Whether it’s aphrodisiacs, love potion, or whatever name you want to call it, there’s only one motivation that has clearly led you here: the search for natural aphrodisiacs for amazing sex! Since time immemorial, man has been using aphrodisiacs in various shape, way, or form to enhance his libido, sexual desire, performance, or virility issues. Named after Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and sexuality, an aphrodisiac is defined as a food, drink, or drug usually derived from plants, animals or minerals, that promotes sexual desire and enhances sexual pleasure, stamina, and performance.
Why Natural Aphrodisiacs?
Most of the aphrodisiacs that have been used in many cultures or folk medicine, however, have only been given their magical bedpost-shattering reputation due to certain superficial characteristics, without any solid scientific evidence to back them up. Some foods are believed to turn you into this sexual monster between the sheets just because they closely resemble human reproductive organs such as banana, cucumber, or carrots that approximate male genitalia, while clams, mussels or oysters remind many suggestible minds of women’s vagina because of their shape or texture. Some people also believe in the carnal benefits of eating exotic food such as durian or balut (Filipino delicacy made of fertilized duck embryo), while some people follow the adage ‘you are what you eat’ literally by consuming food with actual animal genitals as ingredients such as a bull’s penis or testicles to stimulate sexual arousal.
These are all vague, tenuous, albeit long-standing beliefs in some sectors, but with no verifiable scientific data to prove their claims whatsoever. In this article, we are going to show you five herbal supplements to improve your libido, sexual performance, and stamina along with the relevant scientific studies to support their well-earned reputations as natural aphrodisiacs.
Top 5 Natural Aphrodisiacs
Here now, are five herbal supplements that are known for their natural aphrodisiac qualities based on scientific studies.
1. Tongkat Ali
Tongkat Ali – also known as Pasak Bumi or Malaysian Ginseng, is a medium-sized, flowering plant that can be found in the Indochina region of Southeast Asia whose root has been used in traditional folk medicine for generations. Tongkat Ali has recently found its way to the west as an aphrodisiac and as an additive in food and drinks for various health applications.
Tongkat Ali Benefits
Long held as a national treasure and a wonder drug in Malaysia, Tongkat Ali’s roots contain beneficial compounds that boost testosterone production that lead to increased libido, sperm motility and quality, and muscle growth. The elevated testosterone level is accompanied by an increase in sex drive, which is why Tongkat Ali has long been held as an aphrodisiac, especially in the Indochina region of Southeast Asia.
Age and a host of other health factors such as alcohol and smoking lower the testosterone level in our bodies, especially once you reach 30 years old where it starts to decline from the blood level at an average rate of 2% per year. Regular intake of Tongkat Ali helps you regain your testosterone levels back up to your youthful years, resulting in a heightened sexual desire and vitality you may not have experienced in years.
Locals from its native Southeast Asian region also vouch for Tongkat Ali’s efficacy in treating erectile dysfunction. There are preliminary studies that confirm this claim such as the one published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine where researchers established that supplementation of Tongkat Ali helped improve sexual performance and erectile function.
Another pleasant benefit from the hormonal boost provided by Tongkat Ali is that it can improve your athletic performance as it helps your body reduce fat and gain more muscle mass. It also leads to more efficient energy utilization, fatigued reduction, and improved endurance. The athletic and physical improvement is even more dramatic and drastic if you accompany it with regular exercise.
Tongkat Ali Dosage
- As an extract, Tongkat Ali may be taken orally 25 mg every 2-3 days. In powder form, you may take it orally 200 mg per day or 400 mg every other day.
Tongkat Ali Side Effects
- Tongkat Ali is generally safe to be taken with proper dosage. Minor side effects noted were irritability and sleeplessness. Since Tongkat Ali elevates testosterone levels, it is not advisable to be taken by people with heart disease and those with kidney or liver disease. Tongkat Ali may also interfere with the efficacy of other drugs when taken simultaneously with blood pressure medication or drugs to regulate blood sugar or insulin levels.
Yohimbine – is a compound derived from the bark of the Yohimbe tree of West Africa or the Quebracho Blanco tree of South America. It is traditionally regarded as an aphrodisiac by West African tribes as they have been known to drink tea made from the bark of the Yohimbe tree to increase their sexual desire. Yohimbine is commonly available in tablet or capsule form and is also used in the United States as a prescription medication for erectile dysfunction.
Also called the herbal Viagra, Yohimbine interacts with nerve centers in the spine thus resulting in an improved capacity for erection. Yohimbine works by directly acting on areas of the brain and the central nervous system which is linked to libido and penile erection.
Yohimbine has also been found to reverse the sexual problems associated with taking selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), the class of medicines used for treating depression. Aside from the sexually-related health benefits, Yohimbine has also been found to help in the following areas: fat reduction and weight loss, treatment of Type 2 diabetes, long-term memory retention, cognitive performance, and treatment of dry mouth syndrome.
You may take 15-30 mg orally per day. If you notice any side effects, decrease the dosage to half the stated amount daily. As a tincture, you may take 5-10 drops orally three times per day.
Yohimbine Side Effects
- Some of the reported side effects of Yohimbine include headache, sweating, and irritability. It is advisable that you consult your physician first to check its compatibility with any medication that you are currently taking, or if it can be taken if you have a pre-existing medical condition.
Maca – also known as Peruvian Ginseng, is a herbaceous plant that grows in the high-altitude conditions of the Andes mountain range of Peru which locals have been using as an aphrodisiac for centuries. It is usually dried or cooked like a root vegetable. In the supplements industry, it is used either as an extract or in gelatinized form, or in a powdered form where it can easily be added unto baking recipes, oatmeal, or smoothies. It can also be taken as a pill or tablet, or in liquid form as a herbal supplement or active component in energy drinks.
Maca increases the libido, sexual desire, and erectile function. It is also effective in countering the loss of libido that comes with old age or as a side effect to anti-depressant medications. It has also been found to boost male fertility by ramping up sperm production and improving sperm quality.
Maca also brings other non-sexual health benefits such as its propensity to build muscle mass, as well as in boosting strength, energy, and endurance, thereby improving your exercise performance. This is the reason why Maca supplements are very popular with bodybuilders. Locals in Peru, who have been eating Maca for generations as a staple food, also boast of its brain-boosting benefits. They say that their children perform better in school when fed regularly with Maca. They also use Maca extract for sun protection as it blocks out harmful UV rays from the sun.
Maca is generally considered safe for use even at a high dosage. Even though there are no clinical studies to confirm appropriate levels for dosing, the fact that it is essentially eaten as a staple food by the local Incan population in Peru (where the plant grows) with no reported side effects means that it is generally safe to be taken for most applications.
Maca Side Effects
This is a natural food, hence it can usually be taken even in large doses without fear of any adverse side effects. However, those with hormone-sensitive conditions such as uterine fibroids or uterine cancer should consult their physician first before taking any Maca supplements.
4. Horny Goat Weed
Horny Goat Weed – also known as Bishop’s Hat or Yin Yang Huo, is a flowering plant endemic to China that is traditionally used in Chinese medicine to boost sexual function and arousal. Having been used as an aphrodisiac for thousands of years, its name is derived from popular folklore which narrates how a Chinese goatherd accidentally stumbled upon its invigorating qualities when he noticed his flock suddenly becoming sexually active immediately after eating the plant.
Horny Goat Weed Benefits
Horny Goat Weed contains a chemical compound called icariin that inhibits a protein enzyme called PDE5 from restricting blood flow to the genital region, thereby causing erection and an increase in desire and sexual function. Horny Goat Weed thus effectively boosts waning libido and restores youthful sexual vitality.
Other benefits of horny goat weed include the possible relief for osteoporosis when it’s taken in combination with calcium supplements. Compounds found in the herb perform like estrogen hormones which reinforces the bones better than just taking calcium alone. Locals have also been using horny goat weed for centuries to treat high blood pressure, hay fever, joint pain, and fatigue.
Horny Goat Weed Dosage
You may take 2 capsules (1,000 mg) per day or 3-4 capsules 90 minutes before any sexual activity.
Horny Goat Weed Side Effects
Usual side effects associated with Horny Goat Weed include dry mouth, dizziness, and thirst. Because of its blood-thinning properties, Horny Goat Weed should be avoided by those with bleeding disorders or people suffering from an irregular heartbeat or low blood pressure.
5. Ginkgo Biloba
Ginkgo Biloba – comes from one of the oldest species of trees in the world which can grow up to hundreds of years. It is native to Japan and China and is cultivated for medicinal use and food consumption. It is widely used as an aphrodisiac in traditional Chinese medicine as it induces sexual arousal by helping the blood vessels relax and improving blood flow to the sex organs.
Ginkgo Biloba Benefits
The leaf extract from this ancient tree species not only boosts mental power, but it is also popularly known for increasing one’s sexual desire and in achieving and maintaining penile erection upon stimulation. Ginkgo Biloba works by enhancing Nitric Oxide effects, effectively relaxing the blood vessels and directing more blood flow into the genital area.
The sexually-related health benefits are just a fraction of the multiple benefits that this wonderful herb can offer. Ginkgo Biloba is also well-known for the following additional benefits:
- Source of antioxidants: The foundation of Ginkgo Biloba’s many medicinal benefits is its high antioxidant content. These antioxidants neutralize the damaging effects of free radicals that damage healthy tissues, accelerate aging, and lead to various diseases if left unchecked.
- Fights inflammation: Inflammation is our body’s response during injuries or when it’s invaded by a foreign substance. Some chronic diseases, however, such as arthritis and irritable bowel disease trigger inflammation even without any injuries. Ginkgo Biloba has shown that it can effectively reduce the inflammation resulting from these various conditions.
- Improves blood circulation: Traditional Chinese medicine has been preaching about the blood circulation benefits of using Ginkgo Biloba for centuries. Ginkgo promotes blood flow by dilating the blood vessels thus effectively helping in the treatment against diseases related to poor circulation.
- Reduces anxiety: Early studies suggest that supplementing with Ginkgo Biloba may reduce anxiety due to its high antioxidant content.
- Helps you achieve a better vision: Ginkgo Biloba increases blood flow to the eye, thus contributing towards eye health and better vision.
- Treatment for migraines and headaches: Due to its ability to improve blood flow and controlling inflammation, Ginkgo Biloba also alleviates migraines and headaches that may be caused by poor blood circulation and inflammation.
Ginkgo Biloba Dosage
You may start at a lower dosage of about 60-120 mg orally divided into two times per day to avoid possible gastrointestinal side effects. You may increase to as much as 240 mg orally per day. Take note that different manufacturers may also use different concentration or formulation of Ginkgo Biloba extract in their products, hence it would be best to check specific manufacturer’s recommendations on the label.
Ginkgo Biloba Side Effects
Ginkgo Biloba is generally safe to take when given in appropriate doses. Usually reported side effects are relatively minor cases such as nausea, dizziness, constipation, and upset stomach.
A Few Important Reminders
The main difficulty in coming up with a safe and effective dosage when taking natural aphrodisiacs is that most of the time it is unclear just how much of the active component is incorporated in the final concentration. You take too little and it may not work as intended. You take too much and it may have adverse side effects especially when a person has a pre-existing medical condition or is taking medication to treat the said condition.
There are available baseline dosage levels that have been proven to be safe as per clinical trials, however, which may be used as a reference by people who don’t have any medical conditions or are not taking any other medication. You may start from these levels and gradually increase the dosage according to your personal tolerance level, or until you feel the benefits of these natural aphrodisiacs finally taking effect.
While natural aphrodisiacs are generally considered safer than their synthetic alternatives, it is still prudent to check if they may contain active compounds that may interfere or may produce adverse effects for patients with pre-existing conditions such as hypertension; heart, kidney, or liver problems; or if they can be used safely in conjunction with medications to treat such conditions or other illnesses.
When it comes to foods claiming to have aphrodisiac properties, the list is actually quite extensive. Only a few of these, however, can back up their purported benefits with scientific data. If you want to add some spice into your life, start with the scientifically-backed natural aphrodisiacs featured here for the safest and most effective results. Just be sure to take the appropriate dosage and check for possible adverse effects against any medication or any pre-existing medical condition. When in doubt, consult your physician for a proper assessment before starting with any supplements if ever.
- Standardised water-soluble extract of Eurycoma longifolia, Tongkat ali, as testosterone booster for managing men with late-onset hypogonadism? Wellmen Clinic, Damai Service Hospital, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Epub 2011 Jun 15
- Randomized Clinical Trial on the Use of PHYSTA Freeze-Dried Water Extract of Eurycoma longifolia for the Improvement of Quality of Life and Sexual Well-Being in Men. School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kelantan, 16150 Kubang Kerian, Malaysia. Epub 2012 Nov 1
- Effects of a Proprietary Freeze-Dried Water Extract of Eurycoma longifolia (Physta) and Polygonum minus on Sexual Performance and Well-Being in Men: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study. Jay K. Udani,1,2 Annie A. George,3 Mufiza Musthapa,3 Michael N. Pakdaman,1 and Azreena Abas. Published 12 January 2014
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- Effect of Lepidium meyenii (MACA) on sexual desire and its absent relationship with serum testosterone levels in adult healthy men. Instituto de Investigaciones de la Altura, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru. 2002 Dec
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