Aphrodisiacs: A Buying Guide

 

 

I am often asked to recommend products that will enhance sexual arousal  – aphrodisiacs.  My answer is always the same, “Sexual sexual arousal is complex and multi-faceted.  It is wrapped up in our psychology, upbringing, cultural influences, past experiences and genetics.   Most arousal products only focus on one element — physical health — and specifically general health and circulation in the genital region.”

 

That said, there are a few natural substances that have scientific evidence to support their claims to improve physical arousal.

 

When choosing a product to increase arousal be sure to look out for some crucial things.

 

Natural Aphrodisiacs for women:

Things to look for:

 

 

Look for MORE than reviews/testimonials.
Be suspect of substances that don’t have any more than anecdotal testimonials as proof of efficacy. Comments and reviews can easily be written by the company flogging their wares.

 

 

Look for double-blind studies.
Few products that claim to increase arousal have gone through the rigorous studies reserved for serious pharmaceuticals. But there are a few (see below). If I product does not offer this information, it doesn’t exist.

 

 

Look for those products backed by Sex Experts.
Clinical sexologists, sex therapists, sex researchers, OBGYN, will be more likely to consider the intricacies of sexuality and a woman’s perspective.

 

 

Pay attention to gender.
Some products will work specifically for men and some specifically for women. When it comes to sexual arousal, these can be very different.

 

Aphrodisiacs science says work:

Here are four products that have science (and time) backing them up to show an increase in physical sexual arousal.

 

1. Zestra Clitoral Arousing Oil

I was surprised to see two recent studies on Zestra.  This company is taking their research seriously. Both of the studies are double-blind and adhere to quality research.  The researchers behind this study are reputable sex researcher and female sexuality experts including Julia Heiman.

Zestra is a natural oil used on the clitoris and vulva to enhance blood flow to the area, something that is beneficial to arousal, as well as increase nerve conduction.

The 256 women who tried Zestra for 16 weeks, with arousal issues or none, reported “Zestra provided significant desire, arousal and treatment satisfaction benefits.”.

What is interesting to note is that Zestra also showed signs of counter-acting the negative sexual side effects of SSRI antidepressants – increasing arousal and orgasm ability.

There were no negative side effects, however 14% of the women experienced the effect too intensely, reporting a mild irritating sensation.  While this side effect is considered minimal, I found it too harsh for my more sensitive clients.    For those I prefer to recommend Response Cream, which is not backed up with scientific research, but it was one of the most popular with women on Libida and other popular health and sexuality stores.

Zestra stands out with its strong scientific backing. More about Zestra

 

2. Ginseng:

If there is one element that is connected with sexual desire more than anything else it is “good health”.  When we feel healthy we feel sexy. Ginseng is a substance that has strong roots as being good for overall health and energy level.

Panax Ginseng is considered better for men, while Eleuthereo is considered better for women.

3. ArginMax:

ArginMax is a commercial blend of L-arginine, Ginseng and Ginko Biloba along with other supplements. It comes in two different blends, one made for men and one for women.  Both blends have been researched with double-blind studies and found to boost libido and orgasm ability.

Men ArginMax: A study in 1998 gave ArginMax to 52 men with erectile dysfunction. They found that 84% of the men reported an increased ability to get and maintain an erection (compared with 24% in placebo group). More about ArginMax

Women ArginMax: 108 women participated in a double-blind study in 2006  – after 4 weeks 72% reported a significant improvement in level of sexual desire compared to the placebo. It was also found to improve vaginal dryness and an increase in frequency of sexual desire and intercourse and greater satisfaction with their relationship.

4. Ginko Biloba

Ginko Biloba is considered one of the few herbs to have aphrodisiac properties.  The leaves of this plant work as vasodilators and neurotransmitter enhancers.  Through anecdotal reports and placebo-based studies have shown evidence to increase sexual arousal and ability to orgasm.

A study from 1998 found that:

  • 91% of women saying that it increases their sexual arousal and ability to orgasm. (Cohen, 1998)
  • 76% of men said it enhanced their sexual ability particularly in the area of erection in blood flow to the penis.
  • They also found that Ginko Biloba counteracted the negative effects of SSRI anti-depressant

 

Few natural sexual arousal products (aphrodisiacs) have been properly studied.  But, when you find the few that have been subjected to the rigors of science, and they still work, they are worth a look to increase at least physical arousal.