It has been acclaimed that aphrodisiacs with a healthy lifestyle can achieve a better sexual life. Over the years, many locally accepted constituents, including root of aloe vera, have been known to increase libido in some continents of the world.
Aloe barbadensis, is a short stemmed succulent medicinal herb that has been acclaimed by locals in Nigeria to enhance libido. In a new study, experts linked its aphrodisiac effect to it causing an increase in blood testosterone.
Its leaf juice is used to treat stomach ulcer, some gynaecological problems, catarrh and to heal wounds. The root of A. barbadensis, also called Alon erin in Yoruba, is used to cure constipation and impotency.
It is used as a purgative, appetite-stimulant, and for managing piles, asthma, cough and jaundice in ayurvedic formulation.
To test its aphrodisiac effect, the researchers fed rats in the laboratory with extracts of Aloe vera root. Sildenafil citrate (Viagra) and distilled water served as positive and negative controls respectively.
Sexual behavioural parameters (mounting and intromission frequencies, mounting, intromission and ejaculatory latencies) were observed. These are indices of sexual vigour, libido and potency.
The testosterone and cholesterol concentrations in the blood of the animals were also progressively monitored over a two-weeks-period.
The findings from the sexual behavioural study indicated that the ethanol extract of A. barbadensis significantly can increase mating frequency and intromission frequency in sexually lazy rats, though the effect was less than that of Viagra.
The ethanol extract also prolonged ejaculatory latency (the time taken by a man to ejaculate during vaginal penetration), also an indication that the test male rats were aroused because of aloe vera. It also reflects enhanced performance, motivation and vigour.
Also, the prolonged ejaculatory latency by the ethanol extract of Aloe vera is a strong indication that the sexual function of the male rats was enhanced (prolonged duration of coitus), suggesting an aphrodisiac activity.
The testosterone and cholesterol concentrations were also increased as the dose increased particularly on day one and seven.
Testosterone is produced in the testis. An increase in testosterone had been linked with a moderate but corresponding increase in sexual desire or libido.
The researchers said that their findings gave a backing to the acclaimed local use of Aloe vera root as an aphrodisiac in males, adding that the extract was safe for use.
The 2017 study, published in the BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine involved Joseph O. Erhabor and MacDonald Idu, both at the University of Benin.
Aphrodisiac have been implicated in treating and managing an array of sexual disorders. Most aphrodisiacs are thought to amplify some facets of sensual experience such as light, touch, smell, taste and hearing. This improved sensual consciousness leads to sexual stimulation and inclination.
Many locally accepted constituents have been known to increase libido in some continents of the world. Notable examples include Yohimbine, clove, Terminalia catappa seeds and Bulbine natalensis stem.
Previously, some of these chemical substances in Aloe vera root such as potassium, calcium, zinc and magnesium have been known to be involved in processes that promote penile erection.
Using plants as aphrodisiac in treating sexual disorders is gaining ground every day. Many of the effective herbal aphrodisiacs are accessible and have slight or no side effects.
Although, there are conventional treatment options, but they have limited efficacy, hostile side effects and contraindications in some disease states.
The side effects of sildenafil citrate (Viagra), a popular aphrodisiac drug include rashes, hypotension, facial flushing and urinary tract infection. Other side effects include back pain, nasal congestion, blurred vision, suicidal tendencies, mental disorders and dilation of the blood vessels.
Other management therapies include surgery, psychiatric therapy, vacuum devices, penile implants and very expensive drugs which may not be affordable.
Previously experts have equally suggested that the extract of aloe vera have effects on reproductive functions. They observed that the powder of its root potentiated the rate of fertility and litter size of rabbits without any deleterious effect.