Which Natural Libido-Enhancers Actually Work? A New Aphrodisiac Study Sheds Some Light


Name an indigenous culture and it won’t take Google long to show you their libido potion of choice. The ancient Hawaiians used the fruit of the Hala tree. In India, they were a little more aggressive with their tonics and boiled goat testicles in milk—bad for the goat, potentially beneficial for the young man trying to rustle up some extra passion. Hell, if Casanova was throwing back 50 oysters a day, there might be something to all this aphrodisiac talk, right?

Uh…not exactly.

In July, the Southern California Center for Sexual Health and Survivorship Medicine published a study which put an exotic list of natural libido boosters to the test. This past week, the study was showcased in Time. Some of the pop-culture favorites didn’t fare as well as we would have thought, while a few sleepers came back with surprising results.


Studio shot of white wine and oysters

Ever since Aphrodite was born from sea foam, shellfish have had a stronghold on the aphrodisiac game. Oysters always seem to be the love inducer of choice. According to the study, Oysters contain zinc which heightens testosterone as well as specific amino acids and serotonin that bump the pleasure receptors into full stride. “However, there are no RCT (randomized control trials) data to confirm that oysters have any beneficial effects on sexual responsively or satisfaction”

Our call: They may be damn good with some vodka and mango salsa, but it’s back to the drawing board.

Cacao (chocolate):


Apparently Montezuma would sip hot chocolate before visiting his harem of wives. That raises some intrigue. “Chocolate contains biogenic amines tyramine and phenylethylamine, methylxanthines, and cannabinoid-like farry acids, which are proposed to give chocolate its aphrodisiac abilities. However, Researchers have found no supportive evidence.”

Our Call: Montezuma may have been onto something…or maybe he just liked hot chocolate. Everyone has their routines. It tastes good, but we’re not banking on it.



This South American root is popular in the Andes Mountains and shows promise amongst the scientists. Three out of four RCT’s brought back positive results for fertility, sexual arousal, and relief from hot flashes. It seems more research needs to be done to prove appropriate dosage and toxicity but the proof is in the pudding–or weird-looking root.

Our Call: The toxicity reports might still be in the works…but why the hell not?



Those scientists really went above and beyond here. Weed can be good for plenty of things but rarely have we heard of people racing to get down when they’re sky high. It is becoming legal in more and more states and companies like Foria are already capitalizing on the perceived sexual uses of the age old munchie inducer. Maybe we’ve been going about it wrong this whole time.

Our Call: “There is no published studies to support claims of cannabis as a sexual stimulant” Nope, we were doing it right.

Spanish Fly

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You’re telling me there’s a sexual stimulant out there made from beetle parts? Hell yes there is, and it’s been something of legend for hundreds of years. The downside? The stuff can be lethal. According to the study:

“The result is vascular congestion of the sex organs and inflammation of the urogenital tract. However, the toxin can burn the mouth and throat, and can lead to genitourinary infections, hematuria, and scarring of the urethra. Excess consumption also causes renal failure, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, and death.”

Our Call: As exciting as all that sounds, maybe stick to the Maca and Cannabis.


Shockingly, the best method might not be food-related at all. Sure, there’s some nice evidence as to the sex habits of grilled cheese sandwich lovers — but maybe those stats are a Trojan Horse and the reason they get down more frequently is only because “84% of grilled-cheese-sandwich lovers are more adventurous and likely to travel, vs. 78% of non-lovers.”

It’s no secret that life on the road or life abroad gets people (and women specifically) in the mood. That explore-work balance might be just what the doctor ordered. Sure Maca and Ginseng have their place, but maybe all you really need is to get out.

Travel has been proven to have tons of positive effects on well-being, but research also show that it can spark excitement in the bedroom (or beach, or field, or bathroom, or five-star hotel pool that you snuck into). We advise you to play it safe and use protection if you’re going solo-traveling. As for couples out there traveling together — science is on your side as well. Travel looks to be the very thing strengthening that bond of yours. Plus, as you vagabond across the planet you just might find some new aphrodisiac to get rich off of.

So, here’s to world travels, new adventures, and ever-rising sex drives!


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