Low libido in men is not as common as it is in women, but the repercussions are often more serious and far-reaching due to the psychological link between sexuality and masculinity. For men, low libido might lead to low self-esteem, loss of confidence, and even depression. Because men are less likely to talk about problems with low libido, they are also less likely to seek medical help.
Luckily, there are a plethora of natural solutions that have been scientifically proven to help increase low libido, ramp up sex drive, and support sexual stamina and performance in men. Here are five of the most promising:
1. Tribulus (Tribulus terrestris)
Growing in eastern Europe, Africa, Australia, India, the Americas, and southern Asia, tribulus is a medicinal plant with aphrodisiac properties that supports healthy testosterone levels, boosts libido, and helps increase sex drive in men. There are a number of active ingredients in tribulus, including kaempferol compounds, tribulosin, harmine and steroidal saponins like protodioscin, the chemical responsible for its action as a testosterone- and libido-enhancer.
Tribulus works by supporting healthy levels of luteinizing hormone (LH), a precursor to testosterone, thereby supporting healthy testosterone levels which in turn affect sex drive and libido. Tribulus also helps to relax smooth muscle, resulting in an increase of blood flow; thus its ability to support healthy sexual performance in men. Several small human studies show tribulus’s effectiveness in boosting libido and sex drive. Tribulus has also been proven to increase testosterone levels and sex drive in various animal studies.
2. Maca (Lepidium peruvianum)
Hailing from Peru, maca has been used for centuries to increase libido, sexual desire and sexual pleasure in both men and women. Dense in vital nutrients like amino acids, enzymes, vitamins (especially energy-boosting B-vitamins) and minerals, not only is maca root extremely nutritious, but it also works as an adaptogen – a special type of plant medicine that helps the body deal with stress while at the same time balancing the body’s systems in a way unique to each person’s needs.
Maca supports hormonal balance by nourishing the hypothalamus and pituitary glands, helping to bring balance to the entire endocrine system. Studies have shown that maca has a positive effect on sexual function, low libido, and sexual desire in both men and women. It also helps to maintain sperm health, ease anxiety, and support a healthy mood.
3. Yohimbe (Pausinystalia yohimbe)
Yohimbe, obtained from the bark of a tall evergreen tree native to Africa, has been used traditionally as a natural aphrodisiac, and is commonly used today to boost libido and support sexual health. Yohimbine, the alkaloid responsible for yohimbe’s sexual effects, has been synthesized in modern medicine and is a component of certain prescription drugs that treat sexual dysfunction.
Yohimbe works to support healthy sexual function by supporting healthy blood flow to the reproductive organs. It has also been shown to increase epinephrine and norepinephrine levels in the body, affecting the body’s stress response and possibly stimulating the sympathetic nervous system, which could contribute to its reputation as a libido booster in men.
4. Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma longifolia)
Tongkat Ali, also known as ‘longjack’, is extracted from the root of the pasak bumi tree found in southeast Asia. Tongkat Ali has been shown to help increase the availability of free testosterone in men, positively affecting sexual stamina, energy and muscle mass. Tongkat Ali’s testosterone-boosting properties also make it a natural solution for maintaining a healthy erection and boosting libido in men.
Like tribulus, Tongkat Ali works by supporting healthy levels of luteinizing hormone (LH), which stimulates testosterone production. Studies back up Tongkat Ali’s effectiveness, showing that it successfully increases free testosterone levels, helps maintain a healthy erection, and benefits sperm health, while also increasing overall energy.
5. Ginseng (Panax ginseng)
The root of the ginseng plant has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) to increase sexual performance and overall energy levels. Today, ginseng is commonly used to increase energy, stamina, and libido. In studies, ginseng has been shown to help increase libido, help maintain a healthy erection, and to provide positive benefits to sperm health. Ginseng works by supporting healthy circulation to the sex organs, and through its adaptogenic properties which help to balance the body’s systems, including the endocrine/hormone system, as well as help the body adapt to stress.