All over the world weird aphrodisiacs are consumed by people who want to enhance their sexual prowess… unfortunately with nil benefit, but at the cost innocent lives.
Aphrodisiac qualities have been attributed to blood, oil and organs of many creatures. A fairly common sight in India is a man on the pavement with a basket of lizards. He breaks their backs and places them on a portable stove to extract oil which is sold to people as an aphrodisiac.
Shink or lizard flesh, is also a North African delicacy, and, in Greece the person who consumes its wine is said to be irresistible.
Other so-called aphrodisiacs from different countries include crushed pearls, elk antlers, rhino horn powder (common in Africa, China and India), kasturi in paan (in India), eating live oysters, bird’s nest soup (delicacy of China), honey (used in ancient Egypt for impotence), truffles and even the stench of rotten eggs (both French aphrodisiacs), consuming bear bile and gall bladders, python bile, cow gallstones, geckos, pangolins, roosters, sea slugs,sea cucumbers (Chinese cuisine), penises of serpents, otters, seals and tigers as well as tiger bone wine (common in China, Taiwan and South Korea), freshly made cobra/snake wine (China, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Korea, Cambodia), and sex portions made from bones of lions (South Africa).
Duck egg containing a 20-day foetus is considered an aphrodisiac sold as a roadside snack in the Philippines; also, dog or wolf meat and cobra meat are aphrodisiacs there – even cobra blood is consumed in China. Bat and ball soup is made from the genitals of a male bull and Filipinos consider it an aphrodisiac.
Deer penis wine is similar to rice wine with herbs and is consumed by Chinese, Japanese and Korean men. Fugu or blowfish is a famous and deadly Japanese aphrodisiac which can literally poison the person to death.
Mexicans consider turtle eggs aphrodisiacs. In South America’s Colombian culture the wings and legs of queen leaf cutter ants soaked in salt and roasted are traditional wedding gifts.
The Spanish Fly aphrodisiac jam called Dawamesk is from North Africa, whereas India uses these beetles or cantharides to make hair oils.
The consumption of the Kadaknath/Kali Masi – completely black wild hens of Madhya Pradesh – has been recently advocated for infusing vigour. And, the latest are house sparrows, their decline in numbers being attributed by some to people eating them as aphrodisiacs after Hakims claimed to have prepared a potion from the male bird’s meat. Khanasutra author also lists game birds and sparrows as one of the foods that work as aphrodisiacs.
The Narikurava gypsy tribe of Tamil Nadu poach peacocks for their oil, considered an aphrodisiac.
Distilled liquor from sugarcane called Mattu is considered an aphrodisiac in Tamil Nadu. In fact, a number of alcoholic intoxications of different cultures are said to have aphrodisiac properties, but whether veg or not, is any one’s guess.
Almonds, saunf/fennel/aniseed (Roman doctors prescribed it), anantamul/nannari, ashwagandha (Ayurvedic herbs – nannari is available as a syrup and the addition of soda converts it to American kind of root beer), red sandalwood (ingredient in Ayurvedic herbal medicine and agarbatti aphrodisiacs), annatto/sinduri, asafoetida/hing, asparagus, avocados, bananas (considered a sign of fertility in India; also Americans drink red banana sap as an aphrodisiac), basil/tulsi, carrots, celery, chocolate (the Aztecs were the first to use it as an aphrodisiac), hot chilli peppers (in Mexico and Peru), coffee, coriander/dhaniya, fresh figs (Cleopatra of Egypt is said to have eaten them regularly), garlic, ginger/adrak, ginsing, Himalayan/Tibetan gojiberry/“fruit Viagra”, horny goat weed, jackfruit seeds (roasted), liquorice/jethimadh, lotus seed/thamchet/makhana, maca root (similar to radish grown in Peru), mustard paste and mustard greens/sarson, nutmeg/jaiphal (an Unani stimulant), pineapple, pine nuts, raspberries, rocket salad/tara mira, saffron (Persians sprinkle it on beds of newlyweds), strawberries and vanilla are all believed to be vegetarian culinary aphrodisiacs.