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7 Natural Aphrodisiacs For Women
4 min

7 Natural Aphrodisiacs For Women

4 min

Sometimes our sex drive needs a little boost. And if we can do so using natural substances, that's all the better. Here we look at 7 natural aphrodisiacs that may help women to increase their libidos. From culinary spices to ancient herbs, there's plenty to explore.

From time to time, and for various reasons, people’s libidos will drop. Whether from stress, tiredness, menopause, or something unidentifiable, there are countless explanations for why this could happen.

Therefore, people sometimes seek to boost their libido by using aphrodisiacs. These compounds are only partially understood and have limited efficacy. Here, we look at seven natural (potential) aphrodisiacs, and ask whether they could work for women who want to boost their sex drive.

What are natural aphrodisiacs?

What Are Natural Aphrodisiacs?

Natural aphrodisiacs come in many forms, of varying value. While some are backed by significant scientific evidence, the viability of others is based on little more than myth. However, if you can find a natural solution that works, that often feels more wholesome compared to using synthetic compounds.

Below we list 7 potential natural aphrodisiacs.

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Horny goat weed

Horny Goat Weed

Horny goat weed is most famously used by men hoping to combat erectile dysfunction. The presence of icariin is thought to be responsible for these effects, as it interacts with the body in the same way as sildenafil (Viagra).

However, it is thought that some of the compounds in horny goat weed may also be able to increase women’s libidos. Desmethylicaritin, one of the many compounds in this weed, is thought to be particularly beneficial in this regard. By potentially increasing hormone production, some speculate it could have effects on libido and reproductive health, with particular benefits for women who are going through or are past menopause.

It’s thought that this compound, and perhaps some others, increases oestrogen production, or is otherwise oestrogen mimicking. Exactly how potent this effect is, and what meaningful effects it has on people, are unknown.

Ginkgo biloba

Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo biloba is used widely as a daily supplement, for a variety of purposes. In terms of libido, a study on male and female participants found anti-depressant-induced sexual dysfunction to be affected by a 12-week course of Gingko biloba extract (Wheatley, 2004).

That being said, it must be noted that while certain individuals in the study experienced these effects, it was concluded that the Gingko biloba had no statistically significant overall effect. This means that there was not enough evidence to conclude that this factor contributed to the changes seen in certain participants.

Another study found that ginkgo increases blood flow through the body and has a relaxant effect on smooth muscle tissue in the penis and uterus (Meston, Rellini, Telch, 2008). Though it noted these effects were not enough to affect sexual dysfunction alone, the study found that in conjunction with sex therapy, those participants who also took Gingko biloba saw a more significant effect compared to those who had therapy alone.

Clavo huasca

Clavo Huasca

Clavo huasca comes from the rainforests of South America, where it has been used as a natural libido enhancer for generations. Though used for erectile dysfunction, its libido-enhancing effects are thought to be most potent in women.

One aspect of these effects is thought to be increased blood flow to genital areas, affecting sexual dysfunction in both men and women. It may also act to relax the muscles of the corpus cavernosum, the main bulk of erectile tissue in the clitoris or penis. This effect, combined with increased blood flow, is suspected to have powerful effects on libido.

Saffron

Saffron

Saffron, a delicious spice, is also thought to have aphrodisiac properties. Specifically, it is thought to affect fluoxetine-induced sexual problems. These issues, in women, affect arousal, lubrication, and pain.

One placebo-controlled study tested 34 women over four weeks (Kashani et al. 2012). Participants in the saffron group were observed to have experienced significant changes regarding arousal, lubrication, and pain. However, no differences were noted in desire, satisfaction, or orgasm.

It was from these findings that the researchers were able to hone in on saffron’s effects on fluoxetine. Though more research is needed, it seems that saffron could have a part to play in increasing a woman’s ability to enjoy sex. Though as the research shows, saffron is unable to affect the quality of the lover!

Fenugreek

Fenugreek

Fenugreek seeds have been investigated in relation to their potential effects for increasing levels of oestrogen, with some research even speculating that it could replace certain forms of hormone replacement therapy (Sreeja, Anju, 2010).

The above study found that cells could be encouraged to produce more oestrogen when exposed to fenugreek extract. However, before reaching for your fenugreek seeds, note that this research was performed in vitro on breast cancer cells, not in living women. Therefore it’s a large jump to assume that cooking up some fenugreek will solve your hormonal woes.

Nevertheless, it’s an interesting piece of research and certainly warrants further investigation.

Red ginseng

Red Ginseng

Korean red ginseng (KRG) has been investigated for its effects on libido in menopausal women. During and after the menopause, women can witness a decline in libido due to multiple factors, predominantly hormonal changes.

In one study, 28 menopausal women were administered KRG to see what, if any, effect this had on sexual arousal (Oh, 2010). It was found that there were statistically significant effects in the KRG group compared to the placebo group, with arousal seemingly affected by oral ingestion of KRG.

Though small, this piece of research was a well-conducted double-blind, placebo-controlled study, which gives its findings some weight. Ultimately, though, it will require replication in order to ascertain what the results really demonstrate.

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Damiana

Damiana

Damiana has been used for centuries as a natural aphrodisiac in traditional practices. However, despite such widespread use, there appears to be very little evidence that it actually has any aphrodisiac qualities. And what studies do exist do not centre on women, or humans for that matter.

For example, one animal study looked to determine the effects of damiana on sexually exhausted male rats, finding the herb to have “pro-sexual” effects (Ali et al., 2013). But this is hardly evidence of a libido-boosting effect in women.

That said, side effects of damiana are minimal and trying it shouldn’t be dangerous—but it’s probably best not to rest too much hope in this plant!

Are there aphrodisiac foods?

Are There Aphrodisiac Foods?

There are many foods that contain certain compounds purported to have aphrodisiac qualities. It’s worth noting that there’s not a huge amount of evidence regarding these foods and their effects on libido, orgasm, and the like. However, they are delicious, and certainly a sensual treat regardless of their arousing potential.

Some of the most popular aphrodisiac foods include:

  • Chocolate
  • Figs
  • Alcohol
  • Honey
  • Strawberries
  • Pomegranate
  • Oysters
  • Dates

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Other tips to boost female sex drive

Other Tips To Boost Female Sex Drive

In reality, a healthy lifestyle is your best bet to sustain a high and healthy sex drive. All the supplements in the world can’t make up for it.

Sexual desire comes from a complex interaction between different processes and chemicals, relating to hormones, energy levels, and general well-being. Therefore, in the pursuit of boosting libido, do your best to prioritise eating well, getting enough sleep, exercising, and reducing your stress levels! Do these things, and you’ll likely notice some improvement.

Sometimes you might just need a rest

Sometimes You Might Just Need A Rest

Low libido can be troublesome. Whether it’s damaging a relationship or you’d just rather feel a little more aroused, it can be frustrating. And if it’s caused by processes such as menopause, then it can feel out of your hands.

However, there are some instances where low libido might just be your body’s way of telling you what it needs. Each circumstance is different, but take a breath before seeking to change the way you feel. It may be that, in a little time, things will naturally return to normal, and you’ll feel all the better for it.

Max Sargent
Max Sargent
Max has been writing for over a decade, and has come into cannabis and psychedelic journalism in the last few years. Writing for companies such as Zamnesia, Royal Queen Seeds, Cannaconnection, Gorilla Seeds, MushMagic and more, he has experience in a broad spectrum of the industry.
References
  • (n.d.). Kashani, L., Raisi, F., Saroukhani, S., Sohrabi, H., Modabbernia, A., Nasehi, A. A., Jamshidi, A., Ashrafi, M., Mansouri, P., Ghaeli, P., & Akhondzadeh, S. (2013). Saffron for treatment of fluoxetine-induced sexual dysfunction in women: randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study. Human psychopharmacology, 28(1), 54–60 - https://doi.org
  • (n.d.). Oh, K. J., Chae, M. J., Lee, H. S., Hong, H. D., & Park, K. (2010). Effects of Korean red ginseng on sexual arousal in menopausal women: placebo-controlled, double-blind crossover clinical study. The journal of sexual medicine, 7(4 Pt 1), 1469–1477 - https://doi.org
  • (n.d.). Sreeja, S., Anju, V. S., & Sreeja, S. (2010). In vitro estrogenic activities of fenugreek Trigonella foenum graecum seeds. The Indian journal of medical research - https://www.doc-developpement-durable.org
  • (n.d.). Wheatley D. (2004). Triple-blind, placebo-controlled trial of Ginkgo biloba in sexual dysfunction due to antidepressant drugs. Human psychopharmacology, 19(8), 545–548. - https://doi.org
  • Meston, Cindy M., Rellini, Alessandra H., Telch, & Michael J. (2008, August). Meston, C. M., Rellini, A. H., & Telch, M. J. (2008). Short- and long-term effects of Ginkgo biloba extract on sexual dysfunction in women. Archives of sexual behavior, 37(4), 530–547 - https://doi.org
  • Sabna Kotta, Shahid H Ansari, & Javed Ali. (2013). Ali, J., Ansari, S., & Kotta, S. (2013). Exploring scientifically proven herbal aphrodisiacs. Pharmacognosy Reviews, 7(1) - https://doi.org
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