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Herbal medicine’s effects on libido assessed in scientific review


“Libido” is a Latin term which is usually used to refer to sexuality and sexual drive. Libido can be influenced by several factors such as hormonal, psychological, and social factors. This study, published in Nutrire, looked into the effects of herbal medicine and supplementation on sexual drive or libido.

  • The researchers conducted a systematic review of PUBMED, Scielo, and EMBASE databases using the keywords “libido, food, and nutrient.” Out of the 2,798 articles identified, 34 were chosen to be reviewed according to specific inclusion and exclusion criteria set by the researchers.
  • The inclusion criteria included describing the use of supplement, herbal medicine, or food that improved the libido.
  • Some herbal medicines that stood out included Bindii (Tribulus terrestris), which was found to increase testosterone levels; “Tongkat Ali” (Eurycoma longifolia), which was found to increase biosynthesis of several androgens.
  • The findings also included ginseng, which was found to increase energy levels and stimulate smooth muscle relaxation; maca (Lepidium meyenii), which improves sexual performance; and ginger (Mondia whitei), which improves the libido and erection.
  • The researchers conclude that herbal medicine demonstrates positive effects on the libido, and may even support in treating sexual dysfunctions.

In addition to herbal medicine, lifestyle changes such as opting for low-energy, low-fat, and high-protein diets were shown to also improve sexual and erectile functions and increase testosterone levels.

Journal Reference:

Cruz ACCAD, Guerra NG, Kerolayne Esper Barão Pacelhe De Souza, Eleutério IDC, Silva LCD, Otoni EG, Alves MRA, Regis WCB. THE ACTION OF HERBAL MEDICINE ON THE LIBIDO: ASPECTS OF NUTRITIONAL INTERVENTION IN INCREASING SEXUAL DESIRE. Nutrire. 2017;42(1). DOI: 10.1186/s41110-017-0051-0



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