Natural Aphrodisiacs: A Safe and Effective Alternative to Pharmaceuticals for Sexual Vitality?

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PrevientMD Supplemental Report  

 

CONTENTS:

What are natural aphrodisiacs?

How were natural aphrodisiacs discovered?

Are ‘Natural’ Aphrodisiacs Safer Than ‘Synthetic’?

How do clinical trials for aphrodisiacs work?

Which natural aphrodisiacs are clinically proven?

Do any foods provide aphrodisiac effects for the user?

What does the U.S. Food and Drug Administration say about safety?

Is ArginMax the most effective natural aphrodisiac?

 

What are natural aphrodisiacs?

          You might think that aphrodisiacs are just ancient folklore and the claims about them are unsubstantiated. Think again!

Up until the 1980s, few plants and herbs with reputed sexual benefits, either from China, India or tribal cultures, had ever been tested by Western medical science laboratories to evaluate their effectiveness. That situation has since changed --in a dramatic way-- and so has the perspective of formerly keptical medical researchers.

          We will use a broad and general definition for natural aphrodisiacs:

           --Natural aphrodisiacs come direct from Nature, not from a laboratory that manufactures synthetic chemicals.

           --Some plant aphrodisiacs stimulate desire by helping to create a mood and feelings that make sexual intimacy easier to achieve.

            --Other plant aphrodisiacs actually play the role of sexual performance enhancers, giving women more genital and orgasmic sensitivity, and men a greater flow of blood to their genitals.

How were natural aphrodisiacs discovered?

             Have you ever wondered where the word ‘horny’ comes from? It came from the ancient belief that ingesting powdered animal horns would give the user sexual vitality. That is just one of dozens of beliefs about aphrodisiacs passed down to us through the generations. Other than possibly being due to a placebo effect –the belief that something will be effective and that belief makes it seem to work—there is no medical evidence that animal horns contain anything that will automatically make you feel horny or sexually desirable.

            Discoveries that some natural aphrodisiacs are actually effective in making people feel horny or sexually potent were made through trial and error over many generations, by many cultures. These cultures were experimenting with plants and observing their effects on both humans and animals.

              Traditional Chinese medicine and the Ayurvedic medicine tradition of India have prescribed plant aphrodisiacs for many thousands of years based on trial and error, and much observation. Horny goat weed and ginseng are two of the more famous aphrodisiacs from China. Nutmeg and clove are ancient natural remedies from India. Catuaba bark, muira puama and damiana were passed down to us from the pre-European tribal cultures of Mexico and South America.             

Are ‘Natural’ Aphrodisiacs Safer Than ‘Synthetic’?

          In general, if we measure safety by the number and severity of symptoms associated with use, the answer is yes, natural aphrodisiacs are safer than synthetics produced in pharmaceutical laboratories.

           You probably have seen the television advertisements for Viagra and similar drugs in which a long list of reported side effects are listed. Viagra, for example, has side effects that include impaired eyesight and a flushing sensation in the face. Viagra isn’t recommended for men who have heart conditions or low blood pressure.

           By contrast, none of the major herbal aphrodisiacs that have been tested in laboratories exhibit such symptoms or have yet generated comparable cautions about their use.

 

How do clinical trials for aphrodisiacs work?

           You may have heard the term ‘double-blind placebo-controlled’ as applied to experiments testing whether something is effective or safe for human consumption. This is medical science’s ‘gold standard’ or seal of approval, especially when the original experiment’s results are replicated by subsequent experiments.

           In general, what ‘double-blind placebo controlled’ means is that the study volunteers are given either a placebo (a sugar pill) or the drug or herb being tested. Neither the volunteers nor the researchers know who is given what until the experiment is over. That is the double blind and placebo part. Usually the results are then published in a peer-reviewed medical or science journal (peer reviewed means by experts in the fields.)

Which natural aphrodisiacs are clinically proven?

           You will find that some reputed natural aphrodisiacs have been well tested in human and animal laboratory studies. Consider these examples:

         Horny Goat Weed—a 2008 study by a research team at the University of Milan (Italy) and published in the Journal of Natural Products found that a compound inside horny goat weed called icariin acts in the same way that Viagra’s active compound, sildenafil, does to promote male erections. But whereas Viagra isn’t recommended for people with heart problems, horny goat weed “appears to be safe” with no side effects, according to the researchers. The soft green heart-shaped leaf of the horny goal weed “worked as well as Viagra” but causes “fewer side effects than Viagra,” the study concluded. A second study, this one published in a 2006 edition of the International Journal of Impotence Research, successful used horny goat weed on rabbits to relax a muscle that corresponds to erectile pathways in men.

          Korean Red Ginseng---Two major studies in the medical science journals International Journal of Impotence Research (1995) and The Journal of Urology (2002) found this herb to be effective in treating erectile dysfunction. Both were double-blind placebo-controlled studies. Not only was penile rigidity and girth increased among the volunteers using the herb, they experienced a more active libido, confirming the ancient stories about the herb’s medicinal properties.

           Nutmeg---A 2005 study in the British medical journal, BMC Complementary Alternative Medicine, examined the effects of nutmeg, an ancient libido remedy from India, on male and female rats. After a week of ingesting nutmeg there was “a significant and sustained increase in the sexual activity” of the rodents. Whether this effect on libido translates into human sexuality remains to be studied, but anecdotal evidence indicates that the human libido is also stimulated by nutmeg.

           Clove---This ancient treatment from India for male sexual disorders was tested in a 2004 study published in the BMC Complementary Alternative Medicine. A group of male rats were fed cloves for a week and that diet “produced a significant and sustained increase in the sexual activity of normal male rats.” Once again, this study is suggestive but awaits replication in clinical trial with human beings.

            Watermelon---Researchers at the Texas A&M University Fruit and Vegetable Improvement Center released findings in 2008 showing that watermelon contains Viagra-like chemicals that can help increase libido. A natural chemical in watermelon called citrulline is converted in the human body into arginine, an amino acid that enhances the circulatory system. Arginine boosts nitric oxide levels in the body in the same way that Viagra does, which can help men suffering from erectile dysfunction.

 

Do Any Foods Provide Aphrodisiac Effects For The User?

         The richest natural source of zinc to build up testosterone levels for sexual performance in both men and women is mung bean sprouts, which are known as Chinese bean sprouts, according to Dr. Brian Clement, a nutritionist and Director of the Hippocrates Health Institute.

          Also nutrient rich are pumpkin seeds, preferably soaked and sprouted. These have the full spectrum of supportive zinc that enhances the DHT, which fosters testosterone development. Shitake mushrooms, wheatgrass juice, along with wheat sprouts, also are helpful in the process of developing and maintaining testosterone. (It’s important to note that while women’s bodies contain about one-third the level of testosterone as men, women also require an adequate supply of this hormone for sexual desire.)

           Here are 19 foods that nutritionists such as Dr. Clement say can enhance your libido:

           Apricots and Apricot Seeds: These contain abscisic acid (B-17) which invigorates sexual hormones. Consume up to 15 apricot seeds several hours before sexual contact.

          Black Raspberry (Fruit and Seeds): This food enhances both libido and sexual endurance. Consume 10 black raspberries, or one tablespoon of the seeds, about two hours before sexual intimacy.

           Dill: For women, this herb helps to increase egg production and the desire for intimacy. Consume a half-ounce of sunflower green sprouts a few hours before sexual intercourse.

           Figs: Considered excellent stimulants of fertility, figs also enhance the secretion of pheromones. Eat up to five figs before intimacy.

          Flower Pollen: This isa white blood cell strengthener with aphrodisiac qualities. Take one tablespoon of it every morning.

          Hibiscus: A gland stimulator, sip tea made from this flower before engaging in intimacy.

          Jerusalem Artichoke: An energy vegetable, but without the sugars, take four ounces on the morning of any planned sexual intimacy.

           Lentil Sprouts: Minerals and vitamins in these sprouts help to stimulate hormones. Consume about three to five ounces an hour before intimate contact.

           Lettuce: Iceberg lettuce contains an opiate that helps to activate sex hormones. Eat one bowl of organic iceberg lettuce three hours before intimacy.

           Mulberries: Long valued as an aphrodisiac food, consume one or two handfuls just before foreplay.

           Nutmeg: Known for its effects on a woman’s hormones, consume two to three ounces an hour before intimate contact.

           Oat Sprouts: The expression ‘sow your wild oats’ comes from their reputation as an aphrodisiac that stimulates sexual vitality. Eat three to four ounces of uncooked oat sprouts about four hours before sex.

           Pea Greens: Contain high levels of amino acids and enhances red blood cell production, which can sexually arouse males. Juice and drink two to four ounces an hour before intimacy.

           Radicchio: Mineral and trace mineral content helps to confer sexual endurance in both men and women. Eat two ounces about eight hours before sex.

           Spelt Sprouts: These protein-rich grains contain high levels of vitamins and amino acids; try eating one cup two to four hours before intimacy to increase sexual endurance.

           Tomato Seeds: Sun-dried organic tomato seeds invigorate the sex hormones. Consume two to three ounces about an hour before sex.

            Watermelon Seed Sprouts: White blood cells counts are increased by these complete proteins, which in turn enhances sexual vitality. Juice and drink six ounces before intimacy.

            Yams: Both men and women experience elevated hormone levels from consuming raw yams, either in grated or sprouted form. Take three to six ounces about two hours before contact.

            Zucchini: By using it either juiced or raw, these roots of the summer squash enhance blood circulation and helps with both desire and performance. Eat about three ounces three hours before your anticipated sexual encounter.

 

What does the U.S. Food and Drug Administration say about safety?

          You should be aware that some aphrodisiac folk remedies are a definite danger to public health.  In New York City, at least a half-dozen deaths have occurred in the past few years as a result of people ingesting toad venom from China, marketed as an aphrodisiac under such names as Piedra, Chinese Rock, or Love Stone.

           A series of health alerts have been issued to consumers by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration based on FDA lab analyses of some supplements sold as sex enhancers over the counter and on the Internet. Most of these products contained unlabeled prescription ingredients used in Viagra, Cialis and Levitra, which could kill men with heart disease or who take certain medications that could interact with these hidden ingredients. Here are the examples taken from the U.S. FDA website.

         () Manufacturers of Vinarol and Viga tablets, which were promoted as increasing desire, confidence and sexual performance, had to recall those products in 2003 when the FDA testing found sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra.

          () Manufacturers of Sigra, Stamina Rx, and Stamina Rx for Women, Y-Y Spontane ES, and Uroprin, were forced to recall those brands later in 2003 because the FDA found they contained unlabeled tadalafil, the active ingredient in Cialis.

           () Manufacturers of Zimaxx, Libidus, Neophase, Nasutra, Vigor-25, Actra-Rx, and 4Everon, all were cited in 2006 by the FDA for marketing illegal drugs with the unlabeled and undeclared ingredients  sildenafil or vardenafil, the active ingredient in Levitra.

          () The manufacturer of Liviro3, Ebek, Inc. of Los Angeles, conducted a voluntary recall in 2007 after an FDA lab analysis found tadalafil in their product.

          () Confidence, Inc. of Port Washington, New York recalled its supplement called Long Weekend, marketed under the American Best Nutrition label, after undeclared tadalafil was found to be an ingredient during 2007 testing.

           () Jen-On Herbal Science International of Industry, California withdrew its HS Joy of Love product after vardenafil was found in it, and America True Man Health, Inc. was forced to recall its True Man Sexual Energy Nutrient Capsules and Energy Max Energy Supplement Men’s Formula Capsules after sildenafil was found in them during FDA lab testing.

           Finally, be wary of any aphrodisiac described as “Spanish Fly.” This is a powder made from a species of Mediterranean beetle. When it is swallowed, it irritates the lining of the bladder and urethra, resulting in an inflamed clitoris in women. Adverse reactions can go well beyond inflammation. Just a few milligrams of Spanish Fly can permanently damage your kidneys, and heavier doses can produce coma or death.

 

Is ArginMax The Most Effective Natural Aphrodisiac?

          If you feel you’ve lost your normal desire for sex, if you engage in sexual relations less frequently than you would like, if your genital sensitivity is less than satisfactory, or if you have difficulty achieving an erection or an orgasm, there is an all-purpose natural remedy that might work for you.  

As far as we know, no other herbal aphrodisiac can accurately make that claim for both men and women based on independent laboratory testing.

          What does ‘clinically proven’ mean for this product?

         Five major independent peer-reviewed double-blind placebo-controlled medical studies have found ArginMax to be effective in improving the overall sex lives of both women and men.  These studies were published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, the Journal of Women’s Health, and The Journal of the Hawaii Medical Association, and The Journal of Community Support Oncology. (see below for details of the study results.)

            Who is the ‘expert’ who created this formula?

          You have probably never heard of him, but he is known in the medical field. Dr. Hank Wuh, who received his M.D. from Johns Hopkins University Medical School, and other degrees from Harvard University and Stanford University, founded The Daily Wellness Company in Mountain View, Calif. in the 1990s after discovering how combinations of Chinese herbs improved symptoms of sexual dysfunction. Many of these herbs had been touted by ancient Chinese medicine practitioners as aphrodisiacs for thousands of years and their effectiveness has since been affirmed in modern Western medical laboratories.

          What is in the ArginMax product formula?

           The product combines Gingko biloba, Korean ginseng, the amino acid L-arginine, damiana, and 12 other vitamin and mineral ingredients. Many of these ingredients have also been tested individually for their impact on sexual health. For example, in a 1998 study published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy ginkgo was administered to 63 volunteers who suffered from sexual dysfunctions as a result of using antidepressants. Ginkgo relieved the negative sexual symptoms of 91 percent of the women and 76 percent of the men participating in the study.

          Is this herbal supplement safe?

          During four clinical trials of ArginMax it was administered to hundreds of volunteers. No significant side effects of any sort were documented.

          How often do you need to take it?

          Users are instructed to take six capsules a day. A one month supply of ArginMax costs around $30 for both the men’s and women’s formula.

          What’s the difference between ArginMax for men and women?

            You will find that the formulations are similar, but different in several respects.

           ---ArginMax for Women contains more calcium and iron because women need these minerals more than men do.

            ---ArginMax for Women contains less zinc, which men need for a healthy prostate.

             --- ArginMax for Women also contains an herb not in the formula for men—damiana. A folk aphrodisiac in Latin American for many centuries, damiana has been recently tested and found to be effective for use in women. A 1999 study published in the medical journal Psychopharmacology found that when laboratory animals were fed damiana their frequency of sexual intercourse increased, indicating that the herb has aphrodisiac properties.

          What do independent experts say about ArginMax?

          You can be assured that independent researchers in sexuality are aware of ArginMax and the research results on it. Neurophysiologist Beverly Whipple, a professor emerita at Rutgers University and president of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, who has been involved in research on women’s sexuality for 30 years, told an interviewer for Salon.com: “I was impressed by the ArginMax studies. The drug companies treat women as though they’re mini-men. They can’t understand why Viagra doesn’t work for women. Well, it doesn’t. But in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, ArginMax did. As a neurophysiologist, I find that very interesting.”

          What specifically did the studies of ArginMax find?

  • A team of medical researchers based at the University of Hawaii School of Medicine did a four-week evaluation of 73 men, ages 31-73 years, who reported mild, moderate or severe erectile dysfunction. By the end of the study, 87.5% of men in the ArginMax group had an improved ability to maintain an erection, compared to just 22% in the placebo group. No side effects were reported. This study was published in the December 1998 issue of The Journal of the Hawaii Medical Association.
  • As reported in a 2001 issue of the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, a double-blind placebo-controlled study of 77 women with an interest in improving their sexual function was divided into a placebo group and a group receiving ArginMax. After four weeks, 75.5% of the ArginMax group experienced greater satisfaction with their overall sex life, with more sexual desire, clitoral sensation, and reduction of vaginal dryness. Only one-third of the placebo group reported any improvements. No significant side effects were found.
  • In the Journal of Women’s Health, May 2001), a study by researchers at Stanford University Medical School divided 93 women, ages 22-73 years, into placebo and ArginMax groups. After four weeks, those taking the supplement “reported significant improvements in level of sexual desire, satisfaction with sex life, and frequency of intercourse as compared to the placebo group. Significant improvements also were noted in lubrication, frequency of sexual desire, and degree of clitoral sensation.”
  • In a 2006 issue of the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, it was reported that researchers worked with 108 women, 22 to 73 years old, who had reported a lack of sexual desire. They were divided into placebo and ArginMax groups. The women who took the supplement experienced significant improvement in their levels of sexual desire, their sexual satisfaction, and their clitoral sensitivity. “Since ArginMax for women has been shown to exhibit no estrogen activity,” commented the study authors, “it may be desirable alternative to hormone therapy for sexual concerns.”
  • Wake Forest University Cancer Center scientists did a 12-week, randomized placebo-controlled trial involving 186 female cancer patients to test whether ArginMax either improved their quality of life, or positively impacted sexual functioning. Most had breast or gynecologic cancer. The results, published in a 2015 issue of the Journal of Community Support Oncology, found those taking the supplement “had total scores significantly better” in physical and functional well-being (patient quality of life) than those who took placebos, but no overall significant difference in sexual desire and orgasm satisfaction was uncovered.

 

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Posted in Sexual Vitality on April 24 at 06:16 AM

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