Unlike individual nutrients, whole herbs contain multiple elements that work together to produce specific effects. “Herbs are about nourishing and building. If someone is eating fast food and working 80 hours a week, an herb isn’t going to fix their stress. But herbs can offer laser-specific nutrition for the tissues,” says Ayurvedic practitioner Veena Haasl-Blilie, founder of Saumya Ayurveda. (Ayurveda is a system of medicine that originated in India more than 3,000 years ago. Learn more about the practice here.)
“Herbs are about nourishing and building. If someone is eating fast food and working 80 hours a week, an herb isn’t going to fix their stress. But herbs can offer laser-specific nutrition for the tissues.”
They generally take time (think weeks to months) to exert their effects. Working with a licensed herbalist for personalized selection and dosing is highly recommended because herbs can be potent and interact with other medications.
Libido Supporting Herbs
These are some go-to herbs for libido support that Haasl-Blilie uses with her clients:
“Ironically, this herb is a tonic and sedative rolled into one genius plant,” she notes. “Its energetic quality is heating. It bolsters an exhausted nervous system, which may manifest as hyper qualities, such as unstable emotions, agitation, and feeling stressed. It’s renowned for providing ‘the sexual stamina of a horse,’ and it increases overall strength, promotes restorative sleep, and increases sperm production.” (Learn more about ashwagandha at “7 Adaptogens for Health.”)
“Called ‘the woman with a hundred husbands,’ this herb is a tonic for the female reproductive system and is anti-inflammatory. It is an aphrodisiac, improves strength, and enhances sexual appetite. It also promotes fertility, lactation, and sperm production.”
Tribulus (a.k.a. gokshura):
“This herb is nourishing to the reproductive system, enhances sexual appetite and potency, and improves strength,” Haasl-Blilie explains. A small randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in 2014 found that women with low sexual desire experienced significant improvement in desire, arousal, lubrication, satisfaction, and pain after consuming 7.5 mL of Tribulus extract twice a day for four weeks.
“This is an exudate from Himalayan rocks, also known as mineral pitch and vegetable asphalt. It has a high mineral content, making it an amazing supplement. It is balancing for all constitutions in moderation, and it enhances sexual potency.”