LOS ANGELES WEEKLY
May 2, 2003
For Men Only
A Look at Love Potions and Other Amatory Stimulants
By Linda LaRoche
Throughout the ages men have eagerly swallowed substances considered to be aphrodisiac, no matter how unappetizing. In an attempt to heighten sexual potency, some bizarre things have been ingested: elephant tusks, lion blood, bull testicles, tiger blood, rhinoceros horn, pig genitals, ginseng, alcohol, mushrooms, onions, eels, oysters and marijuana.
The word “aphrodisiac” derives from Aphrodite, Greek Goddess of love and desire who was herself a gift from the sea. Not surprisingly, the sea is considered a rich source of aphrodisiacs.
Also polluting the mythical world she inhabited was Dionysus- god of wine and fertility. His lovemaking exploits lent alcohol, with its ability to loosen inhibitions and provoke amorous urges, the aphrodisiac label as well.
♦A Love Lecture♦
Although we live today in a world stripped of such classical myths, we can still evoke beauty, desire and romance in order to consummate love. The recipe for doing so entails three stages; desire, arousal and orgasm.
Aphrodisiacs can enhance stages one and two, but the last depends on how an efficient functioning of bodily systems as well as the psychological and emotional capacity to enjoy sex.
Oils such as cedar wood and patchouli, and music running from the “Dance of the Seven Veils” to rock and roll or romantic ballads can create a mood and awaken desire, evoking emotions conducive to lovemaking.
Passion and food have also enjoyed a long-standing relationship. In his Memoirs of Jacques Casanova, the famous lady’s man professes a predilection for oysters which he felt increased his sexual prowess. A delicacy, oyster’s texture and shape may conjure up sexual images, but it’s the zinc they contain which may actually serve as the sexual stimulant, according to Michael Tierra’s The Way of Herbs.
Many fruits, by their very sweetness, are considered aphrodisiacs. The Chinese have long associated the banana, because of its shape and creamy texture, the peach, with its succulent nectar and evocative core, and strawberries with their bright redness, as visual and physiological stimulants to passion.
♦Roots of the Matter♦
Certain roots, vegetables and fruits are known as sexual stimulants simply because of their resemblance to human genitals, according to Dr. Denis Alvino, a licensed acupuncturist and doctor of oriental medicine. The ginseng root, which is shaped like a man’s torso with two legs and two arms, long ago convinced the Chinese of virility-enhancing qualities.
An ideal tonic herb, ginseng is considered king of all tonics. Blessed with the balancing properties of yin and yang, it provides stimulation to the entire body and elevates levels of testosterone, thereby stoking the libido.
Alvino says, “I recommend ginseng to my patients that complain of a low sex drive because there are no side effects, as opposed to those prescribed in western medicine that may cause irritability, dizziness and aggression.”
Alvino suggests that a decrease in sexual drive may indicate problems elsewhere in the mind or body. “The body is a total organism and must be treated as such. Aphrodisiacs won’t hurt, but they won’t cure a dysfunction,” he observes.
Dr. Ian Marsh, an osteopathic physician, views both the remedy and a patients’ belief in it as critical factors in treatment. “Aphrodisiacs have a placebo effect, since modern medicine aims at placing something in the patients’ mouth,” he points out. “For proper treatment, sexuality cannot be isolated. The beauty of sexuality, along with love of the self, must be integrated for it to normalize and balance”.
In Mexico, the herb damiana is commonly used in the treatment of men’s impotence, premature ejaculation and prostrate ailments. The herb contains alkaloids similar to caffeine which stimulates blood flow to the genital area and increase sensitivity. Effective, safe natural and widely used as a cereal crop Avena Sativa is the newest fad to hit the alternative health market and is gaining popularity over ginseng.
How potent is it? The Zag Group Nutriceutica CD ROM program considers them one of the best methods for increasing strength of mind, spirit and body. Oats are useful against debility and depression and are effective in removing Cholesterol 3.
Belief of aphrodisiacs has its roots in folklore. A Chinese grain farmer raised Koi, a type of carp found in the fish ponds of Asia, for the Emperor’s festive occasions. He asked his son to feed the fish with oats. When the boy came back requesting more food the father was surprised.
Expecting to find the fish dead from over-eating; he discovered, instead, hundreds of baby fish swimming in the pond. Something in the oats caused the fish to breed more aggressively. Thus sown, the wild oats became known as an aphrodisiac.
Whether man is beginning to sow his oats, or has put his days of propagation behind him, love is essential for sex to flourish. Although aphrodisiacs reputed powers include physiological effects often akin to the sex act or the first stages of love, the sheer joy of them can accuser lovers to become more intimate.
But when a man comes to understand that his sexuality is enhanced when he gives from his heart, he immediately becomes aroused. With this experience he begins to indulge his partner and his gift may be the most erotic love potion yet.