Phillip Minton M.D.

Chocolate the Love Potion

In chocolate, food and sex on May 31, 2011 at 11:10 pm

How do we let the object of our affection know we care? The universal time-honored way has been to send flowers, or chocolates, or both. Evidently, stalkers know this as well. I am sure that there are many benefits to being a celebrity, but attracting the unwanted attention, and affection, of stalkers is not one of them. A recent CNN article describes how Lindsay Lohan was recently wooed with chocolate after dozens of reportedly strange text messages failed to do the trick. Unfortunately, the texts and chocolates resulted in an unrequited love, since Lindsay showed no romantic interest in her stalker. This brings up an interesting topic, though. Why is it that chocolate is the universal message of love and affection? As it turns out, there are some very good scientific reasons.

At first blush, we might surmise that chocolates make a good lovers gift because they often look attractive, and are often packaged in romantic ways. They also taste good, and are universally enjoyed. However, are these the real reasons for the popularity of chocolate as the messenger of love? Probably not. The real reason may be in what happens to the recipient when they eat the confections. Chocolate, in many intriguing ways, acts like a love potion.

The ingestion of chocolate makes us feel “good”. It induces a mild but noticeable sense of euphoria in many people, because it stimulates the pleasure centers of the brain. Chocolate, in many ways, is a mind-altering drug. It causes us to enjoy a sense of heightened well-being, just like falling in love. Therefore, when the object of our affection eats the chocolates we sent, it causes them to experience very similar mental sensations to those felt by falling in love. Lovers throughout the ages have learned that his sense of bliss and excitement can lead to amorous liaisons.

My guess is that this is the main reason that chocolate has been long known as an aphrodisiac. However, as discussed in Chocolate, Healthfood of the Gods ( chapter 4, “An Appetizing Aphrodisiac”) chocolate has many other effects on both body and mind that stimulate ardor and increase sensual awareness.

Given all the evidence that chocolate does indeed deserve both its place as a messenger of love and as an aphrodisiac, we can only hope that Lindsay’s next box of chocolates is from someone to whom she can reciprocate their sentiments.

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