether you’re an avid user, or you’ve always dismissed them as a scam, we’d find it hard to believe that you’ve never heard anything about aphrodisiacs. The concept dates back to the ancient Greeks, and the term pertains to Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. There have been endless claims throughout history about different foods, drinks, or herbs that will supposedly benefit either your libido or your performance. For example, infamous romancer Giacomo Casanova reportedly ate dozens of oysters in order to keep up with his various ‘social engagements’. 

But do they actually work? Will eating a bucket of oysters guarantee you a night to remember, or simply a stomach ache and a hole in your wallet? We did some research, and here’s what we found… 

Fruit, Nuts, and Japanese Horny Goat Weed. 

While we can’t promise anything along the lines of eating an apple a day will give you unlimited stamina, there are some foods that might help nudge your sex life into action.

Nuts, (in particular, walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts) have been specifically proven to increase blood flow around the body. Apart from the obvious benefit for men, this can also help improve your cardiovascular health and improve your blood pressure. Avocados contain high levels of folates, which generally help balance your hormones, impacting both libido and sexual function. Folates are also needed to make histamines, which is a compound released during orgasm. So, next time you’re with your significant other, go for a brunch date, and then see what happens. 

Next on the list of famous aphrodisiacs is beetroot. The Ancient Romans believed that beetroots helped to promote passion, and frescoes of beetroots (among other things) have been found to decorate the walls of the Lupanare brothel in Pompeii. Interestingly, beetroots are actually a natural source of both tryptophan and betaine, both of which promote feelings of well-being and satisfaction. They also contain high amounts of boron, which can increase the level of testosterone in the body. Perhaps the Romans were on to something? 

The appropriately named ‘Horny Goat Weed’, also known as Epimedium, is a slightly less famous aphrodisiac, but it has been used as a standard treatment for sexual and erectile dysfunction in traditional Chinese medicine. As a bonus, it can also help bring low thyroid hormone levels into balance.

Poisonous Beetles and One Too Many Martinis. 

Unfortunately there are also some pretty widespread misconceptions about how aphrodisiacs work (or don’t work).

Alcohol has to be top of the list of mistaken aphrodisiacs. Although it might lower your inhibitions, increase confidence, and help you make the first move, booze is actually pretty bad for your sex life. The more you drink, the less likely you are to climax, and excessive drinking can also cause issues like erectile dysfunction and decreased sensitivity. 

Another food source that’s infamous for supposedly encouraging libido is chocolate - the ancient Aztecs considered it a powerful aphrodisiac. Unfortunately, there’s no scientific evidence that chocolate is in any way helpful for your sex life (unless your partner has a particularly sweet tooth, in which case it might help just a little bit). 

Some of the substances that have been touted as powerful and famous aphrodisiacs are actually quite harmful. ‘Spanish Fly’ is a famous example - the extract of this beetle contains cantharidin, a substance which could actually kill you if ingested. In humans, cantharidin causes a burning sensation in the urinary tract which for men, may induce an erection. Its usage dates back to Ancient Rome - Augustus Caesar’s wife Livia reportedly slipped ground beetles into meals to entice men into activities which they could later be blackmailed for. 

Due to its rumoured aphrodisiacal properties, there are various ‘Spanish fly’ products available online. However,  we’d encourage you not to buy them, as they’ll either be made with entirely different ingredients that you aren’t aware of, or rarely, the real deal, in which case you’ll no doubt experience some very unpleasant side effects.

So How Can You Boost Your Sex Drive? 

It’s not all doom and gloom - there are plenty of ways you can safely improve your sex life. Regular exercise, and staying healthy in general will help to improve your circulation, which is important for both initial arousal and continued stimulation. If you’re worried that a hormone imbalance is the culprit behind your lack of libido, check our our testosterone cream designed specifically for women, and find out whether we might be able to help. 

When it comes to aphrodisiacs, don’t forget about the placebo effect. The human brain is extremely powerful, so if you feel that oysters and champagne get you in the right mood, then do what feels right for you (and encourage your partner to do the same, if you catch our drift). 

Sexual health also goes hand in hand with mental and emotional health. Consider the relationship you have with your sexual partner - if you don’t feel safe, vulnerable, and 100% comfortable, it’s unlikely to result in great sex. 

Read on to learn what our experts recommend for how to increase your libido.

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