How long have people used ‘aphrodesiacs’?
People have used them since the dawn of time. There are even stories in the bible about them. For instance,Genesis (20:14) tells the story of Leah who traded aphrodisiac mandrakes with her sister Rachael for the right to sleep with Rachel’s Husband, Jacob.
Of course, Spanish Fly is perhaps the most famous.
So what is the Myth of Spanish Fly?
The Spanish Fly myth is one of those stories that just won’t die. An astonishing hundred thousand people a month search for it on the internet.
What is Spanish Fly?
Well, first, it’s not a fly at all. It is derived from a beautifully colored green beetle (Lytta vesicatoria, from Greek lytta=rage and Latinvesica). It is often called the blister beetle.
Spanish Fly is not only not a fly; it’s also not Spanish. It eats lunch on tree leaves all over southern Europe and in the eastern regions of Central Asia and Siberia. These beetles like to eat the leaves of ash, white willow trees, and liliacs.
After eating, Spanish Fly beetles leave a real mess. They ooze a clear odorless substance called Cantharidin. A single drop of Cantharidin on your skin raises immediate blisters. And it’s why Spanish Fly is called the blister beetle
Spanish Fly then is made by drying the beetles and crushing them into a powder. The powder carries Cantharidin.
(part II continued in another post).