Named for Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, aphrodisiacs are drugs, food, herbs, beverages, or other substances thought to stimulate a man\u2019s or woman\u2019s sexual desire or performance \u2014 a \u201clove potion,\u201d in other words.\nWhen it comes to so-called culinary aphrodisiacs, you might wonder if the way to your lover\u2019s heart is really through his or her stomach. The truth is, if you\u2019re expecting certain foods or beverages to jump start your libido, you\u2019ll likely be disappointed. There\u2019s little scientific basis for aphrodisiac foods.\nThat said, some foods might evoke a sense of sexual desire in people who consume them. In most cases, that\u2019s due to the placebo response, a psychological effect based on solely on the food\u2019s reputation and your belief in it. Other foods contain nutrients that are associated with a healthy sex life, although it\u2019s unclear if eating them will have any real impact on your libido.\nHere, we\u2019ll look at some common culinary aphrodisiacs and their possible actions\u2014just in time for Valentine\u2019s Day.\n\nAsparagus\nThese green veggies have a long history of use as an aphrodisiac, but their reputation may be based on form rather than on function. Specifically, the phallic shape of asparagus spears might trigger subconscious feelings of lust in us. From a more nutritional standpoint, asparagus is rich in potassium, fiber, vitamins A, B6, and C, and folic acid, all of which are crucial for good health\u2014and when you feel good, you\u2019re more likely to feel frisky.\nChampagne\nAlcohol lowers inhibitions, which probably explains why a champagne toast or a few glasses of wine are often part of a romantic dinner. Keep in mind, however, that over consumption of alcohol can have the opposite effect, dulling libido.\nChili Peppers\nAs with any spicy food, chili peppers can make you feel flushed. They literally bring the heat\u2014at the table, if not in the bedroom. Remember, though, that eating too much spicy food can contribute to heartburn and other digestive discomfort.\nChocolate\nThis sweet treat is practically synonymous with romance\u2014some people joke that it\u2019s even \u201cbetter than sex.\u201d There\u2019s a reason why: Chocolate is rich in anandamide and phenylethylamine, feel-good chemicals that trigger the release of dopamine in the brain\u2019s pleasure centers. It also contains tryptophan, a substance that can promote a sense of relaxation. Learn more about the health benefits of chocolate.\nOysters\nRaw oysters are classic aphrodisiac food. Legend has it that renowned lover Casanova used to dine on 50 oysters for breakfast. Although more research is needed, early investigations suggest that the zinc and amino acids they contain might affect levels of sex hormones, at least in lab rats. One caveat: Choose raw oysters from a reliable source. Food poisoning from shellfish is anything but sexy.