This is Part Two of How to Use Herbal Aphrodisiacs. Please read the information contained in Part One before using any herbal aphrodisiacs.
Herbal Aphrodisiacs Continued:
Latin Name: Ptychopetalum olacoides
Other names: Potency Wood
Part Used: Bark
Description: Muira puama is a small tree found in the Amazon rainforest of Brazil. Muira puama is often confused with the species Liriosma ovata which is commonly sold as muira puama, but Lirisoma ovata has no relation to Ptychopetalum olacoides, which is the true muira puama.
History: Muira puama has been used for centuries by Brazilian natives and has been documented in books as an aphrodisiac since 1930. It has traditionally been used in the form of a strong decoction or by rubbing the bark directly on the genitals.
Aphrodisiac Properties: Muira puama increases sexual desire, thoughts, and fantasies, and enhances sensuality and satisfaction. It improves function and the ability to reach orgasm and can even strengthen the intensity of orgasm. Muira puama is used by both men and women.
Muira puama is often compared to yohimbe, but is more gentle in action and does not have the same adverse side effects as yohimbe Research has proven muira puama to be more effective in treating impotence than the pharmaceutical drug yohimbine hydrochloride.
Other Uses: Muira puama aids in the prevention and treatment of baldness, menstrual cramps, digestive problems, rheumatism, fatigue and muscle weakness. It protects the nervous system and is used to treat nervous exhaustion and other disorders of the central nervous system. Is reported to improve mood and general well-being and can relieve depression and stress. Muira puama is also shown to improve visual clarity.
Dose & Usage: In powdered form 1-2g is an effective dose. It may take a few days to get results, and only mild effects may be felt in the beginning, but within a few weeks, full effects will be experienced.
Muira puama will be more effective in tincture form or as a decoction because some of the constituents are extracted only by alcohol or by boiling the root for 20 minutes. Many report effects from powder and capsule forms of Muira Puama, yet some sources claim that there is no effect from taking these forms. Since individual chemistry and sensitivities vary, if the powdered form is not producing results then try taking muira puama as a tincture or decoction.
Muira puama is often found in combination formulas and has a history of being combined with catuaba.
General Safety, Cautions & Side Effects: Muira puama may cause insomnia in some individuals, but otherwise no other adverse effects have been reported. Muira puama has not been formally studied for its long-term effects, but it is considered one of the most effective and harmless herbal aphrodisiacs.
Latin Name: Rhodiola rosea
Other names: Golden root, Rose root, Arctic root, Arctic rose, Aaron’s rod
Part Used: Root
Description: Rhodiola is a perennial plant with yellow flowers. Rhodiola gets its name from the Greek word “rhodon” which means rose because the roots have a taste and smell similar to roses. Rhodiola rosea grows in the arctic regions of Siberia. Many other species of rhodiola grow throughout the world, but it is only Rhodiola rosea that contains a group of constituents called “rosavins” which are what give rhodiola it’s adaptogenic properties.
History: Rhodiola has long been valued in many parts of Asia where it is taken as a general tonic and for its ability to increase endurance and restore sex drive. Its use has been documented as far back as 77 A.D. and is reported to have been used by Vikings and Chinese Emperors.
Aphrodisiac Properties: Siberians have always regarded rhodiola as a powerful herbal aphrodisiac, but it is an aphrodisiac because of its ability to increase energy, endurance, and stamina, rather than from a direct effect on the sexual organs. Rhodiola is shown to have a slightly stimulating effect on the body and mind, providing a pleasant boost in sexual performance. Rhodiola is an adaptogenic herb which helps to relieve stress and combat fatigue. When stress levels are high, sex drive is low. Rhodiola is a restorative herb that is best used in cases where sexual function or desire is lost due to stress, exhaustion, or illness. In such cases, it can help a person recover their sexual function, boost their desire, and enhance the overall sexual experience. Rhodiola is also shown to increase fertility.
Other Uses: Rhodiola is a powerful adaptogen and is often taken as a tonic to promote the overall health and well-being of the body and mind. It reduces stress and can help restore one’s nervous system after periods of exhaustion, and can also assist in regaining strength after illness. Rhodiola reduces fatigue and has anti-depressant properties. Rhodiola has a slightly stimulating effect and increases concentration. It is often used in cases where increased mental or physical performance is needed, and also used in athletics for increased energy and endurance.
Many studies have been done on Rhodiola but mostly for its effects on mental and physical performance, rather than it’s aphrodisiac properties.
Dose & Usage: Rhodiola can be used on a regular basis, a typical dose is 200-600mg.
Latin Name: Asparagus racemosus
Other names: Asparagus, Wild asparagus, Asparagus root
Part Used: Root
Description: Shatavari is a creeping plant found in forests throughout Indian. In Sanskrit shatavari means “she who possess a hundred husbands.
History: Shatavari has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for over 5000 years. It has always been considered an aphrodisiac and an excellent tonic for women.
Aphrodisiac Properties: Shatavari boosts female sex drive and is an excellent tonic for a woman’s body. In Ayurveda it is considered the most important herb for women, having similar effects to ashwagandha in men. Shatavari helps to regenerate the entire body, bringing vitality and increasing energy. It promotes the overall wellness of mind and body. Shatavari also strengthens and nourishes the reproductive system and balances female hormones. Mentally it helps to calm the mind and deepen feelings of love and compassion.
Although Shatavari is praised as a herb for women, it is also reported to increase male sex drive and sperm production and may help in treating impotence.
Other Uses: Because of its tonic effects on the female reproductive system, shatavari can help to balance hormones, ease symptoms of PMS and menopause, and provide relief for women after a hysterectomy. It is also shown to reduce inflammation of female sex organs and minimizes blood loss during menstruation. It increases fertility and production of breast milk. Shatavari can help ease symptoms of pregnancy-related tiredness and morning sickness and even decrease the threat of miscarriage. It is commonly used to strengthen the mother’s body after childbirth.
In males, shatavari also strengthen the sexual organs and reduces inflammations in the reproductive system.
Shatavari is an adaptogen or rejuvenating tonic. It increases overall energy and strengthens the immune system. It slows aging and helps in cases of malnourishment. It has beneficial effects in the digestive tract, relieving diarrhea, IBS, dysentery, hyperacidity, and ulcers. Shatavari may have anti-cancer effects.
Shatavari is a diuretic and is useful in treating bladder infections and cystitis. It soothes and balances bodily fluids, moisturizing dry mucous membranes of vagina, mouth, respiratory tract. Shatavari is also said to have painkilling properties, to cleanse the blood, and to ease the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.
It is stabilizing for the mind and emotions, builds love and devotion and can relieve both over-activity and lethargy.
Dose & Usage: Shatavari can be taken as a powder usually in a dose of 3-6g. More traditional ways of taking shatavari include decoction or juice from the fresh roots.
Latin Name: Pfaffia paniculata
Other names: Pfaffia, Para toda, Brazilian ginseng (although not related to the ginseng family in any way).
Part Used: Root
Description: Suma is a ground vine with an extensive root system that grows in the Amazon rainforests of Southern Brazil, Venezuela, Peru, Paraguay, and Ecuador. Suma has been referred to as “para toda” meaning “for all things” because of its use in treating many ailments.
History: Suma has a history of being used by natives of the Amazon as a tonic, a cure for various illness, and as an aphrodisiac.
Aphrodisiac Properties: The Libido enhancing properties of suma are subtle, and it is more of an adaptogenic tonic increasing overall vitality and stamina. Its energy enhancing properties are more relaxed and less jolting than most aphrodisiac herbs. Suma also helps to calm the nerves and has a pleasant effect on mood, which is beneficial in cases where stress is diminishing sexual desire.
Other Uses: Suma tones, balances and strengthens the body, stimulates the immune system and aids muscle growth. It is energizing, rejuvenating, and increases overall well-being.
Suma has been used to treat sickle cell anemia, chronic fatigue, and general tiredness. It helps to stabilize blood sugar levels, and lower cholesterol. Because of its estrogenic properties, suma may be beneficial in treating hormonal disorders in women. Suma oxygenates and protects the cells and is reported to have beneficial effects in treating cancer leukemia, and reducing tumors. Suma is also shown to have anti-inflammatory effects.
Dose & Usage: 1-2g of the powdered root can be taken daily. It is best to split the dose in two and take half in the morning and half in the afternoon. Alternatively, suma can be taken as a decoction; one cup twice per day.
The effects of suma are quite subtle, so it is best used by people who are more sensitive to the effects of herbs. Those who need a stronger jolt to get their sex drive going may not appreciate suma. It is good to combine suma with other herbal aphrodisiacs such as catuaba or muira puama for stronger, more broad effects.
General Safety, Cautions & Side Effects: No side effects or reactions to suma have been discovered. Long-term effects are not known because it is a less commonly used herb with not many studies done on it.
Latin Name: Tribulus terrestris
Other names: Goat’s head, Puncture vine, Caltrops, Gokshura, Ji li (Pinyin), Bai ji li,
Part Used: Fruit
Description: Tribulus grows wild throughout the world including areas of North and South America, Australia, Africa, India, Asia the Middle East and Europe. It is a small plant the produces very spiky fruits that look similar to a caltrop – a spiked weapon used in Ancient Rome.
History: Tribulus has been used successfully in the folk medicine of many cultures for many centuries to treat various ailments.
Aphrodisiac Properties: Tribulus increases the level of testosterone, an important hormone for sexual arousal in both men and women. It also decreases levels of prolactin in women; high levels of prolactin are associated with decreased libido.
Tribulus has a moderate effect on enhancing libido and sexual sensitivity, giving more arousal and increased sexual thoughts. It increases nitric oxide levels which increases blood flow to the genitals allowing for greater ease in obtaining and sustaining an erection.
Other Uses: Tribulus is a well-known diuretic. It is used to treat kidney stones and is an effective kidney tonic. It lowers blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and cholesterol. There is evidence that Tribulus may reduce angina. Tribulus is shown to have anti-microbial and anti-tumor properties.
Because of its testosterone enhancing effects, Tribulus is used in many bodybuilding formulas.
Dose & Usage: Tribulus is effective in doses of 1-3g. It usually takes 3-4 days to start feeling effects. In some people, it may work on the first day of use, but the effects will be stronger after a few days of use.
Latin Name: Eurycoma longifolia
Other names: Long jack, Pasak bumi, Asian Viagra
Part Used: Root
Description: Tongkat ali is a tree grown only in the wild and can be found in Malaysia, Thailand, Burma and Indonesia. The tree needs to be at least five years old before harvesting the roots. Tongkat ali trees are becoming more and more rare as they are often over-harvested to keep up with the popular demand of products containing this ingredient.
History: Tongkat ali has a long history of medicinal use in parts of Asia. The first recorded documents about the use of Tongkat ali are from1822; before then appears to have been unknown in the West. In modern day, Tongkat ali is a well-known plant throughout the world and is extremely popular in parts of Asia. Tongkat ali is found as an ingredient in hundreds of products sold throughout Malaysia.
Aphrodisiac Properties: Tongkat ali has a reputation for being a very powerful aphrodisiac. It is one of the few herbal aphrodisiacs which works almost immediately after ingestion. Tongkat ali gives a longer lasting erection, more energy and a boost in sex drive. It increases the general interest in sex and the frequency of sexual thoughts. It is found to increase testosterone levels up to four times by stimulating its production in the Leydig cells of the testicles. Research has shown that Tongkat ali can increase the size of the male sexual organs and increase sperm count. Tongkat ali is generally used more by men, but increases libido in women as well.
Other Uses: Tongkat ali is primarily known as an aphrodisiac, but also commonly used as an energy booster and a tonic. Tongkat ali increases alertness and may also improve mood. It is often used by bodybuilders because it’s testosterone enhancing properties help them to improve strength and gain muscle mass. Tongkat ali is also known to have anti-aging, antioxidant, anti-viral, and anti-cancer effects and is traditionally used to treat malaria and reduce fever.
Dose & Usage: A typical dose of Tongkat ali is 500mg -1g of the raw powder. It can take a few hours to a half day before effects are felt, so it is best taken in the morning. Effects usually last all day and may even last up to two days. Because Tongkat ali works quickly, it should be taken only when needed. Tongkat ali can have side effects, so it is best to take the lowest dose possible to produce the desired effect. It should be used a maximum of two to-3x a week.
Tongkat ali can be combined with Yohimbe, another fast-acting aphrodisiac, to increase effectiveness. Both herbs should be tried separately before using in combination because both are very powerful and may have side effects.
General Safety, Cautions & Side Effects: High doses of Tongkat ali may be overstimulating and cause restlessness, anxiety, or insomnia. A lower dose should not have these effects in most people. Higher doses also may cause a slight increase in body temperature.
Use of Tongkat ali may cause a decrease in blood sugar levels. People with a weakened immune system or who are on immunosuppressant drugs should not take Tongkat ali, as it may further weaken the immune system. Tongkat ali should not be used by anyone with prostate cancer, breast cancer, diabetes, heart disease, liver disease or kidney disease.
Tongkat ali has been subjected to a lot of marketing controversy from various online suppliers. There is a lot of biased information regarding the products, and sometimes fraudulent products are sold. Some products listed as containing Tongkat ali are adulterated with cheap pharmaceuticals. Genuine Tongkat ali has become scarce and is expensive to purchase. It grows only in the wild and is often over-harvested. If purchasing Tongkat ali find a product that is licensed and registered with the country’s health department rather than just any product from a marketing site.
If buying an extract of Tongkat ali avoid ones that are made with alcohol, hexane or acetone because these may contain toxic compounds in unacceptable levels for consumption.
Latin Name: Pausinystalia yohimbe
Common Names: Aphrodyne, Johimbi, Yocon
Part Used: Bark
Description: Yohimbe is a tall evergreen tree found in parts of Africa including the Congo, Cameroon, Ghana, and Nigeria.
History: Tea made from Yohimbe bark has been used for centuries in Africa and has been widely accepted as an aphrodisiac and even historically used in lengthy mating rituals of the Bantu tribe.
Aphrodisiac Properties: The active ingredient in Yohimbe is called yohimbine, and most of the modern research has been done on yohimbine, not the whole bark. Yohimbine has been proven by science to improve sexual desire and satisfaction, give a stronger erection, and treat male impotence especially when psychological factors are involved. Yohimbine hydrochloride is available as a prescription medication for dysfunction.
Yohimbe bark is often used to provide the same proven effects of the drug yohimbine. Yohimbe quickly stimulates the central nervous system specifically the nerves of the lower spine and causes dilation of the blood vessels in the penis which promote a firm erection. It is useful to enhance and prolong erections and to cure impotence.
Yohimbe stimulates the release of norepinephrine and dopamine which contribute to sexual interest and arousal. Yohimbe is also known to increase pleasure during sexual intercourse due to its effects on circulation in the area of the genitals.
Although used more often by men, Yohimbe also works as a sexual stimulant in women. It increases circulation to the clitoris, promotes vaginal response to sexual stimulation, heightens the sensitivity of the nipples, and may also help to get one in the mood.
Other Uses: Yohimbe increases salivary flow and is useful in cases of dry mouth. Yohimbe has been studied for its effects on reducing body fat and for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder and cancer. It is also reported to help relieve nerve pain in diabetics.
Dose & Usage: Because of its long list of potential side effects, stick to a dose of 100-250mg. Start with a small dose of 100mg of the powdered bark and work up gradually if effects are not noticed. Keep in mind that more may not necessarily be better, some sources say that lower doses are actually more effective than larger doses of Yohimbe.
Yohimbine the separated compound is sold as a pharmaceutical drug and is usually found in a dose of about 5mg. This is already a high dose and would equal the yohimbine present in about 500-600mg of the bark. In any case, it is better to work with the natural form than the isolated compound.
Natural Yohimbe can be taken in powder form, as a tea, or as a standardized extract. Pay attention to the alkaloid content in the extracts, the more alkaloids it contains, the more potent the extract will be, and you will need to take less to get the desired effects. Taking Yohimbe with the amino acid L-arginine is said to increase its effectiveness, but it is best to try it on its own first to get a feel for its specific effects.
Yohimbe is fast acting, and often effects can be noticed in as little as 1-1.5 hours after ingestion. Take it a few hours before intercourse and the effects will last several hours.
Since it works quickly, it is best to take Yohimbe only when needed, avoiding excessive use. Do not take Yohimbe on a daily or long-term basis because of the potential side effects.
General Safety, Cautions & Side Effects: Yohimbe is safe in lower doses for most users. Side effects from doses less than 250mg are rarely reported. Doses over 300mg can cause rapid heartbeat, hyper-stimulation, anxiety, nervousness, panic attacks, sleeplessness, dizziness, headache, blurred vision, nausea, abdominal pain, sweating, an increase in body temperature, and an increase in blood pressure. Side effects go away once the use of Yohimbe is discontinued.
Yohimbe should not be taken when driving or operating machinery. And should be used with caution in those with a medical condition. Yohimbe should not be taken by people with high blood pressure, psychiatric disorders, diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease or heart disease. Yohimbe should also be avoided by anyone on MAO inhibitors, anti-depressants, sedatives, tranquilizers, antihistamines, amphetamines, caffeine or other stimulants. Do not take Yohimbe with foods that contain the amino acid tyramine. The combination may cause an increase in blood pressure. Sources of tyramine include aged cheeses, beer, wine, bread, preserved meats, soy sauce and raisins.
Latin Name: Ferula hermonis
Other names: Shirsh zallouh, Lebanese Viagra, Nature’s Viagra
Part Used: Root
Description: Zallouh grows 2000m above sea level on Mount Hermoun which is located on the borders of Israel, Lebanon, and Syria. It is a small shrub with tiny white flowers. Zallouh is close in relation to the spices galbanum (Ferula galbaniflua) and asafoetida (Ferula asafetida) as is often confused with these species. Zallouh can also be confused with the species Ferula communis which is considered toxic; for this reason, zallouh should not be picked wild unless you know how to differentiate the species.
History: Zallouh has been used in the Middle East since ancient times as a stimulant and aphrodisiac.
Aphrodisiac Properties: Zallouh is used by both men and women to increase pleasure, sex drive, sexual performance and the desire to make love for longer periods. Zallouh is commonly used to treat male impotence. It increases the blood supply to the genitals, giving firmer erections and increasing the ability to obtain erections.
Other Uses: Zallouh is rich in anti-oxidants, and can slow the aging process. Some sources claim that it has adaptogenic properties similar to rhodiola and ashwagandha but these effects do not seem to be well-studied.
Dose & Usage: Recommended doses range from 2-8g. It is best to start on the low end and increase by 1g daily until effects are felt. Zallouh is traditionally taken as a tea, but it is also available as extracts or in capsules.
General Safety, Cautions & Side Effects: Safe for use in most people but may cause flushing or headaches in higher doses. Zallouh should not be taken by those with high blood pressure or heart disease and should not be taken in high doses for extended periods of time. High doses may cause a decrease in fertility.
- Christopher Kilham, Hot Plants: Nature’s Proven Sex Boosters for Men and Women
- Ray Sahelian, Natural Sex Boosters: Supplements That Enhance Stamina, Sensation, and Sexuality for Men and Women
- Nancy L. Nickell, Nature’s Aphrodisiacs
- Vasant Lad, The Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine
- Ben-Erik Van Wyk, Medicinal Plants of the World
- Deni Bown, New Encyclopedia of Herbs & Their Uses
- Rain-tree.com: Tropical Plant Database
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