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Love Foods in History

Are Aphrodisiacs for real?

The word alone conjures up images of strange, exotic images meant to wield power over unsuspecting souls.

Throughout history, lovers have depended on love potions enhanced with charms of enchantment for those hearts stubborn to Cupid's arrow.

Sometimes that meant a secret ingredient. Slipped into a goblet of wine; other times an elaborate concoction gulped down for stamina. 


The qualifying factors for aphrodisiacs were relatively simple: the rarer the ingredients, the more likely it held aphrodisiacal qualities. Coincidentally, many foods long considered aphrodisiacs are low in fat and high in vitamins and minerals. A diet heavy in these foods, then, yields a healthy body with energy and blood flow, and nutrients needed for a peak sexual experience. So, maybe there are scientific reasons for all this, but explanation or not, anyone who has fed a lover a grape, knows aphrodisiacs exist. Anyone who has served an elaborate candle lit meal, painstakingly prepared with love, knows the potential food has over our emotions.

For your Intimate dinner you may want include some of these foods,

Chocolate..., Figs....Oysters...., Pine Nuts,.... Rosemary....., Honey.....

and see what kind of a reaction you get.

But what is the historical significance that certify some of these foods as true aphrodisiacs or “ Love Foods”?

Chocolate;
The potency of chocolate was first discovered by the Mayan and Aztec Indians in their celebration of the harvest of the cocoa bean with festivals of orgies. Montezuma, the Aztec ruler supposedly drank 50 cups of chocolate each day to satisfy his harem of 600 women. Casanova adored chocolate, and so do we.
Sales in the 1990¹s average 600,000 tons of cocoa consumed each year. Chocolate has sparked the attention of scientists as well. This decadent candy contains phenyl ethylamine (PEA) which is the very same chemical that flows through the vein of someone who is in love. Why tamper with this ancient love potion?

Figs:
A small, pear-shaped delicacy, a ripe fig tastes sweeter than any dried one, a fresh plump fig smells better than any syrupy canned version. A knife slices through it like butter, the edible seeds are endless through eachlayer filed with succulent flavor. Figs date back to Cleopatra, Dionysian orgies, and the Roman Saturnalia. This innocent natural sensuality can work wonders prepared various ways.

Figs Stuffed Marscapone and Stuffed with prociutto

Oysters:
The greatest of all aphrodisiacs, oysters symbolize vitality and passion forall those who indulge. Since the time of the Roman Empire oysters have enjoyed a randy reputation, which has only increased over time. What is it about oysters? Casanova is said to have been a firm believer in oysters, eating 50 raw ones every morning in the bath with the lady he fancied at that moment.

Oysters have unleashed their powers of seduction on unwitting prey and restores life to lagging libidos. Why do oysters have such an effect on people? Oysters are loaded with zinc, a key ingredient to testosterone production, and therefore sexual performance for both genders. Or is it the texture that resembles parts of the anatomy that are touched in the act of love.

 

Pine Nuts:
Pine nuts, also called Pignolis, come from the inside the cones of the pine trees. Galen, a 2nd century doctor, prescribed them to his patients for their reported powers. Today, people hail the pine nut as the kernel of love.

 

 

   
   

Rosemary:


The scent of rosemary fills a room, and entices the sense of smell.
Medieval women scented bath water with rosemary to allure men. Apparently, rosemary plays on humans scent memory the strongest tie to emotional experiences. If executed properly, a Pavlovian call to love might occur from simply a whiff of this potent herb.

Honey:
From the Kama Sutra to the Perfumed Garden to the Bible, honey has been connected with love, sex and sensuality since the beginning of time. Hippocrates prescribed honey for sexual vigor. In India, tradition states that an offering of honey be presented to the bridegroom and hide out in seclusion drinking the honey potion until the first new moon of their
marriage. Attila the Hun drank himself to death with honey on his honeymoon. The very word conjures up images of the dripping, sticky substance, of honeybees, and all things sweet.

 

Honey Drizzled Bosc Pear Cheesecake

What is Love food for one could be a turn off for another. Perhaps a bit of exploring with the lover in your life would be a good exersize.

 

So what about the now and the future?

What kind if research has been done on this?

 Dr Alan Hirsch of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation

His book What Flavor is Your Personality? Discover Who You Are by Looking at What You Eat examines how what people eat reflects their personality and features quizzes analyzing food likes and dislikes. One quiz even tells people whom they might be most compatible with based upon their favorite ice cream flavor or snack food.

In research at the Chicago-based Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation, where Hirsch is neurological director, he discovered that certain food scents trigger sexual arousal in men and women.

In 1994, he studied odors and male arousal in 25 medical students using floral and perfume scents. The researchers also picked the scent of baked cinnamon buns as a control because they didn't expect cinnamon buns to elicit a sexual response.

Dr Hirsch wrote a book Scentsational Sex: The Secret to Using Aroma for Arousal about his findings.

"The cinnamon rolls turned out to be the sexiest odor,"

said Hirsch, who has appeared on CNN, "Good Morning America,"
"Dateline NBC," "20/20" and "The Oprah Winfrey Show."

 

In 1995, Hirsch conducted a study of 31 Chicago men ages 18 to 64 asking them to smell 46 odors and combination scents, including perfumes and foods


The pumpkin pie-lavender mixture increased male arousal -- as measured by penile blood flow -- an average of 40 percent. The black licorice-doughnuts mixture increased male arousal an average of 32 percent. The pumpkin pie-doughnuts combination increased male arousal an average of 20 percent. The smell of buttered popcorn increased male arousal an average of 9 percent; cheese pizza, an average of 5 percent; baked cinnamon buns, an average of 4 percent; and women's perfume an average of 3 percent.

Hirsch also learned that:

The licorice-cola combination increased arousal more than either odor alone.

Older men responded more strongly to vanilla than did younger men.

Men who said they were satisfied with their sex lives showed a greater response to the strawberry scent.

Men who had the most active sex lives responded most strongly to the lavender scent as well as Oriental spice and cola.

No odor diminished male arousal.

In 1997, Hirsch conducted research to gauge women's sexual response to certain scents. He recruited 30 women between 18 and 40 and gauged their arousal by measuring blood flow to the vagina.

Odors tested included charcoal barbecue smoke, mesquite barbecue smoke, cucumber, cherry, lemon, banana nut bread, pumpkin pie, lavender, Good & Plenty licorice candy, cranberry, baby powder, sweet pea, parsley, coconut, green apple, baked cinnamon buns, peach, Oriental spice fragrance, grape, chocolate, root beer, cappuccino, gardenia and other perfumes and colognes.

Now, although no odor diminished male arousal, certain odors did diminish female arousal. The scent of cherry decreased women's arousal an average of 18 percent and charcoal barbecue smoke decreased women's arousal an average of 14 percent. Men's colognes decreased women's arousal an average of 1 percent.

The Good & Plenty candy-cucumber combination increased female arousal an average of 13 percent, as did the scent of baby powder. The Good & Plenty-banana nut bread mixture increased female arousal an average of 12 percent. The pumpkin pie-lavender combination increased female arousal an average of 11 percent. The baby powder-chocolate combination increased female arousal an average of 4 percent. Women's perfumes increased female arousal an average of 1 percent.

Hirsch has even formulated colognes called SA for Men and SA for Women -- the SA stands for sexual arousal -- based on his results. SA For Men, which is designed to attract women, includes a mixture of citrus, baby powder and Good & Plenty scents. SA For Women, which is designed to attract men, includes a mixture of cucumber, lavender and pumpkin pie scents.

The scent of a Valentine's Day favorite -- chocolate -- didn't trigger high sexual responses from men or women. However, don't dismiss chocolate out of hand. Its powers, when eaten, are more chemical.

Chocolate can alter a person's mood and change the way a person feels. Chocolate contains the stimulant caffeine and phenylethylamine, which is similar to amphetamine substances, and has an arousing effect, Hirsch said.

The euphoria of falling in love and chocolate may be connected because phenylethylamine is elevated during the early stages of infatuation and attraction. Since chocolate contains this chemical, both chocolate and falling in love will produce similar changes in brain chemistry, he said.

Chocolate is a comfort food, something people take as a reward for being good. However, it also has a checkered past. As illustrated in the recent film "Chocolat," chocolate has been linked to sex, decadence, sin and other corrupt and immoral behaviors, Hirsch said.

"Chocolate is the most craved of all foods," he added. "Women crave it when they're mildly dysphoric. They crave it, and it sort of helps self-treat the depression."

So, chocolate still has a place as part of any Valentine's Day celebration.

Garlic doesn't rate high on people's scent-o-meters, either. But like chocolate, it may enhance a romantic repast. Through research, Hirsch has learned that the smell and taste of garlic bread at dinner has improved positive interactions among family members by about 8 percent and decreased negative interactions by 22 percent. In fact, garlic bread most reduced the negative interactions of the dominant male at the table.

So, go ahead and enjoy the garlic bread, but be sure to brush those pearly whites when you're done. In other research, Hirsch found that married and single women want their husbands' or lovers' kisses to taste fresh, clean and minty, like toothpaste. Husbands prefer their wives' kisses taste like spearmint or peppermint, and single men prefer to have their dates' kisses taste like -- alcohol.

So, there you have it. When preparing for an amorous evening, you don't need long-stemmed roses. But a vase of lavender or a nice, hot lavender bath might feel wonderful while a pumpkin pie or loaf of banana-nut bread bakes in the oven. And be sure to fill that candy dish with plenty of black licorice.

From L.A. Johnson, read whole article

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