Features and benefits
In Chinese medicine:
- Horny goat weed, morinda, curculigo and schisandra are traditionally used to enhance sexual vitality in both men and women
- Horny goat weed is traditionally used to unblock the flow of Qi (life force energy), and in circumstances where libido is low
- Along with tribulus, horny goat weed is also traditionally used to tonify the Kidney organ-meridian system (which is considered central to reproductive health in TCM) and to anchor Yang, which is associated with masculine qualities; deficiency of Yang may lead to fatigue and reduced sexual interest
- Morinda is traditionally taken to improve physical performance
- Schisandra is traditionally used to relieve fatigue and enhance resistance to physical and emotional stress
How it works
In TCM, the Kidney organ-meridian system is traditionally believed to play a vital role in sexual function, in part because it’s the source of the opposing forces of Yin and Yang.
In both men and women, Yang has active and energetic characteristics. It’s associated with masculine energy, fire, hardness, strength and upwards movement. In contrast, Yin is softer and cooler, associated with feminine energy, calmness, slowness and stillness.
What happens when Yang energy is too low?
From the perspective of TCM, deficiency of Yang (or a low ratio of Yang relative to Yin) in either men or women is often associated with fatigue and may lead to low libido and a lack of sexual desire.
In Chinese medicine, the herbs tribulus and horny goat weed are traditionally used to ‘anchor’ the Yang, which is the poetic traditional Chinese way of saying that they’re used to stop Yang from floating away and being unable to exert its strong, fiery and masculine influence.
Both tribulus and horny goat weed are also traditionally used in Chinese medicine to strengthen Jing, a form of life force energy that’s inherited from our parents at the time of conception in finite quantities. In TCM, Jing is believed to decline as we get older, and one of the symptoms that can be associated with that decline is a reduction in sexual interest.
Herbs traditionally used as aphrodisiacs in Chinese medicine
The herbs schisandra, morinda, curculigo and horny goat weed are traditionally regarded as having aphrodisiac properties in Chinese medicine, where they’re taken to enhance sexual vitality.
In particular, horny goat weed unblocks the flow of the life force energy called Qi, improves sex drive and desire, especially when libido is low, and along with the Yang-tonic herb morinda, improves physical performance (based on their traditional use in Chinese medicine).
Schisandra: traditionally used to help relieve fatigue and mild anxiety symptoms
In addition to its traditional use in Chinese medicine for enhancing sexual vitality, schisandra is traditionally used to help relieve fatigue and mild anxiety symptoms, and to help boost resistance to emotional and physical stress.