Spanish fly: myths and reality

The Spanish fly, also known as an aphrodisiac, has long been the object of interest and study in various cultures. Its properties of enhancing sexual activity and treating erectile dysfunction have aroused the curiosity of people throughout history. However, despite its reputation, the Spanish fly can be dangerous and even deadly.

In fact, Spanish fly is the common name for a substance called cantharidin. Cantharidin can be obtained from hundreds of species of bubble beetles around the world. This substance is produced by insects as a defense mechanism against predators and as a pheromone to attract partners during reproduction. It is due to the presence of cantharidin that the Spanish fly gained its reputation as an aphrodisiac.

Cantharidin, when taken orally, can cause a burning sensation in the urinary tract, leading to uncontrollable erections in men, known as priapism. However, the dangerous dose of cantharidin is between 10 and 65 milligrams, and exceeding this dose can be fatal. Cantharidin is also used to treat warts because it can peel off the skin. However, its side effects include miscarriages, seizures, blood clots, and even death.

Nevertheless, Spanish fly has been studied and used in different cultures for many years. In Chinese medicine, it was used as early as 2,000 years ago. Legend has it that the Empress Livia, wife of Augustus Caesar, used the Spanish fly to arouse her guests and then blackmail them. In the 18th century, the Marquis de Sade fed prostitutes candy laced with cantharidin to arouse their passion, but nearly killed them in the process.

The Spanish Fly made headlines in 2014 when a Bill Cosby comedy sketch went viral. That sketch mentioned that Spanish fly was slipped into women’s drinks to prepare them for sex. In light of the rape allegations, the Spanish fly got a sinister reputation.

However, caution should be exercised when purchasing Spanish fly related products over the Internet. Products sold as aphrodisiacs of Spanish fly usually do not contain real cantharidin. Scammers are simply trying to make money from an ancient, dubious treatment.

In conclusion, the Spanish fly has a long history of use in different cultures. Its aphrodisiac properties have attracted interest and study. However, despite its reputation, the Spanish fly can be dangerous and even deadly. Purchase of Spanish fly related products over the Internet should be done with caution.

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