Thursday, June 18, 2009

African aphrodisiacs

There are a number of love potions and edibles from the wonderfully black part of Africa, our sun-caressed motherland, many sexual details hidden in the sandy fountain of humanity.

Perhaps best known, and mostly not thought of as an aphrodisiac, if coffee. Despite the fact that many of us reminisce the lovely smelling blends of espresso sipped down a balmy late spring day in Tuscany, the coffee plant is originally from the highlands of Ethiopia, perhaps from a region called Kaffa. Its use spread and finally arrived in Italy through the Muslim world, perhaps as a substitute to the forbidden alcohol, and its most delicate variety is still called Arabica. The caffeine ingredient in coffee beans is an alkaloid, which means that it contains nitrogen atoms. Alkaloids often have pharmacological effects. Caffeine can increase dopamine levels in the brain, but the effects of coffee on libido and our will to go to bed are contradictory.

The bark of the Yohimbe tree (Corynanthe yohimbe, Pausinystalia yohimbe), growing in Central Africa, can be used to extract yohimbine. It contains an alkaloid called quebrachine (named so since this substance appears in the South American quebracho tree) or yohimbine. It is a selective alpha2-adrenergic receptor antagonist, which can be used to make soft members hard. But no effect on the human libido has been scientifically recorded.

There is another tree, the Carpolobia lutea (Polygalaceae), which root is filled with saponin plant steroids. They are secondary metabolites, meaning that they are not directly involved in the growth of organisms. They are allegedly used in Western Africa as an aphrodisiac, but there are no academic indications that it is health improving in any way.

A third kind of tree, the Shower tree (Cassia sieberiana) can be soaked in water. The water can be drunk as an elixir.

The Kola nut evergreen trees also contain caffeine and theobromine (both xanthine derivatives), and is said to be stimulant and euphoriant when chewed.

The seed of the sea bean shrub (Mucuna pruriens) contains a dopamine precursor called levodopa. It is said to give a harder erection and prolong lovemaking.

Edibles and tonic water, that is all fine. But who can resist a powerful, strong manly, dark-skinned chest, a deep African voice in your ear, muscles playing in the sun… Or the full, round, buttocks of its ladies… the contrast between the deep skin-tones, and the cerise treasures hidden between the thighs of its gloriously radiant and proud inhabitants…?

And there are more secrets to be learned, like the Kenyan love flood...

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