Top 29 Aphrodisiacs – List of Aphrodisiac Foods for Better Sex
While you might’ve heard in passing that oysters are aphrodisiacs, there are also a ton of other less-exotic foods rumored to have aphrodisiac qualities that you probably eat every day (no offense to the daily oyster crowd).
It’s also important to note that not everyone will respond to aphrodisiac foods the same way. Marta Montenegro, a Miami-based nutrition fertility lifestyles specialist at IVFMD, explains that men might look for proteins and fats to boost alertness, while women turn to carbohydrates to calm nerves and relax.
Here, experts get real about some of the most popular rumored aphrodisiacs and some foods that might actually lessen your sex drive.
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According to Jenni Skyler, PhD, LMFT, CST, an AASECT certified sex therapist, sexologist, and licensed marriage and family therapist for AdamEve.com, “Maca, the Incan root that is made into a popular tea, is also known as Peru’s ‘natural Viagra’ and is thought to increase energy, stamina, fertility, and libido.”
Montenegro notes that while the verdict isn’t in yet on scientific research for Maca, however, “the plant’s roots are rich in magnesium and fiber which are good for improving stamina and well-being.”
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Marta Montenegro explains that pumpkin is high in fiber and has potassium, “both good for stamina” as well as magnesium, which can help calm nerves and muscles.
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Steve McGough, who has a doctorate in sexology and a BS in biochemistry, suggests that Champagne as an aphrodisiac has more to do with getting in the mood for a special occasion than for the actual science behind the bubbles.
In fact, he adds, “Studies have shown that for women, limited amounts of alcohol can increase subjective desire and potentially lower inhibitions. Larger amounts or chronic consumption can reduce libido and overall health.
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McGough says that celery contains small amounts of androstenone, which is a male pheromone that women can find attractive in men. No word on how much celery you’d have to eat to start sweating a love potion, but hey, if you have the time.
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It’s a fact that garlic absolutely slaps in flavor and if you’re chill with your partner’s garlic breath, it might do wonders for you in the bedroom too. According to McGough, Garlic is high in allicin which increases blood flow and overall cardiovascular wellness.
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If a guy is zinc deficient, pine nuts can help increase their libido. Explains McGough, pine nuts also contain a variety of other health oils and phytochemicals that promote overall health and in turn, can potentially increase libido.
Basically, when your body is happy, your odds of getting turned on are higher.
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Studies have found Asian and American varieties of the Ginseng herb to help libido and sexual performance. Clinical nutritionist Josh Axe explains, “Ginseng ly affects the central nervous system, altering hormones in the process.”
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McGough adds that apples have also been associated with increased sex drive. A 2014 study suggested that eating an apple a day correlated with better sexual quality of life in young women.
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Diana Hoppe, MD, author of Healthy Sex Drive, Healthy You: What Your Libido Reveals About Your Life, says capsaicin, the stuff responsible for making chili peppers spicy, stimulates nerve endings on the tongue, which releases epinephrine (adrenaline), the chemical that increases your heart rate and releases endorphins (natural opiates found in your body). Just make sure you’re eating them and not actually just, , rubbing chili pepper on your partner’s body—the shit will sting.
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Not only do figs look sexy (anyone else completely unable to eat Fig Newtons the same way after seeing a halved fig for the first time, or just me?), Dr. Hoppe says they’re also thought to be a sexual stimulant, as they’re high in amino acids, which boost sexual stamina and increase libido.
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The high amount of vitamin E in asparagus can increase blood and oxygen flow to the genitals, Dr. Hoppe explains. There are also high levels of potassium, which is linked to sex hormone production. Plus, if the suggestive phallic shape of things also helps get you in the mood, then hey, good for you!
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A sexy fun fact about your favorite $2 add-on at Chipotle: The Aztec word for avocado is “ahuacatl,” which means “testicle.” But besides their sex-thetic appeal, avocados also contain high levels of folic acid, vitamin B9 (which provides the body with more energy), and vitamin B6 (which helps increase testosterone production), says Dr. Hoppe.
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Your least favorite phallic fruit to eat in public, Dr. Hoppe says, contains a bromelain enzyme—believed to increase a man’s sex drive—as well as high levels of potassium, riboflavin, and vitamin B2 (supes important to keep your energy levels up while you bone).
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According to Dr. Hoppe, chocolate contains phenylethylamine—a stimulant that elicits excitement and a sense of well-being. The natural caffeine doesn’t hurt either. Make sure to get dark chocolate that’s at least 75 percent cacao to get the heart bennies too.
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Urban legend has it that Casanova once seduced a virgin by sliding an oyster from his lips to hers. Yum, because what about communal seafood just doesn't scream seductive? Dr. Hoppe says these puppies contain tons of zinc, a mineral important in the production of testosterone and sperm production. Plus, they contain dopamine, a brain chemical that increases desire.
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What can’t this superfood do (besides not cost an arm and a leg)? Poms are hella full of antioxidants, which are important to decrease inflammation and plaque from building in your arteries and help deliver more blood flow to all areas of your body, including your genitals. Dr. Hoppe adds that there have also been some studies that suggest pomegranate juice may be helpful with erectile dysfunction (for that $8/bottle price tag, it better, honestly).
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Not only can it help you get in the mood, the resveratrol in red wine is also a powerful antioxidant, which, again, helps decrease inflammation and helps quite literally get your blood pumping.
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Dr. Hoppe says salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which is important not only for heart health (hence: why you keep seeing it all over vitamin bottles) but also for helping your libido by supplying the building blocks for production of estrogen, testosterone, and progresterone.
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Not only have these been a symbol of fertility in art forever, they’re also a prime source of beneficial fatty acids omega-3, which, again, help with hormone production. Dr. Hoppe adds that the aroma of almonds is purported to arouse passion in women.
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Vanilla doesn’t just smell sexy, Dr. Hoppe says it can also create an overall calming effect. No wonder all those late-night scoops of vanilla feel so damn good.
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Besides conjuring up sexy memories of summer flings gone by, watermelon is also high in citruline, a phytonutrient, Dr. Hoppe says, that increases the amount of nitric acid in the body, which in turn increases blood flow, blood vessel relaxation, and sexual arousal.
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TBT to ancient Greece, when Hippocrates used to prescribe honey for sexual vigor. This “liquid gold,” as Dr. Hoppe calls it, contains boron, which helps regulate hormone levels and nitric oxide (which helps increase blood flow during arousal). Nitric oxide also helps open up blood vessels involved in creating erections and clitoral engorgement.
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Similar to chocolate's, coffee’s caffeine increases stamina and can elevate mood (because who could be happy while struggling to keep their eyes open?). Dr. Hoppe also adds that coffee increases dopamine levels in the brain, the stuff that increases desire and pleasure.
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While the legend says that strawberries originated from the heart-shaped tears of Aphrodite after she learned of her lover Adonis’s death, modern-day strawberries are anything but a bummer. Dr.
Hoppe says they’re loaded with vitamin C, which is important for the production of sex hormones and chemical neurotransmitters in the brain to increase libido.
Plus, vitamin C can help keep your immune system up.
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Another sexy fruit! Not only do they contain potassium and vitamin C, Dr. Hoppe explains that they also contain anthocyanins (the stuff responsible for giving them their red color), powerful antioxidants that reduce inflammation and help maintain a healthy sex drive.
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Just kidding! If anyone says this, they’re a liar. Dr. Hoppe says there’s no evidence of its aphrodisiac qualities (sorry, Josh from freshman year, you were wrong!), although she does mention that the light creamy texture could make for some creative lovemaking scenarios. Either way, you do you.
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Not an Aphrodisiac: Microwave Popcorn
Axe explains that the chemicals found in the lining of microwaveable popcorn bags and non-stick pots and pans, PFOA, have been linked to lower sperm counts in men.
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Not an Aphrodisiac: Dairy Products
Axe says that dairy products milk and cheese from cow’s milk can have synthetic hormones in them that can negatively affect estrogen and testosterone levels.
These 7 Foods Are Considered Aphrodisiacs, But Do They Work?
Aphrodisiacs have been around since the dawn of time. If there’s a foodstuff that has a reputation as a sexual enhancer, people are going to try it.
But do they really work, or are we just fooling ourselves into believing those pre-dinner oysters will have some raw, primal power over us later that night?
Below, three experts offer their opinion on the effectiveness of common aphrodisiacs and explain how each food got their reputation.
Typically, an aphrodisiac ― a term derived from Aphrodite, the ancient Greek goddess of love ― is defined as a food or other substance that causes arousal or sexual desire.
“There tend to be nutrients provided via these foods that improve the health of the sex organs as well,” said Kat Van Kirk, a sex therapist and the resident relationship and sex expert at AdamandEve.com. “The foods are said to increase sensations of arousal such as body temperature, heart rate or physical energy, making you feel more having sex.”
Of course, a placebo effect may be at play, too; for instance, you heard figs impact your sex drive so you feel more inclined to want sex simply because you have high expectations for the fruit. Whatever the case, still worth a bite, right?
Watermelon had a reputation as an aphrodisiac long before Queen Bey sang about it drinking it on “Drunk On Love.”
It makes sense that people latch onto this one, said Diana Hoppe, aobstetrician and gynecologist and the author of Healthy Sex Drive, Healthy You: What Your Libido Reveals About Your Life.
Watermelon is a rich source of the non-essential amino acid citrulline, she said. Citrulline relaxes and dilates blood vessels much Viagra and other drugs meant to treat erectile dysfunction.
“All that citrulline results in increased blood flow, blood vessel relaxation and sexual arousal,” Hoppe explained.
It sure sounds promising, but is it effective? Since citrulline is most concentrated in the rind of the watermelon, “you’d have to eat a lot of watermelon rind to get this effect to see a payoff,” Hoppe said.
Watermelon rind juice, anyone? Or better yet, watermelon rind pickles.
Chocolate is our go-to Valentine’s Day gift for good reason: it’s delicious, decadent and you’d be hard pressed to find a person who doesn’t some type of it. (We see ― and want you ― pink chocolate.)
Is it effective as an aphrodisiac, though? Sadly, current studies suggest that chocolate has no statistically significant effect on libido, said Steve McGough, an associate professor of clinical sexology at the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality.
That said, chocolate contains chemicals phenylethylamine, which may elicit feelings of excitement and general well being. Hopefully, you can parlay your good mood into some sexy time with your S.O., McGough said.
Oysters have a storied history as an aphrodisiac: Legend has it that Casanova, the famed 18th century lover, fueled up on raw oysters every morning to maintain his stamina. The oyster also bears some resemblance to female genitalia, and slurping down its soft, moist flesh can be a bit suggestive.
Are oysters really effective as aphrodisiacs? They can be in certain quantities, Hoppe said.
“Oysters contain high amounts of zinc, a mineral important in production of testosterone, sperm production and immune function,” she said.
They also contain large amounts of the amino acid tyrosine, a nutrient that plays a part in the production of dopamine. Low levels of dopamine are known to negatively impact libido, Hoppe explained.
“You’d need to eat large amounts to get enough dopamine to cause any effect, but having oysters as an appetizer never hurts to fuel the flames!”
How many is enough, though?
“For some, two oysters may fuel the flames while others may need more,” Hoppe said. “With aphrodisiacs, the food is only one component of the equation to libido, as the body’s reaction to the food and the surrounding (a romantic candlelight dinner versus crazy busy loud restaurants) could also contribute.”
This slightly phallic-shaped veggie has the French to thank for its naughty reputation. French grooms in the 19th century were served three courses of asparagus the day before their weddings in the hopes that it would increase their sex drive for the big night ahead. (We’re hoping their pee didn’t smell asparagus because that’s really not sexy.)
Is asparagus really a sexy super food, though? Possibly, McGough said.
Asparagus is a great source of a lot of sexually stimulating nutrients, including vitamin E, B and potassium, he explained.
“Since it’s a great, nutritious food to eat, I’d say why not try it,” he said. “I haven’t tried it personally but asparagus and am now curious.”
Veggies with similar nutrients may have the same effect as asparagus, but McGough advises not to overdo it.
“One thing I would say, personal observation, is that if you eat large amounts of anything that makes you feel great, don’t keep high levels of intake all the time,” he said. “Unless it’s a nutritional deficiency, certain foods can bump our physiology one way or another (sometimes for really great results) but over time we might adapt to it.”
He added: “It’s best to keep things in balance and eat a good variety of healthy foods each day. Save the asparagus, raw oyster and watermelon binges for a special weekend date.”
Spice up your (sex) life. According to Hoppe, chili peppers contain a colorless, odorless oil- compound known as capsaicin that stimulates the nerve endings on the tongue.
“It creates a tingling sensation and increases the release of epinephrine ― also known as adrenaline ― and endorphins, the natural opiates for body,” she told us.
Is it really effective? Yep, that endorphin high from the chili is very ly to get you going, Hoppe said.
Plus, chili pairs well with another food believed to be an aphrodisiac, the nutrient-rich avocado. Don’t forget to buy chips, salsa and guacamole before sending that next “Netflix and chill?” text.
Figs have long been considered an aphrodisiac, in large part because they’re mentioned in the Bible as one of the fruits in the Garden of Eden. Some even believe it might be the true forbidden fruit that got Adam and Eve into all that trouble.
OK, so it’s got a sexy backstory, but is it really effective? No, said Van Kirk, but the fruit is good for your general health.
“Figs have a high concentration of antioxidants, flavonoids, and polyphenols which can lead to feelings of relaxation and well being,” she said.
(Just don’t go and read about how figs grow, because it’s a supremely unsexy story.)
Because of its heart shape and red color, Romans are said to have considered the strawberry a symbol of Venus, the goddess of love.
Beyond its cute shape, the berry is packed with Vitamin C, which helps keep blood flowing to all regions of the body, Hoppe said.
Is it effective? “As with many of these aphrodisiacs, it contains ingredients important to sex hormone production but there’s no way to guarantee it will increase desire,” she said. “They’re good for your overall health, though!”
Hey, staying healthy is always sexy.
Exploring scientifically proven herbal aphrodisiacs
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Aphrodisiacs: Better Sex or Just Bunk?
From the WebMD Archives
Men and women have sought aphrodisiacs, agents that arouse or increase sexual response or desire, since the beginning of time. Aphrodisiacs may well be the one thing that crosses all barriers — race, culture, ethnicity, age — making it unanimous: We all want to have better sex.
If you looked hard enough, you could find an authority for almost any folk belief about the stimulating properties of a substance. And although the Food and Drug Administration has determined that all these non-medicinal approaches are ineffective, people still follow their heart's desire in search of the perfect catalyst for love.
One category of foods that were thought to be aphrodisiacs are foods that resemble genitalia. Eggs and caviar may come to mind, as well as asparagus, celery, and onions.
Clams and oysters also lay claim to aphrodisiac qualities because of their shape and texture.
Oysters, in fact, are high in zinc — a nutrient that was lacking in people's diets at one time; eating them could improve a nutritionally deficient diet, thus improving a person's overall health and increasing his or her sex drive.
Spicy foods have long been considered to be sexual stimulants.
There is some scientific truth to this claim in that foods that are heavily spiced often contain capsaicin, the active ingredient in cayenne pepper.
Eating capsaicin can cause a physiological response — increased heart rate and metabolism, sometimes even sweating — that is quite similar to the physical reactions experienced during sex.
Okra is another reputed vegetable of love. Rich in magnesium, it's a natural relaxant. It's also full of iron, folate, zinc, and vitamin B, all nutrients that keep your sex organs healthy and happy. A little gumbo, anyone?
An herb very commonly associated with love is ginseng. Some say ginseng is an aphrodisiac because it actually looks the human body. (The word ginseng even means “man root.”) Studies have reported sexual response in animals who have been given ginseng, but there is no evidence to date of ginseng having any effect on humans.
Yohimbe is an herb found in Africa and India that for centuries has been thought to possess aphrodisiac qualities. It works by stimulating nerve centers in the spine, thereby improving the capacity for erection without increasing sexual excitement.
These days, some call it the herbal Viagra. Unfortunately, there are side effects to taking this herb, which include anxiety, weakness, overstimulation, paralysis, and hallucinations.
Sounds a large price to pay for the possibility of better sex, don't you think?
No discussion of aphrodisiacs would be complete without mention of Spanish fly, the most legendary of the love drugs, but also the most dangerous. Spanish fly, or cantharides, is extracted from dried beetle dung.
Reported sexual excitement after taking Spanish fly stems from its ability to irritate the urogenital tract, causing a rush of blood to the genital area.
And that's not the down side! Spanish fly is a poison that burns the mouth and throat, and can cause urinary infections, scarring of the urethra, and in some rare cases, death.
Aside from the groundbreaking release of Viagra, there have been few laboratory studies on aphrodisiacs. To date, the only evidence of any organic aphrodisiacs has been anecdotal and subjective.
Sights, sounds, and scents within your reach are the best precursors for a romp in the hay. Nothing can compare with the sight of your partner's lips parted in a smile — or the sound of those three words, “I love you.” Combined with a healthy dose of mind candy (your imagination), you're well on your way to a fabulous night of sexual exploration.
Rhinoceros horn Deer antler
Truffles Clove Sandalwood Alder bark Damiana Gypsyweed Rose petals Patchouli Muira Puama
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7 Aphrodisiac Foods That Boost Your Libido
Written by Alina Petre, MS, RD (NL) on June 28, 2017
An aphrodisiac is defined as a food or drug that arouses sexual instinct, brings on desire or increases sexual pleasure or performance.
Naturally, aphrodisiacs are a hot topic, as evidenced by the myriad of pharmaceutical drugs available and marketed specifically for their libido-boosting effects.
However, some individuals prefer natural alternatives, as they are generally safer and tend to have fewer side effects.
This article reviews 7 science-backed aphrodisiacs that can boost your libido.
Maca is a sweet root vegetable with several health benefits.
In South America it's commonly used to boost fertility, even going by the nickname “the Peruvian Viagra.” It grows predominantly in the mountains of central Peru and is related to cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, cauliflower, kale and cabbage (1).
Maca is one of the few popular natural aphrodisiacs that's actually backed by science.
Animal studies report increases in libido and erectile function in mice and rats fed maca (2).
And maca seems to have libido-boosting effects in humans too. Four high-quality studies reported that participants experienced enhanced sexual desire after they consumed maca (3, 4, 5, 6).
Furthermore, a small study suggests that maca may help reduce the loss of libido that's commonly experienced as a side effect of certain antidepressant drugs (7).
Most studies provided 1.5–3.5 grams of maca per day for 2–12 weeks (8).
Participants generally tolerated these intakes well and experienced few side effects. However, more studies are needed to determine safe dosages and long-term effects.
Summary: Maca is a sweet root vegetable that may help boost libido.
Tribulus terrestris, also known as bindii, is an annual plant that grows in dry climates.
It is commonly used to help improve athletic performance, infertility and loss of libido (9).
This supplement is also backed by some science. Animal studies report increased sperm production in rats given Tribulus supplements (10).
Another study found 88% of women with sexual dysfunction experienced increased sexual satisfaction after taking 250 mg of Tribulus per day for 90 days (11).
Additionally, a group of researchers examined the effect of Tribulus in women with sexual dysfunction by giving them 7.5 mg of the extract per day.
After four weeks, the women given Tribulus reported significantly higher levels of desire, arousal, lubrication and orgasm satisfaction (12).
That said, more research is needed to evaluate optimal dosing, as well as the effects of Tribulus supplements in men.
Summary: The Tribulus terrestris plant may have aphrodisiac effects in women. More research is needed to evaluate optimal doses of Tribulus, as well as its effects in men.
Ginkgo biloba is an herbal supplement derived from one of the oldest species of trees — the Ginkgo biloba tree.
It's popular in traditional Chinese medicine as a treatment for many ailments, including depression and poor sexual function.
Ginkgo biloba is said to act as an aphrodisiac by helping relax blood vessels and increase blood flow (13).
Nevertheless, studies have produced mixed results.
For example, one small study reports that ginkgo biloba reduced the loss of libido caused by antidepressant use in around 84% of participants.
Both male and female participants said they experienced increased desire, excitement and ability to orgasm after consuming 60–120 mg of the supplement daily, although effects seemed stronger in female participants (14).
However, a follow-up study noted no improvements in a similar group of participants who took ginkgo biloba (15).
Ginkgo biloba is generally well tolerated, but it may act as a blood thinner. Thus, if you're taking blood-thinning medications, make sure to check with your health care professional before taking ginkgo biloba (16).
Summary: Ginkgo biloba may have aphrodisiac effects, but study results are inconsistent. The herb may also interact with blood thinners, so consult your health care practitioner before using it.
Ginseng is another popular herb in Chinese medicine.
One particular type — red ginseng — is commonly used to treat a variety of ailments in men and women, including low libido and sexual function (9).
Several studies have investigated its use in men and observed that red ginseng was at least twice as effective as the placebo at improving erectile function (17, 18).
Also, one small study in menopausal women found that red ginseng may improve sexual arousal (19).
However, these results are not universal. Moreover, some experts question the strength of these studies and warn that more research is needed before strong conclusions can be made (20, 21).
One study had participants take 1.4–3 grams of red ginseng daily for 4–12 weeks (17).
This and another study found that people generally tolerate ginseng well, but it may interfere with blood-thinning medications and the treatment of hormone-sensitive cancers.
In some cases, ginseng may also cause headaches, constipation or minor stomach upset (17, 22).
Summary: Red ginseng is a popular herb that may help boost sex drive and erectile function in men and sexual arousal in women. However, stronger studies are needed to confirm these effects.
Fenugreek is an annual plant cultivated worldwide.
Its seeds are most commonly used in South Asian dishes, but it's also popular in Ayurvedic medicine as an anti-inflammatory, libido-boosting treatment.
And perhaps this is for good reason — this herb appears to contain compounds that the body can use to make sex hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone (23, 24).
In one small study, men given 600 mg of fenugreek extract per day for six weeks reported experiencing increased sexual arousal and more orgasms (25).
Similarly, a small study investigated the effects of a daily dose of 600 mg of fenugreek extract in women who had reported having a low sex drive.
It observed a significant increase in sexual desire and arousal in the fenugreek group by the end of the eight-week study, compared to the placebo group (26).
Fenugreek is generally well tolerated, but can interact with blood-thinning medication and may cause minor stomach upset (27).
Moreover, due to its influence on sex hormones, fenugreek may also interfere with the treatment of hormone-sensitive cancers (9).
Summary: Fenugreek may help boost sexual desire and arousal in both men and women. Individuals taking blood-thinning medication should avoid it.
People have been eating pistachio nuts since 6,000 BC.
They are quite nutritious and particularly rich in protein, fiber and healthy fats (28).
Pistachios may have a variety of health benefits, including helping lower blood pressure, control weight and reduce the risk of heart disease (29, 30, 31).
Moreover, they may also help reduce symptoms of erectile dysfunction.
In one small study, men who consumed 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of pistachio nuts per day for three weeks experienced increased blood flow to the penis and firmer erections (32).
Experts have suggested these effects may be due to the ability of pistachios to improve blood cholesterol and stimulate better blood flow throughout the body.
However, this study did not use a placebo group, which makes it difficult to interpret the results. More studies are needed before strong conclusions can be made.
Summary: Pistachio nuts appear to increase blood flow, contributing to firmer erections. However, more studies are needed before strong conclusions can be made.
Saffron is a spice derived from the Crocus sativus flower. It is native to Southwest Asia and one of the most expensive spices by weight.
This spice is often used as an alternative remedy to help treat depression, reduce stress and enhance mood (33).
What's more, saffron is also popular for its potential aphrodisiac properties, especially in individuals taking antidepressants.
One study observed that a group of men given 30 mg of saffron per day for four weeks experienced greater improvements in erectile function than men given a placebo (34).
A follow-up study in women reported that those in the saffron group experienced higher levels of arousal and increased lubrication, compared to those in the placebo group (35).
Nevertheless, studies on saffron's aphrodisiac properties in individuals not suffering from depression yield inconsistent results (36, 37, 38, 39).
Summary: Saffron may help increase sex drive in individuals taking antidepressant medications. However, results in other groups remain mixed.
Several other foods are touted to have aphrodisiac properties. However, their libido-boosting effects are often supported by very little scientific evidence.
Here are some of the most popular of these questionable foods:
- Chocolate: Compounds in cacao are often touted to have an aphrodisiac effect, particularly in women. However, studies provide little evidence to support this very popular belief (40).
- Oysters: While one study reports that they may have some libido-boosting effects in rats, no studies exist to support the libido-enhancing properties of oysters in humans (9, 41).
- Chasteberry: Studies suggest that this fruit may influence hormone levels and reduce premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms in women. However, there is no evidence that it offers any libido-boosting benefits (42, 43).
- Honey: It has allegedly been used for centuries to bring romance into marriages. One variety called “mad honey” is even marketed as a sexual stimulant. Yet, no studies support this, and it may contain dangerous toxins (9, 44, 45).
- Epimedium: Also known as horny goat weed, it's popular in traditional Chinese medicine for treating ailments erectile dysfunction. Cell and animal studies provide some early support for this use, but human studies are needed (46, 47).
- Hot chilies: According to popular belief, capsaicin, the compound that gives hot chilies their spiciness, stimulates nerve endings on the tongue, causing the release of sex drive-boosting chemicals. However, no studies support this belief.
- Alcohol: Alcohol may act as an aphrodisiac by helping both men and women relax and get in the mood. However, heavy drinking may actually reduce arousal and sexual function, so moderation is key (48, 49).
Summary: The supplements listed above are often said to help increase sexual desire. However, there is currently limited scientific evidence to support their use as aphrodisiacs.
When it comes to boosting sex drive, the list of foods with potential aphrodisiac properties is very long.
However, only a small proportion of these supposed aphrodisiacs are actually backed by science.
If you're interested in giving the science-backed options a try, you may want to start with small amounts and increase the dosage your personal tolerance.
Also, it's important to note that natural aphrodisiacs may interact with some medications.
If you're currently taking medication, make sure to check with your health care provider before giving these foods and herbs a try.