Confessions of a Ginseng Addict

A few years ago, I was hooked on ginseng and royal jelly.

I bought those small cylinders you see on convenience store counters. Then I spent 45 minutes during a stopover in Seoul perusing the duty-free selection, trying to determine which would be my Love Potion No. 9.

You know what? My choice worked like a charm. Ginseng and royal jelly was a miracle “herbal Viagra” for me. When I downed a vial of it, I was going to be Superman, and I knew it.

And that’s why it worked.

We’re all aware of the placebo effect — of how a candy pill that’s called a drug will improve our condition just because we think it will.

But we’re still genuinely surprised when it works for us, because we think we’re too smart for that.

I’m a prime example. I’ve got a degree in psychology. I have given my friends placebo pills for their colds.

So did I feel like a fool when I realized that the sweet cylinder of ginseng was just a placebo; that although ginseng has been given as a general energy tonic in China for thousands of years, no Western study has ever documented any sexual benefits – though some have tried?

Nope. I bought more, precisely because I dounderstand the placebo effect.

If you genuinely have a sexual dysfunction — including stress-related loss of interest — there are herbs that might work for you, and we list them on the following page.

However, if your problem is confidence, and you just want to be sure you’ll perform, take whatever you think sounds most powerful. And you will be.

Take it from me. I’ve got a new placebo now, and I know it’s a crutch. But even though the cape doesn’t actually help Superman fly — it reduces his wind resistance, in fact — you don’t see him going out without it. Given the choice, neither do I.

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