Open access peer-reviewed chapter

Libido Boosting Functional Foods

Written By

Neelesh Kumar Maurya

Submitted: 15 October 2022 Reviewed: 17 October 2022 Published: 26 November 2022

DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.108778

From the Edited Volume

Recent Advances in Male Reproductive System

Wei Wu

Chapter metrics overview

565 Chapter Downloads

View Full Metrics


Libido is a sexual desire or drive. Libido is biological desire’s emotional energy, especially sexual desire. Biopsychosocial variables affect libido. Biologically, sex hormones and nucleus accumbent neurotransmitters (mainly testosterone and dopamine) govern human desire. Working, family, mentality, and stress might affect libido. Medical disorders, drugs, lifestyle, relationships, and age might affect libido (e.g., puberty). Hypersexuality is having frequent or suddenly increased sexual impulses; hyposexuality is the opposite. In psychoanalytic thought, libido is a mental drive or energy, connected with sexual instinct but is also present in other innate urges. A man may want sex but not be able to act on it, or may not for medical, moral, or religious reasons. Repressing or sublimating an urge is psychological. One can participate in sexual activity without a sire. Stress, illness, and pregnancy affect sperm drive. Testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, oxytocin, and norepinephrine act as serotonin This book chapter talks about how functional foods such as spinach, dark chocolate, peppers, green tea, oysters, crab, and pumpkin seeds, which contain neurotransmitters, affect libido.


  • libido
  • sex
  • neurotransmitters
  • functional foods
  • sea foods

1. Introduction

Libido is a general sexual urge or drive. Libido is influenced by biopsychosocial factors. Human desire is governed biologically by sex hormones and nucleus-accumbent neurotransmitters (primarily testosterone and dopamine) [1, 2, 3]. Work, family, mensuration, and stress can all have an impact on libido. Medical conditions, drugs, lifestyle, internal issues, and age (puberty) can all have an impact on libido. When a man has frequent or unexpectedly increased sexual impulses, this is referred to as hypersexuality [4]. The inverse is hyposexuality. Libido is defined by psychoanalytic theory as a mental drive or energy associated with sexual instincts and other instinctual urges and drives. For men, a man may desire sex but be unable to act on it for medical, moral, or religious reasons [5]. It is psychological to suppress or sublimate an urge. Sexual activity can be performed without the presence of desire. Stress, illness, and pregnancy can all have an impact on sex drive [6, 7]. According to van Anders et al. ‘2022 study, men desire sex more than women. Sexual impulses are typically essential in the formation and maintenance of internal relationships. Sexual disinterest can harm relationships [7]. Changes in a partner’s sexual desires can cause relationship problems if left unresolved. Infidelity may indicate that a partner’s changing sexual demands are unsatisfactory in the current relationship. Problems may arise because of disparate sexual impulses or poor communication. There is no universally accepted measure of healthy desexualization. Others prefer to have sex only once a year or never at all. Someone who has not been sexually active for an extended period may have a hypoactive sexual drive or be asexual. Sigmund Freud, the term’s originator, defined libido as “the energy, seen as a quantitative magnitude of all “love” instincts.” Sigmund Freud referred to it as the id, the unconscious structure of the psyche. He compared it to hunger, the desire for power, and so on, claiming that it is an essential human instinct [8]. Freud proposed a series of developmental stages in which the libido fixates on different erogenous zones, beginning with the oral stage (exemplified by an infant’s pleasure in nursing), then the anal stage, the phallic stage, a latency stage, and finally the genital stage at puberty. Karl Abraham later added the subdivisions “oral” and “anal. Sigmund Freud observed that libidinal desires can clash with superego-represent civilized behavior [9, 10]. This need to conform to society and control one’s libido causes stress and disruption in the individual, prompting defeasances to disperse the psychic energy of these unfulfilled, primarily unconscious needs. Overuse of ego defenses leads to neurosis. Psychoanalysis seeks to bring id desires into consciousness so that they can be addressed directly, thereby removing ego defenses. Desire, according to Freud, evolves. Failure to adjust to these various stages can result in libidinal energy becoming “damped up” or fixated on them, resulting in pathological character traits in maturity. Psychopaths, according to Freud, are immature. Psychoanalysis sought to bring men’s fixations to their attention so that libido energy could be used constructively [8]. In psychoanalysis, Jung defined libido as psychic energy, not just sexual desire. Libido, according to Jung, is an uncontrolled desire or drive, moral or otherwise. Libido is natural hunger. From a genetic standpoint, libido is made up of biological needs such as food, thirst, sleep, and sex, as well as emotional states or effects. Duality (opposition) fosters the psyche’s energy (or libido), which Jung claims can only be expressed symbolically. Psychoanalysis may reveal these symbols as “fantasy images” that embody the formless contents of the libido. A psychological craving, movement, displacement, or structure is defined as a desire [9, 10].


2. Factors that influence libido

2.1 Endogenous substance

Dopaminergic action in the mesolimbic pathway is principally responsible for libido regulation (ventral tegmental area and nucleus accumbent). Because of this, dopamine and other related trace amines (most notably phenethylamine) that influence dopamine neurotransmission play an essential part in the process of controlling the desire. Other neurotransmitters, neuropeptides, and sex hormones can affect sex drive by altering the way this route functions or by acting on it directly. These include the following [1, 8, 11]:

  • Testosterone (in a direct causal relationship)-in addition to several androgens

  • Estrogen is (in close connection with) the female reproductive hormone.

  • Progesterone (relationship)

  • Oxytocin (directly correlated)

  • Serotonin (the opposite of associated)

  • The link between norepinephrine and

  • Acetylcholine

2.2 Hormones and the menstrual cycle

Many women reports increased sexual desire in the days preceding ovulation, a woman’s prime reproductive time. This cycle is influenced by menstrual testosterone levels. According to Gurian et al., testosterone affects women’s sex [12]. A woman’s desire for sex increases from the 24th day of her cycle until ovulation on the 14th. Testosterone levels peak on the day Women have less sexual desire and lower testosterone levels after ovulation. After ovulation, progesterone levels rise, making orgasm difficult [12, 13]. A woman’s testosterone level remains constant in the latter days of her menstrual cycle, but her uterine lining increases, activating nerve endings and making her stimulated. Natural lubrication is reduced when estrogen levels are low. According to experts, menopause diminishes women’s sexual desire. Menopause lowers estrogen levels, which inhibits sexual interest and causes vaginal dryness. Testosterone levels rise during menopause, which may increase desire [2, 13, 14].

2.3 Variables in sociopsychology

Sexual desire may be reduced by psychiatric or social disorders. Insecurity, tension, exhaustion, distraction, and despair are some examples. Loud noises or bright lights may impair libido. Some reasons include sexual assault, trauma, neglect, and body image difficulties. PTSD diminishes sexual desire. Patients suffering from PTSD lack trust and joy. PTSD causes sexual desire to be inhibited by vulnerability, fury, anger, and emotional shutdowns. Sexual dysfunction can impair the sex drive of trauma victims. Women’s sexual drive is restored after the treatment [15]. Depression and libido loss frequently coexist, as depression reduces sex drive. Libido declines more than other symptoms in those suffering from depression [4, 6].

2.4 Physical aspects

Libido may be affected by hypothyroidism, flutamide, and a partner’s beauty and fitness. Women’s libido is reduced by menstrual anemia. Tobacco, alcohol, and narcotics all suppress libido. Experts believe that exercising, stopping smoking, and reducing alcohol use can increase sexual desire [16].

2.5 Medications

Anaphrodisiacs reduce libido. Psychostimulants and aphrodisiacs increase libido. It lowers libido. Isotretinoin, SSRIs, antidepressants, antipsychotics, opioids, and beta-blockers cause it. Isotretinoin and many SSRIs can impair libido and sexual function. All antidepressants reduce libido, except Wellbutrin, Desyrel, and Serzone. Prozac, Paxil, Luvox, Celexa, and Sertraline reduce libido (Zoloft). Antidepressant users reduce doses to maintain their sex drive. Others seek help for a depressed libido. Numerous individuals believe this therapy does not affect sexual desire. Testosterone regulates libido. Research shows (SHBG) that oral contraceptives reduce female libido by increasing sex hormone-binding globulin levels. SHBG inhibits testosterone. SHBG levels remain high after hormonal contraception is stopped, and no data predicts when they will decline. Oral contraceptives reduce testosterone and libido. Oral contraceptives are libido neutral. Most oral contraceptive users report consistent libido. Aging affects Male sex drives peak in their teens, while females peak in their 30s. Puberty causes a strong sex urge for 15–16 years. Female libido peaks in the mid-30s. Testosterone and estrogen affect libido. Some 10–12-year-olds are romantic or sexual. It is less romantic than desire and attraction. 25% of 11–12-year-olds “had sex thoughts.” 13–14-year-old boys had more sexual urges than girls. At this age, boys are more sexual [17]. In teens, in their 20s and 30s, masturbation increases. Less than 10% of males masturbate by 10, 50% by 11–12, and most by 13–14. 20% of 13–14-year-old girls masturbate. By the mid-70s, sex desire may have decided to drop. Health, the environment, and society affect an aaginglibido [18]. Women in their 40s and 50s are more sexually active and willing to please. Family, health, connection, and well-being suppress women’s sexual urges. Aging people are sexier, less responsible, and more confident. Negative people mention health. Seniors have trouble discussing their sexuality with caregivers and doctors due to age-related preconceptions. Non-western countries believe older women have lower libidos, discouraging sexuality. Pensions diminish libido. These homes discourage sex. Insecurity and gender injustice diminish desire. Seniors benefit from sex excitement, good health, sexual self-esteem, and a loving relationship.

2.6 Sexual reliance

More women than men have asexual desire disorders. Women’s sexual desires are less frequent and intense than men’s [19]. Lack of sexual desire can cause erectile dysfunction, but the two are different. Large doses of amphetamine or methamphetamine can cause erectile dysfunction and boost libido [20, 21]. Men’s libidos can also decline with age. Several million women have a female sexual arousal disorder, but arousal is not synonymous with desire, so this finding is limited to libido. Hormonal problems, like a lack of luteinizing hormone or androgenic hormones, may cause low libido, but these ideas aren’t agreed upon [22].


3. The causes of desire loss

Lack of quality sleep, high stress, poor diet, poor physical health, medications and birth control pills, low physical activity, unresolved conflicts, repressed emotions, depression, and anxiety, past sexual abuse, poor self-image and lack of self-confidence, infidelity, and menopause (or other hormonal imbalances like low thyroid) are the main psychological and emotional causes of low sex drive in men and women. Sex drives are linked to the reproductive system, but no system operates independently. If men are experiencing low sex drive, start with these main culprits and see if they can find the root cause [22].

3.1 The invisible cause of libido loss

Experts say that hidden hostility or repressed anger towards the partner can cause a lack of sex drive. Often, when a woman blames her hormones for her lack of desire, a closer look at the relationship reveals stresses, strains, and repressed anger. If a woman is fed up because her man is not romantic, never takes her out, never thanks her, or always expects her to handle contraception, it’s not surprising she does not want to make love to him. Her desire wanes. Addressing these problems is harder than saying “it’s all hormones.” Unfortunately, it’s the relationship that needs changing, not hormones. Many couples see doctors because they believe hormonal issues are causing their unhappiness. After counseling and digging deeper into the problem, it’s common to find that the woman lost interest in sex due to an interior flaw in the relationship. Perhaps the man is too controlling for her. Sometimes Couples therapy can put a relationship back on track, especially if both the man and the woman can accept that the sexual problem is rooted in the relationship [23, 24].

Sometimes one or both partners refuse to face the truth that there is no magic pill to cure their problems and that they need to change their relationship—and they stop going to therapy. A woman may struggle with a lack of desire at certain times in her life. After birth, abortion, miscarriage, premenstrual tension, menopause, etc. All of these are “normal” times for women to lose sexual desire.

3.2 The role of infidelity in libido loss

Unfaithfulness can cause a loss of libido. Infidelity may be caused by a lack of libido in some cases, but it’s usually a lack of intimacy. Passion is one of many elements of a relationship. Other factors that can improve sexual relations are intimacy, communication, and non-sexual contact. For women, it’s not what happens now but the sum of non-sexual moments in a relationship that matters [11, 16].

3.3 Intimacy

Intimacy is the emotional, sexual, and spiritual glue that binds two people. This bond can be affected if partners do not feel connected and communicate their needs [19]. Directing more energy to outside things like a job, children, friends, or coworkers may cause this bond to dissolve. Balance must be maintained; if not, a partner may seek to get their needs met elsewhere by emotionally reconnecting with another man, which can lead to an affair. Both people in a relationship are responsible for keeping it going, so pay attention to what the partner needs from the spouse [20, 21, 22].

3.4 Multiple sex partners before marriage increase infidelity

Any sexual activity releases energy and hormones that keep couples together and build trust. When people have many casual sex partners before marriage and they end up having children, it weakens natural bonding [21]. This can cause loss, betrayal, unwanted memories, and other problems in a marriage. Having more than one sexual partner before getting married makes men more likely to be depressed, cheat on their partner, and get a divorce. This is because the power of the natural bonding agents is weakened [23].

3.5 Boredom

In “Flirting with Disaster,” Samantha Cleaver writes that unchallenged partners tend to cheat more often. “The desire for growth and self-expansion can lead to unfaithfulness in a spouse” [20]. Couples should communicate their growth goals, set them, and help each other achieve them. Take classes, book weekend trips, or try a new fitness activity. Men may be surprised by how much men’s desire and intimacy grow and how this affects their sex drive. Men either grow together or grow apart; nothing stands still [23].


4. Supplements that boost sexual desire

4.1 Micronutrient supplements

Vitamin C increases genital blood flow. It removes toxins, boosts the immune system, and treats allergies naturally. Vitamin C improves the immune system and reproductive organ function. It’s best to take vitamin C steadily throughout the day to maximize absorption and benefit. Overdosing more than 2000 mg daily may cause diarrhea. Chilies, guava, parsley, kiwi, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, papaya, strawberry, citrus (like oranges, grapefruit, and lemons), cantaloupe, garlic, raspberry, passion fruit, and spinach are high [25].

4.1.1 Vitamin

Vitamin E has surprising benefits. Vitamin E helps produce sex-empowering hormones for a healthy desire. It’s established a mood and desire. 15 mg per day is the recommended daily allowance. As a fat-soluble vitamin, Vitamin E will stay in a man’s body longer than Vitamin C, but he should not take too much. Most food sources are safe. Avocados, nuts, seeds, green leafy vegetables, fortified cereals, vegetables, grape seeds, and canola oil are natural vitamin E sources [26].

Vitamin A keeps skin, teeth, bones, vision, and urinary and vaginal linings healthy. It regulates men’s immune systems to keep men healthy. Daily vitamin A intake should not exceed 7500 mcg. Cantaloupe, pink grapefruit, apricots, carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, squash, broccoli, spinach, and dark leafy greens [27]. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and is a must-take for any woman going through menopause. Vitamin C will help with dry, itchy skin, fatigue, osteoporosis, bloating, g and depression [25]. Vitamin D is important for women to take even before they reach menopause. They work in conjunction to keep the bones strong, which will help to stave off osteoporosis [28]. Vitamin B6: If men are having menopausal sleeping issues, this vitamin can help. It will work in the body to assist in producing serotonin 50–200 mg/day [29, 30]. Vitamin B3 is being looked at to help the level of hormones in the body during menopause [31]. Vitamin B1 and B12 can help with menopausal symptoms like moodiness, lethargy, and depression [31, 32, 33].

4.1.2 Calcium, iron, magnesium

Meats contain amino acids, zinc, and iron for sexual performance. It increases sex sensitivity by boosting brain chemicals. Look for grass-fed beef, free-range eggs, grass-fed dairy, grass-fed beef, free-range turkey, grass-fed beef liver, wild tuna, wild salmon, and buffalo [33].

4.2 Fish oil/omega- 3

This boosts brain oxygen, dopamine, and serotonin. This increases testosterone and sexual desire. These chemicals reduce anxiety and stress, which lower libido in men and women. “A lack of fatty acids can lower hormone levels and sexual desire. Flaxseed and low-mercury fish like salmon, herring, mackerel, tuna, and halibut are natural Omega 3 sources [34].

4.3 L-Arginine

L-Arginine is great for rock-hard erections and increased ejaculate volume. If men want to boost performance, take 500 mg daily and 1000 mg before intercourse. Use with caution and discontinue if any side effects occur [34].

4.4 Glutathione

There are several nutrients that, when it comes to men’s health, can help boost men’s memory, performance, and sex drive. Some of these nutrients have even been shown to raise a man’s body’s production of testosterone, which is a particularly desirable effect [35]. According to the findings of several studies, erectile dysfunction is more common in males whose glutathione levels are low. Taking pills that boost this natural antioxidant could help with erectile dysfunction or even stop it from happening [34].


5. Herbs for an extra boost

5.1 Bee pollen

Both men and women can benefit from using bee pollen as a dietary supplement because it has been shown to increase levels of energy. It has a high concentration of enzymes, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. Taking it will assist in enhancing sexual stamina, giving men more frequent erections, and also increasing the volume of ejaculate that they produce. Bee pollen can be purchased in a variety of formats, including tablets, capsules, and even in its living state. If Meccano locates the live freeze-dried forms in a men’s health food store, they should purchase these forms because they are the most powerful [36].

5.2 Black cohosh (Actaea racemose)

Black cohosh has a plant-based estrogen that helps regulate hormones, bringing comfort to a wide spectrum of women suffering from menopause symptoms such as vaginal dryness, itching, moodiness, depression, and hot flashes. Black cohosh includes a plant-based estrogen that helps regulate hormones [37].

5.3 Yam (Dioscorea alata)

The use of wild yam as a natural menopause treatment is beneficial for maintaining healthy hormone levels, particularly progesterone. Depression, moodiness, low libido, irritability, and anger are all conditions that can be helped by taking this hormone, which also plays a function in managing moods and is used to treat these conditions [37].

5.4 Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius)

For thousands of years, the Chinese have utilized ginseng for the treatment of a variety of health ailments and issues, including menopause. A woman can develop an aversion to sexual activity and lose interest in it if someone has a dry vagina, even though the condition itself does not necessarily indicate a decline in her desire to have sexual encounters [37]. Ginseng is very helpful in maintaining the suppleness, moisture, and overall health of the vaginal walls, thus minimizing dryness, tearing, and pain. Ginseng is a tonic herb. Ginseng has been shown to be iseatment of sleeplessness, irritability, and hot flashes. 5% ginsenosides or 100 mg of 10% saponin ginsenosides per day, with 4–6 Lachesis of high-quality root per day [38].

5.5 Lachesis

Lachesis is an excellent choice for women who suffer from intense hot flashes during the day as well as at night. It’s possible that the temperature will be even higher at night compared to during the day. There is a possibility of headaches and migraines on the left side. The woman who needs Lachesis has a propensity to be on the hotter side all the time and may have an insatiable desire for alcoholic beverages [39].

5.6 Red clover (Trifolium pratense)

Red Clover can help with hot flashes and mood swings. Furthermore, it is ideal to begin taking it while still experiencing PMS symptoms. In a man’s physique, red clover treats a variety of female-related ailments [40].

5.7 Ginkgo biloba

Adults use 60–240 mg of ginkgo daily for up to 6 months. Dosages vary by formulation. Most researched products contain ginkgo leaf extracts. G. biloba boosts sex drive in perimenopausal and menopausal women. It helps balance hormones, boosting menopausal estrogen levels. This can boost libido and sexual desire. Ginkgo activates Leydig cells in the testes to boost testosterone and maintain cortisol levels in line, which supports healthy testosterone levels. Ginkgo boosts nitric oxide, which is needed to produce testosterone [37].

5.8 Panax ginseng

P. ginseng is used to treat anxiety, athletic/physical stamina, cognitive function, depression, male fertility, migraines, immunostimulants, menopausal hot flashes, and impotence. Both American and Asian ginseng can boost energy, lower blood sugar and cholesterol, reduce stress, induce relaxation, treat diabetes, and control sexual dysfunction in men. The libido-boosting properties of P. ginseng may stem from its stress-relieving properties. Ginseng may help with infertility by improving sexual performance, sperm count, and quality [37, 40].

5.9 Yohimbine

The increase in sexual desire caused by yohimbine does not appear to be related to testosterone. However, one human study found a weak association with free testosterone. For centuries, the bark has been used as an aphrodisiac. Yohimbe is used to treat erectile dysfunction, improve athletic performance, and lose weight, angina, high blood pressure, and diabetic neuropathy [37].

5.10 Celery

Celery increases the male aphrodisiac pheromone and androsterone. Celery can expand blood vessels, improve sex drive, and enhance climax. Celery has the sex hormone estrone, which was used to stimulate libido in ancient times. Celery was a classic appetite and sexual power stimulant. Red celery juice extract promotes bowel movement and menstrual flow. Celery is a lust actuator, which increases menstrual flow and triggers abortion in pregnant and breastfeeding women [41].

5.11 Pumpkin (Cucurbita moschata) seeds

According to Chinese medicine, pumpkin seeds are excellent and have antidepressant properties. Eating pumpkin seeds can affect the health of a man’s prostate, which is essential for male sexual health. It improves the functioning of the prostate gland as well as the hormones in males. Myosin is essential for the contraction of muscles, and pumpkin seeds are a good source of it [42].

5.12 Bananas (Musa acuminata)

Potassium and riboflavin, the essential nutrients found in bananas, are known to improve libido in addition to assisting in the creation of testosterone, which is a male sex hormone [37]. Bananas include a substance called tryptophan, which contributes to an increase in the production of serotonin. Serotonin is a hormone that improves a man’s mood and raises his sexual desire. Bananas contain an enzyme called bromelain that can improve impotence in men and improve their desire to have sexual encounters [42].

5.13 Walnuts (Juglans spp.)

The results of the study led the study’s authors to the conclusion that incorporating walnuts, hazelnuts, and almonds into an unhealthy western diet may increase sexual desire (libido), as well as an improvement in the quality or intensity of orgasms. Walnuts are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are heart-healthy fats that increase dopamine levels. Walnuts are also a good source of arginine, which is an amino acid that stimulates the body’s production of nitric oxide, which in turn relaxes blood vessels and boosts circulation [43].

5.14 Avocado (Asparagus officinalis)

Avocado’s high levels of folic acid aid in the metabolization of proteins, which gives men more energy. Avocado is a versatile culinary delight. They contain vitamin E, which is beneficial to the nails and skin. Avocados are high in vitamin B6, potassium, and monounsaturated fats [26, 37]. These promote healthy circulation and a strong heart, both of which are required for sex. Avocados naturally protect the arteries. Erectile dysfunction is more common in men with heart disease. Avocado consumption lowers the risk of metabolic syndrome, which is a risk factor for erectile dysfunction. Men with metabolic syndrome are twice as likely as women to develop ED. Avocados are versatile and easy to prepare. For breakfast, try mashed avocado on toast, or in a sandwich or salad [44].

5.15 Asparagus (A. officinalis)

A typical grocery store veggie is a potent aphrodisiac. Asparagus boosts libido and sexual wellness for men and women. Asparagus boosts libido. It contains B6 and folate. These minerals help with sexual health. Asparagus contains potassium, which helps produce sex hormones. Eating asparagus can improve orgasms and sexual health by increasing excitement [45].

5.16 Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

Studies have shown that basil can boost female fertility as well as men’s desire to have sexual encounters. Some claims inhaling the aroma of basil can be beneficial for relieving headaches. Researchers mentioned that the ability to enhance blood circulation. It also talks about how basil warms the body and how this makes women more sexually attracted to each other [45].

5.17 Honey

Honey plays a crucial role in maintaining sexual health. Because it’s full of natural sugars, it gives people more stamina and makes it possible to stay in bed for longer. Honey also has boron, a mineral that has been shown to have the ability to control both hormone levels and nitric oxide production. This vasodilator is released into the bloodstream during sexual excitement, and its role is to widen blood vessels. In other words, it causes the blood vessels to become more expansive [46].

5.18 Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus)

Citrulline is an amino acid that can be transformed into arginine, which can then be converted to nitric oxide. There is a significant amount of citrulline found in watermelons. There is some evidence that watermelons contain citrulline as well. The participants in a study that was conducted in 2007 were given 1560 g of watermelon juice daily for a period of 3 weeks, which resulted in increased levels of arginine. It is always necessary to remember that whenever drinking or extracting juice from the pulp of a watermelon, the rind of the watermelon should be included, as this is where the largest portion of citrulline is found [43].

5.19 Dark chocolate (Cocoa)

Cacao is a superfood, and modern foodies know it. It’s antioxidant-richer than green tea or red wine. It contains phenylethylamine, which enhances excitement and well-being. The Journal of Sexual Medicine discovered that women who ate dark chocolate every day had more active sex lives than those who did not [37, 43].

5.20 Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans)

An extract of nutmeg has been proven in at least one study conducted on animals to have the same effect on mating behavior as Viagra does. Nutmeg has been used for a long time in Indian medicine to increase libido. Other spices that are thought to increase sexual desire include cloves, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, anise seeds, and black pepper [37].

5.21 Cayenne pepper (Capsicum annum), cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum), and ginger (Zingiber officinale)

These are aromatic herbs that produce heat within the body and promote circulation in the lower abdominal and pelvic regions. They are used to stimulate one’s appetite, both physically and sexually, and are stimulating one’s appetite. Vaginal moisture is increased when there is an increase in blood flow to the pelvic region. This leads to an increase in vaginal sensitivity and an intensification of sexual arousal [47, 48].

5.22 Broccoli (Brassica oleracea)

Broccoli is an excellent food for increasing a man’s libido because it is rich in indole-3-carbinol, a chemical that helps lower estrogen levels (although it can have the opposite effect in women). Additionally, Brussels sprouts are an excellent source of the compound indole-3-carbinol [37, 48].

5.23 Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris)

Beans are the best performer when it comes to selecting zinc-rich vegetables. This is true whether the beans are baked, canned, red, lima, kidney, or navy beans. Additionally, they are chock full of protein as well as fiber. After soaking the dry beans, just give them a good rinse to avoid the digestive problems that are often caused by beans.

5.24 Sauerkraut

Isothiocyanates are substances that are produced when cabbage is fermented. These compounds have been demonstrated in tests to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. And if that were not enough, it also helps enhance testosterone production, is loaded with fiber, vitamins, calcium, and minerals, and is packed with all of those things.

5.25 Flaxseeds (Linum usitatissimum)

Both flax seed oil and flax seeds themselves have been shown to have several positive effects on sexual health in both men and women. Regular consumption of flax seed helps to enhance testosterone, which in turn leads to an increase in libido and other male sexual traits. Testosterone is a naturally occurring sex hormone that is found in the human body. It is widely believed that flaxseed oil is one of the most effective supplements for enhancing fertility. Because it contains the amino acid L-Arginine, it is an excellent tool for increasing sperm counts. It has been shown that flaxseed oil improves blood flow to the sexual organs, which makes erections last longer [48].


6. Those spices that act as aphrodisiacs

6.1 Cayenne (Capsicum annum L)

Cayenne is not just a spice for men’s kitchens but can also act as a pain killer and an herb that can warm men up and increase the potency of other herbs. Take cayenne with any of the other herbal aphrodisiacs listed above to help keep blood pressure down and libido up [48].

6.2 Fenugreek (Trigonella foenumgraecum)

Fenugreek contains saponins that trigger sex hormones, including testosterone. In a study, 60 men were given fenugreek extract twice a day for 6 weeks, and the libido of these men increased by a quarter. Fenugreek is also used to enlarge the fullness and breast size in women by increasing prolactin. Fenugreek is also used to ease PMS symptoms and menopausal symptoms as well. Also, consuming 500 mg of fenugreek twice a day can help lower blood sugar levels for people with type 2 diabetes. Even though fenugreek is thought to be safe, high doses may cause mild stomach upset [49].

6.3 Garlic (Allium sativum)

Garlic improves health and libido drive. Allicin boosts blood flow to men’s and women’s genital organs. Non-instant. Garlic can improve libido after a month. Garlic increases vigor. It contains heart-healthy vitamins and minerals. Allicin maintains sperm. Raw garlic is preferable, but roasted garlic soup, garlic shrimp, and garlic bread also work. Garlic is libido-boosting. Estrogen-rich foods boost a woman’s libido. Estrogen raises sexual desire. Properly dosed garlic supplements may be beneficial [37, 48].

6.4 Saffron (Crocus sativus L)

Saffron is a C. sativus flower spice. Traditional benefits include stress relief and libido effects, especially for depressed patients. Studies reveal saffron improves antidepressant-caused sexual dysfunction [48].

6.5 Cardamom

Cardamom has a high concentration of cineole and other antioxidants, both of which improve circulation in the penis and are found in cardamom. This results in an erotic sensation and an enhancement of the overall libido that is sustained for a longer period (Figures 1 and 2) [52].

Figure 1.

Mechanism of sexual stimulation [50].

Figure 2.

Functional food stimulation of libido [51].


7. Conclusion

Due to alterations in dietary habits and lifestyle factors in the modern period, libido has been shown to significantly decline. To provide the body with vital nutrients, it needs to reclaim its libido. To fully utilize all the nutrients that functional foods provide, it is necessary to make the right selections, put them through the right processes, and use them. To maintain a healthy sexual life, it is necessary to consume foods that are rich in nutrients such as all macronutrients, vitamins A, D, E, C, and B complex, as well as minerals such as magnesium, selenium, zinc, iron, calcium, and manganese, and phytochemicals, herbs, and supplements.



We would like to express our gratitude to Ms. Dajana Jusic for her support in the submission of this book chapter. In addition, we would like to thank Ms. Neha Kumari,(BHU)for her comments regarding the drafting of the chapter.


Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


  1. 1. Oluwole DT, Akhigbe RE, Ajayi AF. Rohypnol-induced sexual dysfunction is via suppression of hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis: An experimental study in rats. Andrologia. 2021;53(2):e13931
  2. 2. Pfaus JG, Sadiq A, Spana C, Clayton AH. The neurobiology of bremelanotide for the treatment of hypoactive sexual desire disorder in premenopausal women. CNS Spectrums. 2022;27(3):281-289
  3. 3. Edinoff AN, Sanders NM, Lewis KB, Apgar TL, Cornett EM, Kaye AM, et al. Bremelanotide for treatment of female hypoactive sexual desire. Neurology International. 2022;14(1):75-88
  4. 4. Ibragimov S. The hormone estradiol and what advantages it has over testosterone. In: Collection of Scientific Papers «SCIENTIA». Science of XXI century: Development, main theories and achievements. Helsinki, Finland; 2022. pp. 57-59
  5. 5. Krysiak R, Kowalczyk K, Okopień B. Sexual function and depressive symptoms in men with hypoprolactinaemia secondary to overtreatment of prolactin excess: A pilot study. Endocrinologia, Diabetes y Nutricion. 2022;69(4):279-288
  6. 6. Wignall L, Portch E, McCormack M, Owens R, Cascalheira CJ, Attard-Johnson J, et al. Changes in sexual desire and behaviors among UK young adults during social lockdown due to COVID-19. The Journal of Sex Research. 2021;58(8):976-985
  7. 7. van Anders SM, Herbenick D, Brotto LA, Harris EA, Chadwick SB. The heteronormativity theory of low sexual desire in women partnered with men. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 2022;51(1):391-415
  8. 8. Petric D. The introvert-ambivert-extrovert spectrum. Open Journal of Medical Psychology. 2022;11(3):103-111
  9. 9. Muñoz P, Correia S. The great war and the fifth international psychoanalytic congress in budapest: Psychoanalysis in the 1910s. Historia Crítica. 2022;84:3-27
  10. 10. Agdari-Moghadam N. A review of the fundamentals. Hoarding Disorder. 2021:1(1):29-91
  11. 11. Clephane K, Lorenz TK. Putative mental, physical, and social mechanisms of hormonal influences on postpartum sexuality. Current Sexual Health Reports. 2021:1-3
  12. 12. Gurian M. Lessons of Lifelong Intimacy: Building a Stronger Marriage Without Losing Yourself—The 9 Principles of a Balanced and Happy Relationship. Simon and Schuster; Boy Scouts of America. 2015
  13. 13. Vincent BT, Sztwiertnia M, Koomen R, Warren JG. Discounting for money, food, and sex, over the menstrual cycle. Evolutionary Psychological Science. 2022:1-1
  14. 14. Schleifenbaum L, Stern J, Driebe JC, Wieczorek LL, Gerlach TM, Arslan RC, et al. Men are not aware of and do not respond to their female partner's fertility status: Evidence from a dyadic diary study of 384 couples. Hormones and Behavior. 2022;143:105202
  15. 15. Patel A. Sexual health conversations with men. In: Men’s Health. Boca Raton: CRC Press; 2021. pp. 174-183
  16. 16. Rudnicka L, Kaczorowska A. Treatment of diseases associated with non-cicatricial alopecia. Dermatology Review/Przegląd Dermatologiczny. 2021;108(6):504-516
  17. 17. Montgomery KA. Sexual desire disorders. Psychiatry (Edgmont). 2008;5(6):50
  18. 18. Sousa B, Oliveira BM, de Almeida MD. Growth trends in boys and girls (10-17 years old) from autonomous region of Madeira, Portugal between 1996-1998 and 2007-2009. Annals of Human Biology. 2012;39(6):526-529
  19. 19. Jaehne EJ, Smith JD, van den Buuse M. Analysis of striatum and brain levels reveals sex differences in conversion of methamphetamine to amphetamine in mice. Neuroscience Letters. 2022:136722
  20. 20. Naji L, Dennis B, Rosic T, Wiercioch W, Paul J, Worster A, et al. Mirtazapine for the treatment of amphetamine and methamphetamine use disorder: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 2022:109295
  21. 21. Javaheri A, SaberiZafarghandi MB, Shati M, Roshanpajouh M. Evaluating the effectiveness of short-term clinical guideline to treat sexual addiction disorder in people with sexual addiction: A clinical trial. Iranian Journal of Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology. 2022;28(2):1-9
  22. 22. Marcinkowska UM, Shirazi T, Mijas M, Roney JR. Hormonal underpinnings of the variation in sexual desire, arousal and activity throughout the menstrual cycle–A multifaceted approach. The Journal of Sex Research. 2022:1-7
  23. 23. Paulinus CE. A philosophical examination of the concept and nature of infidelity in marriage as a socio-ethical issue in contemporary society. GPH-International Journal of Social Science and Humanities Research. 2022;5(07):36-42
  24. 24. Yamuna M, Kumar CS. Bravissimo-M tablets: A scientifically formulated male libido enhancer to restore sexual vitality & to increase spermatogenesis. 2021;5(4):23-29
  25. 25. Sim M, Hong S, Jung S, Kim JS, Goo YT, Chun WY, et al. Vitamin C supplementation promotes mental vitality in healthy young adults: results from a cross-sectional analysis and a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. European Journal of Nutrition. 2022;61(1):447-459
  26. 26. Ali ME, Farag BF, Hussein HA, Fahmy S. Sexual activity, semen characteristics and testosterone levels in mature male rabbits treated with hormonal and non-hormonal preparations. Egyptian Journal of Animal Production. 2022;59(2):79-85
  27. 27. Oyareme V, Osaji EI, Bah A. The environmental health benefits of four different selected vegetables (Saluyot Spp, Melissa Spp, Ocimum Spp and Talinum Spp), procured in serrekunda market for cosmopolitan consumption rate in the Gambia. Open Access Library Journal. 2022;9:e8974
  28. 28. Dogani M, Askari N, Kalantari-Hesari A, Rahbar FH. The effects of P. atlantica as a libido booster and sexual enhancer on the reproductive system of male rats. Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine. 2022;12(4):345-353
  29. 29. Stojkovski K, Best HGH. Supplements: Ingredients, benefits, and side effects. Order. 2022;3:00
  30. 30. Stewart E. Over the counter and home remedies. In: Sexual Function and Pelvic Floor Dysfunction. Champions: Springer; 2021. pp. 123-136
  31. 31. Nguyen HD, Kim MS. Effects of heavy metal, vitamin, and curry consumption on metabolic syndrome during menopause: A Korean community-based cross-sectional study. Menopause. 2021;28(8):949-959
  32. 32. Ahn TK, Kim JO, An HJ, Park HS, Choi UY, Sohn S, et al. 3’-UTR polymorphisms of vitamin B-related genes are associated with osteoporosis and osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures (OVCFs) in postmenopausal women. Genes. 2020;11(6):612
  33. 33. Athira KS, Tripathy TB, Sukumar BS. Ayurvedic food supplements for sexual health: A review article. International Journal of Health Sciences and Research. 2019;9(5):347-355
  34. 34. Hamed M, Akhigbe R. P-002 Zinc restores testicular integrity and function in HAART-treated male Wistar rats via modulation of Nrf2/NFkB pathway and downregulation of caspase 3 signaling. Human Reproduction. 2022;37(Supplement_1):deac107-deac002
  35. 35. Bindari YR, Shrestha S, Shrestha N, Gaire TN. Effects of nutrition on reproduction-A review. Advances in Applied Science Research. 2013;4(1):421-429
  36. 36. Hooshang H, Farahani AV, Rezaeizadeh H, Forouzannia SK, Alaeddini F, Ashraf H, et al. Efficacy of date palm pollen in the male sexual dysfunction after coronary artery bypass graft: A randomized, double-blind, clinical trial. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2022:2022
  37. 37. Zhang D, Jin L, Han J, Song Y, Song H, Lei T. Effect of Bushen Yangluan decoction combined with clomiphene citrate on ovulation and ovarian function in patients with infertility due to polycystic ovary syndrome. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine. 2021;14(2):1095-1102
  38. 38. Wang PH, Li YC, Wu YH, Chen JL, Qiu JT, Yang SH. Clinical evaluation of Guilu Erxian Jiao in treating perimenopausal syndrome. Chinese Medical Journal. 2012;23(2):165-181
  39. 39. Danno K, Colas A, Terzan L, Bordet MF. Homeopathic treatment of premenstrual syndrome: A case series. Homeopathy. 2013;102(01):59-65
  40. 40. Chedraui P, Hidalgo L, San Miguel G, Morocho N, Ross S. Red clover extract (MF11RCE) supplementation and postmenopausal vaginal and sexual health. International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics. 2006;95(3):296-297
  41. 41. Khairullah AR, Solikhah TI, Ansori AN, Hidayatullah AR, Hartadi EB, Ram SC, et al. Review on the pharmacological and health aspects of apium graveolens or celery: An update. Systematic Reviews in Pharmacy. 2021;12(2):595-601
  42. 42. Purnamasari R, Lusiana N, Widayanti LP, Kumalasari ML. The effectiveness of zinc micronutrients from pumpkin (Cucurbita moschata D) extract on the testosterone levels of mice (Mus musculus L). Indian Journal of Forensic Medicine & Toxicology. 2022;16(1):986-993
  43. 43. Olabiyi AA, Ajayi K. Diet, herbs and erectile function: A good friendship! Andrologia. 2022:e14424
  44. 44. Yee A, Uloko M, Goldstein I. Clinical experience with testosterone undecanoate capsules (Jatenzo): The first 50 patients. The Journal of Sexual Medicine. 2022;19(5):S128
  45. 45. Varade PR, Jambhale AL, Jadhav AS, Kondilkar MB, Patil KP, Patil BR. Formulation and evaluation of asparagus racemosus granules for determination of antioxidant activity. 2022;11(4):807-814. Available from:
  46. 46. IsHak WW, Clevenger S, Pechnick RN, Parisi T. Sex and natural sexual enhancement: Sexual techniques, aphrodisiac foods, and nutraceuticals. The Textbook of Clinical Sexual Medicine. 2017;1(1):413-432
  47. 47. Barton DL, Pugh SL, Ganz PA, Plaxe SC, Koontz BF, Carter J, et al. Randomized controlled phase II evaluation of two dose levels of bupropion versus placebo for sexual desire in female cancer survivors: NRG-CC004. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2022;40(4):324-334
  48. 48. Jiang TA. Health benefits of culinary herbs and spices. Journal of AOAC International. 2019;102(2):395-411
  49. 49. Koliji T, Keshavarz Z, Zare E, Mojab F, Nasiri M. A systematic review of herbal medicines to improve the sexual function of menopausal women. Journal of Herbmed Pharmacology. 2020;10(1):51-60
  50. 50. Chen L, Shi GR, Huang DD, Li Y, Ma CC, Shi M, et al. Male sexual dysfunction: A review of literature on its pathological mechanisms, potential risk factors, and herbal drug intervention. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy 2019;112:108585
  51. 51. da Cruz AC, Guerra NG, de Souza KEBP, de Castro Eleutério I, da Silva LC, Otoni EG, et al. The action of herbal medicine on the libido: Aspects of nutritional intervention in increasing sexual desire. Nutrire 2017;42(1):1-8
  52. 52. Manipriya K, Mallika DB, Dixit AS, Goud UK. Promising herbs as alternatives for women with symptoms of menopause: A review. Journal of Drug Vigilance and Alternative Therapies. 2021;1(2):46-64

Written By

Neelesh Kumar Maurya

Submitted: 15 October 2022 Reviewed: 17 October 2022 Published: 26 November 2022