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Supplements for Women's Libido


As discussed in ConsumerLab's Sexual Enhancer Supplements Review, there is litte solid evidence for natural treatments for sexual dysfunction in women but several substances have shown promising results in preliminary trials. For example, two small trials suggest that Korean ginseng may increase sexual desire and arousal in women, but not other measures of sexual function.

As discussed in that article, one of the most promising approaches is DHEA, which may benefit older women but not younger women -- likely because levels of this natural hormone decline with age. has tested and reviewed DHEA supplements in the DHEA Supplements Review. Be sure to take note, however, of the concerns and cautions associated DHEA.

As discussed on's Maca Supplements Review, a small study found that maca powder may improve mood and increase sexual desire in postmenopausal women. Another small study in women taking SSRI antidepressant medication (which can cause low sexual desire) found that maca root powder significantly improved sexual desire and the number of enjoyable sexual experiences. (Small studies also suggest that maca may increase sexual desire and, possibly, erectile dysfunction, in men).

L-arginine has been promoted for increasing sexual desire and/or arousal in women, despite the fact that arginine alone has not been studied as a treatment for women. However, as noted in's L-Arginine Supplements Review, a combination formula containing L-arginine as well Panax ginseng, Ginkgo biloba extract, damiana, and various vitamins and minerals was found to increase sexual desire, frequency of orgasm, and satisfaction with sex life in women with decreased libido, compared to placebo. 

Kava, which is typically taken to relieve anxiety, was shown to increase sexual desire in women with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) (Sarris, J Clin Psychopharmacol 2013).

Ashwagandha extract has been shown in one study to increase sexual arousal, lubrication and satisfaction, but not sexual desire, in women with low desire and arousal, as discussed in's Ashwagandha Supplements Review.

Ginseng may also improve sexual arousal in menopausal women, as noted in's Ginseng Supplements Review.

Also see:'s Sexual Enhancer's Review (including tests of yohimbe and horny goat weed supplements)

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September 10, 2021

As a woman, I wonder how much the decreased libido many women feel as we get older, is not physiological, but is psychological. We are swamped with images of sexuality belonging only to women under 40, not just under 40 but physically the sexual ideals... I dont need to elaborate, you all know what I mean. Oftentimes, myself and other women I know over 40, bemoan our "lost" younger selves and berate our current selves. If we are in a relationship, does that partner add to or detract from one's sexual confidence? If we are not in a relationship, how much of our day to day thoughts are self punishing or kind? Just my thoughts. I am not a psychologist, but I am an RN with an interest in sexuality and positive aging.

December 7, 2016

In addition, a recent small study of 75 subjects with generalized anxiety disorder found that females taking the traditional herb kava-kava (containing 120mg kavalactones per day) had a significant increase in sexual function and performance, and more specifically sex drive. See
December 14, 2016

Thank you Travis. We've added information about kava to the answer above.

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