These fenugreek leaves aren’t as innocuous as they look. ( Monica Bhide )

Researchers found that men taking fenugreek can boost their sex drive by at least a quarter.

Over the centuries, foods such as asparagus, almonds and bananas have been called aphrodisiacs, but few have survived the rigors of clinical studies.  Fenugreek can now boast it has.

In the study, 60 healthy men age 25 to 52 took an extract of the herb twice a day for six weeks, according to the Daily Mail. The men were required to answer a survey describing their level of libido and desire with a special scoring system to analyze changes.

By the end of the six weeks, the libido levels of men who had swallowed fenugreek had soared by an average of 16.1 to 20.6, a 28 per cent rise. Men taking dummy pills saw their scores fall. 

Fenugreek has a storied past. New Yorkers complained of a strange maple syrup aroma in the air for years before realizing it was fenugreek. Some people believe the spice increases milk production, while others say it relieves arthritis or cures fever. Its name means: “ram's horn clover.”

Now, compounds called saponins inside the fenugreek seed are believed to stimulate production of male sex hormones, including testosterone.