All throughout history there are reports of various foods and drinks that are said to naturally increase sexual arousal in humans. An aphrodisiac is a substance that is reported to raise libido by taste, by smell or from a drug.

There are several natural aphrodisiacs that appear in plant form including fruits, vegetables and grains. Many herbs, roots and spices also are thought to contain substances that act as a natural aphrodisiac such as ginseng root, basil, garlic and ginger, just to name a few.

One of the most common foods that have been reported to act as a natural aphrodisiac is the ever famous oyster. The oyster has long been used as a way of enhancing sexual desire and still eaten daily in some parts of the world for this very reason. Bananas are also thought to be a natural aphrodisiac not only because of their phallic shape but because of their high potassium and vitamin B contents which are said to be necessary for the production of certain sex-related hormones.

The scent of cucumbers, besides their phallic shape, has been known to stimulate women by increasing blood flow and increasing sexual desire. Some of these foods are thought to enhance one's sexual desire either due to their combination of chemical properties, or their aroma or even simply their shape as with bananas and kiwi.

Chocolate has also been associated with romance and love dating as far back as the ancient Mayan ruler Montezuma. He was rumored to have ingested large quantities of chocolate in liquid form on a daily basis to enhance his sexual abilities. But modern research has proved that chocolate contains serotonin and phenyl ethylamines which are both chemicals found naturally within our bodies and produce that "feel good" sensation. These chemicals are released by our brain when we experience emotions like happiness or love as well as passion.

Quite a lot has been said as of late regarding the studies of human pheromones, their affect on our sexual desire and their ability to act as a natural aphrodisiac. The word pheromone is derived from the Greek words "pherein" and "hormone" which together mean "excitement carrier" in English. In the animal world, pheromones have been known of for quite some time. It has been confirmed that animals possess individual scent "prints" that are found in sweat and urine which attract the opposite sex and dictate certain sexual behaviors.

Scientists discovered the existence of pheromones in humans in 1986 and have been studying them ever since. They have discovered that pheromones act as chemical signals and behave in a manner not unlike those of hormones. Pheromones can be used in certain fragrances and perfumes to serve as an olfactory aphrodisiac.

Rather convincing studies have been conducted with identical twins and the use of pheromones. Scientists have found that the twin who was sprayed with the fragrance that contained pheromones was approached by the opposite sex three times more than the twin who was sprayed with the same exact scent, but without the pheromones.

Based on the scientific evidence such as that found in the above study and several others like it, more and more people are trying natural aphrodisiacs for enhancing their personal lives, to be more attractive to the opposite sex as well as increase their sexual desire.


Getting a good nights sleep does wonders for your sex life! Valeriana officinalis, a natural sedative that may be helpful for insomnia, leaves no morning after effects. Take just before going to bed.

Available in tablets or loose tea form at health food stores. High doses may cause paralysis and a weakening of the heartbeat. Like any sedative, may become habit-forming if used for an extended period of time. Avoid if pregnant. Available in most health food stores.

St. John’s Wort

This popular supplement has been shown to have antidepressive and antiviral properties. New research shows that St. John’s Wort may actually increase serotonin production. I have a tendency to be a little hyperactive. I have never been diagnosed with adult ADD, but I find that taking St. John’s Wort 3-4 times per week takes the edge off my being speedy very nicely.

Look for St. John’s Wort containing 0.3% standardized hypericin extract. Avoid if pregnant or planning pregnancy. May cause photo-sensitivity so avoid strong sunlight and other sources of ultraviolet light (like "tanning booths") when taking St. John’s Wort. Available in most health food stores.


DHEA (de-hydro-epi-andro-sterone) is a hormone naturally produced by your adrenal glands. It is usually the most abundant adrenal hormone in the body, but with age (or certain disease conditions) the levels drop. Lower levels of DHEA are associated with many of the diseases associated with aging and people with naturally higher levels are found to have lower incidence of some of these diseases (cancer, for example).

In his Wellness Institute Guide to Nutrients Dr. Julian Whitaker notes “I give DHEA to about 80% of my patients over 40 because of its health-enhancing and anti-aging benefits.”

Dosage: most people over 25 can take 25 - 50 mg per day in the morning with food. This amount will bring your DHEA levels back up to the normal range for the average 25-year-old. Check with mail order suppliers.


A supplement derived from diosgenin, the Mexican yam extract, pregnenolone is the building block for all other hormones. Produced by the body’s adrenal glands, Pregnenolone may be one of our most important hormones because it seems to have a balancing effect in bringing the levels of other hormones up or down as needed. Pregnenolone is a direct precursor of both DHEA and progesterone. Pregnenolone levels dramatically drop after age 30. Research indicates that restoration of Pregnenolone to levels of healthy young adults may have dramatic positive effects on memory, mood and energy, and sexual function. Pregnenolone can be taken once daily in the morning on an empty stomach to mimic the body’s normal rhythm. Recommended dosage: 10-100 mg per day. Adjust the dosage to your needs. Safety has been long established—it was used for arthritis treatment back in the 40s at very high doses with no apparent side effects.

It is available at most health food stores and can be ordered via mail.

Natural Progesterone Cream (For Women)

Progesterone plays many roles in the body, one of them is maintaining sex drive. It is particularly important for women in the menopausal cycle. Natural progesterone is identical to what your body produces. It is derived from diosgenin in the wild Mexican yam. Natural progesterones are more biologically active and safer than their unnatural counterparts.

Progesterone is a small fat-soluble molecule, which can be easily absorbed through the skin. It is initially absorbed into the fat layers under the skin, then is diffused into the capillaries where it enters the blood stream as needed. This makes transdermal progesterone 100% bioavailable to the body. In contrast, oral supplementation of progesterone has to be taken in very high dosages to compensate for the almost 90% which will be excreted by the liver.

Use 1/4 to 3/4 teaspoon in the morning, applied to the softer parts of the body (for better absorption). Rotate the application spot on a daily basis. Because natural progesterone is identical to the body's own progesterone there are no known side effects at 20-40 mg/day. Very large dosages can result in feelings of sleepiness. Available by mail order from suppliers listed.

Muira Puama

Found in the Amazon and Orinoco basins of South America, Muira Puama has long been used “to stimulate sensuality, as a sexual enhancer, and as a treatment for impotence and frigidity…[it] appears to be milder and without the side effects of [yohimbe].” [Source: Love Potions, Cynthia Mervis Watson, M.D., Jeremy P. Tarcher/Perigee, 1993] It is considered effective in restoring libido and treating erectile dysfunction.

For an aphrodisiac drink, mix 2 ounces each of damiana and muira puama tinctures in your favorite adult punch (20 serving size). Muira puama may or may not be available at your local health food store. In the U.S. it is available in tincture and capsule form. Check with the suppliers listed at the end of this article for mail order.


This herb from Mexico has been used by both men and women to enhance and regulate the production of sex hormones. It is considered a potent aphrodisiac. “Chemically this plant has been found to contain several alkaloids that directly stimulate the sex organs… Native Mexican women have long drunk an infusion of the herb a couple of hours before retiring to prime themselves for their men. It is reputed to induce erotic dreams when drunk at bedtime.” [Source: Love Potions, Cynthia Mervis Watson, M.D., Jeremy P. Tarcher/Perigee, 1993]

Damiana leaves for tea or making tincture, or tincture already prepared, is available at most health food stores.


Zinc is a mineral that may improve sensory and sexual functions as well as boost the immune system, quicken wound healing, and promote skin health. Virtually every man who lives long enough will have a problem with prostate enlargement. A man with prostate irritation will lose most interest in sexual intercourse. Several years ago I began to have prostate discomfort but have completely corrected the problem with a combination of pycnogenol, zinc, and saw palmetto.

Recommended dosage: 50 mg. Daily. High doses may lower HDL cholesterol, cause anemia and weaken immune function. Available at health food stores.

Saw Palmetto

For years, berries of the saw palmetto plant have been used to treat bladder and prostate conditions. It helps regulate testosterone levels in both women and men, supports healthy prostate function and is a good source of fatty acids. ”Many herbalists regard saw palmetto berries as safe, mild aphrodisiacs; ten to twelve can be eaten daily for a cumulative effect. Their potency is increased when they are combined with damiana.” [Source: Love Potions, Cynthia Mervis Watson, M.D., Jeremy P. Tarcher/Perigee, 1993]

Recommended dosage is 160-320 mg per day of Saw Palmetto. Avoid if pregnant, planning pregnancy or suffering from a disease of the gastrointestinal tract. Available at health food stores.

Ginkgo Biloba

The Ginkgo tree is one of the oldest living species on the planet. It has flourished unchanged for over 150 million years has been used in Chinese medicine for over 5,000 years. The leaves and fruit of the Ginkgo tree contain a variety of phytochemicals that have a wide range of clinically proven benefits. Ginkgo significantly increases blood flow to the brain thereby improving cognitive function, memory, alertness and concentration. It also improves peripheral arterial insufficiency (restriction of blood flow to the legs and other extremities, including the genitals).

“Because it improves circulation, it can help in cases where a man has circulation-related difficulties in getting an erection.” [Source: Love Potions, Cynthia Mervis Watson, M.D., Jeremy P. Tarcher/Perigee, 1993]

There are no serious side effects with Ginkgo Biloba. It is available at most health food stores. Large doses over a long period of time can result in irritability and headaches, so take no more than 3 grams daily in capsule or tincture form


The amino acid arginine is an immune system enhancer and powerful growth hormone stimulant. It plays a role in many body tasks: wound healing, circulation and sexual function.

In response to sexual stimulation, your body releases nitric oxide (NO) in your genitals. This causes the smooth muscles to relax and blood flows into the penis resulting in erection. Both arginine and ginkgo biloba have both been shown to enhance NO levels in your body. “If sufficient NO is not produced, erection or sexual stimulation does not occur. Arginine is absolutely necessary for the production of NO….Some scientists studying these phenomena have concluded that up to 90% of all impotency can be reversed by NO (and by implication, the use of arginine).” [Source: Dr. Whitaker Wellness Institute Guide To Nutrients, Julian Whitaker M.D., Summer 1998] The new drug Viagra from Pfizer increases blood flow into the penis, or into the vaginal area for women, but this drug has many known side effects and there were 69 confirmed deaths attributed to Viagra use by the fall of 1998!

Arginine should be taken on an empty stomach. You may use it daily and/or 30 minutes to an hour before sexual activity. Not for use by diabetics, borderline diabetics, pregnant or lactating women, cancer patients or persons who have had ocular or brain herpes. Available in health food stores.


This powerful aphrodisiac is extracted from West Africa's Corynanthe Yohimbe tree. For centuries, tribes in this region have used a tea made from the inner bark in their fertility rituals. It may help to stimulate erection and enhance libido and increase physical energy in men and women.

“Most of the current medical literature on yohimbe discusses the treatment of male impotence but an impressive body of anecdotal evidence surrounds the use of yohimbe for making good sex even better.” [Source: Better Sex Through Chemistry, John Morgenthaler, Pro Health, May/June 1998]

“Occasionally, it causes erections even in the absence of any sexual stimulation.” [Source: Viagra: Is The Stampede Misdirected?, Will Block, Life Enhancement, June 1998]

The tincture form is recommended rather than capsules. Take one-half dropper under the tongue and hold for sixty seconds immediately before sexual activity. This is a powerful substance. We do not recommend daily or prolonged use because of possible side effects. Stay clear if you suffer from high blood pressure, heart, kidney or liver disease.

Yohimbe is available over the counter at health food stores in the US. Check with the suppliers listed at the end of this article for mail orders.


Available in capsules and spray Androstenedione is naturally occurring in all meat as well as in the Scotch Pine tree. It is a metabolite of the hormones DHEA and progesterone, and is a direct hormonal precursor to testosterone. Androstenedione is short-acting, elevating blood testosterone levels without inhibiting the body's natural testosterone production.

Sexually, Androstenedione will be most helpful for men over 50 and for women in the menopausal cycle, because this is when testosterone levels begin to drop. ”Testosterone is… ‘the hormone of desire,’ the substance that acts on the brain to stimulate sexual interest, sensitivity to sexual stimulation and orgasmic ability in both sexes….The most common complaint associated with declining [testosterone] levels is an otherwise unexplainable loss of sexual enjoyment….” [Source: Testosterone: Not Just For Men, Jane Brody, Pro Health, May/June 1998]

The hard-hitting bat of Mark McGwire with 70 home runs in a single season has put the spotlight on Androstenedione. In an August 1998 interview with Sports Illustrated, McGwire said “the company that supplies me says most of its repeat business is coming from wives and girlfriends who are very satisfied.”

Androstenedione is available in spray or capsules. Recommended dosage: For men, one to four sprays (25 mg per spray) per day. For women, up to one spray per day. Capsules typically come in 50mg dosages, which may be too high for women. Women may wish to take only one or two capsules a month. Men who find adrostenedione works for them may take it daily, on an empty stomach at bedtime and/or in the morning or 30 minutes prior to sexual activity.

Long term studies of the effects of this substance have not been done. It is not available in Canada, but is available over the counter at health food stores in the US. Check with the suppliers listed at the end of this article for mail orders.

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