An aphrodisiac is an agent which acts on the mind and causes the arousal of the mood of sexual desire. The name comes from the Greek goddess of love Aphrodite. Desire can be stimulated by a variety of events or situations (see sexual arousal), but this article focuses on foods and drugs to which an aphrodisiac effect has been attributed.
Newly introduced exotic fruits or vegetables often acquire such a reputation, at least until they become more familiar.
Eringoes (the Sea holly, Eryngium maritimum)
Spanish fly (Cantharidin)
Coffee (as a female aphrodesiac 1)
Some aphrodisiacs appear to gain their reputation from the principles of sympathetic magic, e.g. oysters, due to their shape. This also explains the trade in the phallic-looking rhinoceros horn, which is endangering this animal. (See Carl Hiaasen's 1999 novel Sick Puppy.) Other animal-based aphrodisiacs gain their reputation from the apparent virility or aggressiveness of the animal source - such as tiger penis - also endangering the species. The use of rhino horn and tiger penis to enhance male sexuality is popular among the Chinese (although no scientific basis has been established). Turtle eggs, eaten raw with salt and lime juice, are also said to be an aphrodisiac, leading to the poaching of many turtles, which are cut up to extract their eggs.
1 Other drugs
2 Not just drugs
3 See also
4 External links and references
There is some debate in lay circles as to whether a chemical called phenylethylamine present in chocolate is an aphrodisiac. This compound, however, is quickly degraded by the enzyme MAO such that significant concentrations do not reach the brain.
Medical science has not substantiated claims that any particular food increases sexual desire or performance. Yohimbine (the alkaloid derived from yohimbe bark) has been said to be an aphrodisiac and is prescribed in some countries as a drug to treat erectile dysfunction. As a potent MAO-inhibitor, yohimbine may increase genital bloodflow and sexual sensitivity for some people.
Another new drug called Bremelanotide (formerly PT-141) seems to be the first real aphrodisiac. It stimulates sexual desire in both men and women, and clinical trials are currently testing it for the treatment of sexual arousal disorder and erectile dysfunction.
Psychoactive substances like alcohol, cannabis and particularly 2C-B and MDMA are not aphrodisiacs in the strict sense of the definition above, but they can be used to increase sexual pleasure and to reduce inhibition.
Drugs like Viagra are not aphrodisiacs because they do not have any mood effects.
Not just drugs
Throughout history, many foods, wines, and behaviors have had a reputation for making sex more attainable and/or pleasurable, though from an historical and scientific standpoint, many have had their desired results simply because their users have chosen to believe th
Individual sensitivity is very variable, large doses may depress the central nervous system
Individual sensitivity is very variable, large doses may depress the central nervous system Salvia divinorum is a perennial labiate used for curing and divination by the Mazatec Indians of Oaxaca, Mexico. The psychotropic effects the plant produces are compared to those of the other hallucinogens employed by the Mazatecs, the morning glory, Rivea corymbosa L., Hallier f. and the psilocybin-containing mushrooms.
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