Weird and Wonderful
Some truly amazing substances have been taken as love potions over the years, many very dangerous, and others unlikely to have any effect. In Victorian times, gentlemen who felt their sexual powers waning ate prairie oysters, being bulls' testicles, and rich in male sex hormones. Of many weird substances, experts say this is one that may indeed have worked.
Unlike another late 19th-century love potion, namely rat poison, which if taken in tiny, tiny doses would have irritated the sexual organs and created a pleasurable feeling. Too much, however, and the dose was fatal.
Like rat poison, but somewhat less dangerous, pepper mixed with gin is believed to contain irritating oils that pass through the urinary system, creating a burning sensation to the genitals that some find stimulating. Or extremely painful if, like rat poison, the dose is too high.
Animal Lotions and Potions
Many weird and wonderful animal preparations have been used over the centuries, including a mediaeval recipe involving black ants, which were dried and consumed mixed with olive oil. Lizards were used by early Arabs and Europeans who, having dried, pulverized and mixed the powder with sweet wine, professed it the finest of all love potions. Throughout Eastern Asia , snake blood was thought to benefit men whose prowess was waning and, even today, some Asian restaurants serve snake blood as an alleged aphrodisiac.
The Perfiitned Garden offered even more outrageous recipes to increase the pleasure and duration of sex, including bile of jackal which was rubbed over the penis (all natural male enhancement pills) and vulva, and asses' milk designed to be massaged into the penis. Yet such claims are not restricted to ancient times. Even today in some Asian countries, gallstones are thought to be a potent aphrodisiac with an immense market value. As recently as March 1997, Mary Claire Stevens, a meat-packing plant food inspector in Minnesota , USA , was charged with felony theft accused of taking gallstones from the Long Prairies Packing Plant to sell on the international market!
Today's other alleged animal-derived aphrodisiacs include shark fins and reindeer antlers, rhino horns, Spanish fly, and Chan Su, the latter a traditional Chinese drug made from the skin of a toad. Despite the harsh cruelty of many such applications, not all involve danger or death to the animal. For example, reindeer antlers are gathered having been shred freely in the wilderness of Canada , Finland , Norway and Sweden , and imported to Japan where they are primarily used. Sadly, in past times, antlers from live reindeers, causing their death, led to the Tibet Red Deer being certified as extinct by the World Conservation Union, although a tiny herd discovered recently in Tibet is now under close guard by conservationists. The use of rhino horns (and tiger bones) for medical purposes was declared illegal by the State Council of the People's Republic of China in Mav 1993, although it appears minimal clandestine trade continues with prices suitably inflated. In Eastern Asia tiger bones, fat, liver and penis are among the most highly prized aplirodisiacs, and affordable only by the very rich or extremely desperate male! In Taiwan and South Korea a bowl of tiger penis soup will set you back about $350 and will allegedly let you make love like a tiger, meaning the whole thing should be over in thirty seconds!
Like Makes Like
Under the so-called 'Doctrine of Similarities', some alleged aphrodisiacs resemble various parts of the human body, leading early man to think they have other human attributes, too. For example, mandrake and ginseng are man-shaped, while other substances resemble the penis (rhinoceros horn, celery, asparagus), or testicles, as may be said for onions, oysters and clams.
Hedgerow plant, 'Lord and Ladies', looking rather long and spindly, has another name, 'Cuckoo-Pint - Cucu for lively and pintle meaning penis - suggesting it has aphrodisiacal qualities, despite the plant being highly poisonous while flowering! Dr. David Reuben explains this 'like makes like' proposition in Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Sex alleging: "The mind has such a dominant effect on sexual performance that often if a person thinks a remedy works, it does. Ginseng is typical. The most powerful form, according to the Chinese, is the variety in which the whole root is shaped like a little man."
Countless plants have been used in love potions since time immemorial. Early gypsies made a love potion from the whole elecampagne plant mashed and added to a handful each of fennel and vervain leaves and a pinch of grated ginger. The mixture is placed in a warm oven and left to dry and is later ground into powder. A pinch of the powder added to hot mulled wine guarantees total passion for those who drink it. Periwinkle is another centuries-old favorite for love potions, having been used in the thirteenth century as an additive to food to bring lasting joy to married couples. Venus, the planet associated with the Italian goddess of love and beauty, has its own set of herbs believed to stimulate feelings of love and desire, making them alleged love potions: coltsfoot, marshmallow, mint, plantain, thyme, vervain and yarrow. Teas made from any of these herbs, sipped before sex, are thought to be powerful sexual stimulants.
For more than 2,000 years Chinese love potions have included the dried buds of the clove tree while early Native Americans, renowned for medicinal use of herbs and spices, made love potions from black walnut kernels and cotton plant seeds, usually adding the crushed powder to liquid and consuming it as a drink. Their descendants prefer hashish, the dried leaves and flowers of hemp, which is often dried for smoking or sprinkled on food. Since ancient times spices have been used to hide signs of decayed foods and to make meals more appetizing. Given that many are also noted aphrodisiacs, perhaps it's true what they say about the way to a man's heart being through his stomach? Read on to find out.
Foods and Culinary Delights
Many foods are alleged aphrodisiacs and there is an undeniable link between certain foods and an ensuing night of passion! So say many writers on the subject backed by romantic novelists, poets and others whose words are based on life experience. Oysters are the most commonly alleged culinary aphrodisiac, being rich in zinc, and a mineral known to increase sperm count and testosterone levels in infertile males. But oysters are far too costly for the average person who may well discover equal benefits from serving eels, squid and octopus, these being the centuries-old choice in Mediterranean countries. In folk medicine asparagus and artichokes have much the same effect at far less cost, as do beans, celery, parsnips and lentils. Chinese herbalists particularly recommend asparagus, being rich in steroidal glycosides that may affect hormone production and stimulate the sex drive. The following introduction to common foods and herbs to add to your late evening meal will prove the validity of that statement.