The rise in popularity of herbal remedies in recent decades has not just had an important effect upon our everyday approach to healthcare and nutrition, but has also had a profound effect upon our sex lives too.
Herbs and their extracts have been used to help boost male libido and improve performance for centuries – even millennia – in south, east and south-east Asia, and the ancient knowledge and ideas about their effects are now being put to the test as scientists and medical researchers conduct experiments and isolate the active compounds.
Whilst this research is ongoing (and doubtless ever new applications for these wonderful and versatile plants are being developed) and definitive, scientific answers into just how effective some of these plants really are still await us, the use of these plants continues to grow in industrialised countries, and a growing body of anecdotal evidence and testimonials seem to attest that – on the whole – most men are fairly happy with the results of these so-called ‘male enhancement’ supplements.
Let us now take a brief look at the most popular plants and the claims that are made for them.
Tongkat ali: This plant, which is also commonly called Pasak Bumi, is native to Malaysia where its aphrodisiac and performance enhancing properties have been known for centuries. Recent studies have shown that the plant boosts testosterone production and inhibits the breakdown of testosterone into DHT.
Horny Goat Weed: Is the name for several species of small flowering plants of the genus Epimedium. Also known as Yin Yang Huo, these little plants are native to China, where they have been used as aphrodisiacs for both men and women for millennia. Legend has it that the plants’ aphrodisiac properties were discovered by goat herders, whose animals became uncontrollably amorous after being allowed to graze the plant! The active compounds are a group of chemicals called icariins, which are now known to have a similar effect upon the body to Pfizer’s famous blue pill.
Tribulus terrestris: T. terrestris is a small spiny plant native to south-east Europe and western Asia. It was apparently used for centuries to build strength and improve stamina, and became popular in the West in the 1970’s when an American strongman claimed it helped him to train. Used as a bodybuilding supplement since then, it now also forms part of many male libido support supplements because of its effect upon testosterone levels.
Whilst extracts of these plants can be purchased on their own, most herbal male enhancement supplements combine them to provide the optimum effect. Some also add vitamins and minerals, and ‘activation’ agents such as piperine extract.
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