The Truth About Aphrodisiacs

It’s getting hot in here!

Valentine’s Day is upon us and many of us are scrambling to come up with the perfect date that’s the perfect amount of sweet and steamy. Options are limited for moments like these, but a romantic dinner is always on the table (pun intended.)

Whether you’re planning on going out, or staying in, it’s important to make sure your dinner has all the right ingredients. For some of you, that might mean you’re considering trying the magic of aphrodisiacs. After all, you’ve heard so much about them, they must work… right?

Not so fast! Our doctors have a few answers that might surprise you.

What is an aphrodisiac?

“An aphrodisiac is a substance that, when consumed, increases sexual desire. Throughout history, many foods, drinks, and behaviors have had a reputation for making sex more attainable and/or pleasurable. Their true effect however is hard to prove and often unique and effects individuals differently.” — Dr. John Munshower

Alright, so theoretically, an aphrodisiac can really help heat things up on Valentine’s day. However, don’t get too excited because apparently their effects aren’t proven. It’s a little confusing since legend claims that chocolate and oysters are DEFINITELY aphrodisiacs, so are those claims all a myth?

Myth Busters:

“Despite their popular portrayal, foods such as chocolate, oysters, & yams do not have measurable effect on people’s sex drives, according to new findings published in the journal “Sexual Medicine Reviews.” — Dr. Charles Cattano

Oof, okay. Suddenly the world we all know is upside down. It’s like someone saying that Santa doesn’t exist or that rabbits don’t lay eggs so the whole idea of the Easter Bunny is questionable.

Before you start going too far down that dark hole, Dr. Cattano goes on to say, “Ginkgo Biloba — used in Chinese medicine for sexual dysfunction, the herb has led to improvements in a small trial. Ginseng — while optimal dosing remains unknown, some studies show the herb is more effective than placebo for erectile dysfunction. MACA — a handful of studies show this Peruvian root vegetable can improve sexual function in healthy women and ED in men."

Alright! So maybe there’s some hope after all. Look, when it comes to a romantic Valentine’s day dinner, it is important that you do have all the right ingredients. However, those ingredients might not be aphrodisiacs. Perhaps ditch the garlic and leafy greens (food stuck between your teeth can ruin the mood!)

Honestly, there’s only one special ingredient that can make any date a recipe for success: Love.

Author: Maya Gilliss-Chapman