Ahh, sex - a *taboo* topic that has literally been discussed for centuries, yet still remains a mystery in many ways.
On Google, some of the most commonly asked questions are still “how to have sex”, “how to get an orgasm”, and so on, so forth. That might be surprising to some when sexual references are in front of us on social media and television day-in and day-out, but it shows that we as human beings still have a long way to go when it comes to normalizing this topic, understanding our bodies, and getting the most out of our sexual encounters.
Let’s face it, when it comes to sex, we’re all having it or thinking about having it…so, let’s get over the hump (pun intended) and dive into this conversation with an open mind.
In particular, we’re here to shed some light on a sex topic that hasn’t been as commonly discussed: mushrooms as an aphrodisiac.
Are mushrooms an aphrodisiac?
Yes, they certainly can be - eating medicinal or magic mushrooms has long been considered a potential way to improve sex vitality, sex drive, and orgasm intensity.
Mushrooms are not the only edible substance that appears on the list of natural aphrodisiacs (think everything from oysters to strawberries), but they are one that’s less understood.
The health benefits of mushrooms have only been scientifically studied for the last 50-ish years, but there are a lot of studies that point to fungi as a hugely untapped resource for better health as a whole - sexual health included.
One review focuses on the potential applications of cordyceps mushrooms for sexual dysfunction.
Since libido in all people is affected by everything from chronic illness, to stress, chemical makeup, mental health, and more, there’s potential for mushrooms to play a vital role in sexual health conversation, but we have just scratched the surface when it comes to this topic.
In this article, we’re sharing information that we’ve found from our research on mushrooms and sexual health as it’s known today. We’re answering questions like, “can mushrooms be an aphrodisiac?”, “what types of mushrooms are linked to sex vitality?”, and more.
Strap in - let’s go for a ride (too far? Okay, okay). Here we go!
What is an aphrodisiac?
For all you folks out there that read “aphrodisiac” and said, “what on earth?”...we got you covered. This funky word is defined as a food, drink, or drug that stimulates sexual desire, sexual attraction, pleasure, and/or sexual behavior.
There is certainly a spectrum when it comes to various types of aphrodisiacs - some are focused on psychological changes while others are physiological, but the end goal is all the same: sexual interest enhancement.
As mentioned earlier, there are numerous food and drink items that, when consumed, have been linked to increased sex drive - these include mushrooms, oysters, cacao, strawberries, pumpkin, ginseng, and more. There are also drugs you can take that may increase sex drive, including marijuana, alcohol, ambrien, bufotenin, and more.
However, the notable thing with aphrodisiacs is that, like most things, it’s not a one size fits all situation. What works for one person may not have the same effect on your personal chemical makeup.
For example, the placebo effect associated with aphrodisiacs is considered strong. This means that if you ingest something labeled an aphrodisiac, simply consuming it may be enough for your psyche to start exhibiting sexual interest or behavior changes without any real effects from what you’ve taken.
Disclaimer: With all of this in mind, it’s important that if you’re struggling with sex drive and desire, to talk to a trusted healthcare professional before diving into various options we’ve listed above.
Now, we’re here for the mushroom talk, so let’s dive further into that part of the conversation.
Why are mushrooms an aphrodisiac
Gourmet, medicinal, and magic mushrooms have long been consumed by Eastern cultures to benefit health, well-being, and longevity. These cultures have also regarded mushrooms as having special healing powers for the mind and body.
In fact, various South Pacific legends link women’s health and mushroom consumption, noting that forest fungus, namely hallucinogenic fungi, break down barriers women face when it comes to enjoying sexual intimacy and reaching peak orgasm.
So, according to legend, mushrooms are indeed an aphrodisiac.
While there isn’t much solid scientific evidence to back up these claims, we do know a few things: to start, mushrooms are chock full of zinc which is linked to better blood flow throughout the body. Without good blood flow, it’s nearly impossible to reach climax during sexual encounters.
Furthermore, mushrooms also contain numerous vitamins and minerals which help the body function at full capacity. Which, you guessed it, improves sexual performance.
So, there’s definitely an argument to be made that mushrooms being high in various vitamins and minerals can lead to better sexual performance for all - but the jury is still out on if there’s a direct correlation between mushroom consumption and sexual desire.
The best mushrooms for sexual health and vitality
The best mushrooms to use as an aphrodisiac supplement include cordyceps, chaga, reishi, and shiitake mushrooms, especially when these mushrooms are consumed as functional extracts.
1. Cordyceps mushrooms as an aphrodisiac
In India and China, cordyceps mushrooms have been used as an aphrodisiac for pretty much forever. Funny enough, it’s known as the “Himalayan Viagra”, and was first used as a natural way for Tibetan yak herders to improve energy levels and vitality in their herds.
This quickly translated to humans and has been shown today to support healthy blood flow and oxygen throughout the body. Regular consumption of cordyceps has also been shown to stimulate blood flow in the penis, improve sperm count, and regulate testosterone levels in males.
While it’s hard (and pricey) to come by wild cordyceps, cultivated cordyceps contain a lot of the same vital vitamins and nutrients that improve blood and oxygen flow throughout the body.
We recommend either eating them raw, cooking them in some of your favorite meals, or steeping cordyceps powder into a tea.
Want to learn more about the potential benefits of cordyceps? Check out our cordyceps learning center!
2. Chaga mushrooms as an aphrodisiac
Chaga mushrooms grow wild in the Northern hemisphere and resemble a charcoal-like substance in both color and texture. For centuries, people have steeped chaga in hot water to make a tea that is believed to help with antiviral and anticancer properties in the body.
Similar to cordyceps, chaga is linked to helping with healthy testosterone levels, and has been shown to boost energy and improve stamina in all people.
You can make chaga tea by taking chaga powder and steeping it in hot water. Additionally, chaga can be taken in capsules or mixed into your daily meals.
Chaga is a powerful mushroom that has many applications and potential benefits. Find out more by exploring our chaga mushroom learning center.
3. Reishi mushrooms as an aphrodisiac
Reishi mushrooms are one of the most popular medicinal mushrooms around and are regarded for their immense healing benefits.
But, something that isn’t as commonly known is that reishi has also been hailed “the magic mushroom of the bedroom” for hundreds of years. Reishi consumption has been shown to increase fertility for men and women, improve bodily function and performance, increase cognitive function and emotional clarity, and support kidney and urinary tract function.
The Chinese have always believed that reishi is the best natural medicine to enhance a persons’ sexual power. It’s recommended to take reishi powder either mixed into your favorite beverage, or in capsule format.
We love reishi mushrooms for a number of reasons. Find out information about potential benefits, appropriate dosage information, and more at our reishi learning center.
4. Shiitake mushrooms as an aphrodisiac
This common kitchen staple is known for it’s delicious flavor - but it’s also a popular mushroom choice for those seeking an aphrodisiac.
Shiitake mushrooms are full of zinc, which we mentioned earlier is connected with better blood flow in the body. Additionally, consumption of shiitake mushrooms can boost testosterone and potentially enhance the strength of an erection (erections are connected to blood flow - so this isn’t a huge surprise).
Shiitake can be found at your local grocery store to be cooked in some of your favorite meals. Additionally, shiitake supplements are available for purchase - please do your research on supplement companies before purchasing.
Shiitake mushrooms aren't just a side dish. Check out their functional and medicinal applications at our shiitake learning center.
5. Psilocybin as an aphrodisiac
Important note: mushrooms containing psilocybin is illegal in most states in the United States. It is not suggested for use but simply noted here for research purposes. Last but not least, we have psilocybin, the hallucinogenic mushroom.
Psilocybin has been used for centuries to open the mind and free it of expectation to open humans up to new experiences - and yes, that also means sexual experiences. Mushrooms containing psilocybin (or magic mushrooms) are considered an aphrodisiac because it causes the brain to release serotonin, but funny enough, this mushroom is not linked to libido itself - it’s solely a function of the mind.
Psilocybin is linked to a more open view of sexual intimacy and has been shown to improve orgasms in both one-on-one sexual encounters, singular sexual acts (masturbation), and/or group sex.
Now, since we’re getting into the nitty-gritty of mushrooms as an aphrodisiac, we had to quickly discuss the mushroom that has been noted to cause women to orgasm by just smelling it.
Head on over to our psilocybin blog for more details about psychedelics.
Can mushrooms cause spontaneous orgasm?
For years, people have told stories about this brightly colored mushroom (Dictyophora - also known as the stinkhorn mushroom) found on the islands of Hawaii that, when sniffed, causes women to instantly orgasm. John C. Holliday and Noah Soule were the original authors of the study conducted in the early 2000’s that looked at this mushroom’s sexual effect(s) on 16 women and 20 men.
The study noted that half of the women has an instantaneous sexual reaction to the smell which resulted in orgasm.
In 2016, a woman named Christie Wilcox set out to see if there was something to this study conducted by Holliday and Soule, or if it was a giant heap of hogwash.
You can read her journey in its entirety here. Trust us, it's a great read.
Wilcox had a theory that the study was based on too little evidence and was poorly documented, but had a catchy title that was causing it to become fact. She arrived in Kona, Hawaii and began searching for the distinct dictyophora mushroom with the goal of sniffing it and either validating (or invalidating) the claim that it causes instantaneous arousal and orgasm in females from her personal experience.
During this process, she worked with local healthcare providers, met with locals, and learned about the history of this mushroom by reading and listening - her findings were scattered and the information wasn’t conclusive about where she would find this mushroom.
Eventually, many recommendations later, Wilcox’s search brought her to the Lava Tree State Monument.
It was surprisingly not crawling with tourists, which allowed them to take their time on their hike as they came across numerous mushroom species - however, they were having trouble finding the one they had come in search of. Then, around 45 minutes into the hike, Wilcox’s partner noticed that he smelt a distinct “jizz-like” smell that Holliday had specifically noted for the mushroom.
They searched for the smell’s origination for about a half hour until they finally came across one in a pile of mulch and rotting tree branches.
Winner, winner mushroom dinner.
Low and behold, Wilcox knelt down to sniff the mushroom and…she quickly stumbled backward, saying it was quite possibly the most putrid, repulsive smell she’s ever come across. Her partner, a male, said the same.
Wilcox’s experience does not dismiss the work done by Holliday and Soule, but does question its total validity.
More studies need to be done on this peculiar mushroom species, but we’re not convinced that this proclaimed orgasm-inducing mushroom does its job to the extent people say it does. Go try it for yourself and report back to us! Seriously, we'd love to hear your story.
How to incorporate sexual vitality mushrooms into your routine
While the jury is still out on mushrooms as an aphrodisiac, at the core of this conversation is one key thing: mushrooms certainly have tangible health benefits that are linked to better bodily function when consumed regularly.
Mushrooms are most definitely not a miracle solution, but rather a natural, holistic option to consider for your overall well being and sexual vitality.
Did you know that turkey tail has been studied for it's applications in treating oral HPV? Find out more in our article here.
We recommend looking for a healthful blend of various medicinal mushrooms as a health aid in your regular health and wellbeing routine toolbox.
Some easy ways to incorporate medicinal mushrooms into your routine include:
- Capsules - Mushroom capsules (think pill format) are a super easy way to incorporate mushrooms into your daily health regimen. Mushroom capsules contain medicinal mushroom powder or powder extract. The key to finding the best capsule for your needs is to do your research around the company’s extraction processes. We have a guide for this - check it out.
- Powders - When you take the entire mushroom fruiting body and its mycelium, dehydrate them, and crush it into a fine powder, that’s when you’ve made a good medicinal mushroom powder. Mushroom powder allows you to easily reap the benefits of mushrooms by blending it into your favorite drink, adding it to your daily meals, or steeping it as a tea.
- Teas/coffees - With the amount of coffee Americans drink, we’d be remiss not to mention some mushroom tea and coffee options that could replace your morning cup of joe. Mushroom coffee may help with focus, energy levels, gut health, stress management, and immune boosting effects in the body, without giving you the jitters.
Mushroom powders are also easily steeped as a healthy tea option you can sip on first thing in the morning. This is an especially good option for those who are looking to get the most out of the bioactive compounds found in mushrooms (think beta-glucans, minerals, vitamins, and more).
- Tinctures - Tinctures, a.k.a. liquid extracts are created by using hot water extraction and then alcohol extraction of the medicinal mushroom powder. This double extraction process allows for the bioavailable compounds in the mushroom to be easily absorbed in the human digestive system. Tinctures typically come in small bottles with a dropper that allow you to put it in anything or on anything.
Bada bing, bada boom - it’s pretty easy to add mushrooms to your daily regimen, huh? We think so too.
Thanks for coming along on this journey with us to discuss all things sex, aphrodisiacs, and mushroom orgasms. What a world we live in, huh?
For other questions on this topic, get in touch and we’ll discuss it! We look forward to hearing from you.