You may want to feel like Aphrodite, goddess of love, on Valentine’s Day, but will her namesake aphrodisiacs do the trick?
Humans have been trying to spark their desire with special foods and drinks for millennia, with several schools of thought dictating what made for a libido-enhancing ingredient. Certain foods were valued for their resemblance to genitalia—phallic foods like carrots and asparagus, yonic foods like oysters and halved figs. Others, like chili peppers, are supposed to speed up blood flow with heat. Some, like very rare spices, were the Lamborghinis of the food world, turning on the eater with the knowledge of how expensive they were.
But do any of them actually work? It’s not very likely. Take chocolate: There is some science behind the treat’s seductive powers, in that cocoa boosts serotonin levels and contains phenylethylamine, both of which are associated with arousal and stimulation. But the amounts are…
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