Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Sex

Font Size
A
A
A

Aphrodisiacs: Better Sex or Just Bunk?


WebMD Feature

Men and women have sought aphrodisiacs, agents that arouse or increase sexual response or desire, since the beginning of time. Aphrodisiacs may well be the one thing that crosses all barriers -- race, culture, ethnicity, age -- making it unanimous: We all want to have better sex.

Recommended Related to Sex & Relationships

How to Give Her the Most Spectacular Foot Massage Ever

By Trista Thorp Master this toe-curling, nine-step process and she'll be yours forever. Considering that a massage from our expert, massage therapist Trista Thorp of the Golden Door Spa in California, takes over an hour, there was no way we could capture all of her techniques in the magazine. We can't do it here, either, but at least we can offer you a few more. Make her a Thai footbath. Slice up half a lime and put it in a bowl of warm water. Rest her feet in the water while...

Read the How to Give Her the Most Spectacular Foot Massage Ever article > >

If you looked hard enough, you could find an authority for almost any folk belief about the stimulating properties of a substance. And although the Food and Drug Administration has determined that all these non-medicinal approaches are ineffective, people still follow their heart's desire in search of the perfect catalyst for love.

Foods

One category of foods that were thought to be aphrodisiacs are foods that resemble genitalia. Eggs and caviar may come to mind, as well as asparagus, celery, and onions. Clams and oysters also lay claim to aphrodisiac qualities because of their shape and texture. Oysters, in fact, are high in zinc -- a nutrient that was lacking in people's diets at one time; eating them could improve a nutritionally deficient diet, thus improving a person's overall health and increasing his or her sex drive.

Spicy foods have long been considered to be sexual stimulants. There is some scientific truth to this claim in that foods that are heavily spiced often contain capsaicin, the active ingredient in cayenne pepper. Eating capsaicin can cause a physiological response -- increased heart rate and metabolism, sometimes even sweating -- that is quite similar to the physical reactions experienced during sex.

Okra is another reputed vegetable of love. Rich in magnesium, it's a natural relaxant. It's also full of iron, folate, zinc, and vitamin B, all nutrients that keep your sex organs healthy and happy. A little gumbo, anyone?

Herbs

An herb very commonly associated with love is ginseng. Some say ginseng is an aphrodisiac because it actually looks like the human body. (The word ginseng even means "man root.") Studies have reported sexual response in animals who have been given ginseng, but there is no evidence to date of ginseng having any effect on humans.

Yohimbe is an herb found in Africa and India that for centuries has been thought to possess aphrodisiac qualities. It works by stimulating nerve centers in the spine, thereby improving the capacity for erection without increasing sexual excitement. These days, some call it the herbal Viagra. Unfortunately, there are side effects to taking this herb, which include anxiety, weakness, overstimulation, paralysis, and hallucinations. Sounds like a large price to pay for the possibility of better sex, don't you think?

Today on WebMD

couple not communicating
How to tell when you're in one.
couple face to face
Get your love life back on track.
 
couple having an argument
Turn spats into solutions
couple in argument
When to call it quits.
 
Life Cycle of a Penis
Article
HIV Myth Facts
Slideshow
 
How Healthy is Your Sex Life
Quiz
Couple in bed
Video
 
6 Tips For Teens
Article
Close-up of young man
Article
 
screening tests for men
Slideshow
HPV Vaccine Future
Article