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Aphrodisiacs, taste buds and our hormones

Aphrodisiacs, hormones, tastebuds,chocolates,strawberries, testicles

As “Cooking With Balls” the world’s first ever recipe book describing ways to grill, drill, bake and cook testicles, is out in the market now; the talk about aphrodisiacs, hormones and cookery has triggered off with all the more vigor and enthusiasm yet again; giving us enough food for thought.

Testicles amongst many other animal or plant products have been known since time immemorial to be great aphrodisiacs. While this surely makes us ponder; while animals eat out of need, we humans have most of our eating habits dripping with desire.

Then be it the desire to taste something good or be it the desire to let our taste buds lead us to ecstasy, we do not hesitate trying out anything to everything that nature has to offer.

It is rather surprising, so to think, that how our taste buds have developed a liking for animal testicles; is it the taste or the presumed promising effect of consuming these potent organs, remains yet another point of discussion.

But history as well as pure general knowledge has it, that we humans are capable of consuming almost all animal testicles from pigs, to ostrich, to turkey, sheep, tigers and others; while those of stallions and bulls remain the favorites of chefs world over, although there is nothing better than sheep testicles, when it comes to aphrodisiacal properties.

Speaking of aphrodisiacs did you know that medical science till now has no concrete proof that these agents that are consumed believing that they have powers of increasing sexual desire, pleasure, virility as well as potency; are actually capable of doing so or not?

Yet since the centuries that have passed, many names have found a place under the category of those called aphrodisiacs, consumed by kings, queens and noblemen of the past, to the rich, famous and many of us commoners of the present day world too; who can afford to do so, in order to attain the ultimate ecstatic pleasure.

Their use is not restricted to a single country, continent or race, but can be seen being used world over right through history. From Asians, to Chinese, Arabs and people in the west, none are left untouched by this desire.

Foods that are categorized as aphrodisiacs are infact the ones rich in drugs like testosterone, yohimbine, bremelanotide, etc. These drugs result in an enhanced libido and often over-sexuality or sexual desire. Although, many are also seen to have serious side effects, if over used.

It is said that animal testicles are in great demand because they are rich in testosterone, the male sex hormone, and enjoy the reputation of being powerful aphrodisiacs. The fact that drove the Chinese tiger to extinction as it was hunted for its penis and testicles.

Other animal products known to enhance sexual desire are – a Rhino’s horn, Oysters, Spanish fly, mussels, turtle eggs etc.

While a rhino’s horn holds the promise of enhanced strength and virility, oysters are known sources of amino acids which increase the secretion of sex hormones in the body. The chemical cantheridin secreted by the Spanish fly, to attract its mate has even led to this little bug being eaten live in some human tribes. Mussels and turtle eggs are the new exotic foods, recently added to the list of aphrodisiacs and are yet to prove their usefulness.

Many plants too are known aphrodisiacs, like ginseng herb, liquor ice root, strawberries, spirulina, ginger, chocolates, cardamom, garlic, nutmeg, saffron and ashwagandha.

Aphrodisiacs send a chemical message to the brain, which is what makes them different from the many other compounds having similar effects but not actually qualifying as aphrodisiacs. Some of these are dopamine, cocaine, Viagra etc.

Thus, as many would love to try and taste the testicle recipes and others would rather be satisfied with strawberries and chocolates, it is difficult to tell whether it is the mind (read desire) that plays with the hormones or the hormones that play with the mind; but whatever be the case, it is surely the taste buds that benefit the most anyways.
Published: 2008-11-26
Author: Ishpreet Bindra

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