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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.

♦Folkloric Roots♦

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.  


June 21, 1999    

Beauty Only Skin Deep

Giving a Young Heart a Matching Visage

By Linda LaRoche

One of the most vital indicators of overall health is healthy skin.  Our skin reflects life in many unperceived ways, connecting us to the outside world revealing our emotional state. Yet many of us suffer skin problems.  According to Chinese medicine, the face acts as a road-map to the organs, and all ailments begin with the formation of toxins in the liver, heart, spleen, lungs or kidneys. Over time, toxins cause the skin to form blemishes, psoriasis, liver spots, wrinkles or bumps. When we attempt to treat the skin internally, we often seek antibiotics or zinc to eliminate problems because we can only understand what we can visually experience.  However, oral medications prove futile in time.

Our culture’s emphasis on beauty coerces women into buying commercial cosmetics to superficially treat skin ailments.  Women are under the illusion that they must “buy” the perfect product to treat “problem skin” and are encouraged by Western medicine to treat its surface. Contrary to popular beauty expertise, Chinese medicine empowers us to act as our own shamans.  The detoxification of the organs in combination with working with the skin topically will produce long-term effects for flawless skin.

In diagnosing skin problems Chinese practitioners ask a series of questions and take into account many factors, such as financial pressures, work stresses, relationship difficulties, digestive system problems, sluggish elimination, and lack of sleep, fresh air and good nutrition. 

Acupuncture was derived from a Taoist system, a system which is part philosophy and part psychology.  In Taoism the belief is that whether one suffers from a grave illness or skin blemishes, the root of a problem is an internal imbalance or overindulgence of emotions rather than directly related to some physical manifestation.  Each organ in the body has a corresponding human emotion which the patient can examine in the process of self-healing.

Dr. Andre Rafael, an acupuncturist located in Beverly Hills, has a roster of patients who seek skin and beauty improvements has been treating skin problems for nearly a decade. “There are two primary organs responsible for good skin, the lungs and the liver.  Beautiful healthy skin is the result of them working properly” he stated.

According to Chinese medicine all of the body’s functions are regulated by Qi (pronounced “Chi”) which activates the flow of energy, storing and regulating the blood. With poor circulation of the Qi, commonly referred to as Qi stagnation, there is an  excessive amount of heat in the body which manifests in the skin as either bumps, blemishes, poor coloring, wrinkles or the loss of its vitality. 

The lungs are responsible for hydration and the opening and closing of the pores.  They also nourish the skin and keep it disease free. Indicators of a lung imbalance would include shortness of breath, shallow breathing, sweating, fatigue, frequent cold and flu, allergies, asthma, depression and crying. “If a patient is seeking to improve their skin, they can start by breathing deeply and will also find any negative emotions will shift” added Rafael.

The liver also relates to good skin but to a lesser extent and it helps with the skins circulation.  In a healthy body, skin will “breath” and help the liver eliminate toxins from the body. An acne outbreak is a warning of deeper trouble in the body’s defense mechanism. But if the body contains more poisons then the liver can remove, facial blemishes will result up as a wakeup call that toxic levels need to be reduced in the body. With a liver imbalance, symptoms are cravings for sweets, weakness, fatigue, and confusion.   These poisons are the accumulation of fat stored chemicals the liver can not wash out. Or, there may be a problem with fat digestion or fat accumulation.  Whatever the toxic source, acne is a sign the liver is growing weaker in its detoxification abilities.

“There are many reasons why people have skin problems.  Generally, women are more susceptible than men to skin problems because their Qi weakens monthly through the loss of menstrual blood.   Exercise can assist the lungs by proper breathing, good elimination will help the liver, when these organs are stimulated through Chinese herbs skin problems will clear up dramatically” stated Rafael.  

Dr. Xiao Jiang, a former teacher of Samra University has a private practice in Los Angeles.  She is also an acupuncturist and Doctor of Oriental medicine.  She cites stress as a major culprit for skin problems. Why is stress such a major factor? “Stress has a huge impact on the internal organs, particularly the liver and kidneys. They happen to be the organs for clearing out impurities.  If those organs are under continual stress the body will compensate by eliminating through the skin.  The face then becomes the dumping ground for unwanted toxins” she said. 

Jiang promotes relaxation through meditation.  “Women can reduce skin problems by avoiding stress and redirecting their emotions” she added.    

Jiang uses acupuncture to treat skin that has lost its’ vitality.  Fine needles are placed on points on the face to facilitate an increase of blood flow and stimulate thereby improving muscle tone and skin tension. “This treatment enhances rejuvenation and tightening of the skin tissue from the inside out” she said.

Centuries ago, Hwang Ti, known as the Yellow Emperor, asked a great sage, “How should I rule my body in order that it may continue for a long time?” The reply was, “You must be still and pure, not subjecting to toil, not agitating your vital force.  Then you will live long.”

The 21st century has brought much stress into our lives, but women in today’s world have options--suffering from poor skin and blemishes need not be one of them.

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