While there are plenty of jokes about male libido, low sexual function can be a cause of immense emotional distress for men. Problems with libido and erectile function can be caused by stress, illness and some medications. An herbal supplement may help improve libido for better sexual performance and satisfaction. Herbs are potent medications; consult your doctor before taking herbs for sexual function.
Tribulus Terrestris Herb
The Tribulus terrestris L. plant contains a plant chemical called protodioscin, which has been studied for its effect on male libido. A study published in the "International Journal of Andrology" in 2002 found that this herb improved sexual desire and enhanced erection in men. According to the study, this herbal supplement works by increasing levels of the male hormone dehydroepiandrosterone, or DHEA.
Research published in "The Open Complementary Medicine Journal" in 2009 confirmed the claims about the herb Ferula assa-foetida L. by practitioners of traditional Arabic medicine. The study tested the effects of extracts from the seeds and roots of this plant on male humans and rats. As the whole herb is used in cooking, it was deemed safe to consume. The participants were given a daily dose of 5 grams per kilogram of body weight for a period of three months. According to the study, Ferula assa-foetida extracts improved both libido and erectile function in 60 percent of the men.
Ginseng is often used in the West to improve energy levels. In traditional Eastern medicine, it is also purported to enhance sex drive and function. A study published in the "International Journal of Impotence Research" in 1995 found that treatment with Korean red ginseng improved libido, erectile parameters and patient satisfaction. An active compound found in red ginseng called saponin may be important in treating erectile dysfunction and sexual performance problems in men.
The leafy herb ginkgo biloba is noted for its effects on enhancing brain function. A study published in the "Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy" in 2003 found that an extract from the leaf of the Chinese ginkgo tree may also help alleviate sexual dysfunction due to antidepressant medication. Patients were given a daily dosage of 60 to 120 milligrams, and the study found that the herb improved blood circulation and also libido and erectile problems in men.
- International Journal of Male Andrology: Phytochemicals and the Breakthrough of Traditional Herbs in the Management of Sexual Dysfunctions
- Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy: A Review of Plant-Derived and Herbal Approaches to the Treatment of Sexual Dysfunctions
- Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy: Ginkgo Biloba for Antidepressant-induced Sexual Dysfunction
- International Journal of Impotence Research: Clinical Efficacy of Korean Red Ginseng for Erectile Dysfunction
- The Open Complementary Medicine Journal: Efficacy and Safety Assessments of Ferula Assa-foetida L.