By Dr. Gabrielle Francis



Aphrodisiacs are substances that are believed to increase sexual desire and fertility.  The name originates from the Greek Goddess of love and sexuality, Aphrodite.  The aphrodisiacs may be food, herbs or other substances that have affects on the hormones or neurotransmitters therefore enhancing feelings of love and attraction.

Aphrodisiacs may help to dissipate some of the emotional, psychological, or physical ailments that inhibit sexual desire and intimacy.  

For example, they may have one of the following effects:

  • Reduce Stress
  • Enhance Mood
  • Calm Anxiety
  • Relieve Depression
  • Increase Circulation
  • Energize Mind and Body
  • Appeal to the Senses

Remember that physical stress and exhaustion may affect your desire to feel love and intimacy.   The following herbs, foods and essential oils are a few of the aphrodisiacs that can help to balance your body and promote feelings of wellbeing.




Ginseng is one of the bestselling herbs in the United States. In much of Asia, ginseng is prized as a revitalizer for the whole body, partly due to the human-like shape of the root. 

Horny Goat Weed

According to folklore, horny goat weed's reputed aphrodisiac qualities were discovered when a Chinese goat herder noticed increased sexual activity in his flock [ after they ingested the weed. 


Fo-ti is also called he shou wu, which means "black-haired Mr. He" in Chinese. This name refers to a legend of an older villager named Mr. He who took fo-ti and restored his black hair, youthful appearance, and sexual vitality.


L-arginine is not an herb but an amino acid that has numerous functions in the body. It has been used for erectile dysfunction and is often promoted as a Viagra alternative


Damiana is a plant native to Mexico and the southern United States. It has been widely used as an aphrodisiac in Mexico for men and women. 

Tribulus Terrestris

Tribulus terrestris is an herb that has been used in the traditional medicine of China and India for centuries. It was only in the mid-90s when Eastern European Olympic athletes claimed that tribulus contributed to their success that tribulus became known in the North America. 

Tongkat Ali

Tongkat Ali is a tree native to Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia. It was dubbed the "Asian Viagra" in a May 1999 report in the New Sunday Times.


According to folklore, ancient Incan warriors took maca before going off to battle to make them physically strong. However, they were later prohibited from taking it, to protect conquered women from their heightened libidos.

Muira Puama

Muira puama, also called "potency wood" is a small Brazilian tree that grows across the Amazon River basin. It has a long history of use in Brazilian folk medicine as an aphrodisiac


Yohimbe is an evergreen tree that grows in western Africa in Nigeria, Cameroon, the Congo, and Gabon. Yohimbe bark extracts are widely promoted online and in health food stores as a natural aphrodisiac to increase libido and treat erectile dysfunction.