You’re probably familiar with the idea of an aphrodisiac: Some sort of foodstuff you ingest to help rev your engine. Oysters, for example, are a notorious choice. And I’ve always found red wine (a couple of glasses, not a dozen) puts me in the mood.
But according to a recent article in the “Toronto Star” — “Add saffron, ginseng to your diet to spice up your sex life: Study” by Valerie Hauch — researchers at the University of Guelph have discovered your best bet might be to add some exotic spices to your culinary repertoire.
In clinical studies, saffron (one of the world’s priciest spices) and panax (or Korean) ginseng were demonstrated to improve both the sexual performance of men with mild to moderate erectile dysfunction and the sexual arousal and satisfaction of menopausal women.
“The medicine chest has really moved from the bathroom to kitchen table,” says Massimo Marcone, a food science professor and lead researcher of the study.
Marcone has studied other natural aphrodisiacs, which have proven their worth even through the rigours of the scientific method: Yohimbine, a chemical from West Africa’s yohimbine tree, is available in Canada with a prescription; the muira puama plant and maca root, both of which are available over the counter in Canada; and sage, cloves and nutmeg, all of which have been successful in tests (but thus far only in making rats feel romantic).
One word of advice? Stay away from bathroom vending machine aphrodisiacs, like “Spanish fly,” a powder created from blister beetles that can be toxic. Likewise, there’s no concrete evidence that chocolate — another reputed aphrodisiac — is actually sexually stimulating.
So, perhaps, if you’re looking for something that works well (and fast!), but isn’t too complicated, you’d be better off spending some money on a good glass of red wine.