An aphrodisiac is a food or drug that stimulates sexual desire, increases sexual pleasure or performance. There are numerous pharmaceutical drugs available and marketed specifically for their libido-enhancing effects.
However, some people prefer natural alternatives because they are generally safer and have fewer side effects. It’s worth noting that many aphrodisiacs lack scientific support, and some natural products may have negative side effects. If you want to try a supplement, consult your doctor first.
This article discusses seven scientifically proven aphrodisiacs that may increase your libido.
Maca is a sweet root vegetable that has a number of health benefits.
People in South America commonly use it to increase fertility, earning it the moniker “Peruvian Viagra.” It is related to cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and cabbage and grows primarily in the mountains of central Peru. Animal studies revealed that maca consumption increased libido and erectile function in rodents. Four other studies indicate that it may increase libido in humans as well. According to one small study, maca may help reduce libido loss, which is a common side effect of certain antidepressant drugs. The majority of studies used 1.5-3.5 grams of maca per day for 2-12 weeks. The participants tolerated these doses well and had few side effects. However, more studies are needed to determine safe dosages and long-term effects.
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Tribulus terrestris, also known as bindii, is a dry-climate annual plant. Supplement manufacturers frequently claim that it can increase libido.
Although some studies have suggested that it may increase testosterone levels in some animals, science has yet to prove that it can increase testosterone levels or fertility in humans. There is some evidence that it may help boost sexual function and desire in both men and women.
Ginkgo biloba is a herbal supplement derived from one of the world’s oldest tree species, the Ginkgo biloba.
It is used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat a variety of ailments, including depression and poor sexual function.
Ginkgo biloba is said to be an aphrodisiac, relaxing blood vessels and increasing blood flow. Nonetheless, studies have yielded conflicting results.
A small study published in 1998, for example, found that ginkgo biloba reduced the loss of libido caused by antidepressant use in approximately 84% of participants.
Male and female participants reported increased desire, excitement, and ability to orgasm after taking 60-240 mg of the supplement daily, with female participants reporting stronger effects. However, because this was a low-quality study, the results may not be reliable.
Ginkgo biloba is generally well tolerated, but it has the potential to act as a blood thinner. As a result, if you’re taking blood-thinning medication, consult your doctor before taking ginkgo biloba.
Ginseng is another popular Chinese medicine herb. One type, red ginseng, is commonly used to treat a variety of male and female ailments, including low libido and sexual function.
Several studies have found that red ginseng improves erectile function better than a placebo.
A small study also discovered that red ginseng may improve sexual arousal during menopause.
These findings, however, are not universal, and some experts question the validity of these studies. They caution that more research is required before reaching firm conclusions.
The majority of studies required participants to take 1.8-3 grammes of red ginseng daily for 4-12 weeks.
Ginseng is generally well tolerated, but it may interfere with blood thinners and the treatment of hormone-sensitive cancers.
Ginseng may also cause headaches, constipation, or minor stomach upset in some people.
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Fenugreek is an annual plant that is grown all over the world. Its seeds are most commonly used in South Asian dishes, but it is also used as an anti-inflammatory and libido-boosting treatment in Ayurvedic medicine.
And for good reason: this herb appears to contain compounds that the body can use to produce sex hormones like oestrogen and testosterone.
In one small study, men who consumed 600 mg of fenugreek extract daily for six weeks reported increased sexual arousal and orgasms.
This supplement, however, also contained 17 mg magnesium, 15 mg zinc, and 5 mg pyridoxine, which could have influenced the results. Zinc is a nutrient that is essential for male fertility.
Similarly, a small study looked at the effects of taking 600 mg of fenugreek extract daily on women who reported having low sex drive.
When compared to the placebo group, the fenugreek group showed a significant increase in sexual desire and arousal by the end of the 8-week study.
Although fenugreek is generally well tolerated, it can interact with blood thinners and cause minor stomach upset.
Furthermore, because of its effect on sex hormones, fenugreek may interfere with the treatment of hormone-sensitive cancers.
Pistachio nuts have been consumed since 6,000 B.C. They are nutritious and high in protein, fibre, and healthy fats.
The term “lower blood pressure” refers to the amount of blood pressure that a person should have in order to live a healthy life.
They may also help to alleviate the symptoms of erectile dysfunction.
The average person eats approximately 100 grammes of fat per day.
Experts believe that these effects are due to pistachios’ ability to lower blood cholesterol and stimulate better blood flow throughout the body.
However, because there was no placebo group in this study, the results are difficult to interpret. More research is required before firm conclusions can be drawn.
Saffron is a spice derived from the flower Crocus sativus. It is a Southwest Asian native and one of the most expensive spices by weight.
This spice is frequently used as an alternative medicine to treat depression, reduce stress, and improve mood.
Furthermore, saffron is popular for its potential aphrodisiac properties, particularly among antidepressant users.
One study found that men who took 30 mg of saffron per day for four weeks had better erectile function than men who received a placebo.
A subsequent study in women found that those in the saffron group had higher levels of arousal and increased lubrication than those in the placebo group.
Nonetheless, studies on the aphrodisiac properties of saffron in people who are not depressed produce inconclusive results.