Before Viagra, the natural world was scoured for aphrodisiacs from tiger’s dick to jackal’s bile, from ginseng to horny goat weed.
Unfortunately, the area of sexuality is a prime target for scam artists, and there are many ‘natural’ products sold which are as likely to give you ‘the horn’ as a soggy sock in a hail storm.
Nevertheless, there is never smoke without fire, and many herbal aphrodisiacs have retained their reputation for hundreds of years. For a plant to claim to have libidinous powers it must lay claim to one or more of the following attributes, to be able to: influence testosterone, increase circulation, and reduce stress.
Firstly, testosterone, the ‘male’ hormone is the molecule that makes us frisky. If a plant increases the level of testosterone then this is likely to give a boost in the gonadal department. Testosterone is not just for boys, it’s what gets girls going too. Although women don’t produce a lot of testosterone (about one thirtieth that of men) it is responsible for more than its fair share of sex drive. Plants that can increase testosterone in men and women include: Panax ginseng, saw Palmetto, tribulus, sarsaparilla and damiana.
Secondly: circulation. A significant factor in impotence, but also important for sexual desire and arousal, is getting blood flow to the areas of interest, namely the clitoris, vagina and penis. Of course if you are going to stimulate blood flow you can’t just direct it to one area, women in particular often become flushed with sexual excitement. By increasing blood flow to the genital areas, the surrounding tissue becomes engorged making them more sensitive to external stimulation. The plants that assist here include: Prickly ash, ginkgo biloba, chilli, ginger and horny goat weed (Epimedium grandiflorum).
And thirdly, an adrenal tonic: These aphrodisiacs will work more for the person whose libido has sunk under a truckload of stress. Overwork and not enough hours in the day are common reasons why libido is low all over town. By boosting the adrenals we may ignite that sexual spark again. The logic here is that the more you support the adrenal gland, the more likely that cholesterol will be converted into testosterone rather than cortisol, the stress hormone. Plants useful here include licorice, Siberian and panax ginseng, withania and kava.
So…give your libido a pick-me-up and share a cup or two of aphrodisiac tea with your partner… and have a frisky night in.