Potent natural aphrodisiacs for the management of erectile dysfunction and male sexual debilities

Front Biosci (Schol Ed). 2012 Jan 1;4:167-80. doi: 10.2741/259.


The area of natural product research is rapidly progressing from traditional medicine to modern medicine having proper scientific basis of its usage. However, identifying the active constituent or the basis of its mechanism holds the key to synthesis of these drugs in the laboratory. Traditional Indian literature such as Ayurveda has listed several plant and animal based resources for treatment of almost every ailment. Erectile dysfunction and male sexual debilities are among the most explored areas in traditional medicine. A number of natural products, mostly plant based, have been claimed to cure erectile dysfunction and related male sexual debilities. These products often are aphrodisiac and have multi-fold effects on male reproductive system. This review aims at compiling the animal and plant based resources which bear promise of treating loss of libido and erectile dysfunction. A special emphasis is paid to find out scientific basis of their usage. The identification of potential resources could help undertake further studies to establish their possible mechanism of action; opening the doors to proper clinical trials for human use.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aphrodisiacs / pharmacology*
  • Aphrodisiacs / therapeutic use*
  • Biological Products / pharmacology
  • Biological Products / therapeutic use
  • Erectile Dysfunction / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Libido / drug effects
  • Male
  • Medicine, Traditional
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Sexual Behavior / drug effects
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / drug therapy*


  • Aphrodisiacs
  • Biological Products
  • Plant Extracts