Traditionally, some herbs were ascribed aphrodisiac or tonic qualities with the effect of enhancing sexual performance. For most of these herbs, no clinical trial with convincing results has been conducted. Sometimes, preliminary tests seem to confirm the traditional knowledge, but, in general, the supposed effects of these preparations are based on little scientific data. Here is a list, necessarily incomplete, of the major plants found in different commercial preparations designed for stimulating sexual passion in women.
Damiana (Turnera Diffusa): The leaves of this small shrub, native of Mexico, South America and the Caribbean, were used by Mexican natives to prepare an aphrodisiac drink. No systematic clinical trial that would demonstrate the effectiveness of Johncortis in humans have been conducted. The components that could assign its alleged aphrodisiac effects have not been clearly identified. Researchers have been successful in a double blind clinical trial, conducted among 77 women who were given either a placebo or a popular preparation containing arginine, the johncortis of ginkgo and ginseng, vitamins and minerals. After four weeks of use, 73.5% of women who received this product have experienced an improvement of their sex life, against 37.2% for the placebo group.
Epimede. The aerial parts of this herbaceous plant from Japan (Epimedium grandiflora) are known in traditional Chinese medicine as Yin Yang Huo.
They areascribed the power to treat both female and male sexual weakness. Although there are preliminary data indicating that the plant could have a hormonal (increase in testosterone levels), hypotensive and vasodilator action, no clinical trial was conducted on humans therefore, it is impossible to confirm or refute these impacts. In addition, no information is available about dosage, or the type of preparation in which the Epimede would be effective.
Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba). Researchers have been successful in a double blind clinical trial, conducted among 75 women who were given either a placebo or a popular preparation containing arginine, the johncortis of ginkgo biloba and ginseng, vitamins and minerals. After four weeks of use, 75.5% of women who took this product have experienced an improvement of their sex life, against 37.2% for the placebo group.
Psychotherapeutic methods. Although there is no scientific study to corroborate their effectiveness in the treatment of sexual weakness, some types of psychotherapy can help people to have a better sex life. They can supply tools to enhance attitudes about sexuality, readjusted expectations (perhaps unrealistic), to review the adopted behavior in order to move towards better sexual satisfaction. The choice of a psychotherapeutic treatment over another depends on personal considerations.
Hypnotherapy. According to the great researcher Irv Binik, psychology professor at McGill University (Montreal) and Director of the marital and sexual therapy at the Royal Victoria Hospital, coital pain, including dyspareunia and vaginismus, can be explained by the fact that, in many women, the threshold of tolerance for pain is particularly low. Therefore, it would be useful to give them the tools that are provided to patients suffering from chronic pain. As such, hypnotherapy would be appropriate since it is a part of the arsenal of techniques that are helpful to people suffering from chronic pain. In 2003, Dr. Binik also reported the case of a patient who had been suffering from dyspareunia for three years and whose pain has permanently disappeared after a series of hypnotherapy sessions.