It’s no secret that many men like to boast of a healthy libido and try different foods that will allow them to last longer.
Discover the 5 best aphrodisiacs in this text (you can buy most of them very easily).
Maca is a sweet root vegetable with several health benefits.
In South America, people commonly use it to boost fertility, and its nickname is “the Peruvian Viagra.” It grows mainly in the mountains of central Peru and is related to cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and cabbage (1).
One small study has indicated that maca may help reduce the loss of libido that commonly occurs as a side effect of certain antidepressant drugs (7).
Most studies provided 1.5–3.5 grams of maca per day for 2–12 weeks (8).
Participants generally tolerated these intakes well and experienced few side effects. However, more studies are needed to determine safe dosages and long-term effects.
Ginkgo biloba is an herbal supplement derived from one of the oldest species of trees — the Ginkgo biloba tree.
Traditional Chinese medicine uses it to treat many ailments, including depression and poor sexual function.
Ginkgo biloba is said to act as an aphrodisiac by helping relax blood vessels and increase blood flow (9).
Nevertheless, studies have produced mixed results.
In 1998, for example, a small study reported that ginkgo biloba reduced the loss of libido that antidepressant use caused in around 84% of participants.
Both male and female participants said they experienced increased desire, excitement and ability to orgasm after consuming 60–240 mg of the supplement daily, although effects seemed stronger in female participants. However, this was a low-quality study, and its findings may not be reliable (10).
A more rigorous follow-up study was published in 2004. This study found no improvements in a similar group of participants who took ginkgo biloba (11).
Ginkgo biloba is generally well tolerated, but it may act as a blood thinner. Thus, if you’re taking blood-thinning medications, make sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking ginkgo biloba (12).
One particular type — red ginseng — is commonly used to treat a variety of ailments in men and women, including low libido and sexual function (13).
Also, one small study found that red ginseng may improve sexual arousal during menopause (16).
However, these results are not universal, and some experts question the strength of these studies. They warn that more research is needed before making strong conclusions (17).
Most studies had participants take 1.8–3 grams of red ginseng daily for 4–12 weeks.
People generally tolerate ginseng well, but it may interfere with blood-thinning medications and the treatment of hormone-sensitive cancers (18).
In some cases, ginseng may also cause headaches, constipation, or minor stomach upset (19).
Seeds of Fenugreek are most commonly used in South Asian dishes, but it’s also popular in Ayurvedic medicine as an anti-inflammatory and libido-boosting treatment.
And perhaps this is for good reason — this herb appears to contain compounds that the body can use to make sex hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone (20).
In one small study, men who took 600 mg of fenugreek extract per day for 6 weeks reported experiencing increased sexual arousal and more orgasms.
However, this supplement also contained 17 mg magnesium, 15 mg zinc, and 5 mg pyridoxine, which could have contributed to the results. Zinc is a nutrient that plays a key role in male fertility (21, 22).
Similarly, a small study investigated the effects of a daily dose of 600 mg of fenugreek extract in women who had reported having a low sex drive.
Study results showed a significant increase in sexual desire and arousal in the fenugreek group by the end of the 8-week study, compared to the placebo group (23).
Fenugreek is generally well-tolerated, but it can interact with blood-thinning medication and may cause minor stomach upset (24).
This spice is often used as an alternative remedy to help treat depression, reduce stress, and enhance mood (25).
What’s more, saffron is also popular for its potential aphrodisiac properties, especially in individuals taking antidepressants.
One study observed that a group of men who took 30 mg of saffron per day for 4 weeks experienced greater improvements in erectile function than men given a placebo (26).
A follow-up study in women reported that those in the saffron group experienced higher levels of arousal and increased lubrication, compared to those in the placebo group (27).
Nevertheless, studies on saffron’s aphrodisiac properties in individuals without depression yield inconsistent results (28).