1. Deer antler velvet
In the spring, the antlers of deer are covered in a skin covering called antler velvet. During this time, rapid growth of the antlers occur, which have been recorded to be as fast as 2 cm a day, before later calcifying. This velvet has been used in Chinese medicine for hundreds, if not thousands of years for a wide range of diseases and uses. One of the most powerful, and popular uses is for sexual potency in both men and women. For men, deer antler velvet has been used to increase endurance, libido, and treat sexual dysfunction. Woman use it for menstruation or menopausal issues, and to increase fertility.
The mechanism of action is suggested to be through stress reducing abilities, and hormone balancing abilities. It is considered warming and stimulating in Chinese Medicine.
The North American Rocky Mountains has one of the highest concentrations of Deer in the world. Deer are very adaptable however, and can be found all over the world. New Zealand has extensive deer farms cultivating venison and deer antler velvet, and produces very high quality deer antler velvet.
2. Montanoa tomentosa
Contained in the family Asteraceae. This herb has been shown to act directly on the spinal system in charge of the ejaculation in mice, and has been suggested to produce its aphrodisiac effects through acting as an oxytocic agent (S. Kotta et al., 2013).
3. Cassytha spp.
The common name of this parasitic herb (Love vine), implies its traditional use. This herb is mainly used as a diuretic and to treat cancer, but also provides some additional effects as an aphrodisiac.
4. Lepidium meyenii
Lepidium meyenii is a root vegetable growing in the high Andean mountains. It has significant, well documented libido enhancing effects that likely stem from the abundance of hormone precursors, and alkaloids found in the plant. The constituents may also play a role in macas positive effects on spermatogenesis. This is one of the best herbs to take as a supplement to improve sperm quality and sperm count, thus directly increasing male fertility. Maca’s effects are best felt from long term treatment. (N. S. Chauhan et al., 2014; Taylor L. 2005).
5. Passiflora spp.
Passionflower has been used as an aphrodisiac by traditional medical systems in both North and South America (most notably by the Mayans). The leaves are used to make tea, and have been shown to increase sperm count, litter size, and overall sexual function in mice (Taylor L. 2005). Stress is a common cause of low sex drive. Passionflower has many effects to combat the effects of stress on the body, and may provide aphrodisiac properties through these effects on the body. By lowering the effect of stress on the body, sex drive is subsequently increased. (N. S. Chauhan et al., 2014).
Yohimbe is actually an alkaloid extracted from a variety of plants such as Pausinystalia yohimbe and Rauvolfia serpentina. How this alkaloid works is still unclear and can be dangerous if taken too much or too often. This herb is very useful for treating low libido, and prolonged orgasm, and has been shown to be effective in under an hour after consumption.
This herbal compound has been referred to as “herbal viagra’ due to its powerful effects against erectile dysfunction. It achieves this by dilating blood vessels, and increases the body's production of norepinephrine. These effects can be felt even by those with cardiac disease, and diabetes where the ED has been brought on by these disease processes (N. S. Chauhan et al., 2014; S. Kotta et al., 2013).
7. The Amazon Rainforest
The amazon isthe most diverse place on earth.
It comes to no surprise that this region is also amongst the most rich in aphrodisiac herbs.
A. Ptychopetalum olacoides (Muira Puama)
A. Muira puama (Ptychopetalum olacoides) is also referred to as Muira Puama, this herb has been shown to improve erection directly, and greatly improve libido. This is one of the most powerful, and safe, sexual potency herbs in the world. This herb works on men and women but is especially toning to the entire male system from the brain, to the penis.
B. Catuaba (Trichilia catigua/Erythroxylum catuaba). This herb has been used for centuries to increase sexual desire, and correct erectile dysfunction. In the Brazilian state of Minas there goes a saying “until a father reaches 60, the son is his; after that, the son is Catuabas!” (Taylor L. 2005).
C. Suma (Pfaffia paniculata), has been used as a sexual tonic by indigenous cultures for hundreds of years. The effects of this are likely due to the hormone balancing abilities of this herb in both men and women. (N. S. Chauhan et al., 2014; Taylor L. 2005).
D. Turnera diffusa (Damiana) has been used in traditional Amazonian medicine for hundreds of years for its aphrodisiac effects. The constituents often considered responsible for the effects are the flavonoids which have been compared to those contained in yohimbine. (N. S. Chauhan et al., 2014; S. Kotta et al., 2013).
E. Tynanthus panurensis (Clavo huasca) is another Amazonian aphrodisiac. This one works best on women, but has an effect on both sexes. For men, this herb has been used to treat weak erection, and to increase sexual desire. For women, the effects on sexual desire are suggested to be more pronounced. This herb is best taken as a tincture.
F. Jatropha macrantha otherwise known as “Huanarpo macho”, or “Peruvian viagra”, is specific for the male libido. This herb is very popular in Brazil and Peru, and is used to treat premature ejaculation, and erectile dysfunction. It has also been considered to stimulate sexual function in those with a low libido.
G. Rosewood (Aniba canelilla), is a tree growing in the Amazon rainforest with strong aphrodisiac effects, especially for women. The oil is used, and its scent alone is considered a powerful aphrodisiac. Traditionally it has been used in Northern South America and the rainforest to “reduce frigidity” in women. Unfortunately the destruction of many of these trees for their oil is controversial at best, and can be very damaging to this precious ecosystem.
H. The Amazon rainforest may quite possibly be the source of the highest concentration of sexual potency herbs in the world. Other herbs include Anacardium occidentale (Cashew), Paullinia cupana (Guarana), Brosimum acutifolium (Tamamuri), Siparuna guianensis (Picho huayo), Smilax spp. (Sarsaparilla) and many more.
8. Fadogia agrestis
This herb is related to the coffee plant (Coffea spp.) and possesses significant aphrodisiac effects. It has been shown to significantly increase serum testosterone concentrations, which would then have an effect on libido and sexual performance. (N. S. Chauhan et al., 2014; S. Kotta et al., 2013).
9. Phoenix dactylifera
Native to north Africa, this herb has been traditionally used to treat male infertility. The pollen of this tree is used, and has been shown to improve sperm count, motility, morphology, and DNA quality. An increase in the weight of the testis and epididymis was also noted. Through these actions this herb may be successfully used to treat male infertility. (S. Kotta et al., 2013).
10. Panax quinquefolius
Similar to Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng), American ginseng is a stimulant, with aphrodisiac effects. However it is not as strong in these effects as Asian ginseng. Of the 2, Asian ginseng is considered warming, or “yang” which has more of an effect on sexual potency and performance. American ginseng is considered more cooling, and “yin”, which still provides aphrodisiac effects, but less so. Some possible added effects on sexual potency and desire however may come along with the reduction of stress brought on with this herb. Due to the more cooling and yin nature, the reduction of stress is more effective from American ginseng than Asian. This is important to consider because stress has a well documented, negative effect on sexual performance and desire. (N. S. Chauhan et al., 2014).
11. Pinus spp.
Pine pollen is produced in huge quantities, by the male organs of the pine tree beginning in the spring season. Pine trees can fortunately be found all over the world in northern climates, and the pollen of all species can be used medicinally to combat low testosterone and libido. Pine pollen contains testosterone, which if taken internally will help to restore the estrogen/testosterone balance. Too low testosterone, or too high estrogen levels in the body can drastically reduce libido, and sexual performance. Especially in men. By restoring this balance, which has a natural decline with age, sexual performance, and desire can be improved. (Buhner, 2007).
12. Bulbine natalensis
The extract of this plant, has been well studied for its steroid like effects. It is purported to increase testosterone levels in mammals, which then has obvious effects on sexual function, especially in males. These effects have been confirmed by researchers in a study investigating the anabolic and androgenic effects of the stem extract in rats (M. T. Yakubu and A. J. Afolayan, 2010). The whole, unconcentrated plant has traditionally been used in Native African Cultures for its aphrodisiac effects, and to increase sexual desire and performance, and may be used to treat various sexual dysfunctions. (N. S. Chauhan et al., 2014).
13. Mondia whitei
Mondia whitei is found mainly in West Africa, and is used to treat erectile dysfunction, increase libido, and increase sperm count. The effects of this herb are suggested to be due to adrenergic properties. (N. S. Chauhan et al., 2014).
14. The Middle East
Most scholars believe humans originated somewhere in the periphery of the Middle East.
We’ve been living there for as long as we walked on two feet.
The middle east has an incredibly rich history with humans, and we’ve developed folklore around virtually all aspects of life.
Aphrodisiacs are especially rich in the folklore of this region, leading people to turn the lens of scientific research.
Unsurprisingly, we’ve found many species to have biomedically reasonable theories as to their aphrodisiac effects.
Here are some of the best.
A. Crocus sativus (Saffron)
B. Satureja khuzestanica (Jamzad)
C. Tribulus terrestris (Bindii)
A. Crocus sativus has been used as an aphrodisiac since ancient times. The active ingredient producing these effects is considered to be the chemical “crocin”. This herb is useful for increasing sexual desire, and treating mild erectile dysfunction. This herb has a long history of use but is mild in its effects compared to other herbs listed in this article. (N. S. Chauhan et al., 2014).
B. Satureja khuzestanica (Jamzad) is in the mint family (Lamiaceae), and as such releases a strong smelling volatile oil. This essential (volatile) oil, is what provides the effects related to sexual potency. It has been found in mice that this essential oil was able to protect the reproductive system of mice subjected to a toxic substance. Through antioxidant potential, and androgenic activity, it was able to protect testosterone levels, sperm motility, spermatogenesis, and prevent DNA damage. This same study also noted FSH and testosterone levels actually increased, and spermatogonium, spermatid cords, Leydig cells, and spermatozoids also increased in number with the application of this herb (S. Kotta et al., 2013).
C. Tribulus terrestris can be found in temperate, and tropical climates. This herb is great for improving sperm production to boost fertility, as well as increasing libido. It has also been shown to increase levels of testosterone, luteinizing hormone, dehydroepiandrosterone, dihydrotestosterone, and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate. [3, 4]
15. Withania somnifera
(Ashwagandha) (Indian ginseng)
This herb is best known for its use in the Ayurvedic medical system as an adaptogen and aphrodisiac. Some studies actually suggest antifertility effects, however this herb has been shown to improve spermatogenesis and thus fertility. These positive effects on spermatogenesis are most likely through testosterone-like effects and induction of NO synthase. .
Australasia is made up of thousands of islands, each more unique from the next.
There are hundreds of thousands of different species living in this region, many of which remain undiscovered.
Here are the ones that stand out for their aphrodisiac effects.
A. Terminalia catappa (Indian Almond)
B. Myristica fragrans (Nutmeg)
C. Eurycoma longifolia (Tongkat ali)
A. Terminalia catappa (Indian Almond) seeds are used as an aphrodisiac . This has been backed up by science through prolonged ejaculation latency in rats . This study however noted no effect on libido based on mounting percentage and ejaculation percentage. These results suggest that Terminalia catappa may be useful for certain types of sexual dysfunction such as premature ejaculation.
B. Myristica fragrans (Nutmeg) has traditionally been used as an aphrodisiac in Unani medicine, and for the treatment of male sexual disorders and dysfunction. In a study with mice, the application of nutmeg significantly improved mating performance. .
C. Eurycoma longifolia (Tongkat ali), an Indonesian, Vietnamese, Malaysian, and Laos native, has become famous as a symbol of man's strength and virility in Malaysian culture. This herb is suggested to increase male virility, and sexual performance. This has been backed up by science when researchers were able to show that E. longifolia extracts produce a dose dependant increase in the episodes of penile reflexes in mice. These reflexes are responsible for successful penile function. This shows that E. longifolia is able to increase the longevity of erection, and overall penile function in mice. [3, 4].
17. Ginkgo biloba
Ginkgo biloba has been used in China for over 2000 years. Although it has been used to improve vascular health for a very long time, it has only recently been used for sexual performance enhancement. According to C. M. Meston et al (2008), “Ginkgo biloba extract facilitates blood flow, influences nitric oxide systems, and has a relaxant effect on smooth muscle tissue”. These effects would have a positive effect on the sexual function in both males and females. It has been suggested (C. M. Meston et al., 2008) that these effects are more effective in females than in males.
18. Panax ginseng
This herb has been used as an aphrodisiac, and as a sort of “cure all” for many hundreds of years. Panax ginseng has effects on erection by influencing nitric oxide release in the corpus cavernosum. (N. S. Chauhan et al., 2014; S. Kotta et al., 2013).
19. Schizandra chinensis
This berry is referred to as the “5 flavor berries” when translated from its Chinese (Pinyin) name (Wu wei zi). This refers to the complex flavor associated with the berry. This herb is used in traditional Chinese medicine for many conditions, and is especially good for lung conditions, or to strengthen the immune system, however it also provides aphrodisiac effects and has been used as such for centuries in China. As an aphrodisiac, it has been used to increase the copulation times in males, and increase sensitivity of the vagina in females. Traditional Chinese medicine suggests that this berry contains the “quintessence of the five elements” (earth, water, fire, metal, wood), just as it contains the 5 flavors, which explains its high status as a tonic herb, and may explain some of its toning effects on sexual potency as well in TCM terms.
20. Epimedium grandiflorum
(Horny Goat Weed)
Epimedium was discovered as an aphrodisiac by a Chinese goat herder who noted significantly increased sexual activity of his herd after eating the plant. This has also led to its humorous and descriptive common name. The only problem with this herb is the low bioavailability of the constituents in the human gut (N. S. Chauhan et al., 2014). In Traditional Chinese Medicine this herb is used to increase yang energies, and is commonly used to treat male sexual performance.
21. Eleutherococcus senticosus
This herb is commonly used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to provide energy and vitality. It is considered an adaptogen, but ahs warm, stimulating properties. Eleutherococcus senticosus has been used to increase “sexual appetite”, and provide athletic endurance during copulation. Athletes actually use this herb to improve athletic performance, and speed healing. The USSR at one point administered a commercial preparation of the plant to factory workers to improve endurance and the overall health of the workers.
Comprehensive List Of Aphrodisiacs
- Anacardium occidentale (Cashew)
- Ananas comosus (Pineapple)
- Angelica sinensis (Dong quai)
- Aniba canelilla (Rosewood)
- Basella alba (Malabar Spinach)
- Brosimum acutifolium (Tamamuri)
- Bulbine natalensis (Ibhucu)
- Carica papaya (Papaya)
- Cassytha spp. (Love Vine)
- Citrullus lanatus (Watermelon)
- Cinnamomum verum (Cinnamon)
- Cordyceps sinensis (Cordyceps)
- Crocus sativus (Saffron)
- Cuscuta chinensis (Chinese dodder)
- Deer antler velvet
- Dioscorea opposita (Chinese yam)
- Durio zibethinus (Durian)
- Dendrobium spp. (Dendrobium)
- Eleutherococcus senticosus (Siberian Ginseng)
- Epimedium grandiflorum (Horny Goat Weed)
- Erythroxylum catuaba (Catuaba)
- Eurycoma longifolia (Tongkat ali)
- Fadogia agrestis (Black Aphrodisiac)
- Fallopia multiflora (ho shou wu)
- Ginkgo biloba (Ginkgo)
- Hibiscus macranthus (Hibiscus?)
- Jatropha macrantha (Huanarpo macho)
- Lepidium meyenii (Maca)
- Massularia acuminata (Pako Ijebu)
- Mondia whitei (White Ginger)
- Montanoa tomentosa (Zoapatle)
- Myristica fragrans (Nutmeg)
- Panax ginseng (Asian ginseng)
- Panax quinquefolius (American Ginseng)
- Passiflora spp. (Passionflower)
- Paullinia cupana (Guarana)
- Pausinystalia yohimbe (Yohimbe)
- Pfaffia paniculata (Suma)
- Phoenix dactylifera (Date Palm)
- Pinus spp. (Pine Pollen)
- Piper guineense (Ashanti Pepper)
- Prunus persica (Peach)
- Ptychopetalum olacoides (Muira Puama)
- Rauvolfia serpentina (Yohimbe)
- Rehmannia glutinosa (chinese foxglove)
- Satureja khuzestanica (Jamzad)
- Schizandra chinensis (Schizandra berry)
- Siparuna guianensis (Picho huayo)
- Smilax spp. (Sarsaparilla)
- Terminalia catappa (Indian Almond)
- Tribulus terrestris (Bindii)
- Trichilia catigua (Catigua)
- Turnera diffusa (Damiana)
- Tynanthus panurensis (Clavo Huasca)
- Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha)
- Zingiber officinalis (Ginger)
Buhner, S. H. (2007). The natural testosterone plan: For sexual health and energy. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.
M. T. Yakubu and A. J. Afolayan. (2010). Anabolic and androgenic activities of Bulbine natalensis stem in male Wistar rats. Pharmaceutical Biology. 48(5). 568-576.
Chauhan, N. S., Sharma, V., Dixit, V. K., & Thakur, M. (2014). A review on plants used for improvement of sexual performance and virility. BioMed research international, 2014.
Kotta, S., Ansari, S. H., & Ali, J. (2013). Exploring scientifically proven herbal aphrodisiacs. Pharmacognosy reviews, 7(13), 1.
Taylor, L. (2005). The healing power of rainforest herbs: A guide to understanding and using herbal medicinals. Garden City Park, NY: Square One Publishers.
W. D. Ratnasooriya and M. G. Dharmasiri. (2000). Effects of Terminalia catappa seeds on sexual behaviour and fertility of male rats. Asian J Androl. 2(3). 213-219.