New research reveals that food is the ultimate sex toy. "Food is the ultimate metaphor for sex. How else can you make someone happy by putting something inside of them?"
Food as aphrodisiacs? Oh yes... Chocolate, oysters, watermelon, alcohol, and phallic or vaginal foods like strawberries and bananas... What interested me was that four of the five had very little to no actual physical or chemical reason they would be libido boosters. Alcohol was moderately effective at impacting libido in a measurable way, unless you imbibe too much. That strongly suggests that the real sex organ is the mind. Female Vs Male Brain: Is There A Difference?
Our love affair with this member of the Lily family dates back hundreds of years. Asparagus "stirs up lust in man and woman," wrote English herbalist Nicholas Culpepper in the 17th century. In 19th-century France, bridegrooms were served three courses of the sexy spears at their prenuptial dinner. Apparently for a good reason: asparagus is a great source of potassium, fiber, vitamin B6, vitamins A and C, and thiamin and folic acid. The latter is said to boost histamine production necessary for the ability to reach orgasm in both sexes.
We are nuts about almonds! Although they don't look particularly sexy (although almond-shaped eyes certainly do), they have been regarded as fertility symbols throughout antiquity. And we suppose, there's something about these dry little nuts that recalls, well, testes. The aroma of almonds supposedly arouses passion in females — or so thought the poets and scribes of bygone eras. French writer Alexandre Dumas, the author of The Count of Monte Cristo, dined on almond soup every night before meeting his mistress. And Samson wooed Delilah with these tasty nuts, which lower cholesterol and provide abundant doses of vitamin E, magnesium and fiber to improve your general well-being. So you can keep going, and going, and going...
Avocados are va-va-voom! But despite their voluptuous and feminine shape (here's a Rorschach question: without the pit, an avocado resembles a ... ?), they have been associated with male sexuality. In fact, the Aztecs' name for the avocado tree was Ahuacuatl, "testicle tree." And indeed, we can agree with the ancients who thought the fruit hanging in pairs on the tree resembled a dude's "crown jewels." But not everyone was cool with the idea. The Spanish, in fact, found avocados so obscenely sexy, that Catholic priests prohibited their consumption. Be sure to load up on the nutrient-rich fruit (guacamole, anyone?). While the creamy, cancer-fighting goodness packs in the calories, it's also high in folic acid, vitamin B6, potassium, omega-3 fatty acids and oleic acid, which fights "bad" cholesterol. Yes, the green-skinned delight is high in fat, but guys, you need fat for your body to make testosterone!
This shapely and nutritious fruit is a complete meal, loaded with potassium, magnesium and B vitamins. It also contains chelating minerals and the bromelain enzyme, said to enhance the male libido — maybe that’s why Central Americans drink the sap of the red banana as an aphrodisiac, while Hindus regard it as a symbol of fertility. A banana left on a doorstep indicates that a marriage is about to take place. Bananas made an early appearance in the Garden of Eden; according to Islamic myth, Adam and Eve covered themselves not with fig but banana leaves.
Chile peppers score near the top of love’s leader board. Their ability to release endorphins can cause a boost in mood and surge in energy as good as a runner’s high. Chile’s heat warms the body from the inside out, and has the potential for sending an urge to tear off clothing. Capsaicin, the compound that causes chile’s burn, will make the tongue tingle with a need to be kissed and cause lips to swell with desirable plumpness. Most famously, chile was used as a key ingredient in the fortifying chocolate drink the great ruler Montezuma consumed to make his tongue dance and his pulse quicken in preparation for his daily visit to his beautiful concubines.
Why does eating chocolate make us so happy? It's a chemical thing. The "food of the gods" contains theobromine, a stimulating alkaloid similar to caffeine. Chocolate also helps the brain produce feel-good serotonin. Be sure to indulge in the dark variety — it contains incredible amounts of antioxidants, whereas milk chocolate is just that: milk and sugar with trace amounts of cocoa.
The egg is one of the most ancient fertility symbols. Eggs are high in B6 and B5, which help you balance hormone levels and fight stress. Raw chicken eggs eaten before sex are considered to enhance one’s libido. But we’re talking eggs of all sorts, fish or fowl. Think of the way caviar gently bursts in your mouth or the delicacy of little darling quail eggs.
Figs - Said to be Cleopatra's favorite food, the sweet, purple fruits are sexy in both appearance and texture. For obvious reasons, they've been a synonym in erotic literature for female sexual organs. To the ancient Greeks, they were "more precious than gold" and many cultures associated figs with fertility.
Goji Berry - These tiny, nutrition-rich fruits are known as "happy berries" in China, where they are held in high regard for their aphrodisiac powers. It is in this nation that the berries are most often found, worked into both savory and sweet dishes and even used as the base of wine. However, as word of goji berries’ nutritional prowess spreads, they are becoming increasingly available around the world. It is now known that goji berries offer a higher concentration of beta carotene than most fruits. Also, clinical tests have shown their potency for treating metabolic syndrome, a precursor to erectile dysfunction.
Oysters - These mouthwatering mollusks are the classic aphrodisiac. And, there's research to support it: raw oysters are very high in zinc, which raises sperm and testosterone production, thus increasing libido. Like some fish, oysters contain omega-3 fatty acids, considered to increase one's overall well-being and even fight depression. They are also a source of dopamine. No wonder Casanova ate 50 raw oysters every day Jolt Juleps - Coffee Since ancient times, most great sex has taken place when both parties were awake. Maybe that's why stimulants, from geisha tea to Red Bull, have long been held in high esteem as aphrodisiacs. According to a 1990 study in the Archives of Internal Medicine, drinking coffee increased sexual activity in 744 participating Michigan residents over the age of 60, strongly suggesting that caffeine promotes arousal. That, or the subjects confused the study with a casting call for another sequel to Cocoon.
While caffeine has not yet been directly linked to an increased sex drive, the consensus in the medical community is that anything that gets the central nervous system pumping will have a general stimulating effect on the body. This explains why the ancient herb ginseng, which is said to increase energy and memory, is considered a strong aphrodisiac. It impacts the central nervous system, gonadic tissues and the endocrine system, thus enhancing arousal. Ginseng has long been respected in China for its systemic healing properties, including the ability to aid sexual function. Yohimbine Chai Latte Before Viagra, there was yohimbine, an oil that comes from the bark of the West African Pausinystalia Yohimbe tree. For hundreds of years, African natives have dried yohimbe bark and made it into a tea, used both as a treatment for impotency and as a general aphrodisiac. Yohimbine works by blocking the blood vessel-constricting effects of adrenaline on the nerves. This promotes the flow of blood to the genitals, thereby assisting erections. Although yohimbine doesn't have as much research (or Bob Dole) to back up its claims, the principles of operation are essentially the same as Viagra. It even has the same side effects, such as elevated heart rate, increased blood pressure and anxiety. In fact, while Viagra has become the recommended treatment for impotency, the use of yohimbine has also been approved by the FDA. Fortunately, the key component of yohimbe bark, yohimbine hydrochloride, is available by prescription in pill, capsule or liquid form.
yak! Pig in a Blanket Sometimes, edible aphrodisiacs are never meant to be consumed, but rather smeared onto the body. In the ancient Arabian sex manual, The Perfumed Garden, rubbing the penis with various ointments is prescribed for "increasing the dimensions of members and making them splendid." Similar procedures are recommended in the Kama Sutra. Ingredients for such practices include honey, camel's milk and lavender. While intriguing, the efficacy of the prescription probably has more to do with lubrication and the action of "repeatedly anointing the member" than the actual recipe.
An especially memorable recommended concoction for this instructs the man to catch a vulture by himself (very important) and mix the meat with honey and the juice of an amalaka (an Asian gooseberry-like fruit). Apparently, rubbing your body with dead vulture paste has the ability to bewitch the opposite sex, "even if a bath is taken afterward." How hot is that?
Licorice Beignets On a movie date, it turns out there is good reason to pay those exorbitant concession stand prices. For thousands of years, Eastern and Western cultures have turned to licorice when the libido is lacking. Licorice contains phytoestrogen sterols, which affect sex hormones (estrogen and testosterone levels), although exactly how and to what degree has not yet been fully determined. Some believe that the strong smell of licorice may be a factor. When Dr. Alan Hirsch of the Chicago Smell and Taste Treatment Research Foundation hit the candy store to find out which smells sexually appealed to people, he found that women were aroused by the smell of (oddly enough) Good n' Plenty. And for men, the aromatic combination of black licorice combined with doughnuts increased penile blood flow by an amazing 32 percent.
Doughnuts or not, Chinese, Egyptians and Hindus have all used licorice to increase sexual arousal and stamina. And in the traditions of pagan religions, crushed licorice root was used in love sachets and in spells to ensure fidelity. But whatever the purpose, be sure to use real licorice; the artificial "licorice flavorings" used in cheap candies won't contain phytoestrogen, just food coloring and corn syrup. Carrots "What's up, Doc?" is a catchphrase made famous by one Bugs Bunny, who was frequently depicted nibbling on a carrot. If you nibble on a few carrots yourself, you just might find yourself up for some loving action. Carrots are a phallic symbol, and thus they hold power over some minds as a way to get the phallus into action. But it's worth considering the whole salad bar of options. There are numerous other vegetables that resemble phalluses, and don't forget a juicy tomato. The first Europeans to try tomatoes called them "love apples."
Carrots and the rest of a salad can do good things for you in the bedroom because they do good things for your body. Rather than feeling overly full and stuffed with unhealthy food, a salad will leave you feeling light and energetic. And I think we all know what having some extra energy can lead to.
Manly Members The power of many aphrodisiacs relies upon a medieval philosophy known as the "Doctrine of Signatures." People believed that God designated his purpose for things by their appearance; for example, if an herb was meant to treat the liver, then it would resemble a liver. For that reason, many of the aphrodisiacs on our list resemble genitalia.
While certain aphrodisiacs on this list gain their status by resembling a phallus, this entry takes the idea one step further. In some cultures, it's encouraged to consume the actual penis of other animals. You might, for example, want to take a bite of tiger penis, should you want to emulate the masculine prowess that the tiger represents. Perhaps you associate certain animals, like dogs, with a particularly randy lifestyle.
You might be interested in having a dog's reproductive organs. It's thought that by eating these animals' organs, you take on some of the animals' powers. There's no reason to stop with a phallus, though; Rocky Mountain oysters, or a bull's testicles, are also considered an aphrodisiac. If you have doubts about eating another animal's penis, how about an animal that looks like your penis? Because a human male's penis is often likened to a snake, snake's blood has been used as an aphrodisiac, though some have made do with any long-tailed reptile's blood in a pinch. Ginseng Ginseng is an oft-used aphrodisiac in Asian cultures, but American researchers remain skeptical of its powers. Sure, ginseng means "man root," which certainly brings particular images to mind, and it has been shown to get animals aroused, but these results haven't been duplicated in studies with human subjects. If ginseng does have any aphrodisiac oomph, it might be due to the mild stimulation in energy that it can cause. After all, maybe the reason for your rut is a lack of lusty liveliness.
And just for fun, here's something you can pair your ginseng with: sparrow brains. Because Europeans considered sparrows to be exceptionally lustful birds, they made a point of eating their brains. If sparrows aren't your style, though, there are plenty of other products on this list to try.
Pumpkin Pie If you find yourself particularly amorous around Thanksgiving, it might be due to the dessert table. In studies conducted by the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, the scent of the Thanksgiving staple was found to increase penile blood flow by 40 percent. The scent was also found to increase sexual desire in women.
While the smell of pumpkin pie may conjure happy memories and a feeling of comfort and safety, it doesn't hurt that a few individual ingredients in the recipe help the process along. Cinnamon and vanilla have also been touted for their abilities as aphrodisiacs.
If pumpkin pie's not your specialty, the Chicago researchers found that a few other food items got a man's blood flowing, though to a lesser extent. The smell of cheese pizza increased blood flow to the penis by 5 percent, while buttered popcorn caused a 9 percent increase. Before heading off to the movies, you may want to stock up on licorice and cucumbers -- the combination of those scents caused the greatest amount of blood flow to the vaginal area. Ginger has been valued over cultures and centuries as a powerful aphrodisiac and fertility enhancer. Called “The Universal Medicine” in Ayurveda, lovers have long relied on ginger’s internal fire-enhancing properties to heat things up.
Using ginger in foods, sweets, or tea has long been touted as a way to absorb its aphrodisiac qualities. Ginger’s potent and distinct smell awakens our olfactory glands and its warming properties stimulate our circulatory system. Its relaxing properties, such as easing digestion and muscle relief, all work to put the body in a relaxed state.
Ginger is also touted as a natural fertility booster. One study of Zingiber Officinale (ginger) demonstrated pro-fertility properties in rats and increased “sperm motility and viability.” Ginger is also thought to invigorate the reproductive organs and possibly assist with impotency and premature ejaculation.