For many people, two things dominate the head, so it’s no wonder they go together. Food and sex are strongly linked – meals that are romantic, let’s not forget that scene from Nine and a Half Weeks, and sweet treats. In fact, we’ve been firm believers in aphrodisiacs for around as long as we’ve been preparing food. But is there any truth in the libido-boosting claims, or are all the theories as wilted as a lettuce leaf?
Aphrodisiacs are named after Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty, and it’d appear that lots of our common aphrodisiacs and organizations of love talk with that time. Herself was frequently pictured emerging from a clamshell, and still, today seafood and oysters are recognised as aphrodisiacs.
Other foods have perhaps gained a reputation from their appearance – asparagus, carrots, figs, and artichokes bear some likeness to genitalia. You might consider this a bit infantile in our classy times, but isn’t challenging to turn our caveman brain with a little visual prompting, notably to matters of love – Channel 4’s Cucumber is mature with foodie imagery that is indicative.
Other, more unknown – and bonkers – aphrodisiacs have waned in popularity over time. Japanese blowfish , cobra blood, Spanish fly and baboon pee have been ingested in the hopes of a great time around the globe. So, unfortunately, has rhino horn, driving against the creature to the brink of extinction. Not to be outdone on odd and wonderful miracle treatments, Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop.com urges ‘sex bark’, an innocent enough looking chocolate recipe until you reach your local Sainsbury’s in search of the ingredients – including ho shou wo (a Chinese herb) and something called Sex Dust.
Here are a couple of the more common aphrodisiacs.
In itself, a sensuous food, plus it contains the substances phenylethylamine and anandamide, which boost serotonin levels – the feel good hormone. Nonetheless, there’s disagreement over how much of the chemicals our brain really absorbs, and gorging ourselves on a family-sized Dairy Milk to compose the difference could truly be a passion-killer. Nonetheless, two dipped in dark chocolate or a strawberry couldn’t hurt.