Sunday, September 9, 2012

10 Of The World's Oldest Aphrodisiacs

Since ancient times mankind has been experimenting with various potions, serums, and foods in search if that elusive tangible that can be called a genuine aphrodisiac. In the U.S., we generally put our support behind such on-going favorites as chocolate (good for absolutely everything), spicy peppers (acceptable), and oysters (not on my list of favorite things). Other cultures, however, have more exotic offerings to add to the category.

Following is a list of 10 decidedly unusual love potions for your consideration…offerings that have been around for a very long time and steeped in the traditions and history of other cultures.

1) Cobra Blood (China, Southeast Asia, The Philippines)
This Cantonese tradition dates back to 205 B.C. Some restaurants serve this aphrodisiac straight up or with alcohol. However, it's said that more benefits are gained if those using this aphrodisiac actually catch and kill the cobra themselves.

2) Cow Cod Soup (Jamaica)
This is a rural delicacy and aphrodisiac in Jamaica. It's made with a rum-based broth to which bananas, chili peppers and bull genitalia have been added. It's claimed that this concoction will increase virility and re-establish a flagging libido. This offering is eaten only by men.

3) The Spanish Fly (Europe)
The secretions of the European blister beetle cause irritation and swelling when making contact with human skin. And it's this swelling that has had European men using it to stimulate erections since the days of Caesar. It does have a definite side effect of prolonged erections. As they say in a certain commercial, if this condition lasts for more than 4 hours…

4) Fetal Duck Egg (The Philippines, Southeast Asia)
This libido enhancer is called balut and is often sold on the sidewalk for as little as one dollar each. After drinking the egg's liquid, the user peels back the shell and reveals the yolk and young chick inside, both of which are eaten.

5) Stewed Crocodile (Thailand)
According to the beliefs of many cultures, when you eat a specific animal you take on that animal's characteristics. Crocodile is a much sought after aphrodisiac in Thailand where they believe they will obtain the croc's appetite and aggression, traits highly prized in the bedroom. Canned croc stew is readily available on grocery shelves. The Thais can now have their aphrodisiac without risking life and limb by hunting it in the wild.

6) Skink (Lizard) Flesh (North Africa)
Pliny the Elder (ancient Roman scholar and author) is possibly the person responsible for the skink being considered an arousing creature. In his writings, he said certain parts of the lizard should be steeped in wine and consumed to enhance sexual appetite. Skinks are usually kept as pets these days rather than eaten, but native tribes in North Africa still eat them for the libido.

7) Leaf-Cutter Ants (South America)
These two centimeter long insects are soaked in water and roasted producing a crunchy snack that supposedly tastes like bacon. It's been given to couples as a marriage gift since Pre-Columbian times and is still available in several Columbian towns today.

8) Deep Fried Tarantula (Cambodia)
This was first considered food out of necessity, then later valued for the aphrodisiac qualities of its venom. More recently, this has become a popular item at markets catering to tourists. The spiders are often as large as a man's hand. This delicacy is typically mixed with MSG, sugar, salt and garlic then fried so that it's crunchy on the outside and gooey on the inside.

9) Ambergris (Europe, Middle East, China)
Today, ambergris is commonly used as a fixative in perfumes. But in the 15th to 19th centuries this solid waxy substance regurgitated by sperm whales was a popular aphrodisiac. Various salves and balms containing ambergris were rubbed on the skin to encourage arousal. There are some Far Eastern cultures that still use it for this purpose.

and finally…

10) Dried Tiger Penis (China, Taiwan, South Korea)
In the same way as the Thais eat crocodile to acquire that aggression, the Chinese, Taiwanese and South Korean men ingest dried tiger penis in soup, wine or rice in order to gain the tiger's masculine prowess. This practice is one of the reasons the tiger is now on the endangered species list.

Hmmm…after going through this list, those oysters sound very tame in comparison.


Harlie Reader said...

Some of those are too gross for words. Yuck!


Harlie Reader said...

The only one I'd ever heard of was Spanish Fly. :)

Samantha Gentry said...

Hi Marika: Yes, I totally agree. That's why I said the oysters didn't sound so bad after seeing that list. :)

Samantha Gentry said...

Marika: Same, here. That's the only one I recognized.

Sandra Dailey said...

I'll stick with oysters and chocolate.

LisaRayns said...

Wow. Interesting stuff.

Samantha Gentry said...

Sandra: I'm sticking with just the chocolate. :)

Thanks for commenting.

Samantha Gentry said...

Lisa: I thought it was interesting information when I first saw it...but definitely gross! :)

Thanks for stopping by.