Let’s Get It On: Guide to Natural Aphrodisiacs

Looking to amp things up this Valentine’s Day? You might try romancing the object of your affection with oysters, chocolate and champagne in the hopes of boosting sexual desire. But do these supposed aphrodisiacs really live up to their erogenous reputations or are they just another Hallmark holiday budget buster? of natural aphrodisiacs found these four are Cupid”s natural love arrows.

Chocolate: As if we ladies need an excuse to eat chocolate, studies show it may improve female sexual function. One study found that women who ate chocolate daily reported better sexual function than women who did not eat chocolate. However, these results did not hold up when adjusted for age. But if eating chocolate boosts your mood, it might help put you in the mood too.

Yohimbine: Looking for something a bit more exotic? Yohimbine, an extract of West African yohim trees, is prescribed to dilate pupils and is approved by the FDA for this purpose. It was also a precursor to today’s erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs. An analysis of several studies examining the effectiveness of yohimbine for ED found varying levels of success based on the cause of ED. Preliminary studies show promise for yohimbine combined with L-arginine for the treatment of ED. But watch out: side effects of yohimbine include elevated blood pressure, anxiety and heart palpitations.

Muira Puama: Could the legendary sexual prowess of Brazilians be attributed to Muira Puama? Native to Brazil, this herb, also known as potency wood, shows great promise as an aphrodisiac. Studies, while limited, show the herb increases libido and sexual desire in men and sexual desire, fantasies and orgasm in women. How this herb works is not yet understood and more studies are needed to confirm these results.

Alcohol: Then there’s the old college stand-by: beer goggles. We certainly don’t condone getting your date tipsy in your wooing efforts, but it’s well documented that a little alcohol can reduce inhibitions which may in turn have benefits in the bedroom. And some studies have shown that regular moderate alcohol consumption is associated with a lower risk of ED. Don’t over-do it however, as heavy alcohol consumption has been linked to a higher risk of ED.

As for oysters, they just look sexy. According to the article, “Other popular aphrodisiacs including oysters, shark components, rhinoceros horn and snakes are largely used because of their physical similarity to the genital organs.”

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