According to folklore, natural aphrodisiacs may help to raise libido and increase desire. They're being used by an increasing number of people to give their sex lives a boost.
But some of them may cause side effects or interact with medications and others haven't been proven. Here are the facts about 10 popular aphrodisiac herbs and supplements.
Ginseng is one of the bestselling herbs in the United States. In much of Asia, ginseng is prized as a revitalizer for the whole body, partly due to the human-like shape of the root. For more information about ginseng, read the Ginseng Fact Sheet.
2) Horny Goat Weed
According to folklore, horny goat weed's reputed aphrodisiac qualities were discovered when a Chinese goat herder noticed increased sexual activity in his flock[ after they ingested the weed. For more information about horny goat weed, read the Horny Goat Weed Fact Sheet.
Fo-ti is also called he shou wu, which means "black-haired Mr. He" in Chinese. This name refers to a legend of an older villager named Mr. He who took fo-ti and restored his black hair, youthful appearance and sexual vitality. For more information about fo-ti, read the Fo-Ti Fact Sheet.
L-arginine is not a herb but an amino acid that has numerous functions in the body. It has been used for erectile dysfunction and is often promoted as a Viagra alternative. For more information about L-arginine, read the L-Arginine Fact Sheet.
Damiana is a plant native to Mexico and the southern United States. It has been widely used as an aphrodisiac in Mexico for men and women. For more information about damiana, read the Damiana Fact Sheet.
6) Tribulus Terrestris
Tribulus terrestris is a herb that has been used in the traditional medicine of China and India for centuries. It was only in the mid-90s when Eastern European Olympic athletes claimed that tribulus contributed to their success that tribulus became known in the North America. For more information about tribulus, read the Tribulus Fact Sheet.
7) Tongkat Ali]
Tongkat Ali is a tree native to Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia. It was dubbed the "Asian Viagra" in a May 1999 report in the New Sunday Times. For more information about tongkat ali, read the Tongkat Ali.
According to folklore, ancient Incan warriors took maca before going off to battle to make them physically strong. However, they were later prohibited from taking it, in order to protect conquered women from their heightened libidos. For more information about maca, read the Maca Fact Sheet.
9) Muira Puama
Muira puama, also called "potency wood" is a small Brazilian tree that grows across the Amazon river basin. It has a long history of use in Brazilian folk medicine as an aphrodisiac. For more information about muira puama, read the Muira Puama Fact Sheet.
Yohimbe is an evergreen tree that grows in western Africa in Nigeria, Cameroon, the Congo and Gabon. Yohimbe bark extracts are widely promoted online and in health food stores as a natural aphrodisiac to increase libido and treat erectile dysfunction. For more information about yohimbe, read the Yohimbe Fact Sheet.