Sea Cucumber as an aphrodisiac

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sea cucumber aphrodisiac

The sea cucumber is an echinoderm of the class Holothuroidea, with an elongated body and leathery skin, which is found on the sea floor worldwide. It has a gelatinous characteristic and is distantly related to star fish and sea urchins. It is so named because of its cucumber-like shape. Like all echinoderms, sea cucumbers have an endoskeleton just below the skin. It has a distinctly phallic appearance, which may account for its reputation as an aphrodisiac. Sea cucumbers are generally scavengers, feeding on debris in the benthic layer. The diet of most cucumbers consists of plankton and decaying organic matter found in the sea. One way they might get a supply of food is to position themselves in a current where they can catch food that flow by with their tentacles when they open. Another way is to sift through the bottom sediments using their tentacles.

Sea cucumber is considered a delicacy in Far East countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, China, Japan, Korea, and Indonesia. It is also highly valued for its supposed medicinal and aphrodisiac properties. The flesh of the animal is "cleaned" in a process that takes several days. The food item is often purchased dried, and then re-hydrated before use. The product is used in soups, stews and braised dishes due to its gelatinous texture.

Some varieties of sea cucumber, such as gamat in Malaysia and/or trepang in Indonesia, are said to have excellent healing properties. Traditionally, the Chinese believed that it can cure high blood pressure and joint pains. There are pharmaceutical companies being built based on this gamat product. Extracts are prepared and made into oil, cream or cosmetics. Some products are intended to be taken internally. The effectiveness of sea cucumber extract in tissue repair has been the subject of serious study. It not only helps a wound heal more quickly but is also said to reduce scarring. Its aphrodisiac properties were fetched from traditional Chinese beliefs surrounding the creature’s potent effects on virility and no scientific researches were made to prove the claims to it.

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