An aphrodisiac, in the most general sense, is a substance that increases sexual desire, physical sexual attraction, mental sexual interest, or overall sexual functioning. In much the same way that certain foods can increase your appetite, certain aphrodisiacs can increase your libido. Various substances range from various botanicals, herbs, spices, and other natural substances found in or around nature. Therefore, they are categorized according to their respective chemical composition.
Some common aphrodisiacs include saffron, cardamom, Indian ginseng, cloves, and red pepper. Each of these substances has unique chemical compositions that may have a diverse impact on sexual behavior and mood. Saffron, for example, has been used as an aphrodisiac for thousands of years; however, its exact contribution to sexual behavior and mood is still unclear.
Other common aphrodisiacs include chocolates, rose hips, and ginseng. However, these substances generally do not contribute significantly to overall sexual desire and mood. This is because they generally have no effect on blood flow, which is necessary for sexual desire and mood. Therefore, it is generally not recommended that you take any of these substances as aphrodisiacs.
The word aphrodisiac comes from the Greek word that described a plant with flowers that can produce seed-to-ossom. Thus, it should be assumed that plants that contain the word aphrodisiac have seeds. In modern terms, an aphrodisiac does not necessarily contain the seeds of a plant; however, it is often treated as if it did. Because many people believe that the appearance of an aphrodisiac in nature provides proof that it has at least some effect on sexual desire, when in fact it has very limited impact. Aphrodisiacs are only known to be successful when they are consumed by human beings.
While we do not typically think of a candy bar as containing the chemical fructose, as in fruit sugar, there are actually many health benefits associated with dark chocolate. As a natural aphrodisiac, theobromine is found in dark chocolate and may play a role in sexual function. Both of these chemicals are present in moderate amounts in most foods. It is important to note that in order for a chocolate product to meet the recommended daily allowance of theobromine it must contain at least sixty-two percent cocoa content. Therefore, while a dark chocolate bar may not provide the same aphrodisiac effects as a cup of coffee, a small amount of dark chocolate consumption each day can still lead to increased sexual function.
Another natural substance that may lead to increased arousal and desire for sexual intercourse is L-tryptophan. This chemical may be responsible for one study finding that fifty-two percent of women found it to be extremely effective in increasing blood flow to the genital area. Because the effect observed was a decreased back-up of blood flow, this could lead to the increase of arousal leading to, or more specifically, an increased libido.
Some substances that are believed to be aphrodisiacs also include ephedra and other diet pills. These substances can actually have a rather rapid onset of action leading to heightened feelings of arousal and desire for sexual function. However, they are most effective when used in conjunction with other substances. A good rule of thumb is that if there is a known aphrodisiac in the food or drink, one should use it in conjunction with a sexual performance product.
There are many questions and misconceptions surrounding what is an aphrodisiac and how it can lead to greater sexual desire or enjoyment in a person or couple. In truth, there are only two real purposes for which these supplements are used. They help increase arousal and desire for sex or for intimacy, and they act to reduce the level of low libido in a person or couple.