Aphrodisiacs are substances or compounds that either increase your libido, improve your sexual potency, or increase the pleasure you derive from having sex. Because the use of aphrodisiacs is associated with so much pleasure, mankind is always on the hunt for better and stronger aphrodisiacs. In truth, however, there are so many natural aphrodisiacs available to us.
In India’s Ayurveda medicine, one of the most ancient medicine systems, there are many plants that are recognized for their aphrodisiac and sexual functioning enhancement properties. With Ayurveda texts dating more than two thousand years old, taking this history in context, this means that treatments based on plants which are recognized in Ayurvedic medicine as aphrodisiacs or sexual functioning enhancers have been in use for millennia.
While western medicine has a branch that deals with sexual health, Ayurveda has a branch of medicine that deals with sexual function problems, aphrodisiacs, and natural ways to increase one’s libido and sexual potency. This branch is called Vajikarana or Vrishya chikitsa.
Plants that are considered as having Vajikarana properties are those that act as aphrodisiac, sexual potency and virility booster, fertility booster, or sexual performance enhancer. These plants are then used in herbal formulations. Each formulation is customized, depending on the illness or condition complained of. For instance, if the complaint is loss of libido, a formulation composed of herbal plants identified as aphrodisiacs will be prescribed.
Because Ayurvedic prescriptions for sexual problems such as reduced libido, infertility, or impotency have been around for thousands of years, it has sparked a lot of curiosity in the scientific community. This then led to many scientific investigations into the properties and actions of these various Ayurvedic aphrodisiacs. Not surprisingly, many of these plants are proven effective. Let’s take a look at several examples of Ayurvedic aphrodisiacs and see how scientific studies validated their use as such.
Anacyclus pyrethrum is an herb found in northern India and in the Himalayas. Its common names include Mount Atlas daisy and pellitory. It is also called Spanish chamomile because of its similarity to the appearance of chamomile. In India, it is commonly called Akarkara and is considered as a Vajikaran Rasayana, which means that it increases sexual virility and improves sexual performance.
Although Anacyclus pyrethrum is popularly used as a food spice, the plant is also commonly used as an aphrodisiac. This traditional Ayurvedic usage of the plant is validated by scientific research. For instance, one study investigated how the petroleum ether extract of Anacyclus pyrethrum, in comparison to testosterone, affected sexual behavior of male rats.
Three groups of rats were formed, one group was given testosterone injections, the other two were given high dosage and low dosage petroleum ether extract of Anacyclus pyrethrum, all for a period of 28 days. The most significant finding of this study was that aside from improving sexual performance, the efficacy of the petroleum ether extract treatment actually lasted even two weeks after the treatment was discontinued. This suggests that incorporating Anacyclus pyrethrum into your regular diet can give you a long-lasting boost to your sexual potential.
Punica granatum or pomegranate has long been recognized as a super food with many health benefits including lower blood pressure, anti-inflammatory properties, and anti-cancer properties. Pomegranates are eaten as is or as juice and are used as ingredients in smoothies, cooking, baking, and as garnish. You can enjoy pomegranates in any form you like and you can still enjoy its benefits on your sexual functioning.
Scientific studies have also validated the positive effects of pomegranates on a man’s sexual functions. For instance, in one study, it was shown that pomegranate juice has protective effects on the testes of rats. Even when oxidative stress damage was induced on the rats, it was shown that administration of pomegranate juice helped reverse the damage.
In another animal study, pomegranate ripe fruit extract was administered to rats resulted in increased sperm count and motility when compared to stressed rats that were not given the fruit extract. Another study used methanolic peel extract and juice made from pomegranates. The results were also positive, showing that when rats were given the treatment, the levels of male sex hormones like testosterone were increased.
Asteracantha longifolia, also known as Kokilaaksha or marsh barbel, is another recognized aphrodisiac in Ayurvedic medicine, where it is used to treat glucose problems such as diabetes and also against liver diseases. Asteracantha longifolia is used in the Ayurvedic formulation Vrihani Gutika, which is considered as an extremely potent aphrodisiac formulation which also includes Tribulus terrestris, Pueraria tuberosa, and Asperagus racemosus among its many constituents.
A study involving male albino rats and ethanolic extract of Asteracantha longifolia seeds showed that the extract had anabolic properties. This means that it helps build up organs and tissues, as evidenced by increases in the body weight and the reproductive organ weights of the sample rats.
More importantly, ethanolic extract of Asteracantha longifolia seeds was shown to significantly improve the sexual behavior of the rats. Aside from this, administration of the extract also led to increases in sperm count and improved sperm production.
Pueraria tuberosa, also known as Indian or Nepalese kudzu, is a climbing vine with tuberous roots native to India, Nepal, and Pakistan. Because the plant is recognized in Ayurveda medicine as a very valuable plant, herb hunters are trading the tuberous roots illegaly and are contributing to the population decline of the plant which may soon face extinction.
The reason why the tubers of this plant is so in demand is because it has so many uses including as restorative tonic, immune booster, anti-aging, and to increase sperm production. It’s also recommended in treatments of many medical conditions related to sexual functioning like sexual debility and fertility problems.
Moreover, the plant’s active constituents have already been tested and proven effective for its aphrodisiac and spermatogenic properties, as well as its efficacy as immune booster, anti-inflammatory agent, and as tonic for the brain and cardiovascular system. This is also another reason why this tuberous plant is so valuable and why there is so much demand for it.