What is an Aphrodisiac?
Some people consider the color red to be an aphrodisiac, while others would consider something a “true aphrodisiac” only if it came out of a lab.
The truth is that as long as it causes arousal, it can be considered an aphrodisiac. Sometimes they work on a psychological level, sometimes they work on a physiological level, and sometimes it’s in between, but the end result is always the same – a heightened state of arousal.
So what are some essential oils that act as aphrodisiacs? We’ve compiled a list here that we think will help you feel the Love.
No, it’s not a typo. Yes, it’s related to chocolate. Cacao, or Theobroma cacao, is the name of the plant where cacao powder, cocoa, and chocolate all come from (if you’re curious about the differences, check it out here).
Cacao has a strong history as an aphrodisiac. The Aztecs and Mayans used it as a drink, while today it comes in in many forms.
So, how does it work?
Well, a lot of people already know from experience that cacao and chocolate create feelings of pleasure and energy. Researchers think that part of the reason why is that cacao contains phenylethylamine, which is sometimes referred to as the “love molecule”. Phenylethylamine increases feelings of happiness, wellness, and pleasure. It increases the production of serotonin in the brain, a powerful neurotransmitter released during feelings of love, lust, and passion. Serotonin also causes an increase in heart rate, and mood – effects associated with love and euphoria.
Researchers also found that cacao naturally contains N-acylethanolamine, another compound which causes heightened sensitivity and feelings of euphoria. Combined with the effects of phenylethylamine, cacao has promise as an extremely powerful aphrodisiac.
Davana is an aromatic herb native to India with a strong history of use in religious arrangements, decorative bouquets, and garlands. It’s often been used in perfumes and foods for its sweet, fruity fragrance.
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Davana can also do a lot more than smell pleasant, especially when it comes to love – a study conducted in Bharati Vidyapeeth University found that Davana extracts increased physical performance and endurance. They also found that it raised the testosterone levels in male subjects after using it over time.
As a bonus, Davana essential oil has also been studied for its ability to help treat diabetes mellitus, fever, various infections, sunstroke, uterine disorders, and for its ability to act as a stimulant.
Yeah, that’s a lot.
Roses and love have a long history together – from poems to bouquets to scattering the petals on a relaxing bath. Their scent, texture, and color all speak to a sensuality that almost forcefully compels people into an increased state of arousal.
It’s a pretty and powerful aphrodisiac.
Well, researchers have also been compelled by Rosa damascene, and have observed its effects in a tightly controlled study. In their research, they found that Rosa damascene oil increased sexual desire, sexual orgasms, and sexual satisfaction when used over time – for both males and females.
We thought that made it worth including in our new, limited edition Love diffuser.
Clove is the dried bud of the evergreen tree Syzygium aromaticum. Through history, it has been used as an aphrodisiac, to soothe stomach pain, and as a nervous stimulant. It has a strong, sweet taste, with a bit of heat, bitterness, and astringency to keep you on your toes.
Clove also stimulates sexual behavior and increases libido, as researchers in Lucknow found. In a different study, researchers found that clove extract also significantly increased mating performance –another checkmark for clove as an aphrodisiac.
Siam wood is a newer essential oil, but it has a strong precedent as an antidepressant, adrenal tonic, an aphrodisiac. Grown in Vietnam, Siam wood has a soft aroma similar to sandalwood (if you’ve ever tried our Forest diffuser, then you’ve tried sandalwood!).
The phrase ‘adrenal tonic’ isn’t a particularly sexy phrase, but it is important. Being an adrenal tonic means that Siam wood helps the adrenal glands work properly. Since the adrenal glands help maintain overall health and sexual performance, taking care of your adrenal glands means taking care of both your body and your performance.
Hops are a major ingredient in beer. It’s used either at the beginning of the process to make the beer bitter, or used at the end of the process to add aroma. Hops are grown around the world. Besides drinks, hops is also used in food and as an essential oil.
Hops also contain phytoestrogen, a compound with estrogen-like activity – since hormonal imbalance is a major influence on sexual dysfunction, being able to adjust estrogen activity may also help improve sexual performance.
Cardamom is the third most expensive spice in the world, right after saffron and vanilla. It’s been called the “Queen of Spices”. Cardamom has been used as an anti-inflammatory, stimulant, an aphrodisiac.
As an aphrodisiac, cardamom has been historically used to alleviate impotence and erectile dysfunction. A study done at RNT Medical College found that cardamom increased total antioxidants by 90% over time. More antioxidants mean that the body creates more nitric oxide.
When there’s more nitric oxide in the body, blood vessels expand and blood flow increases. The same thing happens in human beings during states of arousal.