According to the Food and Drug Administration, aphrodisiacs are based in "folklore, not fact." Still, people continue to believe in the love-inducing effects of certain foods, herbs and extracts. There are several common aphrodisiacs that may or may not have actual effects on your love life:
- Asparagus: The vitamin E in this vegetable is said to stimulate sex hormones.
- Chili peppers: Some researchers say that eating hot peppers makes us release endorphins, which might lead to "other things."
- Chocolate: This favorite for Valentine's Day contains phenylethylamine, one of the chemicals your body produces naturally when you're in love (see The Chemistry of Love).
- Oysters: Oysters contain high levels of zinc, which reportedly increased the production of testosterone. Testosterone increases libido for both sexes.
Others include Ginkgo, Spanish fly (dead beetle parts) and Damiana.
Most of these are supposed to create the desire for sex or improve male sexual ability rather than attract a mate. But, if you're stimulating hormones that make you more interested, then you're more likely to meet someone and fall in love. And, even if they don't actually work, some say that if you think it's going to work, you're halfway there.