With the limitations and potentially serious side effects of popular libido-boosting drugs like Viagra, why not try a safe natural solution that provides the same benefits and then some?
Read on for a list of 4 herbs that, used individually or together, can easily outperform Viagra.
Why Go Natural?
The drug sildenafil (Viagra), introduced in 1998, revolutionized the treatment of sexual dysfunction. However, it and related drugs, such as vardenafil (Levitra) and tadalafil (Cialis), have significant limitations.
Although these impotence medications work well at promoting blood flow to the penis, they have little or no effect on libido or sexual sensation in men – or women, for that matter.
These drugs also have potentially serious side effects, such as vision problems, and some doctors believe that they may be dangerous for men who have cardiac conditions, such as irregular heart rhythm, history of heart attack or heart failure.
However, libido-boosting herbs have been used successfully for hundreds of years in Brazil, China and parts of Africa.
The following supplements, available at most health-food stores, can improve virtually all aspects of sexual performance, including increased desire, improved genital blood flow in men and women, and stronger erections – though you should obviously consult your doctor before taking any of them.
Start by choosing one herb that seems to best fit your needs. After one or two weeks, you can combine it with another supplement to enhance the effect or simply use a formula that combines these herbs. When combining herbs, cut the recommended dose of each in half to avoid potential side effects, such as restlessness.
Horny Goat Weed
This herb increases energy and libido in both men and women, and may produce firmer erections in men. Horny goat weed reportedly got its name when a Chinese herder noticed that his goats became more sexually active after eating the plant. It’s thought to influence levels of dopamine and other neurotransmitters that affect libido and mood. It also contains flavonoids, plant chemicals that dilate blood vessels and promote erections.
A typical dose is 500 to 2,000 mg a day. You should start with 500 mg and increase, as needed. Side effects associated with this herb are restlessness and insomnia.
This herb increases libido, orgasm intensity and skin and genital sensitivity in men and women. The bark and roots of this Amazon tree, sometimes known as “potency wood,” increase sexual desire and sexual fantasies in men and women, and also facilitate a woman’s ability to have an orgasm. It appears to work by promoting blood flow to the genitals in men and women.
A typical dose is 500 to 1,000 mg in capsule form three consecutive days a week. Muira puama should be taken in the morning, because it can cause insomnia when taken in the afternoon or evening. Muira puama may also cause restlessness in some people during the daytime.
This herb increases mood and sexual desire and function in men and women. It can improve sex drive in both sexes by acting as a relaxant, and it also assists men in maintaining an erection.
Ashwagandha produces a calming effect by mimicking the action of GABA, a neurotransmitter in the brain that promotes relaxation. It also boosts nitric oxide production. Nitric oxide is known to enhance penile erection and vaginal sensitivity by increasing engorgement of the genital organs through blood vessel dilation.
A typical dose is 300 to 500 mg once or twice a day. For better absorption, take ashwagandha on an empty stomach. Ashwagandha may cause drowsiness in some people, so do not drive after taking this herb.
This herb increases energy and libido in both men and women, and it also improves erections in men.
This common roadside weed contains protodioscin, a chemical compound that is thought to increase production of the sex hormone testosterone in both men and women. It also dilates blood vessels in the penis, promoting firmer erections.
A typical dose is 500 to 1,000 mg a day. You should take tribulus every other week to minimize the risk for potential side effects, such as restlessness and increased body temperature.