Do Aphrodisiacs Really Work?

We find out out if it's possible to eat your way to better romance.

Related To:

1134295888

Photo by: Sofie Delauw/Getty Images

Sofie Delauw/Getty Images

Looking to spice up your love life? Is the secret to unlocking your deepest desires hidden at the grocery store or in the nearest raw bar? There have been lots of myths about food as aphrodisiacs, but regardless of the food you choose, there is something to be said for simply believing a food will light your fire. If it’s good enough for the Greek goddess Aphrodite, the namesake behind this lore, who’s to say it isn’t good enough for you? Here's some of the science behind these storied foods and whether or not they're perfect for romance.

Pile of Delicious Chocolate Brownies

514628322

Pile of Delicious Chocolate Brownies

Photo by: tyncho

tyncho

Chocolate

The romantic powers of chocolate date back to ancient Mayans and Aztecs. A long-standing Valentines treat in present day, chocolate does have the ability to spark the release of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which in turn boosts mood. We're not sure we can make the jump to sexual desire, but the bottom line here might just be who cares?! If you love chocolate, eat it.

1146324390

Photo by: Wojtek Skora/Getty Images

Wojtek Skora/Getty Images

Honey

Another food for sweet romance. Sharing your favorite varieties of honey with your sweetie is highly encouraged, but there is one type that may be dangerous. According to a study published in 2015, a particular type of honey (that you thankfully won’t find on grocery store shelves) called “Mad Honey” contains a compound known as Grayanotoxin that has been linked to hallucinations and heart problems.

Fresh oysters in a white plate with ice and lemon on a wooden desk

501339201

Fresh oysters in a white plate with ice and lemon on a wooden desk

Photo by: Boltenkoff ©Boltenkoff

Boltenkoff, Boltenkoff

Oysters

Slurping on slimy oysters may appeal to some and these shellfish are loaded with the mineral zinc, which is involved in testosterone production. While most studies can’t seem link the mollusks to being a true aphrodisiac, getting more zinc in folks who are deficient may help regulate proper function of sex hormones.

468327978

Photo by: diego_cervo/Getty

diego_cervo/Getty

Ginseng

There is some research to substantiate claims that ginseng can have a positive impact on blood flow and neurologically impact sexual stimulation, but there are several reasons to be cautious. Use of this herb can also have side effects and interactions with certain medications. Herbal products that promise sexual enhancement are also some of the most dangerous according to the FDA tainted supplement database.

545245443

Photo by: Michael Marquand/Getty Images

Michael Marquand/Getty Images

Hot and Spicy

Thanks to the compound capsaicin, fiery spices and flaming hot peppers can get your heart racing and enhance blood pressure. However, it's unlikely you'll feel "in the mood" if your mouth and stomach are on fire. We recommend steering clear of these if you've got plans for a romantic dinner date.

We Also Recommend

Next Up

What to Know About Energy-Efficient Kitchen Appliances

Find out how energy-efficient appliances can save you money, and whether they're really better for the environment.

3 Myths About Washing Fruits and Veggies — and How to Do It Right

Here's what you need to know about cleaning your produce.

I Tried 3 Popular Methods for Cleaning My Silicone Baking Mats and This Is the One I Swear By

That slippery residue that won’t budge no matter how much you scrub? Yeah, it’s gotta go.

How to Clean Your Air Fryer

Follow these simple steps to keep air frying smoke- and grease-free.

How to Clean Every Kind of Kitchen Countertop

We’ve got the dirt on how to keep your countertops sparkling, whether they’re made of humble Formica, elegant marble, or anything in between!

10 Best Groceries to Buy at the Dollar Store

Save your grocery bill by doing some shopping at these stores that are all about affordability.

There’s a Reason Baking Recipes Call for a Specific Size of Egg

Large vs. extra-large matters. But a little easy math can help you adjust on the fly.

How to Use Nonstick Pans In the Oven Safely

Everything you need to know about using nonstick pans (both ceramic and Teflon) in the oven.

How to Turn Fried Food Recipes Into Air Fryer Recipes

This is how you can make deep-fried classics in the air fryer.