Analysing aphrodisiacs

Katie Batchelor 13 February 2014

Aphrodisiacs are named after the Greek goddess of love and desire, Aphrodite, and are believed to boost sexual desire. However, some people pull a bit of a face when they hear the word. Whether that’s because they think its complete nonsense or perhaps think they wouldn’t ever even need one, this scientific evidence may come as a surprise to skeptics.

Chocolate

A classic romantic treat, and a clever one too. A bite of this will dose you up with a whole range of feel-good chemicals including anandamide and dopamine. The latter is released in the brain’s pleasure centres, peaking during sexual climax. In fact, according to legend, the Aztec leader Montezuma used to drink fifty cups of molten chocolate a day with the hope that it would enhance his sexual abilities.

Oysters

Apparently these slippery things gained their reputation as a food of love because of their ‘feminine’ appearance. They also contain high levels of zinc, a mineral that boosts testosterone production in men, leading to a higher libido.

Garlic

Admittedly, the stink of garlic on a potential partner’s breath is not something that will make you want to go jumping into bed with them. However, garlic contains allicin, a substance that increases blood flow to all areas of the body.