If you’re looking to spice things up in the bedroom, an aphrodisiac may do just the trick.
An aphrodisiac is a substance that, when consumed, boosts one’s libido or sexual desire. The name is derived from the Greek word ἀφροδισιακόν (aphrodisiakon), which means “pertaining to Aphrodite,” the Greek goddess of love. Historical understandings of the phenomena of aphrodisiacs are derived from mythology, folklore, rumors, superstitions, and logical reasoning.
Modern-day aphrodisiacs include things that may relate to your current lifestyle — including more sleep. In fact, a 2015 study found that women who got an extra hour of sleep were 14% more likely to have sex the next day.
In this infographic, you’ll find aphrodisiacs from across the globe, from common ones like oysters to lesser-known substances like cobra blood. And don’t forget about getting sleep and exercising — two easy and free ways to boost that libido.
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More About Aphrodisiacs
Many types of seafood are considered aphrodisiacs because, in Greek mythology, Aphrodite emerged from the ocean on a seashell vessel. She was also associated with sparrows, compelling Greeks to consume sparrow brains to ignite lust.
In the Middle Ages, the Law of Similarities deemed that “like causes like.” Thus, suggestively shaped or textured foods such as asparagus, oysters, and ginseng earned aphrodisiac titles. During this time, many aphrodisiacs were banned because they were often used in love potions. Herbs and spices like cinnamon, cardamom, pepper, saffron, and vanilla became forbidden.
Legend has it that ancient Aztec ruler Montezuma guzzled over 50 cups of chocolate before visiting his harem. Casanova is rumored to have seduced a virgin by slipping a raw oyster into her mouth.
While these aphrodisiacs owe their status to myths and legends, some do have scientific merit. Aphrodisiacs that stimulate the nervous system, create warmth in the body, and loosen inhibitions may have genuine effects on the sex drive.
Traditional Ayurveda medicine herbs, such as ashwagandha, also have some promising clinical studies. A study on Tongkat Ali extract (also known as “Malaysian ginseng”) has shown that daily supplementation “improves stress hormone profile and certain mood state parameters,” which may help shield the body from the detrimental effects of modern-day chronic stress — and less stress makes it easier to get in the mood.
Many more common foods that are considered aphrodisiacs, such as honey and almonds, provide key nutrients for sexual health. This infographic explores 40 aphrodisiacs from around the world, providing lore and scientific insights.
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Joe Auer is the editor of Mattress Clarity. He mainly focuses on mattress reviews and oversees the content across the site.
He likes things simple and take a straightforward, objective approach to his reviews. Joe has personally tested nearly 250 mattresses and always recommends people do their research before buying a new bed. He has been testing mattresses for over 5 years now, so he knows a thing or two when it comes to mattress selection. He has been cited as an authority in the industry by a number of large publications.
Joe has an undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University and an MBA from Columbia University.
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