Natural Aphrodisiacs: Facts and Fiction

By Capri Fiello

Nov 20, 2018

As far back as ancient Rome, humans have believed that consuming certain foods can increase your libido. To this day people are still using these natural aphrodisiacs, and swear by their effectiveness. But is there any actual science behind any of these claims? Or is it all in our heads? Let’s take a look at some of the more well-known aphrodisiac foods and see how they hold up under some scientific scrutiny.


Possibly the most famous natural aphrodisiacs; oysters have been touted to boost desire for hundreds (if not thousands) of years. The famed lover Casanova claimed to eat 50 oysters every morning and credited them for his sexual stamina. But there might actually be some truth to this legend! Oysters are high in zinc, which aids men with sperm production, and they also contain certain amino acids that have been proven to boost testosterone, which is vital for maintaining a healthy sex drive in both men and women.


Not everyone enjoys the taste of licorice, but as it turns out, if you’re looking to increase a man’s libido, it might be worth choking it down. Not only has it been found to increase testosterone levels in the bloodstream, but the smell can really work wonders! A recent study found that the smell of licorice alone was enough to increase blood flow to a woman’s sex organs by 13%! I’ve never heard of a licorice-scented cologne, but maybe it’s not such a bad idea!


About ten years ago, a study was conducted that claimed eating watermelon had a “viagra-like effect” on the body. While that may seem like an incredibly confident assertion, there’s a catch. Erectile dysfunction medications like sildenafil and viagra work by increasing blood flow to male genitalia. Watermelon contains an enzyme called citrulline, which helps improve blood flow throughout the whole body; but not specifically to the genitals. So there’s definitely some truth here, just not guarantee.


Some ancient cultures simply thought that just because something looked like a sex organ, it would be beneficial to sexual potency. If only it were that easy! Bananas are full of potassium and vitamin B, both of which are essential to the production of male and female sex hormones. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to boost your libido. Most of the mythology surrounding bananas as an aphrodisiac comes from the aforementioned cultural symbolism, not from science.

Pumpkin Seeds

These may not be thought of as aphrodisiacs as often as some of the other foods on this list, but maybe they should be! Pumpkin seeds are very high in magnesium which, along with having many health benefits, does a few things for your body that can help increase your sex drive. Magnesium not only increases the amount of testosterone in the bloodstream, but it also increases blood flow so that testosterone can get to the places it needs to go! It also has been found to help prevent erectile dysfunction in certain cases. So save those leftover pumpkin seeds from this year’s jack-o-lantern, roast them up, and save them for date night!