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Aphrodisiacs, or various love-enhancing spices and dishes, are as old as the world itself. Their name is derived from Aphrodite - the Greek goddess of love and beauty, born from the sea foam, who emerged from a shell resembling the shape of a woman's womb. Probably for this reason, all seafood, such as mussels, shrimp, oysters, and lobsters, is considered excellent aphrodisiacs. Over time, curious individuals have thoroughly examined the nutritional values and chemical composition of aphrodisiacs. It turns out that they are generally rich in vitamins and micronutrients, often containing other valuable components for the human body, and are easily digestible. While not everyone believes in the special properties of aphrodisiacs, there is no reason to doubt that they are simply healthy and valuable food.

Believing that the gods residing on Olympus experience pleasures of love unknown to ordinary mortals thanks to ambrosia and nectar, humans began to search for food with similar effects. The first recipe for a concoction to prolong the act of love, recorded in hieroglyphs in Egypt, dates back to 1700 BCE. It recommended drying leaves of hawthorn and acacia, crushing them, and mixing them with an equal amount of honey, letting it sit for 4 days, and then regularly consuming this concoction.

Today, the number of known aphrodisiacs is vast. In addition to honey, garlic is one of the oldest aphrodisiacs. In ancient Greece and Rome, the air was saturated with the pungent smell of garlic (still widely used in Greek and Italian cuisine today). Honey gives love sweetness, and garlic provides the fire (important, however, for lovers to consume it together!). The famous Arab traveler, Ibn Battuta, who lived in the 16th century, fondly recalled his stay on the island of Dibat el Halal in his travel accounts, where Muslims achieved an "extraordinary male strength" not found in other peoples. They consumed dishes heavily seasoned with garlic, accompanied by a drink made from honey and coconut milk.

Only over time did celery, leeks, parsley, eggplants, broccoli, asparagus, all leafy vegetables (such as lettuce and cabbage), and finally peppers, carrots, and various sprouts, the main food for Roman gladiators, be recognized as rich sources of vitamins that wonderfully affect the sex appeal and fertility of women and the potency of men. Mushrooms, especially porcini mushrooms, chanterelles, and above all truffles, are also considered aphrodisiacs. Among fruits, avocados, blackberries, kiwis, pineapples, and especially walnuts - mainly walnuts - are highly valued.

For meats, offal is primarily considered aphrodisiacal: liver, stomachs, kidneys, and brain. Also, the symbol of life - blood. This group also includes rarities sought by men. In Spain, these are the testicles of bulls, in the Balkans the eyes of lambs, and in Hungary, the combs of roosters. The effectiveness of aphrodisiacs undoubtedly also depends on what and how they are prepared. Extremely tasty and visually appealing stimulating dishes can be created by combining flavors and colors and using various cooking methods - from steaming or boiling to stewing, frying, grilling, and marinating.

Research on aphrodisiacs is an area that still attracts the attention of scientists and researchers. Recent studies in this field focus on understanding the impact of different substances and techniques on sexual performance and sexual desire. Studies are being conducted on dietary supplements, pharmaceuticals, foods, herbs, psychological therapies, and other factors that may affect sexual life. Research on aphrodisiacs focuses on evaluating the effectiveness and safety of various substances and methods. Although the results of these studies are diverse and often depend on many factors, there are some promising research directions.

In the case of pharmaceuticals, research on drugs for erectile dysfunction, such as sildenafil (Viagra) and their new versions, is still ongoing to improve their effectiveness and limit side effects. Research on dietary supplements, such as maca, ginseng, and L-arginine, analyzes their potential impact on sexual desire and sexual performance. Food and herbs, such as Siberian ginseng or pumpkin seeds, are also the subject of research regarding their potential aphrodisiacal properties. Psychological therapies and techniques to improve intimacy are intensively studied to understand their impact on sexual quality of life.

However, it is essential to remember that the impact of aphrodisiacs on sexual performance and sexual desire is diverse and may depend on individual factors, such as psychology and health status. Therefore, it is always important to use information from reliable scientific sources and consult with a doctor or a specialist in sexology for personalized advice. Additionally, moderation in experimenting with aphrodisiacs is crucial, and safety should always be a priority.

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