We’ve all heard the old adage that oysters, chocolate, and wine are great aphrodisiacs - but what if you want something with a little more punch? Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and if you’re planning to spend it with a special someone you might be thinking about ways to encourage a healthy libido and sexual function. As a holistic pharmacy, we want to share some of our best tips during this season of love. There are numerous herbs and supplements that can support this, but here are a few of our favorites that we carry here in the store.
The Superstar: Maca
Let’s start out with one of the most widely touted herbs for sexual health and energy, Maca (Lepidium meyenii). There’s a reason why this Peruvian root has skyrocketed in popularity - because it works! Maca is known as an adaptogenic herb, meaning it helps to increase resilience and balance mental, physical, and emotional stress. It does this by working with the nervous and endocrine systems, and in particular the HPA axis, which together act to regulate stress and hormone levels. Maca is super rich in antioxidants and greatly helps improve overall energy, stamina, and vitality.
Maca root has been shown to have a balancing effect on both male and female sex hormones, making this a wonderful fertility and aphrodisiac tonic that everyone can use. Active compounds thought to play a role in the aphrodisiac and fertility-enhancing properties include aromatic isothiocyanates, prostaglandins, and glucosinolates among others. In addition to increasing energy and stamina, Maca boosts libido and sexual function in both men and women.
Women going through perimenopause and postmenopause will find this tonic works for them as well, while also helping reduce irritability, night sweats, and hot flashes. Folks who are experiencing sexual dysfunction as a side effect of taking SSRIs for depression will find this herb a helpful friend.
Tribulus is a small herbaceous plant commonly known as goat’s head or puncturevine. There has been fairly extensive research conducted on Tribulus terrstris and how it affects hormone levels, sex drive, and fertility. As far as sex drive goes, the research shows time and time again that this plant boosts sex drive for both men and women.
Tribulus is indeed classified as an aphrodisiac and antioxidant-rich herb, containing a myriad of active compounds including flavonoids, alkaloids, saponins, and glycosides among others. Significant evidence indicates that Tribulus increases arousal, desire, orgasm, and satisfaction. At this point, the jury is still out when it comes to whether this plant boosts testosterone levels or improves erectile dysfunction, as the research has shown mixed results. This is also the case with male infertility. Certain studies report improve sperm count and motility, while others did not see this effect. Ultimately, more research needs to be done - but for now, feel free to use this as an aphrodisiac herb to your heart’s content!
Natural Lubrication for Women
You’ve probably heard of Sea Buckthorn oil as a popular ingredient in skincare and cosmetic products. This little shrub contains large amounts of omega-7 and omega-6 fatty acids, which lends itself to giving skin a beautiful glow and a healthy, youthful appearance. It helps to regenerate and repair skin by improving blood circulation and oxygenation, whether taken internally or applied topically.
When it comes to sexual health, these very same properties of Sea Buckthorn oil encourage natural lubrication in women. The omega-7 fatty acids in particular, are thought to support the integrity of the vaginal mucosal lining while also increasing lubrication. Many women suffer from dryness and discomfort during intercourse, assuming that it's normal, but you don’t have to deal with this uncomfortable symptom any longer! Sea Buckthorn oil is an excellent natural remedy that will have you feeling extra juicy - and as an added bonus, your skin will glow too!
L-Arginine for ED
When consumed, the amino acid L-Arginine converts to nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide (NO) is a vasodilator that causes blood vessels to relax and open up. Food sources of NO include leafy greens, especially kale, spinach, and arugula.
NO improves overall circulation, lowers blood pressure, and can stop erectile dysfunction! As blood vessels dilate this allows for more blood flow to travel where it's needed, when it’s needed. For the greatest benefit and effectiveness, daily supplementation is recommended. Additional research has also shown that taking L-Arginine alongside french maritime pine bark extract (Pycnogenol) increases effectiveness.
Where to Buy
If you enjoyed this article and are interested in trying any of these wonderful natural remedies, come by the pharmacy where we have a wide selection of high-quality natural products to choose from! Everything mentioned is available here at the shop, so come on by if you have any questions or feel like one of these could help you. If you absolutely loved learning just a little bit about hormones, then please join us for a free workshop with Dr. April Segal and Dr. Elizabeth Winter. We’ll sip wine together and learn all about hormone health and balancing our natural cycles. We wish you all a romantic and fun-filled Valentine’s Day!