If one thing is apparent, it’s that humans have been concerned about their sexual health for thousands of years. In modern day, we’ve seen the research and the advertisements. We know the money spent on the marketing and pursuit of sexual health. While we’ve all heard of aphrodisiacs such as oysters and chocolate, the use of different herbs for improving sexual health and as aphrodisiacs predates written text.
The benefits of a healthy libido go above and beyond personal pleasure and ensuring the continuation of our genetic line. Scientific studies have proven time and time again that good sexual health is imperative to our physical, mental and emotional health as well. It’s no wonder then that humanity across all cultures and time have pursued this worthy goal and contributed to the large body of ever-expanding knowledge on this topic.
~Let’s take a look at 5 of the most supportive herbs for female sexual health and libido~
Damiana (turnera diffusa)
This low growing plant with yellow flowers and spicy fragrant leaves is found in the subtropical climates of southern Texas, Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. The name comes from the greek words Daman or Damia meaning “to tame or subdue”.
Folklore suggests that the Aztecs, Mayans, and Guaycura loved damiana. For them, this herb was not only an aphrodisiac, but also a remedy for anxiety, depression, digestive problems, menstrual irregularities, and bed-wetting.
Recent studies have shown the effects of taking damiana for women may include:
• An increase in sexual desire
• A reduction of vaginal dryess
• A greater frequency of sexual intercourse and orgasm
• Enhanced clitoral sensation Contraindications: pregnant or lactating women should not take damiana. Also, if you are diabetic, please consult with your doctor as damiana might lower blood sugar levels.
Shatavari Root (Asparagus racemosus)
Asparagus you say? Yes, shatavari is a member of the asparagus family. It’s also an adaptogenic herb. Adaptogenic herbs are said to help your body cope with physical and emotional stress. Shatavari is an Ayurvedic herb that has been used for thousands of years and offers a multitude of benefits, from reproductive health to boosting immunity.
In Sanskrit, “Shatavari” translates to “100 spouses” — signaling the powerful reproductive properties of the herb. Shatavari can be extremely beneficial for women's reproductive health throughout all stages of their life. Studies have shown that the benefit of taking shatavari include:
• Improved lactation
• Relief of menopausal symptoms
• Anti-depressive effects
• Improved immune function
Contraindications: pregnant women should not take shatavari. Anyone taking diuretic medication should avoid shatavari. The supplement may also cause low blood sugar.
People taking medications or herbal remedies to lower blood sugar should refrain from taking shatavari.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
Also known as “Indian ginseng” and “winter cherry”, this herb has been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine tracing back to 4000 years. This herb is well-known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and anti-stress properties, and it is believed to enhance overall health and longevity; but did you know that it is also known as the all-natural “Female Viagra”? Research has shown that it’s benefits may include:
- Improvement in sexual arousal
- Improved lubrication
- Improved quality of orgasm and overall satisfaction
We all know that stress puts a damper on libido. As an adaptogen, ashwagandha root significantly helps to manage stress by reducing the concentration of stress hormones in blood. This stress-managing effect makes a direct contribution to sexual health. Additionally, ashwagandha root enhances overall energy, stamina and endurance. All things necessary for a healthy libido.
Contraindications: While largely considered safe, ashwagandha should not be taken by those who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or suffer from hyperthyroid.
Also known as the maiden-hair tree, the ginkgo tree is thought to be one of the oldest living trees, dating back more than 200 million years. It is native to China, Japan, and Korea, but is also now grown in Europe and the United States. It has a long history in traditional Chinese medicine. Members of the royal court were given ginkgo nuts for senility. Today, the extract from ginkgo leaves is promoted as a dietary supplement with many benefits such as:
- Anti-oxidant effects
- Fights inflammation
- Improves circulation
- May help with depression
- May help with anxiety
- Improves brain function
- Supports vision and eye health
- May treat headaches
- Can improve asthma
And the ones we ovulating/post ovulating women are most excited about:
- May reduce PMS and menopausal symptoms
- May help boost libido
Contraindications: If you are allergic to plants that contain alkylphenols or taking certain medications, you should not take ginkgo. It’s important to talk to your doctor before including ginkgo in your routine. Possible adverse medication interactions include: Blood thinners (Warfarin, aspirin), SSRIs/MAOIs/antidepressants (Prozac, Zoloft), NSAIDS (ibuprofen, Tylenol)
Korean Ginseng (Panax Ginseng)
Korean red ginseng is a slow growing plant that grows in Asia. It’s sometimes known as Asian ginseng, Chinese ginseng, or panax ginseng.
Korean red ginseng shouldn’t be confused with Siberian ginseng or American ginseng. Siberian and American ginseng are different plants that serve different needs. Korean red ginseng has been used in traditional Chinese medicine as an overall wellness supplement for centuries.
Red Korean ginseng must grow for 6 years before it is harvested. The root is said to resemble the human body. Rather than arms and legs, it has shoots. This resemblance is thought to be the reason that traditional herbalists considered ginseng a full-body treatment. Today, research is showing just how effective ginseng is as a natural remedy. Overall it is used to:
- boost the immune system
- improve heart health
- treat diabetes
- increase energy
- decrease stress
- treat impotence
Recently, researchers have found that red ginseng may improve sexual function in women. A 2020 study on menopausal women found that the ginseng didn’t statistically relieve the symptoms of menopause, but it did improve sexual functioning for these women. A study conducted in the Republic of Korea looked at how the use of Korean Red Ginseng affected premenopausal women. The primary improvement among the women who took the ginseng product was in their sex drive.
Contraindications: Although generally safe for most people, please consult with your doctor before taking ginseng. People taking diabetes medications should monitor their blood sugar levels closely when using ginseng to ensure these levels do not go too low. Additionally, ginseng may reduce the effectiveness of anticoagulant drugs. Lastly, there is evidence suggesting that the extended use of ginseng could decrease its effectiveness in the body. To maximize its benefits, you should take ginseng in 2–3 week cycles with a one or two week break in between.
Try our Organic Goddess tincture which is a blend of all 5 of these research-backed herbs for the most potent libido and sensuality herbal support available.