What’s New and What’s Tried and True? Natural Aphrodisiacs: a Review of Selected Sexual Enhancers, Moisturizers and Lubes According to Michael Krychman, MD, Southern California Center for Sexual Health

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.– The Food and Drug Administration defines an aphrodisiac drug product as “any product that bears labeling claims that it will arouse or increase sexual desire, or that it will improve sexual performance.” While the FDA approved prescription Addyi (flibanserin) to increase sexual desire in women, many doctors recommend natural and over-the-counter remedies that are clinically proven safe and effective as an alternative or companion.


“Hypoactive sexual desire disorder is characterized by low sexual desire that causes marked distress or interpersonal difficulty and is not due to a co-existing medical or psychiatric condition, problems within the relationship, or the effects of a medication or other drug substance,” FDA says.

Michael Krychman, MD, Executive Director of the Southern California Center for Sexual Health and Survivorship Medicine and author of many books, including 100 Questions & Answers about Women’s Sexual Wellness and Vitality, reviewed the most popular and currently used aphrodisiac products marketed in the US on behalf of The International Society for Sexual Medicine (July 2015 issue) for safety and efficacy of animal- and plant-based aphrodisiacs, vitamins and minerals, and popular over-the-counter combination supplements. Products were evaluated based on the quality of research, and their known efficacy and safety considerations.

Here are a few common sexual challenges and safe solutions:

  1. Nutrition: Consider an amino acid to enhance libido. Arginine found in granola, oatmeal, nuts, seeds, eggs, coconut milk and root veggies boosts sex drive naturally. Or, try Stronvivo, an Informed Choice certified nutritional supplement comprised of L-Arginine, L-Citruline and other proven essential elements. Stronvivo is designed to repair and rejuvenate the endothelium, boost nitric oxide production, improve blood circulation and increase sexual libido. As published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, Females taking Stronvivo for 90 days experienced significant improvements in all areas of sexual functioning including desire, arousal, orgasm and lubrication while also experiencing significant improvements in mood. Men experienced improved erectile function and increased sexual desire.
  2. Low Libido: Oxytocin released with hugging, stimulation and orgasm can increase feelings of tranquility, safety and can drop cortisol levels, improving sleep. During orgasm, there is also an increased release of prolactin, which helps people fall asleep faster. Zestra, a blend of borage seed oil, evening primrose oil, angelica root extract, and coleus forskohlii extract acts as a feminine arousal oil designed to enhance arousal and orgasm after application to clitoris and labia. A published study of Zestra showed that women with both female sexual arousal disorder (FSAD) and women with normal sexual functioning both experienced improved desire, arousal, and orgasm.
  3. Vaginal Dryness or vulvovaginal atrophy (VVA): VVA can be the cause of painful intercourse and it affects at least 40 percent of postmenopausal women. Hot flashes and night sweats may eventually go away, but decreases in estrogen cause vaginal tissues to become thin, less elastic and dry causing pain during intimacy, discomfort, itching, and irritation even among those who are not sexually active. A combination of Replens Moisturizer once every 3 days and a silicone lubricant like Replens Silky Smooth just before sex can alleviate painful sex. Replens works to change water content and moisturize vaginal tissue, making it more elastic, thicker, and able to enhance the ability to maintain fluid and reduce friction.

“With as many as 80% of couples suffering with a sexual challenge be it lack of desire, erectile dysfunction, vaginal dryness or an inability to orgasm, young, older and even those struggling with serious illnesses like cancer need to know that help is available,” adds Krychman.