Thursday, October 23, 2014
It’s not a fly from Spain. Neither is it a fly that buzzes Spanish. It's actually an emerald green beetle, commonly known as the blister beetle which is commonly used today for animal husbandry (animal mating particularly). The beetle is 15-22 mm long and 5-8 mm wide and is found on plants from the Caprifoliaceae (honeysuckle) and Oleaceae (olive) families. Using it on animals incites the beasts to mate; it is for this reason that it was considered ages ago as a potent aphrodisiac.
The Spanish fly can be found in Spain but it certainly can also be found in other countries in the Mediterranean region, including Russia and some Asian countries. The reason it's known as the “blister beetle” is that when it feels threatened it secrets a caustic substance from its leg joints which, upon contact with human skin, causes irritation and can easily produce blisters. This colorless, odorless, crystalline substance is called cantharidin or cantharides. The traditional way of obtaining the cantharidin is not to collect or extract it in any way, but simply to gather beetles and to dry and crush them into a powder which will therefore contain cantharidin. The crushed powder of Spanish fly is of yellowish brown to brown-olive color with iridescent reflections, of disagreeable scent and bitter flavor.
The reason why it’s considered an aphrodisiac is because, once the beetle powder has been ingested, our body will excrete it in urine; and there, subsequently, it will irritate the urethral passages that leads to itching and swelling of genitals. In the early days, this swelling was mistaken for sexual arousal and gave rise to the belief that the powder had aphrodisiac qualities. In reality the swelling of the genitals is a result of serious inflammation and can be very painful, not pleasurable, and unfortunately the kidneys will suffer inflammation as well and may be permanently damaged. Today cantharidin is considered highly toxic and its presence in the body can result in severe gastrointestinal disturbances, sometimes leading to convulsions and even a coma that will further lead to death. It might have been successfully used as an aphrodisiac before since it was well documented as so (perhaps people back then loved it all swollen and irritated when making love); but considering the amount required is just a miniscule to be both harmful and aphrodisiac-like, and the difference between the effective dose and the harmful dose is quite narrow, why the hell should you play with it in the first place?
Its medical use dates back to descriptions from Hippocrates. Plasters made from wings of these beetles have been used to raise blisters. In ancient China, cantharides beetles were mixed with human dung, arsenic and wolfsbane to make the world's first recorded stink bomb. It is also one of the world’s most well-known aphrodisiacs. In Roman times, Livia, the scheming wife of Augustus Caesar, would slip it into food hoping to inspire her guests to some indiscretion with which she could later blackmail them. Henry IV (1050-1106) is known to have consumed Spanish fly at the risk of his health. In 1572, the famous French surgeon Ambroise Paré wrote an account of a man suffering from "the most frightful satyriasis" after having taken a potion composed of nettles and cantharides. In the 1670s, Spanish fly was mixed with dried moles and bat's blood for a love charm made by the black magician La Voisin. It was slipped into the food of Louis XIV to secure the king's lust for Madame de Montespan. In the 18th century cantharides became fashionable, known as pastilles Richelieu in France. Marquis de Sade is claimed to have given aniseed-flavored pastilles that were laced with Spanish fly to prostitutes at an orgy in 1772. Two of the prostitutes nearly lost their lives. He was sentenced to death for poisoning and sodomy, but later reprieved on appeal. In 1954 in London, Arthur Ford became infatuated with his office colleague, Betty Grant, and decided to give her and another female co-worker coconut bon bons which he laced with cantharidin powder. The women started vomiting blood within an hour and collapsed in extreme pain. The next day they died. He was later convicted and was sent to prison.
Cantharidin is extremely dangerous but the advertised products like "Herbal Spanish fly", "Mexican Spanish Fly", and "Spanish Fly Potions" are simply cayenne pepper in capsules, sometimes blended with the powder of ginseng, kelp, ginger or gotu kola. They are just substitutes to produce that spicy flavor for the palette, of course, and not to swell the genitals. The products with the name "Spanische Fliege (Spanish fly)" that are available in Germany is the one that contains the active cantharidin substance but represent no danger with a normal application since they are actually only a homeopathic dosage level, diluted to be effectively non-existent.
Monday, October 20, 2014
Balut is a Filipino delicacy mostly described as FDE or fertilized duck egg. It is a fertilized duck egg with a nearly developed embryo inside; that is boiled and eaten in the shell. It is one of Asia’s delicacies for countries like Philippines, China, Cambodia, and Vietnam. The word “balut” probably came from the Malay word “balot” which means wrap, which describes this not so exotic food because you need to eat it from the shell.
Although balut might not sound appealing if you haven't grown up with it, it does make a nutritious snack, high in protein and calcium. A serving of balut contain 188 calories, including 14 grams each of protein and fat, 2 milligrams of iron and 116 milligrams of calcium. Calories serve as our energy boosters. They help our bodies to work, our cells to live, and internal organs to function. Proteins on the other hand help our body to build and repair tissues. These are important building blocks of most of the important parts of our body like our bones, muscles, skin, blood, and cartilages. Each balut egg also contains Iron, which helps our body’s blood circulation and will make our body last through out the busy day. And last but not the least, calcium. Calcium plays a big role in strengthening our bones and teeth. Calcium also helps protect us from osteoporosis and cancer.
Unfortunately, duck egg is also rich in cholesterol. While chicken egg contains 213 mg of cholesterol, duck egg contains more than 250 mg of cholesterol. That’s a lot if you consider that experts recommend that normal adults ingest no more than 300 mg of dietary cholesterol per day. It’s this very same reason why doctors warn their patients with high-blood pressure to avoid this food as much as possible.
Filipino men regard it as a readily available source of much needed stamina for one hot bout in bed, simply because you can buy it almost anywhere on the streets. Filipinos believe it increases stamina and sex drive. There’s a folk saying that “balut is a cure to a feeble or shaky knee.” The knee represents the body’s energy level and constitution. Perhaps the aphrodisiac effect might be the result of consuming lots of calories, protein, calcium and cholesterol. Of course the claims about its virility boosting potency still remains part of the local lore and no studies regarding its authenticity are being done.
Sunday, October 19, 2014
Norman Cousins used this tool to recover from a serious illness. Savvy couples have used it to revive excitement in a relationship. Singles have used it to calm nerves and rev up enjoyment during dates. What is the free tool that can heal your body, increase intimacy, and prolong your life?
Laughter is the best aphrodisiac that also adds happy years to your life.
The health benefits of laughter have been proven in plenty of scientific research. Laughter releases endorphins, the brain's feel-good chemicals, giving us a natural high. A belly laugh also reduces the stress hormone cortisol and boosts your immune system by almost 40%. A strong immune system helps you fight disease and stay healthy.
A hearty bout of laughter also stimulates circulation and gives your abdominal muscles a good workout. Good blood flow and fit muscles help you enjoy an active sex life throughout life.
I once worked on a film for television, directed by JoAnne Woodward who'd said, "Sexiness wears thin after a while and beauty fades, but a man that can make you laugh everyday, ah, now THAT'S a real treat."
Joanne Woodward was happily married to Paul Newman for over 40 years until his recent death. I feel for her as she grieves the loss of their true love and daily laughter.
Since we know the health and happiness benefits of laughter, why aren't we all using this tool more often?
You may not feel like laughing when worries weigh you down in challenging times. Yet, this is when you need a big dose of laughter to lift your spirits. Researchers tell us that your body doesn't know the difference between genuine or faked laughter -- the health benefits are the same.
Should you fake it until you feel it?
It's definitely worth a try. Some spas now use laughter exercises to warm up a group as they bellow a hearty, "ho, ho, ho--ha, ha, ha," while they look in the eye of each person in the room. This faked laughter often leads to the real thing, stimulating a twinkle in the eye and a rosy glow in your cheeks.
If you can't find someone to laugh with or something to laugh about, you may be overlooking the greatest source of amusement--yourself. When you can laugh at your quirks instead of being self critical, you know a secret to a happy life.
Is laughter an aphrodisiac?
Who says sex has to be so serious? Humor is a secret of a happy love life. A playful attitude is sexy, when you leave your worries and inhibitions behind. Put-down humor is cruel--never a turn on for your partner.
You can spark up your romantic routine by telling an erotically-charged joke as foreplay or between caresses. There are books of hot jokes so you don't have to write them--only share your favorites to heat up your libido and lovemaking.
I suggest you find ways to use laughter to relieve stress, revive intimacy and rev up sexual vitality and happiness in your relationship.
Sunday, October 12, 2014
Licorice (or liquorice) is the root of Glycyrrhiza glabra, from which a sweet flavour can be extracted. The liquorice plant is a legume (related to beans and peas) and native to southern Europe, Middle East, and parts of Asia where it grows wild. It is a herbaceous perennial, growing to 1 metre in height, with pinnate leaves about 7–15 centimetres (3–6 inches) long, with 9–17 leaflets. The flowers are 0.8–1.2 cm (1/3 to 1/2 inch) long, purple to pale whitish blue, produced in a loose inflorescence. The fruit is an oblong pod, 2–3 centimetres (about 1 inch) long, containing several seeds.
Licorice gets its name from the Greek glyks, meaning “sweet” and rhiza meaning “root”. It is the sweet tasting rhizomes (underground stems) and roots that are used as flavorings. Licorice is mentioned in the Hippocratic texts, and to the Romans, who made licorice extract as we do today. Ancient Chinese herbalists used licorice, distilling the root’s essence and prescribing it for a wide range of conditions. It was cultivated in England since the 16th century by Dominican monks in Pontefract, Yorkshire, where the confectionery trade began.
Licorice is popular in Italy, particularly in the South, in its natural form. The root of the plant is simply dug up, washed and chewed as mouth-freshener. Throughout Italy unsweetened liquorice is consumed in the form of small black pieces made only from 100% pure liquorice extract; the taste is bitter and intense. Dried liquorice root can be chewed as a sweet.
Licorice is more well-known, perhaps, as a confectionery flavoring. It is usually found in a wide variety of liquorice candies. The most popular in the United Kingdom are very sweet "Liquorice allsorts" and “Pontefract” cakes. Additionally, liquorice is found in some soft drinks (such as root beer), and is in some herbal teas where it provides a sweet aftertaste. The flavour is common in medicines to disguise unpleasant flavors.
Licorice has also been known for its medicinal properties. Roman legions considered licorice an indispensable ration for their long grueling campaigns. It was said soldiers could go up to 10 days without eating or drinking as the licorice properties helped to build stamina and energy, which relieved both hunger and thirst.
Ancient Chinese used their related Chinese Licorice (G. uralensis) extensively in traditional Chinese medicine, although their licorice contains extracts that are in much greater concentration. (Ordinary licorice extracts are 50 times sweeter than sugar.)
Ten different bio-flavonoids have been found in licorice; hence it helps cleanse the colon, supports lung health, and promotes adrenal gland function. Licorice is a common ingredient in throat-soothing herbal supplements. Its natural sweetness makes it a favorite flavor in herbal teas and many food products. Herbal preparations containing Licorice Root are used to treat stomach and intestinal ulcers, lower acid levels and coat the stomach wall with a protective gel. Rarely used alone, Licorice is a common component of many herbal teas as a mild laxative, a diuretic, and for flatulence. It has also been known to relieve rheumatism and arthritis, regulate low blood sugar, and is effective for Addison's disease. The Root extract produces mild estrogenic effects, and it has proven useful in treating symptoms of menopause, regulating menstruation, and relieving menstrual cramps. Licorice may also be used for night sweats.
Licorice has an ancient reputation as an aphrodisiac; the Kamasutra and Ananga Ranga contain numerous recipes for increasing sexual vigor which include licorice; in ancient China, people used licorice to enhance love and lust. It is widely believed that chewing on bits of licorice root can enhance one’s sexual vigor.
Liquorice affects the body's endocrine system. It can lower the amount of serum testosterone which affects the amount of free testosterone.
According to research, its smell is particularly stimulating especially to women. Alan R. Hirsch, MD, neurological director of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, conducted a study that looked at how different smells stimulated sexual arousal. He found that the smell of black licorice increased the blood flow to the penis by 13 percent. When combined with the smell of doughnuts, that percentage jumped to 32. “Black licorice”, by the way, has been used as an aphrodisiac for centuries.
Thursday, October 9, 2014
"All testicles can be eaten - except human, of course."
That’s according to the Serbian chef named Erovic who just released the world’s first testicle cookbook. The Testicle Cookbook - Cooking With Balls includes author Ljubomir Erovic's favorite dishes, like testicle pizza and battered testicles.
"Wash testicles thoroughly for 30-45 minutes," begins the recipe for testicles pie. "Once softened, mince them in a mincer."
Erovic, 45, is self-taught in the art of testicle cuisine but his 20 years of "cooking with balls" make him a world authority in the field.
"The tastiest testicles in my opinion probably come from bulls, stallions or ostriches, although other people have their own favorites," he said.
Erovic also organizes the World Testicle Cooking Championship, held annually in Serbia since 2004. It draws in chefs from Australia, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Norway and Serbia. One metric ton of testicles are prepared.
Testicles are rich in testosterone and they are believed to be a powerful aphrodisiac in countries such as Serbia and China. Of course, it’s not only limited to the “germ sack” but could also include the meaty male genitals. Asian cuisine is rich in such notably weird and exotic dishes which are typically consumed to gain better sexual prowess.
One piece of history worth mentioning involves such experimentations with folksy aphrodisiac beliefs just for pure sexual fervors. The French king Louis XV and his lover the Madame de Pompidour ate rams' testicles in the Palace of Versailles before nights of passion.