Those Spices in Your Cupboard May Be Aphrodisiacs
The less bold of us culinarians out there might have to take a couple of cooking lessons -- sadly, it was not salt and pepper that were helping people turn up the heat in the bedroom, but ginseng and saffron.
The research, which had scientists comparing results from years and years of controlled studies, showed that the two spices, when in the form of a potent extract, enhanced sexual performance, as did yohimbine, a product of a tree from West Africa.
Brazilian flowering plant muira puama can also cause an increase in sexual desire, as can maca, a South American mustard plant found in the vitamin section at health food stores. Alcohol and chocolate seemed to trigger a boost in libido too, although they don't come highly recommended by the researchers -- alcohol can inhibit performance, and chocolate ... well, the effects of chocolate might be psychosomatic.
Although the studies used extracts in their experiments, there is no evidence suggesting that the amounts of the spices in everyday food form might not also have some kind of effect.
If nothing else, it's a great excuse to finally try your hand at paella, because nothing puts people in the mood like a stomach full of rice and shellfish.
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