Aphrodisiac Foods That Turn You On
Published on Jun 15, 2022
By Dr. Surya Bhagwati
Chief In- House Doctor
BAMS, DHA, DHHCM, DHBTC | 30+ Years of Experience
Aphrodisiac foods comprise of foods, plants, herbs, drinks that increase libido. Lately, hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) is more common than it has ever been.
A dysfunction wherein a person suffers from no sex drive or a lower sex drive, and they are bothered by it. These issues can be periodical or a lifelong struggle. Lower libido is often linked to professional stress, personal stress, lifestyle habits, medical conditions and childbirth.
One study found that 43% of women and 31% of men suffered from sexual dysfunctions. A natural way to stimulate sexual desire and improve performance is to consume aphrodisiac foods.
In this article:
Chapter 1: What is an Aphrodisiac?
An aphrodisiac is any food or substance that increases sexual arousal, desire, performance and pleasure. In short, foods that turn females on sexually as well as men.
These are also the various reasons why people consume aphrodisiacs and been so popular throughout time. Apart from certain foods with libido increasing capacity, there are allopathic and ayurvedic medicines too, that serve the same purpose.
Sexual issues are so common that these medicines are sold OTC (over the counter) and marketed specifically for their libido-boosting effects. Mood Boost is one such ayurvedic medicine for women and Herbo 24 Turbo is for men.
Aphrodisiacs Through History
Aphrodisiac foods or herbs have been a part of various cultures. Aphrodisiac is derived from the Greek word 'Aphrodite', goddess of love. Humankind throughout history has had a reputation for exploring natural aphrodisiacs such as foods, drinks, and plants. Unnatural ones too, are chemically induced drugs to imitate natural aphrodisiacs, such as ecstasy. All contribute in increase sexual stimuli in some way or the other.
There have been mentions of foods that turn you on, in scripts dating back centuries and since then history has kept a record of all possible things and foods that turn you on sexually. Some ancient civilizations such as Indus, Egyptian, Roman, Chinese and Greek cultures believed that certain substances enhance sexual performance and desire. Ayurvedic scripts are proof of this. Ayurvedic scripts mention how certain practices, lifestyle changes and natural aphrodisiac foods can make sensuality rather intense.
Sex is a basic human instinct and not something to be embarrassed about. People were sexually more expressive in BC, as seen in Roman and Indian sculptures, the science behind aphrodisiacs is real and this has been documented for aeons. Aphrodisiac foods have originally been male-oriented, however in this guide pleasure will be explored without any gender boundaries.
Do Aphrodisiacs Really Work?
According to Ayurveda, all bodies are different and so is each body’s requirement. Similarly, depending on each individual’s body type the aphrodisiacs change.
They can be different for men and women. Having said so, not all aphrodisiacs have been proven to work, for example; people claim that oysters and figs can increase libido however that is not true.
However, natural aphrodisiac foods ginseng, maca and fenugreek are some proven libido raisers.
The Placebo Effect of Aphrodisiacs
What is the most powerful aphrodisiac? Throughout history, almost everything consumable has been linked to sexual stimulation, from caviar to animal testicles etc. Not all of them have been proven as sex catalysts. Aphrodisiacs work by relaxing blood vessels and increasing the flow of blood to the genitals.
While most aphrodisiac foods do not work on paper, they might still end up improving one’s performance. How so? rumoured foods that turn you on sexually can create a placebo effect. The human mind is the strongest of all, if you trick the mind into believing something, it will.
In regards to the improvement of sexual desire and performance, certain foods that turn you on sexually might not be doing so scientifically but they will still improve sexual performance and pleasure. This phenomenon is known as the placebo effect of aphrodisiacs.
Chapter 2: Types of Aphrodisiacs
There are no fixed types of aphrodisiacs. We classify aphrodisiacs into two types:
Natural aphrodisiacs are certain plants, herbs, spices, fruits, dairy etc. Examples; almonds, artichokes, ashwagandha, asparagus, cherries, chillies, cinnamon, pomegranate and the list goes on.
There are two kinds of natural aphrodisiacs; plant-based and non-plant based.
Unnatural aphrodisiacs are artificially made to have a similar effect. Chemically induced aphrodisiacs might have temporary sexual stimulation but not cause any drastic change in behaviour. Medications like Viagra also work as unnatural sexual stimulants.
Different Effects of Aphrodisiacs
Studies show, that certain illegal substances such as methylenedioxy-methylamphetamine (MDMA), also have libido rising effects. Plant-based illegal drugs, such as cocaine and cannabis also have similar effects. This brings us to the other classification of aphrodisiacs, based on their effects:
Aphrodisiacs that contain hallucinogenic properties like Bufotenin, and MDMA have psychological effects on a person that can increase sexual desire and sexual pleasure, temporarily. These can also have adversely negative physical and mental effects and hence are banned.
Aphrodisiac foods that contain smooth muscle, and blood cell relaxing properties like yohimbine, and ashwagandha have physiological effects, affecting hormone levels and increasing blood flow to the genitals.
Chapter 3: Top Natural Aphrodisiac Foods That Turn you on Sexually
As we have figured that not all aphrodisiac foods and substances are scientifically proven, alot of them also create a placebo effect. Thus, it is difficult to differentiate a physiological impact from a psychological one. There are myriad aphrodisiacs and not all are backed by science, therefore the side effects are unknown. In such a scenario, one must always look back to Ayurveda and its core principle of Ahaar (diet), Vihaar (exercise) and Chikitsa (medication).
Ayurveda entails all things natural and natural aphrodisiacs will be effective or cause a placebo effect, but will not harm the body. According to the body type (Kalpha, Vatta, Pitta), one must decide the safest to consume natural aphrodisiac foods and stick to those. The best way to figure out the best natural aphrodisiac is through Dr. Vaidya’s free online doctor’s consultation.
Below are a few natural aphrodisiacs that are backed by science:
Maca, also known as the Peruvian Viagra is mainly found in South America. Studies show Maca is known for its fertility boosting properties. It is a sweet root vegetable from the broccoli, and cauliflower family. Certain other studies show loss of libido caused due to antidepressants is reversible by consuming Maca. Maca helps reduce the loss of libido. 1.5-3.5 gms of Maca per day is advisable for 2-12 weeks.
Tribulus Terrestris, also known as bindii or Gokhshura in Hindi, is often used in supplements to boost libido. Tribulus is one such herbal aphrodisiac that can boost libido, there is however fewer data to prove the same.
Seeds are popular in Ayurveda for their anti-inflammatory and libido-boosting properties. Fenugreek is a natural libido-booster found around the globe. This herbal aphrodisiac has compounds that help increase testosterone and estrogen aka the sex hormones.
Almonds are rich in fatty acids (omega-3) which assist in testosterone, Vitamin E, Magnesium and Fiber production. A symbol of fertility for years, almonds also have a scent that was rumoured to work like pheromones in men and women.
Shilajit boosts testosterone levels and therefore increases sexual function. This herbal aphrodisiac improves stamina and energy levels, therefore also increase sex drive.
Kaunch beej acts as a mood builder and also delays the time of ejaculation. It is also used to improve the quality and quantity of semen because of its heavy herbal aphrodisiac properties.
Saffron is one of the most expensive spices in the world, crocin compound found in saffron boosts sexual stamina and libido in men. Simultaneously, it showed higher levels of arousal and increased lubrication for women who ingested saffron. Saffron also helps reduce cortisol levels (stress hormones) therefore helping to reduce symptoms of PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome). It certainly can play a huge role in aphrodisiac foods for women.
Ashwagandha is also known as Indian ginseng improves the quantity and health of sperm. It reduces cortisol levels which is a big reason for sexual and reproductive dysfunctions. Ashwagandha is a strong herbal aphrodisiac, therefore recommended to consume with Mood Boost or Herbo 24 Turbo.
Note: Pregnant women should not consume ashwagandha as not enough studies have been done on its safety for pregnant women.
Aphrodisiac Fruits You Must Try
Popularly used as the symbol for male genitalia, the banana is used as a libido booster. Filled with Vitamin B and Potassium, bananas help the body produce reproductive hormones. An interesting study also showed that the odour of banana bread around 12 women on an average.
Cucumbers are water-based aphrodisiac food loaded with magnesium and Vitamin C. They improve sexual drive by increasing energy and increasing libido. It improves blood flow which can help erectile function. Like bananas resemble their features, so does cucumber.
Another water-based fruit, watermelon consists of citrulline, an amino acid present in watermelons that help relax and dilate blood vessels, thus, increasing blood flow and sexual stimulation.
Like how bananas and eggplants are associated with sex, so are cherries. The lustful red colour and soft skin are synonymous with the forbidden fruit of Eden. Keeping mythology aside, cherries help boost sexual energy, and pheromone production and promote healthy blood flow.
Figs are rich in amino acids, indirectly helping boost sexual stamina and increase libido. They work as great sexual stimulants.
Avocados have been a part of mesoamerican diets from BC. They get their name from ahuacati, meaning testicles. Avocado has high levels of vitamin E, which helps boost vitality and energy levels.
Aphrodisiac Drinks You Must Try
Below are a few aphrodisiac drinks; 5 foods that turn you on sexually when made into juices:
Carrot juice helps tackle sexual dysfunctions in men and also improves libido.
Celery Juice has multiple health benefits but it also enhances sexual energy and performance. Like other aphrodisiac foods, celery can promote blood circulation. Additionally, celery also carries agents that increase pheromones in men, increasing attractiveness towards the partner.
Aloe Vera Juice
Aloe vera increases the production of testosterone in the male body. This testosterone increases libidinal drive and performance in bed.
Watermelons as discussed earlier are rich in amino acids (L-citrulline) which have the ability to improve erectile dysfunctions by enhancing the blood flow to the genital area and strengthening the erection.
Pomegranates are filled with antioxidants that assist in improving blood circulation and thus erectile dysfunction. Moreover, pomegranate juice can also build stamina.
Chapter 4: Aphrodisiacs Affect Men and Women Differently
Aphrodisiac foods affect men and women differently. Certain aphrodisiacs are better prescribed to men and some to women. For eg: an aphrodisiac rich in producing testosterone is not very suitable for women. Below are a few natural aphrodisiacs that work best for women and men.
Aphrodisiac Foods for Women
Women often suffer from loss of sexual drive more than men. It is due to the complex hormonal systems they have. Libido may rise and drop according to the menstrual cycle as well. When a woman is under stress, the sexual drive reduces.
A high level of cortisol can also lead to PCOS /PCOD which then leads to erratic hormonal changes in women. With stressful work lives, deteriorating food and climate PCOS is common more than ever and so is hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HDSS). These disorders affect both, the sex drive and fertility. Below are examples of aphrodisiac foods for women.
- Indian Ginseng
- Spanish Fly
- Bufo Toad
- Honey with grayanotoxins - Mad Honey
Aphrodisiac Foods for Men
Men have a myriad of aphrodisiac foods to choose from. In fact, there is a lot of options available for men in the market. The concept of consuming stamina boosting foods and sexually arousing foods was a very male dominating concept. It is only since the end of the 20th century that women became more vocal about their sexual needs.
Men however face the burden of performing well sexually and high levels of stress affect their sexual health too. Erectile dysfunction, low stamina and energy are one of the few sexual dysfunctions faced by men. Since certain aphrodisiac foods for men help increase blood flow to the genital area, there lies a huge chance of rectifying erectile dysfunction without any medications.
- Tongkat Ali Extract
- Spicy foods
- Canned foods
- Beets (too many)
- Carbonated drinks
- Trans Fat
Regardless of gender if you feel like your sex drive is at its all-time low, you can consider adapting to the above diets. However, before taking up any diet or eating any of the above foods in excess you must do your research or just consult a medical practitioner like Dr. Vaidya’s.
Chapter 5: Tips to Increase Libido in Bed
Additional Tips, Apart from Foods that Turn you on Sexually
- An average of 6-8 hours of sleep every day is a must.
- Certain medications can be related to lowering libido, check if your medications are affecting your sex drive. Consult a physician or Dr. Vaidya’s expert doctors.
- Focus on reducing stress levels, try meditation.
- Exercising, Vihaar in general is necessary, it plays a vital role in stamina and libido-boosting as well.
- Limit the intake of toxins in the body. For example; alcohol, smoking etc.
- Read more about the tips to improve sexual power in bed
Herbal Aphrodisiacs to Increase Libido
Herbal aphrodisiacs, help increase libido in the least harmful way, with minimum side effects. Having said that before consuming any herbal aphrodisiacs, it should be reviewed by a physician and the quantity to be consumed should be consulted. A few herbal aphrodisiacs that help you boost libido are:
- Safed Musli
Herbo 24 Turbo
Herbo 24 Turbo is a non-hormonal male power and stamina booster that also improves mood while combating fatigue and weakness. This Ayurvedic medicine is not addictive, has no known side effects, and is sugar-free with pure ayurvedic extracts. Additionally, Herbo 24 Turbo boosts testosterone production. This power capsule has 21 Ayurvedic ingredients, hand-picked for performance boosting properties. The 4 key ingredients in this capsule are:
- Shuddha Shilajit (Boosts hormone levels & power)
- Safed Musli (Combats fatigue & boosts stamina)
- Shatavari (Improves strength & energy)
- Ashwagandha (Enhances strength, stamina & energy)
Dosage: 1 capsule, twice a day with milk or water for 3 months (for best results).
Mood Boost are capsules for women to boost vitality. It also helps restore hormonal balance and combats anxiety and stress. Like Herbo 24 Turbo, the mood boost is made with scientifically proven ayurvedic ingredients and is non-addictive. It has no known side effects either. A concoction of 11 herbs, the key ingredients in Mood Boost are:
- Safed Musli (reduces fatigue and elevates mood)
- Shilajit (helps increase vitality and endurance)
- Shatavari (helps restore hormonal balance)
- Ashok (boosts libido and hormonal balance)
Dosage: 1 capsule, twice a day with milk or water for 3 months (for best results).
Note: Pregnant women should consult our doctors before consuming this or any of our other medication.
The spiced milk given before suhaagraat might work or not but most tricks given in this health guide will surely work. We have suggested options viable for all, vegans, vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Mood Boost and Herbo 24 Turbo are available on our website, after consulting our doctors on board, they can be ordered online. We might be years away from knowing if all the aphrodisiac foods throughout history actually do stimulate libido or not, but we know that the ones in this health guide certainly do.
Chapter 6: FAQs on Aphrodisiac Foods
What is the most powerful aphrodisiac food?
It is difficult to determine a single most powerful aphrodisiac food as not all are scientifically proven and alot of them also have just placebo effects. Each body is different and therefore what works for you might not work for someone else.
What fruit is seductive?
Banana, pomegranate, figs, watermelons, cherries, cucumbers, and peaches are a few aphrodisiac fruits out there.
What are good aphrodisiac foods?
Natural aphrodisiac foods are the best as they have minimal or no side effects. Regardless, one must consult our doctors before consuming an excess of any aphrodisiac foods.
What drinks are aphrodisiacs?
Juices and a few cocktails act as aphrodisiac drinks. Celery, pomegranate and watermelon juices are a few healthy aphrodisiacs. Cocktails with eggs, chillies, ginseng ginger, honey, lemon, and cinnamon.
Do aphrodisiacs really work?
According to Ayurveda, aphrodisiac foods can help improve sex drive in men and women.