It's that time of year again. The holidays are upon us. From Thanksgiving to New Year's and beyond, it can be difficult to stick to any diet and exercise plan.More >>
From Thanksgiving to New Year's and beyond, it can be difficult to stick to any diet and exercise plan with plates of holiday goodies floating around. But not to worry. It is possible to cheat and not pay for it later.More >>
By Ashley Henshaw
If you want to spend some intimate time with your partner, why not use an aphrodisiac to help get things going? For centuries, aphrodisiacs have been utilized to help set the mood in certain situations. In this article, you'll find some of the best natural aphrodisiacs and how they help get you and your partner revved up.
How Aphrodisiacs Work
First, it's important to understand just what an aphrodisiac is. Aphrodisiacs increase sexual desire by creating chemical reactions within the body. One common mistake is to assume that drugs like Viagra are aphrodisiacs. These drugs improve performance and stamina, but not sexual desire.
Because a person's sex drive is driven by hormones, regardless of sex, it's essential that aphrodisiacs alter these hormone levels in the body. There are certain foods, herbs and supplements which appear to stimulate the production of hormones associated with libido. These products are known as aphrodisiacs because they have the potential to increase sexual desire for the person who consumes them.
At this time, there is no scientific research to confirm the aphrodisiac effect of certain products. In fact, natural aphrodisiacs are not approved or confirmed by the FDA, largely because libido is a very difficult thing to study. However, there are many people who are convinced that these items do have a significant impact on sexual desire.
The Best Natural Aphrodisiacs
Fortunately, some of the most popular aphrodisiacs are natural foods and ingredients that you can easily find in your local supermarket. Give these natural aphrodisiacs a try to see if they give your sex life a boost:
Perhaps the most well-known natural aphrodisiac is the oyster. This type of seafood is strongly associated with sex for several reasons. The opened oysters resemble female genitalia, and the smooth, slippery feeling of the oysters in one's mouth is said to be quite sensual in itself. On a chemical level, the significant amount of zinc in oysters could increase the production of testosterone, which in turn increases sex drive. Oysters may also boost the production of dopamine thanks to the fact that they contain a nutrient called tyrosine. These heightened levels of dopamine may also increase libido.
Some of the uses of nutmeg come in handy when you want to increase your sex drive. For instance, nutmeg may increase blood flow by stimulating the circulatory system and act as a mild painkiller. Studies have shown that while the effects on humans are inconclusive at this point, nutmeg has been shown to increase the mating behaviors of mice. A dangerous trend that has emerged in recent years is sniffing nutmeg to get high. Doctors strongly discourage this practice as it is very dangerous to your health.
It's no surprise that many people buy chocolate for their lovers. Chocolate has long been coined an aphrodisiac and is strongly associated with love and sex in American culture. This sweet treat has been shown in several studies to improve overall mood and relieve stress, so it's association with an increased sex drive does make sense. If you want to try chocolate as a natural aphrodisiac, give dark chocolate a try; this type of chocolate contains phenylethylamine, which could improve your mood, increase your serotonin levels and give you a kick of caffeine.
This fermented drink, which is crafted from a mixture of honey, berries, spices and water, has long been associated with fertility, likely due to the belief that it increases sexual desire. First used many centuries ago, this drink is what actually sparked the term "honeymoon" since newlyweds were encouraged to drink it nightly for the first month of their marriage. Although some of the increased libido could be attributed to the alcohol content of mead, it does contain B vitamins, which are needed to produce testosterone.
This is one natural aphrodisiac which can vary greatly from person to person. Smells are very strongly associated with memory, so it may be your partner's perfume or cologne that turns you on but doesn't have quite the same effect on others. In addition, many studies on scent and libido have been completed and results show that certain smells do have a tendency to increase blood flow to the sex organs. For men, the most enticing smells were lavender and pumpkin pie. For women, the odd combination of licorice and cucumber was found to be the sexiest.
Feel free to try these natural aphrodisiacs for yourself since they are relatively harmless when consumed in moderation. However, if any specific health conditions prevent you from eating or drinking certain products, make sure you aren't violating those guidelines by using these aphrodisiacs.
Finally, remember that the effects of aphrodisiacs are not supported by scientific research, so none of the items listed above is guaranteed to increase your sexual desire. See your doctor if you are concerned about your lack of sex drive as underlying physical or mental conditions may be inhibiting your libido.
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