Chocolate as an aphrodisiac: truth or myth? This concept dates back to the Aztecs when it was said that emperor Montezuma would consume cocoa to fuel romantic urges. Later, when Spanish Conquistadors discovered this love potion, it was said that chocolate became a popular item that gentleman gifted to their ladies. And now, science searches to prove or dismiss this phenomenon in efforts to understand why we gift chocolates on Valentine’s Day.
To its credit, it was discovered that chocolate contained two chemicals, Phenylethylamine and Seratonin, associated with heightening romantic urges and enhancing happiness and overall energy. When released into the human body, these chemicals cause a release in hormones that uplift a person’s mood and create a sense of euphoria, a feel-good trance if you will. These chemicals increase one’s blood pressure and blood sugar levels to that which is similar to those in love.
Now, whether these chemicals are potent enough to create romantic urges is an ongoing scientific debate. Some scientists aim to prove that while chocolate contains chemicals associated with feelings of happiness, love, and passion, the phenylethylamine content is too small to produce a measurable effect on desire and lust.
Confused? It cannot go unnoticed that chocolate contains chemical components that trigger feelings of well-being, happiness, even if they may not be in a romantic way. So, some argue that perhaps the whole idea of chocolate gift giving for the purpose of romance, especially around Valentine’s Day, is a psychological act, rather than a scientific one. What makes chocolate romantic is entirely contextual. Through history we have been told and shown over and over again that gifting chocolate on Valentine’s Day is the ultimate romantic gesture of love.
While consuming chocolate for the sole purpose that it’s an aphrodisiac may be in illusion, the thought of gifting chocolate to show love can be intent enough to create a sense of euphoria amongst valentines. Who is to say that even if science doesn’t support it, chocolate gift giving cannot spring romantic urges by the mere act.
On Valentine’s Day, when we gift chocolates, we intend to make our recipients feel special and loved by the gesture. While science proves that eating chocolate makes people happy, psychology suggests that the idea of receiving chocolate causes romantic urges, not on account of science, but on pure feeling.
If you would like to give the gift of chocolate to your loved one, peruse our exquisite selection of artisan chocolate gifts.