The amorous effects of wine and chocolate are mostly imaginary, but adding saffron to your diet really can make improve your sex life, according to the results of a recent Canadian study.
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After examining hundreds of other studies on consumable aphrodisiacs, University of Guelph researchers Massimo Marcone and John Melnyk found that saffron, panax ginseng and yohimbine improved human sexual function.
Then there's the matter of substances that don't improve sex but make you want it more: maca root (an Andean mustard plant), muira puama (a flowering plant found in Brazil) and chocolate. Alcohol, while increasing sexual arousal, actually impeded sexual performance. (Insert -- ahem, hem -- your own joke here.)
As for non-human animals, plenty of substances make them horny: nutmeg, cloves, garlic, ginger and ambergris.
The results of the study will appear in the journal Food Research International, a journal of the Canadian Institute of Food Science and Technology (CIFST).