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Botanicals (Adaptogens and Others) that Support or Stimulate Desire: Traditions and Science 

Botanicals (Adaptogens and Others) that Support or Stimulate Desire: Traditions and Science
Chapter:
Botanicals (Adaptogens and Others) that Support or Stimulate Desire: Traditions and Science
Author(s):

Eric Yarnell

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190225889.003.0023
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date: 12 April 2021

Botanical medicines can play an important role in helping men and women with sexual dysfunction. Marketing hype has distorted their role, and illegal adulteration of herbal products with unlabeled phosphodiesterase type 5-inhibiting drugs is a rampant problem in the marketplace. Research most validates the traditional use of Panax ginseng (Asian ginseng) root, Pausinystalia yohimbe (yohimbe) bark, Epimedium spp (horny goat weed) leaf and stem, and Crocus sativus (saffron) stamen for enhancing libido and erectile function. Withania somnifera (ashwagandha) root, Turnera diffusa (damiana) leaf, and Tribulus terrestris (caltrop vine) fruit are less well studied but still have a strong reputation in traditional medicine as aphrodisiacs. Clinical use of these herbs is discussed with case examples. The problem with biopiracy of traditional aphrodisiacs from the Global South is also reviewed.

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