Now, we all know that there are plenty of medications out there to help us in the junk department. However, we also know that many of us would prefer to find a more natural alternative that was easily accessible and more discreet than the other options.
It is then no surprise that we look for ways to boost our libido. Research has shown that there are many foods and supplements that may give your sex drive a boost, as well as treat to ED (erectile dysfunction) if it’s a problem you’re having.
We’re going to cover plenty of foods and supplements that may help give your sex drive that kick it’s been needing. So, let’s get to it.
1. Red ginseng
Ginseng, particularly red ginseng, might help in boosting your low libido and enhancing your sexual function.
Red ginseng can possibly increase the production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a compound that helps aid blood circulation and relaxes the muscles in your penis. Research has shown that this herb is more effective as an erectile function enhancer, rather than a placebo.
Also Read: Is ED an early warning sign?
A review of almost 600 men suffering from mild to moderate erectile dysfunction (ED) found that red ginseng improved their sexual function and satisfaction in sex, more so than the placebo.
However, as the effects were still small and the study wasn’t the greatest quality, we’re not sure how trustworthy the data can be.
It’s also worth noting that whilst red ginseng is most well-tolerated, it’s possible to experience side effects such as headaches or an upset stomach.
Red ginseng can intervene with blood-thinning medications like warfarin. So, if you’re taking blood thinners, it would be a good idea to speak to your doctor before taking this, or any other supplements.
So, fenugreek is a popular herb typically used in alternative medicines to boost libido and better your sexual function. It contains a compound our bodies use to produce the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone.
A 12-week-long study discovered that men who were taking a 600mg fenugreek supplement on a daily basis experienced improved sexual function and higher testosterone levels.
However, it’s best to take these results with a pinch of salt as it is still unknown whether this testosterone increase is clinically significant.
Further study is needed to ascertain all potential benefits between fenugreek and libido.
Again, if you’re someone on blood-thinning medication, please seek professional advice before making any decisions on taking supplements
Saffron is a spice that comes from a flower called Crocus sativus. It has many uses from reducing stress to acting as an aphrodisiac. It has been known to be especially effective for those who are taking antidepressant medications.
There has also been some research to show that saffron may improve sexual dysfunction caused by antidepressants.
In addition, there have been studies reporting that saffron has improved erectile function, sexual desire and heightened sexual satisfaction.
However, there were faults found in the methods of study, which have weakened the findings, leaving us unsure of how effective saffron can really be.
Maca, or lepidium meyenii, is a root vegetable often used to enhance libido and fertility. It can be purchased in several forms including capsules, powders and liquid extracts.
A 12-week study found that 42% of men that took 1500-3000mg of maca on a daily basis experienced an increased sex drive.
Additionally, according to this particular study, maca may also act as a natural aphrodisiac and help in treating ED, but again, further research is required.
There is some evidence to suggest that maca may help to fight back against a low sex drive that has occurred as a side effect of taking certain anti-depressants.
Most of the research so far has discovered that taking 1.5-3.5 grams daily for 2-12 weeks was enough to notice a boost in sex drive.
Tribulus, also known as Tribulus Terrestris, is a small, leafy plant whose roots and fruit are used typically in traditional Chinese medicine. It is also hugely popular as a supplement taken by athletes and sports professionals and usually sold as a testosterone booster.
Whilst there are no human studies that have shown an increase in testosterone levels, it does appear to boost sex drive for both men and women. We’re not able to draw any further conclusions as there were no placebos given during the study.
There are plenty of mixed results from studies around Tribulus so we’re not 100% certain of its effectiveness.
One older study found that an 800mg daily dose for 30 days didn’t show any improvements in the men’s ED symptoms.
At the same time, another study found that taking 1500mg each day for 90 days did enhance erections as well as sexual desire.
6. Gingko Biloba
Ginkgo biloba is yet another herbal supplement that’s typically used in traditional Chinese medicine.
There has been some research to indicate that it may help treat various sexual disorders such as low sex drive and erectile dysfunction.
Much like red ginseng, this is because it can increase the level of nitric oxide in the blood, allowing for better blood flow and expansion of the blood vessels.
It has been found that when you combine ginkgo biloba with the likes of L-arginine, zinc and Tribulus, the supplements containing ginkgo biloba may boost sex drive and sexual function.
Now, L-citrulline is an amino acid that our bodies naturally produce. With this we then convert this into L-arginine, which helps improve blood flow by producing nitric oxide which then dilates your blood vessels. In turn, you may find this treats or at least reduce your ED symptoms.
A small study of only 24 men with mild ED, or other conditions that affect erections such as high blood pressure and diabetes, found that 1.5 grams of L-citrulline a day substantially improved symptoms in 50% of the participants after 30 days.
L-citrulline can be taken as a supplement such as a powder or a capsule form. Not only that, but it’s also naturally present in foods like nuts, dark chocolate and watermelon.
Other foods that act as an aphrodisiac
There are plenty of other foods out there that may boost your sex drive. However, we’re unsure of the amount of evidence regarding how effective they are. Some of these foods are:
- Nuts – especially the likes of pistachio, may boost libido
- Oysters – may boost sex drive and increase the production of male sex hormones
- Coffee – as it contains caffeine and polyphenols, which some studies have linked to ED
- Chocolate – there isn’t much to support this but chocolate is widely believed to be an aphrodisiac
- Horny goat weed – a herb containing compounds that may affect the blood flow to the penis, improving sexual function
- Watermelon – is a good source of L-citrulline, as we mentioned earlier
When to be concerned
Typically, erectile dysfunction (ED) can be the result of another underlying condition. The below health problems can cause ED:
- Cardiovascular disease
- High blood pressure
- Bladder/prostate issues
The other factors linked with ED are smoking, high alcohol consumption and medications used to treat other conditions.
Also Read: Could it be ED?
If you don’t resolve the underlying problem that is causing the ED, it is unlikely that it will go away by itself. All of the below may help improve the symptoms:
- Increase your physical activity
- If you are a smoker, quit smoking
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Eat more fruit, vegetables and whole grains into your diet
In some instances, erectile dysfunction might not be as simply resolved with some lifestyle changes. When it gets to this, we’d advise going to see your doctor, discussing options for treatment and seeing whether further testing is needed.
If you’re definitely not alone in wanting to boost your sex drive, there are plenty of guys out there striving for the same.
You also now know about a whole array of foods and supplements that act as aphrodisiacs, and most of these are widely accessible making it even easier to work them into your daily routine.
Remember what we said earlier though, if you’re already taking any prescription medications, please seek the advice of your doctor before taking anything.
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