Do sexual stimulants really enhance a man’s libido?
Sexual stimulants are popular in the Middle East. When doing research for our recent article on the topic of Halal sexual aids geared to the Muslim communities, we noticed an emphasis on libido enhancers for both males and females on the sites we reviewed.
These came with a variety of claims: Such intimacy aids were said to ensure overall health, enhance libido, increase mental and sexual energy, etc. Nothing novel here: the idea of boosting sexual wellbeing with natural foods is an ancient one, and aphrodisiacs have a long and venerated, sometimes controversial, history (and reputation).
That is why we consulted various sources to find out about the most commonly listed ingredients in supplements geared towards men (Don’t worry ladies – we’ll get to your needs in the next installment of Green Love). Which herbs, vitamins and minerals really compliment a man’s vitality, or are the benefits all in his head?
The Eco-Sexy Benefits From Arginine to Zinc
Below is a list of the most popular natural enhancers. Please note: The information is for your personal use, and is in no way intended to substitute for professional medical advice. When in doubt, follow the links to learn more about each supplement. In some cases, we found conflicting information, which isn’t surprising given the ambivalence in some parts of the medical community to conduct scientifically robust studies on the use of sexual stimulants. Please consult your personal physician before you use any of these, particularly if you have a pre-exisiting condition exacerbated by intimate activities.
Arginine: “This amino acid, one of the building blocks of protein, is promoted to cure impotence, among many other things. It does boost levels of nitric oxide, which dilates blood vessels and increases blood flow – and this, in theory, may improve erections. This is similar to what Viagra does. But it’s unknown whether enough of the supplemental arginine gets into the penis to make a difference. Indeed, at least two studies have found little or no improvement compared with a placebo.” (Source)
Chinese Dodder: “Chinese dodder seed acts as an aphrodisiac and increases fertility. It has been used to treat premature ejaculation and impotence. There are no known side effects when using Chinese dodder seed.” (Source)
“This herb is a noted aphrodisiac (arouse sexual desire), demulcent (soothing), and diaphoretic. It is particularly used in the treatment of impotence, nocturnal emissions, premature ejaculation, vertigo, lumbago, frequent urination, decreased eyesight, and chronic diarrhea. Also used to nourish sperm, increase fertility, and is listed as a sexual enhancer in all traditional Chinese pharmacopoeias. It is widely used to improve vision, strengthen bones and sinews and to improve overall sexual functions.” (Source)
Damiana: “When Damiana’s ability to cure sexually related ailments had been scientifically qualified western medicine became interested in Damiana. The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia suggests Damiana for “anxiety neurosis with a predominant sexual factor, depression, nervous dyspepsia, atonic constipation, and coital inadequacy.” Damiana has also shown strong effects in animal testing. Rats who were previously “sexually sluggish” or impotent increased their mating behaviors and became more fertile and virulent after ingesting Damiana extracts. However, already sexually healthy rats showed no difference after eating Damiana.” (Source)
Fenugreek: “Fenugreek has been recognized as a medicinal plant for centuries. The Egyptians, Greeks and Romans used the aromatic seeds extensively. Traditional Chinese herbalists used fenugreek for male reproductive issues and kidney problems. It is interesting to note that in Chinese medicine the kidneys are considered to be the area where sexual energy is stored. Fenugreek lowers blood sugar, probably by increasing tissue insulin sensitivity. The rich combination of nutrients in Fenugreek include the steroidal saponin diosgenin, choline , trimethylamine (a sex hormone in frogs), Vitamins A, B 2, B 6, B 12, D, and essential oils. Diosgenin is an important precursor for the synthesis of a number of sex hormones, and also exhibits estrogenic effects. The aromatic compounds in the fenugreek seeds have a maple-syrup like odor, which freshens the breath; an added advantage in sexual encounters.” (Source)
Maca: “Maca is a cruciferous vegetable like Kale and Broccoli, that grows in the Andes Mountains in Peru. Native people dig up the root-like tuber and brew it into a strong drink. Both men and women partake of this brew shortly before going off in couples for connubial enjoyment. Incan warriors used maca before battle to increase strength and endurance. Laboratory studies have shown a significant increase in sexual function in rodents. Maca is high in essential fatty acids, minerals such as phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and zinc, along with vitamins B, C and E, various phytosterols, and other nutritional factors known for their importance to sexual function.” (Source)
Red Kwao Krua: “The raw extract from the root of Red Kwao Krua contains flavonoids and flavonoid glycosides demonstrating comparable benefit as that of the pill Viagra (TM), without any of the side effects. Studies revealed a strong vasodilatation effect, via production of nitric oxide. Enzymatic tests have shown Red Kwao Krua to be a potent inhibitor of c-AMP Phosphodiesterase which reacts directly at the corpus cavernosum in the penis enhancing blood flow to that area creating a more frequent, longer lasting, stronger male sexual arousal period.” (Source)
Yohimbe: “Made from bark of a West African tree, this has been used as an aphrodisiac for centuries and, in pre-Viagra days, was sometimes prescribed to treat erectile dysfunction (the extract is called yohimbine). It dilates blood vessels and increases blood flow, and thus, it’s thought, may improve erections. It has been shown to increase sexual arousal in rats, but has had mixed results in human studies.
Its side effects include a boost in blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, nausea, anxiety and sleeplessness. It is unsafe and ineffective, according to the Food and Drug Administration and the German commission that reviews herbal treatments. On top of that, an FDA test found that most yohimbe supplements contain little or none of it.” (Source)
Zinc: “This is perhaps the most important single nutrient for a man’s sexuality. It is crucial for the production of sperm and seminal fluid. Clinical studies show that men who supplement zinc experience a dramatic increase in testosterone levels. Zinc also reduces the pituitary’s formation of prolactin, a hormone that stops testosterone production.” (Source)
Once you do your research and decide that one or more of these vitamins, minerals or herbs are an appropriate addition to your vitality, it behooves us to leave you with one final reminder: Do your best to use organic and sustainably harvested supplements. It does a sexy man’s body, and the environment, good.
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Image via vramak