Herbs That Enhance Your Sex Life: Saw Palmetto and Tribulus
Saw Palmetto (Botanical name- Serenoa Repens) has berries that produce useful extracts. These berries have been used for centuries in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia. This herb is so special as the knowledge of their use dates back to traditional folklore. Native American Indians used this herb as a tonic and basic food. In 1800s, the medical world began to look at Saw Palmetto closer. It was listed in books like the Materia Medic 1905, then King’s American Dispensatory 1898, the U.S Pharmacopoeia 1900-1916 and the National Formulary 1925-1942. Ancient knowledge to modern medicine.
Let us look at the reason this herb works. Saw Palmetto has even been found to be helpful for some female conditions. It was also listed as an expectorant (clears mucus)
These days Saw Palmetto is still used for benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate gland), yet also can be used for chronic pelvic pain, a decreased sex drive, migraines and hair loss. A study documented in PubMed in 2013 also claims it helps erectile dysfunction.
It is not that it directly increases testosterone, for the way it works is that it slows down the 5- alpha reductase (5- aR).This enzyme called 5 – alpha reductase converts good testosterone to DHT (dihydrotestosterone). Finasteride is a medical medication used to reduce activity of 5- aR but now studies have shown the effectiveness of Saw Palmetto extract instead. By slowing this conversion with Saw Palmetto, good healthy testosterone can be preserved. How this works is because Saw Palmetto contains fatty acids collectively known as liposterols which are a type of fat that is said to be the active ingredient but like all herbs it is the whole constituents of the berries.
Tribulus Terrestris is an Asian plant commonly called Puncture Vine. Chinese herbalists have used it for centuries as an aphrodisiac. The roots and the fruits are used for virility and vitality. The roots enhance libido and sexual wellbeing without seeming to affect testosterone, while the fruits appear to potently protect organ function.
Research grows that a leaf extract of this attractive ground-cover Tribulus helps treat a variety of sex problems in women— from low libido, arousal difficulties, lubrication problems, and orgasm troubles—and also possibly erectile dysfunction and infertility in men.
Western scientists still aren’t sure how the plant works, but Tribulus is safe in recommended amounts and the weight of current evidence tilts in favour of this herb as an effective sexual medicine. Beware though, In to higher dose for some people it may cause stomach upsets.
Initially, researchers thought Tribulus boosted circulating levels of male sex hormones - testosterone in men and androgens in women. These hormones govern libido, and women taking the herb showed consistent improvement in sexual desire. But some Tribulus studies tracked participants’ testosterone/androgens levels and results were inconclusive. In some trials, hormone levels increased, however in others, they did not. Now researchers speculate that the plant increases the body’s synthesis of another compound critical to sexual function, nitric oxide.
These are some studies giving Tribulus to women:
Brazilian researchers gave a placebo or Tribulus (750 mg/day) to 36 postmenopausal women complaining of low libido. After four months, the placebo group reported scant improvement, but those taking Tribulus reported significantly increased desire, arousal, and lubrication, and greater likelihood of orgasm.
Another Brazilian team gave either a placebo or Tribulus (750 mg/day) to 60 postmenopausal women complaining of sexual dysfunction. After four months, the Tribulus group reported significantly greater desire, easier arousal, greater self-lubrication, more comfortable intercourse, more orgasms, and enhanced sexual satisfaction.
A third Brazilian group gave the herb (250 mg three times a day) to 120 women with low libido. One hundred and six (88 percent) reported significant improvement.
A fourth group of Brazilians gave either a placebo or Tribulus to 40 pre-menopausal women complaining of low desire. The placebo group showed no improvement, but those taking the plant extract showed significantly greater desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasms, and satisfaction.
Iranian scientists gave 60 low-desire women a placebo or Tribulus (7.5mg/day). A month later, the latter reported significantly enhanced desire, lubrication, and satisfaction.
For men: Possible Help with Tribulus for Erectile Dysfunction (ED) and Infertility
Tribulus is less consistently effective for sex problems in men. A Brazilian study using 800 mg/day showed no benefit for treating erectile dysfunction (ED). Yet this study lasted only one month, possibly too short a duration to show benefit.
In a three-month study, Bulgarian researchers gave either a placebo or Tribulus (750 mg/day) to 180 men, age 18 to 65, with mild to moderate ED, some of whom also complained of low desire. The herb group showed significant improvement: more desire, firmer more reliable erections, and greater sexual satisfaction.
In addition, several studies show that in men suffering from infertility, Tribulus (750 to 1500 mg/day) improves sperm motility and quality.
This can be a sensitive topic to bring up with practitioners however if you feel one, or both of these herbs, could help you please discuss it with one of our practitioners.