Stalled sex drive?
Photography by: Todd Pearson
4. Yohimbe bark extract This African tree bark extract sends blood flow to the genitals and stimulates the sensitive tissue of the clitoris, says Williams, Ore.-based herbalist Ed Smith, a founding member of the American Herbalist Guild. He warns, however, that yohimbe can cause nervousness and sleeplessness, raise already existing high blood pressure (so avoid taking it if you have heart or kidney disease), and can also negatively interact with antidepressants. Recommended Rx: 200 milligrams of a standardized extract containing 4 percent yohimbines (the plant’s active ingredient) for no longer than six weeks
5. Maca Ancient Incans consumed this energizing Peruvian plant before battle or a bout of sex, says Kilham. Maca increases sexual appetite, stamina, endurance and even fertility. One 2008 study conducted at the Depression Clinical and Research Program at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston found that maca helped people with antidepressantinduced sexual dysfunction to regain their libidos. Recommended Rx: 400 milligrams daily
6. Horny goat weed Traditional Chinese medicine views low libido as a deficiency of kidney yang qi, or energy, so Upton advises taking the aptly named horny goat weed (aka epimedium) to boost kidney function and—voilà!—your sexual vitality. Recommended Rx: 250 to 500 milligrams daily
7. Muira puama A 2000 study conducted at the Institute of Sexology in (where else?) Paris found that muira puama (also known by the names Marapuama or Ptychopetalum olacoides) and ginkgo biloba, another stimulating sex herb, increased desire, intercourse regularity, sexual fantasies, ability to reach orgasm, intensity of orgasm and, therefore, satisfaction with their sex lives in women who had been experiencing low libido. Other studies show that this happy-making (and potentially baby-making!) herb from a tree native to the Brazilian Amazon also counteracts chronic stress, depression and nervous exhaustion. Recommended Rx: 800 milligrams daily