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Dr D Narayana Reddy
Dr D Narayana Reddy


What's your turn-on?

The quest for the elusive aphrodisiac

A recent news item about the growing demand in China for Indian tigers caught my attention. The Chinese are said to believe that tiger penis soup can enhance male libido and its demand is growing. Other wildlife is also being targeted for making a man a stud bull. Pangolins, star tortoise, rhinoceros are all in danger.

From time immemorial, man has been in search of a wonder drug that will enhance his sexual prowess. These concoctions are known as aphrodisiacs, named after the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite. The perfect aphrodisiac should induce sexual desire, enhance pleasure and performance. Aphrodisiacs can be food items, herbs, potions or drugs. In India, the belief in herbal aphrodisiacs is legendary and these are believed to be without side effects. Though the term aphrodisiac belongs to mythology and folk medicine, of late modern medicine has also caught on to this.


Aphrodisiacs can be classified into four categories—activators, rejuvenators, sustenators and amplifiers. An activator is a disinhibiting love potion or spell. A rejuvenator is an elixir of youth. A sustenator is a concoction that prolongs or sustains sexual performance. An amplifier is a hedonic enhancer. All the herbal aphrodisiacs available in the market fall under the category of rejuvenators.

Modern medicine has come up with certain powerful medicines like sildenafil citrate, tadalafil, vardenafil, udenafil, avanafil, apomorphine and selective serotonin inhibitors. While these drugs may be effective in one dimension, they have no effect on the other dimensions of sexual problems. Moreover, these drugs have side effects and must be used only under medical supervision.

While man’s quest for an aphrodisiac is never-ending, such a drug still eludes us.

Common sense should tell us that the following ingredients will churn out a great aphrodisiac: a candle-light dinner, a crackling fire, soft music, fragrance, lingerie, sweet nothings whispered in the ear.

Look for an aphrodisiac in your partner and not elsewhere. The best aphrodisiac a man can have is a woman who can turn him on and, in turn, get turned on by him.

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The Week

Topics : #Sex | #health

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