Ginseng, saffron and yohimbine, a natural chemical from yohimbe trees in West Africa, improved human sexual function.
Wine and chocolate, improved sexual function, but their amorous effects are likely psychological.
Spanish fly and Bufo toad–while purported to be sexually enhancing, they produced the opposite result and can even be toxic.
People report increased sexual desire after eating muira puama, a flowering plant found in Brazil; maca root, a mustard plant in the Andes; and chocolate. Although despite its purported aphrodisiac effect, chocolate was not linked to sexual arousal or satisfaction, the study said. ”It may be that some people feel an effect from certain ingredients in chocolate, mainly phenylethylamine, which can affect serotonin and endorphin levels in the brain,” Marcone said.
Alcohol was found to increase sexual arousal but to impede sexual performance.
Nutmeg, cloves, garlic, ginger, and ambergris (formed in the intestinal tract of the sperm whale) are among substances linked to increased sexual behaviour in animals.
While their findings support the use of foods and plants for sexual enhancement, the authors urge caution. “Currently, there is not enough evidence to support the widespread use of these substances as effective aphrodisiacs,” Marcone said. “More clinical studies are needed to better understand the effects on humans.”