Ready to spice up your sex life?
If your libido has been lagging a bit lately, there are natural alternatives to Viagra and Cialis that can help increase your sexual potency. While these popular prescription pills can produce results, they are also associated with some unwanted side effects such as dizziness, headache and blurred vision to name a few. So before you head to the pharmacy, you may want to give natural foods a try.
Dr. Massimo Marcone, associate professor of Food Science at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, recently conducted a broad-based comparison study of foods that may increase sexual performance. His team of researchers combed through over 200 different studies. While some were disregarded for lack of proper analysis or other concerns, they did find some recurring themes:
The Spice of Life
There was strong supporting evidence that saffron and ginseng are sexual performance boosters. Both reportedly increase blood flow to the smooth muscle tissue, and that improves erections.
Marcone is quick to point out, however, that everyone metabolizes substances differently. “It may not have the same affect on every individual.”
Saffron is one of the world’s most expensive spices and used in soups, stews, marinades and seafood dishes. Ginseng is a slow growing herb that reportedly stimulates physical and mental activity, aids in stress reduction and can improve overall health.
Also on the researchers’ hot list was Yohimbine, a natural chemical found in Yohimbe trees in West Africa. “Studies did show that men had an increased number of erections and an increase in sex and sexual thoughts with this compound,” says Marcone. “Also, the time between orgasms decreased.”
Other foods linked to increased sexual behavior in animals include nutmeg, cloves, garlic, ginger and ambergris.
Bottom line: spicing up your meals may lead to a spiced up sex life.
Avoid Your Local Witch Doctor
Marcone warns to steer clear of exotic regional aphrodisiacs like Spanish fly and Bufo toad, both reported to be sexually enhancing. “These are extremely toxic,” he says, “and people should not use them. They can create a lot of side effects that can lead to death.”
Marla Hardee Milling is a full time freelance writer based in Asheville, N.C., and a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA). More than 600 of her articles and essays have appeared in a wide range of national, online, regional and local publications including Luxury Living, Parenting, Health, Redbook, ePregnancy, Pregnancy, Healthgate, Kids Health, Women's Health and Fitness, and SheKnows.com.