Nowadays, there is a supplement available for just about anything. From improving sleep to eliminating unattractive gray hair and PMS symptoms, supplements may be available for each of them today. Natural libido supplements, however, are a new class of such products that have recently emerged to help you improve your sex life. These treatments, which come from over-the-counter tablets, libido gummies, and functional drinks, claim to increase your sex drive using only natural chemicals. But do they work?

Libido Gummies and Supplements – Do They Work?

To understand how sex supplements might improve your sex life, it’s essential first to understand the distinction between libido and arousal. Arousal is the term used to describe the stimulation of libido and the physiological changes it causes, including erection, vaginal lubrication, and genital sensitivity. Libido is a complex interaction of multiple neurotransmitters and hormones [1].

Therefore, sex products, like libido supplements, use a few essential classic aphrodisiacs (agents that stimulate sexual desire) to achieve their short-term arousal effect rather than a long-term libido-boosting effect [2].

How can libido supplements affect the body?

One of the key aspects of arousal is blood flow to the sexual organs, which applies to both men and women. The blood flow activates with the help of nitric oxide, which is a compound that instructs blood vessels to dilate or widen. Some nitrates-rich herbs and other potent combined compounds may help to boost blood flow when the body produces some of the nitric oxides from consuming foods high in nitrates. Therefore, the body’s arousal increases due to increased blood flow. 

These components play a critical role when the body takes natural libido supplements. Additionally, it plays a major role in affecting hormone levels and enhancing mood, which can contribute to increasing one’s arousal.

Benefits and Common Active Ingredients in Libido Gummies

Pharmacies, vitamin stores, and health food stores may have shelves full of pills and other goods that claim to heat your sex life naturally. Furthermore, certain research suggests that some herbal libido supplements can aid in treating erectile dysfunction and low libido.

Here are the science-backed aphrodisiacs that are most frequently found in today’s natural libido supplements. These aphrodisiacs may offer health benefits that can improve men’s and women’s libido.

1. Maca

In a study of men, those who took either 1,500 or 3,000 milligrams of maca daily for eight weeks reported increased sex desire without any noticeable changes in testosterone levels [3]. 

A separate study on menopausal women discovered that feelings of anxiety and sadness, and sexual dysfunction decreased in those who took 3,500 milligrams of maca daily for six weeks [4].

2. Damiana

A small study on women was conducted about a specific sex supplement containing damiana, looked at its effects, and discovered a substantial result [5]. 

Although it’s unclear whether the damiana would have this effect alone or only in combination with other ingredients in the supplement, like ginseng and ginkgo, it still showed a promising result. About 74 percent of the women taking the supplement have improved sexual satisfaction, compared to 34 percent of the placebo group.

3. Ashwagandha

It’s important to note that ashwagandha may improve men’s sexual functions by raising testosterone levels. In a small study of 60 men with infertility issues, supplementing with 5,000 mg of ashwagandha root daily for three months increased testosterone levels and enhanced the men’s sperm quality [6]. The study also showed low levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

Risks and Side Effects of Libido Gummies

Make sure you are aware of the restrictions and potential risks before taking any of the libido supplements that claim to improve your sex life. A detailed list of ingredients, including how much of a certain herb is in each pill and the recommended dosage, is sometimes missing from the packaging of these products.

Here are some of the side effects of common herbs found in most libido supplements on the market today.

1. L-arginine

Taking L-arginine may result in the potential risks and side effects:

  • Elevated blood sugar
  • Gastrointestinal distress, such as nausea, cramps, increased bowel motions, or stomach discomfort
  • Low blood pressure
  • Imbalanced electrolyte levels

L-arginine has been studied as a treatment for erectile dysfunction in combination with another herb called yohimbine chloride (Yohimbe) and glutamate. Yohimbine chloride is an FDA-approved erectile dysfunction treatment, but L-arginine alone has not been studied for safety and effectiveness.

L-arginine, along with yohimbine chloride and glutamate, are herbs used in studying erectile dysfunction treatment. But among these herbs, L-arginine’s safety and efficacy have not been fully studied yet.

2. Yohimbe

Yohimbe bark is frequently used in Africa to increase libido, but here are some known side effects of this herb:

  • Dizziness
  • Increased heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Headache
  • Anxiety

3. Kava

Kava has a reputation for seriously harming the liver. No evidence suggests that it can improve someone’s sex life or increase sexual arousal. Other kava potential side effects are:

  • Vomiting or abdominal pain
  • Hair loss
  • Skin sensitivity
  • Drowsiness
  • Shaking

Bottomline: Benefits, Efficacy, and Side Effects of Libido Gummies

Despite some evidence suggesting that a few herbs found in libido supplements in the market today may be useful, you should be aware of some possible side effects. 

The quantity of any libido-increasing supplement or natural aphrodisiac you should take will depend on many factors, such as your age, weight, sleep schedule, and lifestyle.

Understanding the causes of your sexual dysfunction and then receiving the appropriate treatment for the underlying problem is a safer and longer-lasting course of action. It’s still necessary to discuss any supplement with a doctor before incorporating it into your routine.

Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.

Editorial References And Fact-Checking 

  • Cappelletti M, Wallen K. Increasing women’s sexual desire: The comparative effectiveness of estrogens and androgens. Horm Behav. 2016 Feb;78:178-93. doi: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2015.11.003. Epub 2015 Nov 14. PMID: 26589379; PMCID: PMC4720522.
  • Kotta S, Ansari SH, Ali J. Exploring scientifically proven herbal aphrodisiacs. Pharmacogn Rev. 2013 Jan;7(13):1-10. doi: 10.4103/0973-7847.112832. PMID: 23922450; PMCID: PMC3731873.
  • G.F.G.A.C.K.V.A.C.A.V.C.G.S.C. (2002, December 11). Effect of Lepidium meyenii (MACA) on sexual desire and its absent relationship with serum testosterone levels in adult healthy men. Wiley Online Library. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi?DOI=10.1046/j.1439-0272.2002.00519.x
  • Brooks, Nicole A. BSci (Hons)1; Wilcox, Gisela BMedSc (Hons), MD, FRACP, FRCPA2; Walker, Karen Z. MND, PhD3; Ashton, John F. MSc, PhD4; Cox, Marc B. MSPH, PhD5; Stojanovska, Lily MSc, PhD1. Beneficial effects of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) on psychological symptoms and measures of sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women are not related to estrogen or androgen content. Menopause: December 2008 – Volume 15 – Issue 6 – p 1157-1162 doi: 10.1097/gme.0b013e3181732953 
  • T.Y.I.A.S.T.M.L.P. (2011, February 2). A Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Study of ArginMax, a Nutritional Supplement for Enhancement of Female Sexual Function. Taylor & Francis Online. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/713846828
  • Mahdi, A. A. (2011, June 18). Withania somnifera Improves Semen Quality in Stress-Related Male Fertility. Hindawi. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2011/576962/

Charish is a Registered Nutritionist-Dietitian (RDN) who really enjoys helping her readers understand their dietary habits better. She has impressive experience and knowledge about the nutritional values of various foods and ingredients and enjoys informing her readers about popular diets, supplements, and herbs. Charish harnesses her nutritional expertise to inspire and empower people to make positive, healthy changes through what they eat (and drink!). LinkedIn