Herbal Aphrodisiac: 15 Plants Supported by Science

Humans have always looked for ways to have better sex. Hence, it’s no surprise that most cultures across time knew of at least one herbal aphrodisiac that got the job done.

The question is, do they really work? Can the food you eat really affect your libido?

In this post, we’ll talk about how aphrodisiacs came to be, and why certain herbs can be helpful in improving one’s sexual performance.

Brief History of Aphrodisiacs

The word “aphrodisiac” comes from two Greek words, namely:

  • Aphrodisiakos, which means “igniting sexual desire”; and
  • Aphrodisios, which means “relating to Aphrodite”, who is the Greek goddess of beauty and love

Today, we use “aphrodisiac” to refer to any food or ingredient that stimulates a person’s sexual appetite. Although the term wasn’t widely used in the English language until the 18th century, the concept of aphrodisiacs has existed for millennia.

Many aphrodisiac recipes in Europe were based on Galen’s theories. Galen was a Roman physician who suggested that warm and moist food items could be used as aphrodisiacs.

For some reason, aphrodisiacs of that time also included ingredients that were known to produce flatulence. It may seem strange by today’s standards, but basically, anything edible was regarded as an aphrodisiac at one point.

Since the dawn of time, people have used aphrodisiacs to enhance pleasure and libido. Additionally, they also sought it to address sex-related issues like impotence and erectile dysfunction.

Delighted couple lying on bed in cozy bedroom and cuddling

15 Herbs That Enhance Sexual Function

While we now have access to modern sexual enhancement drugs like Viagra, many people still prefer to go the natural route. After all, most natural aphrodisiacs don’t only do their job well, but they also improve other aspects of one’s health.

More importantly, it also has less health risks compared to artificially manufactured solutions.

Ready to explore your options? Here are 15 herbs with notable aphrodisiac qualities:

1. Passion Flower

The Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry lists Passiflora incarnata, or more commonly known as passion flower, as one of the many traditional medicinal plants that contain aphrodisiac potential.

True to its namesake, the passion flower is known for igniting passion because of a chemical named chrysin. Based on a study on adult male rats, not only did chrysin increase testosterone, but it also improved sperm motility and concentration.

2. Kaempferia Parviflora

Kaempferia parviflora goes by many names, such as Krachaidum, Thai ginseng, and Thai black ginger. You can usually find it in powder, liquid, or capsule forms.

It’s typically used to improve a man’s physical capacities, especially when their work involves hard labor. Best of all, it has anti-inflammatory, anti-allergenic, anti-depressive, and even anti-cancer properties.

On top of all its health-boosting benefits, it’s also used for its ability to enhance men’s sexual health. In fact, it’s particularly useful for cases involving erectile dysfunction and low libido.

3. Fenugreek

Fenugreek is a common ingredient in South Asian food, but it also doubles as a natural anti-inflammatory treatment and a libido booster.

Research shows that fenugreek extract can help men achieve better orgasms. It also helps with mood, sleep, and muscle building — all of which have positive effects on testosterone levels.

If you want to try out fenugreek, it’s worth noting that it may have adverse reactions to blood thinning medications. Fortunately, people who are generally healthy are able to tolerate this herb quite well.

4. Maca

Maca is an herb that’s native to South America. Since most maca plants are grown in central Peru, it has earned the title of “Peruvian Viagra”.

This study revealed that participants who consumed maca were able to achieve better health status compared to non-consumers. As a result, it doesn’t only improve overall well-being, but erectile function as well.

Maca is generally bitter-tasting, so it’s highly recommended to mix it into smoothies or other dishes to be more palatable.

Chinese caterpillar fungus in hand

5. Chinese Mushrooms

Chinese mushrooms have long been used for tonics in traditional Chinese medicine. Cordyceps sinensis has been extensively studied, so we now know that it can help men of all ages boost their testosterone levels.

It also has the ability to address impaired reproductive functions in both men and women. Moreover, it can significantly improve blood flow and minimize fatigue, which makes it a reliable health booster.

6. Saffron

Saffron is primarily used as an alternative medicinal treatment for stress, mood issues, and even depression. However, it’s especially popular because of its aphrodisiac potential, particularly for those who are also taking antidepressants.

In fact, one study revealed that men who consumed 30mg of saffron daily for 4 weeks were able to treat their erectile dysfunction better compared to the placebo group.

Another study also confirms the effectiveness of saffron in addressing sexual dysfunctions in both men and women.

Overall, saffron is great for individuals who are also working on their depression, while it has mixed results for those who don’t suffer from it.

7. Ginkgo biloba

Another herb that’s typically used in traditional medicine is Ginkgo biloba. Aside from helping with depression, it also improves blood flow, which makes it an effective relaxant and aphrodisiac.

Just like saffron, Gingko biloba is generally helpful in inducing desire in people who have low libidos due to antidepressants.

It’s worth noting that Gingko biloba is also known to have blood-thinning properties. Hence, if you’re currently on blood-thinning meds, it’s advisable to consult with your doctor to ensure your safety.

8. Patchouli

Many of us recognize patchouli as an ingredient in fragrance and beauty products. However, it’s also used in traditional medicine as a means to treat common illnesses such as headaches, fever, diarrhea, and insect bites.

Of course, it also brightens up one’s mood by calming the nerves and improving sexual interest. That’s because it helps the body produce more testosterone, thereby boosting libido and reducing sexual anxiety.

9. Saw Palmetto

Saw palmetto is mainly used by men over 40 to address their decreasing testosterone levels. For this reason, it has earned the nickname, “the old man’s best friend”.

Because it stabilizes your hormone levels, it helps you have a healthy sexual appetite. Additionally, it’s used as a tonic for sexual health as it prevents prostate enlargement.

Ashwagandha roots and powder

10. Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is a fairly well-known herb in the world of Ayurvedic medicine. That’s because it makes the mind and body more tolerant to the stresses of modern living.

Aside from that, it also helps balance out your hormones and increase testosterone. Best of all, it can also aid impotence, improve sperm quality, and enhance fertility.

11. Horny Goat Weed

Horny goat weed is another herb that’s known to boost testosterone levels. As a result, not only will you have better moods and feel more energized, but you’ll also be more inclined to desire sex.

It also improves blood flow throughout the body, thereby improving sexual functions and experiences. And, due to increased testosterone, horny goat weed also enhances your body’s ability to gain muscle mass.

12. Turnera Diffusa

Turnera diffusa, or more commonly known as damiana, has established its aphrodisiac reputation quite well, especially among Mexican Indians. It’s usually the go-to therapeutic solution for sexual dysfunctions that involve stress and anxiety.

Additionally, damiana is recommended for treating prostate inflammation. It can also help you boost your testosterone levels, which thereby solves impotence, erectile dysfunction, and difficulties reaching orgasm.

13. Panax Ginseng

Chinese and Koreans have been aware of the health benefits of Panax ginseng for more than 2 millennia. While they commonly use it to overcome stress and improve focus, apparently, it’s also effective in helping men maintain erections and increasing libido.

More importantly, it increases testosterone and sperm count. It also has antioxidant properties, which is helpful in addressing erectile issues and achieving overall sexual satisfaction.

The yellow flower of devils thorn tribulus terrestris plant

14. Tribulus Terrestris

Tribulus terrestris is an herb that typically grows in places with dry climates like the tropical parts of Asia and Africa, northern Australia, and Mediterranean Europe.

For generations, it has been used as an energizing supplement that also helps boost male sexual functions.

In Ayurvedic medicine in India, it’s typically used to treat low libido, erectile dysfunction, impotence, and infertility. It also has cardiotonic properties which helps improve blood flow and heart health.

15. Yohimbe

Finally, we have yohimbe, which is an herb that’s native to Western Africa. For many decades, people have used it to treat erectile dysfunction because of its ability to prolong erections and boost sexual desire.

That’s because it has compounds that widen your blood vessels and stimulates your pelvic nerves. As a result, users can expect to have an increased blood flow to the penis, apart from an adrenaline boost.

Boost Your Sexual Prowess with the Help of Herbs

As you can see, there are more than enough herbs that can help you improve your sexual experiences.

If you’re looking for a good overall solution, we highly recommend the Anabolic Health Black Ginger Supplement. It’s a 100% pure herbal supplement made from Kaempferia parviflora, which is an herb native to Thailand.

Not only does it improve your sexual health and performance, but it also boosts your blood flow, physical health, and mood.

Indeed, herbal aphrodisiacs come in all shapes and forms. It’s just a matter of choosing which ones address your needs in the best way possible.


Alex Eriksson is the founder of Anabolic Health, a men’s health blog dedicated to providing honest and research-backed advice for optimal male hormonal health. Anabolic Health aspires to become a trusted resource where men can come and learn how to fix their hormonal problems naturally, without pharmaceuticals.

2 thoughts on “Herbal Aphrodisiac: 15 Plants Supported by Science

Leave a Comment