Encyclopedia > Aphrodisiac

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An aphrodisiac is a food or drug supposed to provoke love (or lust): the name comes from the goddess of love Aphrodite. Newly introduced exotic fruits or vegetables often acquire such a reputation, at least until they become more familiar.

Some aphrodisiacs appear to gain their reputation from a process of similarity, hence the trade in rhinoceros horn that is endangering this animal. (See Carl Hiaasen's 1997 novel Sick Puppy.)

There is some debate in scientific circles as to whether a chemical present in chocolate is an aphrodisiac.

see also Viagra

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