As many of Kansas State University students wonder how aphrodisiacs can stimulate sexual desires, the Sensory Analysis Center of the institution conducted research studies on the effects of food on sense of taste and smell as precursor to increased sexual desires.

In general, as it was in ancient times, people believe aphrodisiacs have the power to unleash an appetite for sexual gratification. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration maintains that there is lack of scientific proof pertaining to certain food as having aphrodisiac qualities. Even so, the lack does not pose as barrier.

K-State University professor of Sensory Analysis and Consumer Behavior, contends that taste contributes greatly to psychological beliefs in aphrodisiacs. Mainly because certain foods contain substances that stimulate the release of hormones affecting the pleasure points of the brain. When someone thinks of those food that give them gratification, the mere thought of those food is likely to induce pleasuàble feelings.

Taste and smell are after all the driving factors that lead to beliefs that certain substances work as aphrodisiacs. Professor Chambers explained that the body releases chemicals, like serotonin and endorphins when food regarded as pleasurable is being consumed and processed.

Strong Beliefs that Oysters are Potent Aphrodisiacs

Oyster, despite its unappealing look compared to other popular aphrodisiacs, is widely believed as one of the most powerful aphrodisiacs. The belief stems as far back as ancient times when cults on mythological gods and goddesses existed. In fact, the word aphrodisiac was coined after Aphrodite, Greek goddess of love and desire, and at the same time goddess of the sea.

According to ancient cult beliefs, Aphrodite had the power to bless marriages with fertility by enhancing a man’s virility and by awakening sexual desires among virgin women. The belief that oysters have such powers is not at all unfounded since food scientists have established that they contain high levels of zinc. Zinc on the other hand is an important contributor to increasing male sperm count, which therefore enhances a man’s virility and ability to produce offsprings.

Aphrodisiacs Beyond Food

Aphrodisiacs can go beyond food, as the human olfactory system has links to the brain that can create responses by way of smells. Scents and aromas trigger pleasurable memories that can affect the mood of a person in a specific situation.

Not a few college student share the belief that alcohol can also stir sexual cravings. Although alcohol’s reputation as aphrodisiacs is mainly a result of advertising, alcohol is actually effective in lowering sexual inhibitions, which permits the flow of feelings for sexual desires.

Actually, Professor Chambers remarked that the mere thought that one is consuming an aphrodisiac already creates a psychological boost that stirs up sexual desire. As one K-State microbiology sophomore stated,

”Usually, I need to have evidence that something works before I try it.” “But with aphrodisiacs, it’s more fun to believe what you hear.”

That statement probably explains why there is a continuing quest for knowledge about aphrodisiacs and how they occur in food and other substances. One such domain that provides extensive information about aphrodisiacs is