List of Best Aphrodisiac Foods to Increase Your Libido

Last updated on June 29th, 2023 at 03:50 pm

10 minutes read. 


In this article:

What’s an Aphrodisiac?

Yohimbe ǁ Mandrake plant

Red Ginseng ǁ Fenugreek

Maca ǁ Tribulus ǁ Ginkgo biloba

Pistachio nuts ǁ Saffron

Other popular aphrodisiac foods

Fact or Fiction ǁ Conclusion


Nature has endowed you with the ability to have sexual urges naturally but sometimes diseases, infections, age, and certain sicknesses may cause you to lose the rate of sex drive you should have as a healthy being.

As a result, you may need some special foods or herbs to regain your sex drive.

There is countless medicine in the market designed to increase sex drive and performance, which normally come with all sorts of adverse effects. This will make you think twice before taking the medicine, right?

Aphrodisiac foods and drugs contain special components that arouse sexual instinct, bring on desire, or increase sexual pleasure or performance.

Certain food like ginkgo biloba and saffron naturally contain aphrodisiac ingredients. Although they may have small side effects but cannot be compared to over-the-counter drugs.

Some individuals that know the value of natural foods prefer them over pharmaceutical drugs.

While many aphrodisiacs do not have the backing of modern scientific evidence, our ancient fathers have used them for time immemorial in solving the same problem.

This article takes you through nine ancient foods and herbs that may increase your sexual urge and performance.

Feel free to skim through.

What’s an Aphrodisiac?

An aphrodisiac is defined as any food or drug that arouses the sexual instinct, induces sexual desire, and increases pleasure and performance.

The word “Aphrodisiac” is derived from ëAphroditaeí the Greek Goddess of love and these foods and herbs are derived from plants, animals, or minerals and since time immemorial they have been the passion of man.

Even in today’s culture, there are certain foods that are used as aphrodisiacs, including strawberries and raw oysters. Chocolate, coffee, and honey are also believed to have aphrodisiac potential.

Here are nine selected Aphrodisiac foods you may use to regain that peculiar feeling and stay steady and fit.

1. Yohimbe

Yohimbe is an evergreen tree native to central and western Africa. It has a compound called yohimbine in its bark.

The bark has been used traditionally as an aphrodisiac and to enhance sexual performance.

Yohimbe is promoted for erectile dysfunction, athletic performance, weight loss, angina (chest pain caused by not enough blood flow to the heart), high blood pressure, diabetic neuropathy, and more.

It is a prescription drug in the United States for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Its popularity has waned since the introduction of Viagra.

Its bark extracts are also sold in health food stores and online. In Germany and other EU countries, it is not approved for use.

Traditionally, Yohimbe has been used in Africa for fever, coughs, leprosy, and as an aphrodisiac.

So far, scientific evidence supporting the potential benefits of Yohimbe in human clinical studies for low libido or erectile dysfunction is lacking.

Yohimbe can cause a dangerous rise in blood pressure, as well as anxiety and other side effects.

2. Mandrake plant (Mandragoritis)

Mandrake also known as “Goddess of Love” their fruits are called the “apples of love” and there are stories of their use in creating “love potions”

In some parts of the world like the Mediterranean and North Africa, some people claimed to have used mandrake as an aphrodisiac.

As mentioned in the bible, in the book of Genesis in the story of Leah and Rachel,  where the scent of mandrake’s yellow fruits is described as having aphrodisiac properties.

It is no wonder then, that mandrake came to be considered the Viagra of the middle world!

Mandrake scientifically known as Mandragora officinarum, possess adverse effect because of its high concentration of the tropane alkaloid, scopolamine.

This induces the effects of intoxication and narcosis, making users lose all sense of reality, impairing memory, and inducing deep sleep.

Some claimed to have used the mandrake plant to put their patients in a sedated state for surgeries or to relieve pain.

3. Red Ginseng

Ginseng is another popular herb in Chinese medicine.

One particular type — red ginseng — is commonly used to treat a variety of ailments in men and women, including low libido and sexual function.

Several studies have observed that red ginseng is more effective than a placebo at improving erectile function.

Also, one small study found that red ginseng may improve sexual arousal during menopause.

However, these results are not universal, and some experts question the strength of these studies. They warn that more research is needed before making strong conclusions.

Most studies had participants take 1.8–3 grams of red ginseng daily for 4–12 weeks.

People generally tolerate ginseng well, but it may interfere with blood-thinning medications and the treatment of hormone-sensitive cancers.

In some cases, ginseng may also cause headaches, constipation, or minor stomach upset.

4. Fenugreek

Fenugreek is an annual plant cultivated worldwide.

Its seeds are most commonly used in South Asian dishes, but it’s also popular in Ayurvedic medicine as an anti-inflammatory and libido-boosting treatment.

And perhaps this is for good reason — this herb appears to contain compounds that the body can use to make sex hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone.

In one small study, men who took 600 mg of fenugreek extract per day for 6 weeks reported experiencing increased sexual arousal and more orgasms.

However, this supplement also contained 17 mg magnesium, 15 mg zinc, and 5 mg pyridoxine, which could have contributed to the results. Zinc is a nutrient that plays a key role in male fertility.

Similarly, a small study investigated the effects of a daily dose of 600 mg of fenugreek extract in women who had reported having a low sex drive.

Study results showed a significant increase in sexual desire and arousal in the fenugreek group by the end of the 8-week study, compared to the placebo group.

Fenugreek is generally well tolerated, but it can interact with blood-thinning medication and may cause minor stomach upset.

Moreover, due to its influence on sex hormones, fenugreek may also interfere with the treatment of hormone-sensitive cancers.

5. Maca

Maca is a sweet root vegetable with several health benefits.

In South America, people commonly use it to boost fertility, and its nickname is “the Peruvian Viagra.”

It grows mainly in the mountains of central Peru and is related to cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and cabbage.

Animal studies found increases in libido and erectile function in rodents after consuming maca. Other studies suggest it may boost libido in humans, too.

One small study has indicated that maca may help reduce the loss of libido that commonly occurs as a side effect of certain antidepressant drugs.

Most studies provided 1.5–3.5 grams of maca per day for 2–12 weeks.

Participants generally tolerated these intakes well and experienced few side effects. However, more studies are needed to determine safe dosages and long-term effects.

6. Tribulus

Tribulus Terrestris, also known as bindii, is an annual plant that grows in dry climates.

Producers of supplements often claim that it can boost libido.

Studies have suggested that it may raise testosterone levels in some animals, but science hasn’t proved that it can increase testosterone levels or fertility in humans.

Limited evidence suggests it may help boost sexual function and desire in males and females.

7. Ginkgo biloba

Ginkgo biloba is an herbal supplement derived from one of the oldest species of trees — the Ginkgo biloba tree.

Traditional Chinese medicine uses it to treat many ailments, including depression and poor sexual function.

Ginkgo biloba is said to act as an aphrodisiac by helping relax blood vessels and increase blood flow.

Nevertheless, studies have produced mixed results.

In 1998, for example, a small study reported that ginkgo biloba reduced the loss of libido that antidepressant use caused in around 84% of participants.

Both male and female participants said they experienced increased desire, excitement, and ability to orgasm after consuming 60–240 mg of the supplement daily, although the effects seemed stronger in female participants.

However, this was a low-quality study, and its findings may not be reliable.

A more rigorous follow-up study was published in 2004. This study found no improvements in a similar group of participants who took ginkgo biloba.

Ginkgo biloba is generally well tolerated, but it may act as a blood thinner.

Thus, if you’re taking blood-thinning medications, make sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking ginkgo biloba.

8. Pistachio nuts

People have been eating pistachio nuts since 6,000 B.C.

They have nutritional value and are rich in protein, fiber, and healthy fats.

Pistachios may have a variety of health benefits, including helping lower blood pressure, manage weight, and reduce the risk of heart disease.

They may also help reduce symptoms of erectile dysfunction.

In one small study, males who consumed 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of pistachio nuts per day for 3 weeks experienced increased blood flow to the penis and firmer erections.

Experts have suggested that these effects may be due to the ability of pistachios to improve blood cholesterol and stimulate better blood flow throughout the body.

However, this study did not use a placebo group, which makes it difficult to interpret the results. More studies are needed before strong conclusions can be made.

9. Saffron

Saffron is a spice derived from the Crocus sativus flower. It’s native to Southwest Asia and one of the most expensive spices by weight.

This spice is often used as an alternative remedy to help treat depression, reduce stress, and enhance mood.

What’s more, saffron is also popular for its potential aphrodisiac properties, especially in individuals taking antidepressants.

One study observed that a group of men who took 30 mg of saffron per day for 4 weeks experienced greater improvements in erectile function than men given a placebo.

A follow-up study in women reported that those in the saffron group experienced higher levels of arousal and increased lubrication, compared to those in the placebo group.

Nevertheless, studies on saffron’s aphrodisiac properties in individuals without depression yield inconsistent results.

Well-known aphrodisiac foods that are not backed by strong scientific evidence

Chasteberry: Studies suggest that this fruit may influence hormone levels and reduce premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms in women.

However, there’s no evidence that it offers any libido-boosting benefits.

Honey: It has allegedly been used for centuries to bring romance into marriages. One variety called “mad honey is even marketed as a sexual stimulant.

Yet, no studies support this, and it may contain dangerous toxins.

Epimedium: Also known as horny goat weed, it’s popular in traditional Chinese medicine for treating ailments like erectile dysfunction.

Cell and animal studies provide some early support for this use, but human studies are needed.

Hot chilies: According to popular belief, capsaicin, the compound that gives hot chilies their spiciness, stimulates nerve endings on the tongue, causing the release of sex-drive-boosting chemicals.

 However, no studies support this belief.

Alcohol: Alcohol may act as an aphrodisiac by helping both men and women relax and get in the mood.

However, a high alcohol intake can reduce arousal and sexual function, so moderation is key.

Chocolate: Compounds in cacao are often touted to have an aphrodisiac effect, particularly in women.

However, studies provide little evidence to support this belief.

Oysters: While one study reports that they may have some libido-boosting effects in rats, no studies exist to support the libido-enhancing properties of oysters in humans.

Related: Can Men Infertility be prevented?

Related: 10 Facts about Fertility Drugs you don’t Know

Fact or Fiction

Ground rhinoceros horn

Does ground rhinoceros horn increase libido?

There is a belief in Western countries that rhino horn is used as an aphrodisiac and sexual stimulant, but this is not correct and seems to have been misunderstood or misinterpreted by Western media.

The experts say neither Chinese nor Vietnamese traditional medicine ever viewed rhino horn as an aphrodisiac to boost flagging libidos.


An aphrodisiac is defined as any food or drug that arouses the sexual instinct, induces sexual desire, and increases pleasure and performance.

There is countless medicine in the market designed to increase sex drive and performance, which normally come with all sorts of adverse effects. This will make you think twice before taking the medicine, right?

While many aphrodisiacs do not have the backing of modern scientific evidence, our ancient fathers have used them for time immemorial in solving the same problem.

Among the best foods and herbs that may increase libido include:

  • Yohimbe
  • Mandrake plant (Mandragoritis)
  • Red Ginseng
  • Fenugreek
  • Maca
  • Tribulus
  • Ginkgo biloba
  • Pistachio nuts and
  • Saffron. Etc

However, some of these aphrodisiacs normally come with side effects but not to compare pharmaceutical drugs. If you are thinking of supplementing with these herbs to improve or regain your sex performance speak with your doctor.

Also if you are on any medication talk to your healthcare about taking aphrodisiac because they may interact negatively with the medicine.

I hope you get the value worth your time, I appreciate the time you spend with me. Leave a comment below if you find this article helpful and don’t forget to drop your question, opinion, or criticism if any. Cheers!


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