Avena Sativa, bin Laden’s aphrodisiac

You might have heard the reports that pornography and an aphrodisiac were found at Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan. Among the items reportedly recovered was an herbal aphrodisiac, also sometimes used as a remedy for a sour stomach, called Avena Sativa.

Here’s what an herbal remedy expert at Georgetown University, Andriane J. Fugh-Berman, e-mailed me when I asked her what is known about Avena Sativa:

“It’s oats. Green young oat greens are thought to be an aphrodisiac. No evidence supports its use (although libido is the most placebo- responsive condition there is. Anything claimed to boost libido, even if it’s a placebo, will work in some people.”

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