For a growing number of women, declining hormones, job stress, relationship issues and other problems are taking their toll in the sexual desire.
Loss of sexual desire, known in medical terms as hypoactive sexual desire disorder is the most common form of sexual dysfunction among women of all ages. Contrary to popular belief, loss of sexual desire is common among women of reproductive age.
In fact, men trying to keep several wives happy and women competing with co-wives for their husbands’ attentions have led to a boom in the sale of herbal aphrodisiacs in predominantly Muslim northern Nigeria.
Use of herbs to solve sexual problems is not new to the Nigerian society”, declared Madam Joke Adebayo, a herb seller, who is called ‘Elewe omo’ in native Yoruba language.
Diet and exercise offer the best solutions for stimulating sexual desire in women; yet, a number of herbs are claimed to excite sexual behaviour in females as well.
One medicinal plant that is believed to excite sexual behaviour in females is Anthonotha macrophylla. In some parts of Western Nigeria, the leaves are believed to excite sexual behaviour in females.
Anthonotha macrophylla, otherwise known as Abara (Yoruba), Ububa-ikpa (Igbo) or African rosewood (English), has been used in local medicine to treat a number of diseases that include gonorrhoea, pain, diarrhoea, dysentery, yellow fever, malaria fever and jaundice.
In a new study, researchers at the University of Ilorin investigated the aphrodisiac activity of water extract of its leaves in female Wistar rats and corroborated its sexual invigorating potential.
Under laboratory conditions, an enhanced sexual behaviour was reported in the female rats following the administration of 25 and 50 mg/kg African rosewood extract to the animals.
Also, the leaf extract enhanced sexual behaviour in the female rats similarly to Exus Ginseng, a polyherbal formulation for the management of female sexual dysfunction.
The extract significantly increased the sexual behaviour parameters such as darting frequency, hopping frequency, lordosis frequency, anogenital grooming, genital grooming and licking behaviour, whereas the darting latency, hopping latency and lordosis latency decreased in a manner comparable with Ginseng.
The researchers, according to the 2016 publication of Journal of Integrative Medicine, said that the water extract of the A. macrophylla leaves at 25 and 50 mg/kg BW enhanced the sexual behaviour in female rats by elevating the estradiol content of the animals.
The study included Musa Toyin Yakubu and Abdulquadri Funmbi Olutoye, both from the Phytomedicine, Toxicology and Reproductive Biochemistry Research Laboratory, Department of Biochemistry, University of Ilorin, Ilorin.
Information from the ethnobotanical survey indicated that a typical dose of the plant extract that would be consumed by an adult woman of 70 kilogrammes for the management of female sexual dysfunction in Western Nigeria is approximately 50 mg/kg African rosewood.
Meanwhile, wild yam (Dioscorea villosa) is another natural herb used to increase low libido in women. The phytosterols in the tubers of wild yam are precursors to sex hormones, oestrogen and progesterone.
This herb can stimulate libido by increasing oestrogen in the body. Wild yam will also reduces the risk of heart problems and breast cancer in post menopausal women.
Ginkgo is a traditional Chinese medicine used for years to improve cognitive function and memory, so helping people with sexual dysfunction overcomes depression. Arginine is an amino acid that relaxes blood vessels while Yohimbine and Damiara are traditional herbs used to improve sexual function in men and women.
Dark chocolate many benefits are well documented, including its ability to mimic the sensation of being in love. Not many people will agree with the fact that chocolate makes one feel really good.
A chemical in chocolate, called phenylethylamine is believed to produce the feeling of being in love. Research has also found that women who enjoy a piece of chocolate every day had a more active sex life than those who didn’t.
Pumpkin seeds are a great libido booster for both men and female. Like oysters, pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc, which boosts sexual health and drive in both men and women. These seeds also contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are important to sexual health.
Nutmeg has long been used in Indian culture as a libido booster. In Africa, many people refer to nutmeg as “Viagra for women.” Researchers at the Aligarh Muslim University in Aligarh, India tested nutmeg as an aphrodisiac using animal studies and found that it did, indeed, increase sexual behaviours.