Aphrodisiacs cause people to be aroused sexually. They work by increasing sexual desire, increasing sexual arousal (such as a stronger erection,) or by increasing sexual pleasure. Included are Tribulus terrestris (puncture vine,) Avena sativa (wild oats,) Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha,) Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali,) Ginkgo biloba (ginkgo,) and Psorlea coryifolia (psorlea seed.)
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is known as male impotence. It is sometimes associated with cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Sildenafil is a pharmacologic treatment for ED.
Date palm pollen (DPP) is from Phoenix dacylifera. DPP has been shown to increase sperm counts, improves sperm DNA, and increases the weight of testis and epididymis. DPP may be of benefit in male infertility. DPP contains estradiol and flavonoids.
Fadogia agrestis increases mount frequency in rats and increases testosterone levels. It may be of benefit in people with low testosterone levels.
Chione venosa from Grenada Island contain new chemicals which are found in plants which have aphrodisiac qualities.
Myristica fragrans (nutmeg) is used in Unani medicine for male sexual dysfunction. A study using nutmeg on male rats reported increased potency and increased libido.
Lepidium meyenii (maca,) from Peru, is used traditionally for infertility. Arginine is found in maca and is known to treat infertility. Maca contains sterols, campesterol, stigmasterol and sitosterol, which are of benefit in infertility.
Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali,) is known as Malaysian ginseng. It improved sexual functioning in middle-aged male rats. It needs to be studied in men.
An extract of a Zulu traditional plant, Eriosema kraussianum, has 75% of the sexual activity of the pharmaceutical Viagra.
Panax ginseng may benefit men with infertility by aiding in the relaxation of the corpus cavernosum.
CONCLUSION: There is a long history of traditional treatment of erectile dysfunction with herbs. These treatments have lower cost and fewer side effects. Many have been shown to be effective by research.
NOTE: Nitric oxide is formed from l-arginine, amino acid, which is useful in erectile dysfunction. Nitric oxide plays a role in cardiovascular disease and sexual dysfunction. Arginine is a natural source of nitric oxide.
Viagra is a pharmaceutical phosphodiesterase inhibitor, which enhances the male sexual experience. Quercetin is a natural phosphodiesterase inhibitor.