Top 4 Herbs for Boosting Your Libido (For Him and Her!) : Exclusive Renegade Health Article

Monday Apr 2 | BY |
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Not feeling the heat? You don’t need drugs.

According to the Wall Street Journal, one out of every five men over 40 in the U. S. have tried Viagra, with an average of nine pills dispensed every second. Unfortunately, nearly half suffer at least one side effect while using it, including headache, stuffy nose, flushed face, visual disturbances, and upset stomach.

CBS News adds that the price has doubled since the product launched in 1999, with 100 pills now running about $1,500.

Meanwhile, though the drug may help improve erectile dysfunction, it does nothing for sexual desire or low libido.

As for women who suffer from the sexual blahs? No Viagra available. Not that scientists haven’t tried. They just haven’t figured out the more complex female sexual arousal system yet.

Yes, there are alternatives. Fortunately, you don’t have to take an expensive pharmaceutical drug to feel the heat again.

Herbal Aphrodisiacs
They’ve been used for hundreds of years, and they actually work. Though I’ve split these up according to gender, all of the following herbs have some effects in both men and women. Some work very quickly, while others will take a few weeks. Be sure to check with your doctor before use to avoid any negative interactions with medications and/or health conditions.

For Men:

  1. Korean Ginseng: stimulates blood flow shortly before sex, helping to maintain an erection, and also increases testosterone levels over time.
  2. Horny Goat Weed: this herb is found in Asia and the Mediterranean, and is known to help improve erectile function, increase libido, and even combat fatigue. Increases testosterone and nitric oxide levels, helping to enhance blood flow.
  3. Catauba Bark: from a medium-sized tree from the Amazon forest, this bark stimulates the central nervous system, and is known as an aphrodisiac. Indigenous tribes of the Amazon Rainforest have used it for generations as a libido enhancement.
  4. Mucuna Pruriens: also known as “velvet bean” or “cowhage,” this herb contains L-Dopa, which helps create the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain, boosting mood and sexuality. It’s considered one of the best sex stimulants in the world, and helps increase male stamina, increase sperm count, and boost sex drive.

For Women:

  1. Damiana: from the damian leaf, which is a small shrub native to South America and Mexico; contains alkaloids that stimulate blood flow and increase sensitivity, and also relaxes the body and reduces stress. Considered the “number-one” herb for women.
  2. Shatavari: also called “asparagus racemosus,” this herb helps battle dryness, enhance fertility, and nourish the female reproductive organs.
  3. Muira Puama: also called “potency wood,” this is a small tree native to the Amazon; the bark and root have long been used by indigenous populations for sexual therapy.
  4. Ginkgo Biloba: increases blood flow throughout the body, particularly the extremities, while increasing metabolism and energy.

For Both:

  1. Yohimbe: bark stripped from a tree in West Africa stimulates circulation where you want it within an hour of use.
  2. Tongkat Ali: a tree native to the jungles of Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia, the root has long been used as an aphrodisiac.
  3. Indian Ginseng: also called “ashwagandha,” this herb promotes vitality and encourages sexual and reproductive balance. It’s long been used to treat impotence, premature ejaculation, and other erection disorders, but also has a reputation for benefitting women’s reproductive systems.
  4. Cnidium Monnier: Chinese herb that supports a naturally healthy libido in men and women, as well as providing support for energy and stamina.

One more—maca, also called Peruvian maca root, is a legendary sex enhancing root with a reputation for increasing energy, stamina, libido, and sexual functioning for both men and women.

Have you tried herbal libido boosters? Do you have a favorite? Please share! (Just not all the details!)

* * *

Photo courtesy neloqua via


Tara Parker-Pope, “Viagra is Misunderstood Despite Name Recognition,” Wall Street Journal, November 11, 2002.

Jim Edwards, “Price of Viagra Has Risen 108% Since Launch; 100 Pills Now Cost $1,400,” CBS News September 10, 2009,

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.


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  1. Lawrence says:

    I have not tried herbal libido boosters. However, I have switched to a mostly raw food diet, and have been exercising regularly for the past year. That has made all the difference, especially in stamina. I will look into the suggestions above. Why not?

  2. decentralist says:

    I’m a male at 36 married for 11 years, so I’ve always been able to get it up, but I’d mix damiana and tribulus for my wife and me to both take and seems to work for her…and make me not be satisfied with once a day. I joke that humans are like chickens. a hen/rooster ration of 5+/1 would be ideal to keep the hens from getting too stressed out by the rooster.

  3. Yvonne says:

    I’ve tried Maca but haven’t noticed any difference in any of the areas its supposed to be good for. Has anyone else had better results?

  4. Yvonne says:

    About the Maca, if you have had better results, how much do you take a day?

  5. Cindy says:

    The mental desire is there, but the way isn’t. Surgical menopause from chemotherapy, no rugae (intercourse way too painful despite having tried recommended products by ob/gyn), 59 yrs old.

    It’s over for me 🙁

    • Ann says:

      Nooooooooo Cindy, absolutely not over. I was right there with you, too painful for intercourse. I fortunately went to a really good Gynecologist, who put me on Premarin cream, with instructions to purchase a dialator, & use it. I did purchase the dialator, used is as instructed daily, got to the last & largest one, which is not huge, & it took a month for me to insert it without pain. I use it at least 3 – 4 times a week now to make sure I stay stretched. Please don’t give up, find yourself a good dr & purchase a dialator that has small, medium, larger medium, then the largest inserts. You will get there. Good luck.

  6. nuitgoddess says:

    About 3 to 4 times a week, I have powdered Maca root in a smoothy for my LOVE of tennis [I am a spacey, laid back individual]. Oh my, it improves my game play!

    Though my focus has been fuzzy yellow balls, I can see that it would definitely inspire friskier sexual endeavors.

    Use care and start slow on the dosage, it makes some people jittery. I take a tablespoon but sip my smoothy over several hours. I am a female, age 60.

    LOVE to all.

  7. michael westrick says:

    I love your list….Especially have to agree with Macuna…..After 1 week you notice a huge difference…Chinese moutnain Ant is also very powerful…….

  8. Kathleen says:

    When I lived in China, they took the cordyceps mushroom for strength, energy, and libido.

  9. Karen says:

    I use maca regularly, putting it in my morning raw cacao smoothie that I share with the kiddos. I found that within a week or 2 of starting with the maca, my hot flashes stopped, and the edge came off my irritability. I still get very irritable often (I have 7 dc 4-15yo + 2 adult girls) but its worse if I’m not using maca.

    I need to try some more things, but I won’t give up my maca. I consume about 1/2-1 tsp per day.

  10. Tami says:

    My husband and I are in our early 50’s and have used: Maca, Damiana, Horney Goat Weed, Mucuna Pruriens, Ginko Biloba, Yohimbe, and Indian Ginseng (ashwaghanda) My favorite is the Maca powder. The other ones listed, I have never heard of, but I would like to know where to buy them. Anyone know?

  11. John D says:

    I’ve tried Tribulus Terrestris, it also increases Testosterone levels.

    I didn’t know Damiana was good for libido, I thought it was just for stress.

    Thanks for the great article!

  12. Jenn says:

    I took about 1 tbs a day of Maca for about a week. It just made me feel more cuddly.

  13. Kevin Gianni Kevin Gianni says:

    From Jerrie:

    I was researching autism and I understand that when gluten is ingested it acts as an opiate affecting the mood of the autistic child.

    I do not have autism myself, but can relate to the weird affects of gluten and casein on my moods.

    What are your thoughts on this?

  14. Manwel says:

    I take 1 tablespoon of Maca with my morning green smoothie about 4-5 times a week. After one week you feel the effects, ie a slight increase in libido. Whenever I stop taking it, my libido drops back, so I can safely say it works in that department (well at least for men). I also feel slight increase in energy levels and awareness.

  15. Marcy says:

    My husband and I have been taking Maca for over a year, it has helped us both, alot. It has also helped with my menopausel symptoms. We make love more now than when we were younger, we are in our 50’s.

  16. Aime says:

    Thanks so much for addressing the issue for women too Kevin! We seem to be left out of the picture too often yet want to share that joy & pleasure with our spouse as it’s a mutual effort. Now where to get such things as my husband would be pleased for increased desire on my end as would I.

    • Anna says:

      Aime, I order supplements from vitacost,com. They have all the female sups mentioned.
      If you decide to try vitacost, sign up through this URL and you’ll get a $10 off $30 order. You can refer other people, and get a $10 credit when they order, too. I personally use the Ginko Gilboa and Muira Puama. I do feel better and happier when I take them!

  17. Annalee says:

    I tried a mixture of Wild Yam and Damiana when menopause hit. It just gave me terrific headaches. I think it was the damaina because wild yam didn’t when I used it alone.

  18. Velda says:

    Great list, Kevin. I used maca for quite some time and didn’t notice a difference in me of any kind. So, I stopped using it, and didn’t notice a difference. So I felt like there didn’t seem to be a reason for me to spend the money. I have heard of some of the herbs you listed, but not other. I know there was a comment about Damiana being for relaxation. But what a lot of people don’t realize is that the sexual response in women is best realized when they are relaxed and not stressed or worried about something. So the Damiana being for relaxation makes sense to me. Where do you get something like that, as well as some of the other ones you listed that I have never heard of. I am 64.

    Thanks again!!

  19. Facebook User says:

    I’m another one that has had no results from Maca. I have been using it everyday for about 3 months, I am going to take a break from it for a while and then try it again. Both the Damiana and Ginko look interesting, I will give them a try. Thanks for the tips!

  20. Shannon says:

    Hi there!

    I have had great success with herbs in general for thyroid issues I was having and I am very open to herbs for nourishing the body. Where do you get those herbs listed Kevin? Can I get them from Whole Foods or do I need to special order them? Any insight and direction would be great.

    I have been taking Dr. Morse’s herbs for awhile and they have been great.

    I am 32.

  21. Barbara says:

    Yes, I, too, would like to know where to get these herbs…….
    I know the health food stores have some of them. Doesn’t
    Ginko thin the blood ? Thanks. Barbara

  22. Charlotte says:

    Soo, this is a total 180 from today’s topic, but I wanted to know if you have any thoughts on Diatomaceous Earth (food grade) for treatment of parasites. My cat has (or had) worms, so I started putting 1 tsp/day mixed in with his food about 2 weeks ago. Do you know if DE is effective or have you had luck with anything else with Johnny 5 (if he’s had worms, of course) Anyway, I would love some advice!! Also some advice on getting rid or keeping fleas/ ticks at bay would be great! BTW, I’m a college student and really can’t afford to bring my cat to holistic vet.. so cheap options/solutions would be great!

  23. Brenton says:

    I have found all these except maca [which I have not tried] useful in lifting testosterone and desire level. Tongkat Ali [‘alley tomcat’?] is particularly good. Best results from rotating them, one each day for 5 days and then repeat.
    They are stimulants, not addressing underlying issues of testosterone production, except temporarily. For that I have found working progressively on Adrenals and the HPA that Dr Williams advocates much more effective over time.
    Kevin, what about Dr Williams linking the adrenals, thyroid and sex hormones in another excellent series?
    I am 62 and definitely still horny!

  24. John Michael says:

    I do oysters for the zinc, bee pollen to create lecithin to create more sperm, Maca and about one tablespoon each day, some Chinese herbs including deer antler extract, Korean Jinseng, Noni, Jiagoulan, Moringa, Mangosteen, Amalaki and sometimes I take a quarter of a Caverta which is the same as Viagra except one fourth the price, and only if I really require assistance. The effect of the Maca has been subtle. I am 68 years young and enjoying my sex.

  25. Cindy,
    bio-identical hormones will solve everthing.
    100% serious.
    Your only real problem is your out of touch ‘hormonal specialist’ Get someone new. You do the tesing at home. And if you really want, you can even get the compounded hormobes w/o a mediacl rx.

  26. Charlotte,
    DE is an amazing substance. It works by inducing extreme dessication. Great to use around teh home for pest control. I have donme iot verysuccessfully. Im thinking not so safe to use for internal parasites, as #1 the gut is very wet alreday, and #2, all us mammals need a very wet gut anyway, so it likely just induce a lot of thirst/drinking.
    #3: Some parasites live actually in the walls of the gut, and not in the free space, as such, DE will have no effect.

    There are plenty of very good parasite herbal formulas on the market. They usually work pretty well.

  27. Sharon says:

    Chaga. Indium. Kapikachu are a few more not mentioned.

    Chaga and Libido article I just posted on Facebook:!/notes/sharon-hoehner/chaga-and-your-libido/10150616489060947

  28. Sherri says:

    To answer the question of where to get these herbs, go to this website and use code RIL324 to get $5 off your first order. Great prices!

  29. Thomas says:

    You can get these herbs at iHerb:

    You can get a $5 discount for using
    the code OMA196.

    It helps to read the customer comments for each type and brand of herb. That way you can gather information as to both effects and possible side-effects.

  30. jerry says:

    I’d like to add fenugreek seed to this amazing list! Fenugreek seed extract triggers the release of bioavailable testosterone in the blood. It’s the chief constituent of Ageless Male, a dietary supplement that fosters men’s health by reestablishing the body’s delicate hormonal balance. Look up Ageless Male supplement reviews if you wish to improve your overall health and reap the benefits of this versatile herb!

  31. Nish says:

    Hi – I am in the 50’s -Male- Would like to know what is the best to enhance stronger – and longer lasting sex drives – i want something to last longer and to “come at least twice – i am in South Africa – Pls let me know wht you recommend for me to buy and where is it available

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