An aphrodisiac is a substance believed to arouse sexual desire. The word "aphrodisiac"; comes from the name of the Greek goddess of love, beauty, and sexuality, Aphrodite. An aphrodisiac herb arouses, increases, or intensifies sexual desire. It acts on the mind and causes the arousal of the mood and is used to help restore normal sexual potency and function.
Aphrodisiacs have been used for thousands of years, by every culture, to enhance sexual activity. Almost every culture has used various `substances' of herbal origin to intensify their love lives or attempt to cure impotent. These herbal preparations used as aphrodisiacs have been found to range from the useless to the extremely dangerous, even being seriously toxic.
Several natural aphrodisiacs have been scientifically proven to aid in sexual arousal however, there remain many disagreements on what substances in nature are actually aphrodisiacs. Numerous herbs and plants have obtained a reputation for improving passion are readily available in many pantries like mint, garlic, thyme, and sage. The Greeks used anise to promote virility. Bananas thanks to their shape, became popular aphrodisiac choices, basil supposedly improves fertility and licorice root promotes lust.
In Western culture, plants, roots, herbs and other substances purported to enhance sexual passion or interest are met with general suspicion yet, today modern pharmaceutical companies capitalize on interest in Aphrodisiacs with pills designed to enhance sexual response.
Fortunately, research in this area is beginning to confirm some of the observations made by many shamans and herbal experts who, for centuries and millennia, have used roots, barks, leaves, herbs, various plants and animal parts of all sorts to enhance sexual experience and performance. Some of the observations of these shamans is now being confirmed by double blind, placebo-controlled studies.
Most Westerners would be surprised to find out that there are dozens of natural herbal and natural aphrodisiacs that enhance sexual drive and pleasure in both men and women, along with enhancing erections and providing more satisfying orgasms and climaxes. There are quite a number of herbs and plant extracts that are excellent sexual enhancers and it is difficult to say which one is the best since different people respond to different ones. As medical science has given us a greater understanding of human sexuality and our own chemical processes that put us in the mood, research has uncovered how some well-known and not so well-known male and female aphrodisiacs actually work with our body chemistry to lead to arousal and excitement.
Some herbs used as aphrodisiacs include