Supporting Natural Sexual Vitality
Herbs offer a safe, natural way to nourish the body and boost sexual vitality. They are multifaceted, multidirectional, and multidimensional. A single herb can have many beneficial effects, some immediate, some long-range, some physical, and some emotional. Herbs can be directly healing, while they can also support the body’s own healing mechanisms. For thousands of years, millions of people have used herbs to improve health. That, in part, includes building sexual vigor, and nourishing reproductive health.
Herbs have wide-ranging effects, and they affect different people differently. They also tend to have a progressive effect; they work best when taken at an appropriate dosage over an appropriate length of time. So before using any herb as a health supplement, it’s a good idea to educate yourself about it. Look it up in at least three herbal health books, and compare the descriptions. Consider consulting with an herbalist. Most important, if you are taking any medications--prescription or over-the-counter--consult with your health care provider before beginning a program of herbal supplements. Herbs and drugs can interact strangely, possibly leading to a serious health risk.
Herbs can be prepared as teas, tinctures, and capsules. These preparations are easy to make at home. You can also find many premixed formulations at natural food stores and herb shops. Whether you make your own formulations or purchase commercial mixes, these time-tested botanicals are sure to spice up your love life!
Herbal Love Tonics
Every culture has a set of herbal favorites that nourish sexuality. Here’s a compilation of herbs from around the world that have served humanity pleasurably in both ancient and modern love potions. The herbs listed here have many more properties, but as this book is focused on sexuality, we are listing the actions most likely to affect the reproductive system. For a more complete listing of properties, check out my book The Desktop Guide to Herbal Medicine (Basic Health Publications, 2007).
Asparagus cochinchinensis (Chinese asparagus), A. lucidus,
A. racemosus (Indian asparagus)
Liliaceae (Lily Family)
The word asparagus comes from the Greek asparagos, which refers to tender shoots that can be consumed. Due to its phallic shape, the plant has long been regarded as an aphrodisiac, which can be seen in its etymology; the Ayurvedic name shatavari, for example, means “she who has one hundred husbands.”
Also Known As
Cantonese: tin dung
English: sparrowgrass, hundred-rooted vine, many-haired vine, longevity vine, sataver
Hindi: sahansarmuli, satavar, shatavri
Mandarin: tien men tong
Sanskrit: challagadda, shatavari
Aphrodisiac, brain tonic, demulcent, diuretic, female tonic, galactagogue, kidney yin tonic, nutritive, rejuvenative, and reproductive tonic
Asparagus has been known as a supreme tonic since ancient times. The Taoist classic Embracing the Uncarved Block, written in AD 300 by Ko Hung, tells the story of a man named Tu Tze-wei, who drank asparagus root tea for many years and was able to have sexual relations with eighty wives and concubines, walk a distance of fifty miles a day, and attain the advanced age of 145. In general, it moistens and restores the entire system.
Asparagus root increases orgasmic ability, boosts sperm count, and nourishes the ovum. It is often used to treat erectile dysfunction, and it is excellent for women who have had hysterectomies. On the emotional side, asparagus fosters deep feelings of love and compassion.
Asparagus root is used to treat cystitis, dry skin, erectile dysfunction, female organ weakness, frigidity, herpes, infertility, low libido, low sperm count, menopause, poor memory, post-hysterectomy dryness, and vaginal dryness. It can be used to encourage healing during convalescence.
Essential oil, steroidal glycoside (asparagoside), asparagine, arginine, tyrosine, flavonoids (kaempferol, quercitin, rutin), copper, iron, zinc, resin, tannin, mucilage
Flavor: sweet, bitter
Take 1 cup of tea or 30–40 drops of tincture three times daily.
Safe when used appropriately.
The root is not recommended in cases of chronic diarrhea or cough with excessive clear phlegm.
Arctium lappa, A. minus
Asteraceae (Daisy Family)
The genus name, Arctium, derives from the Greek arktos, “bear,” a reference to the shaggy burrs. The species name, lappa, is derived from a Greek word meaning “to seize,” in reference to the clinginess of the seeds. The common name burdock is derived from the French beurre, “butter,” and the English word dock, meaning “leaves”; French women would wrap their cakes of butter in leaves of burdock to transport it to the marketplace.
Also Known As
Cantonese: ngau gon ji
English: bardane, beggar’s buttons, clotburr, cockle buttons, gypsy rhubarb, happy major, hardock, hareburr, hurr burr, love leaves
French: bardane, rhubarbe du diable
Italian: bardana, lappola
Japanese: gobo, goboshi
Mandarin: shu nian
Russian: lophuh, repeinik
Root, seed, leaf (topically)
Root: adaptogen, adrenal tonic, aphrodisiac, demulcent, diuretic, galactagogue, nutritive, rejuvenative
In Chinese and Hawaiian cultures, burdock is considered an aphrodisiac.It helps one feel grounded and in touch with the body.
As an anti-inflammatory demulcent agent, burdock root soothes and clears internal heat. It improves the elimination of metabolic wastes through the liver, lymph glands, large intestines, lungs, kidneys, and skin. Burdock is used to treat candida, cystitis, gonorrhea, HIV, irritability, lumbago, premenstrual syndrome, prostate inflammation, syphilis, urinary inflammation, and uterine prolapse. It makes an excellent spring detoxification or fasting tea.
Root: vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, polyacetylenes, chlorogenic acid, taraxosterol, arctigen, inulin, lactone, essential oil, flavonoids, tannin, mucilage, resin
Flavor: root--bitter; seed--pungent Temperature: cool Moisture: dry Polarity: yin Planet: Venus/Jupiter/Saturn/Pluto Element: water
Take 1 cup of tea or 10–30 drops of tincture three times daily.
Avoid burdock seeds during the first trimester of pregnancy, during the later stages of measles, and in cases of open sores.