Long, long ago people in ancient India believed that imbibing snake blood or eating flesh of the Nilgiri Langur could increase sexual libido.
Men from the land of Kama Sutra also believed that consuming goats testicles boiled in milk increased sexual vigor.
The repertoire of aphrodisiacs of Indian origin, find their roots in Ayurvedic therapies. In early days man looked on aphrodisiacs to overcome sexual inadequacies and infertility with procreation as the foremost obligation. It loomed as a moral and religious obligation rather than seeking pleasure and gratification.
Vajikarana is the Sanskrit equivalent to define an aphrodisiac as any substance which restores and increases sexual power.
This is based on pure science.
Aphrodisiacs improve nutrients in the body which in turn improve the quality of semen and breast milk. Food is important as it plays a role in mood changes like warm milk is said to induce deep sleep and food which contain antioxidants strengthen the immune system. In the same way there are foods which enhance sexual moods. The main factor found in such food is the presence of amino acids which build up protein and give a lot of strength to the body thus to sexual power too.
Spices are very potent aphrodisiacs due to aromatic oils and aromas present. Romans believed in cinnamon and pepper, the Chinese in ginger and Indians sought nutmeg, cloves, cardamom and ginger to boost sexual health.
Aphrodisiacs have anti inflammatory, circulatory and muscle strengthening properties, which aid sexual prowess.
The white bark of the Arjuna tree is powdered and boiled with milk is an ayurvedic aphrodisiac.
Ajwain or carom seeds and hydrophila seeds are popular.
Honey with ginger and pepper makes a good stimulant.
A glass of milk with crushed pepper and powdered almonds had at bed time is good incidentally this is traditionally given to a bridegroom on the wedding night.
Ashwagandha, red sandalwood, cloves, rock salt and asparagus are all recommend by Indian Materia Medica for sexual vigor.
Chocolate has 2 chemicals serotonin and phenylethylamine which act on the pleasure area of the brain to give a feeling happy and positive feeling.
According to Romans oysters are very good aphrodisiacs. It is said Casanova the worlds greatest lover - ate 50 raw oysters every morning. D-Aspartic acid, the chemical present in oysters releases sex hormones like testosterone and estrogen. They are a rich source of zinc.
Garlic increases circulation, is a good vasodilator hence dilates the blood vessels to receive more blood.
Bananas rich in potassium and B Vitamins help produce hormones, a rich source of dopamine.
Ginger stimulates the circulatory system and has a heady scent.
Ginseng increases nitric oxide levels.
Safed Musli, a herb with white tubers and black seeds, is a safe stimulant also used in ayurveda for diabetes and arthritis.
Chilli contains a chemical called capsaicin, which releases endorphins in the brain causing a high.
Cardamom is considered a romantic spice; cardamom oil is used to treat low sexual response and impotence. High in cineole, it increases blood flow on application.
When a person chews on a stalk of celery, it releases androstenone odor molecules. First in the mouth, and then in the nose and throat. The pheromones emit scent and signals which are attractive to the mate.
Aphrodisiacs are all very well the real romance comes from within the heart.