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, also called "potency wood, has been used historically to treat sexual debility.

The newest prescription rage, Viagra, has brought the issue of sexual potency and vitality into the limelight. This has also aroused interest in natural remedies, both ancient and new, for sexual dysfunction and sexual enhancement.

The herb Muira puama, also called "potency wood," has been used historically to treat sexual debility. In clinical trials, in France, it was reported to be effective in improving libido by 85 percent, and was 90-percent successful in treating erectile dysfunction. This herb is best taken as a tincture of the bark and root, one to three milli-litres twice daily.

Traditionally used to enhance vigour, vitality, and stamina, Tribulus terrestris has been shown in contemporary studies to improve libido in both men and women by 95 percent, and to prolong penile erection in men. As well, clinical studies have shown that Tribulus increases the body's natural testosterone and LH (leutenizing hormone) levels, therefore helping to relieve some of the symptoms of age-related hormone changes in women and men. The dosage range is between one to two, 250-milligram tablets, three times daily.

With a name you're not likely to forget, the herb Horny Goat Weed (Epimedium grandiflorum) is also said to have testosterone-like effects. It has been used effectively for over 2,000 years to increase energy, libido, sperm production, and to stimulate sensory nerves. Two to four capsules containing 500 mg should be sufficient to help a flagging libido and stimulate both men's and women's sex lives. Another option is to brew a tea by simmering a handful of dried leaves for 15 minutes in a litre of spring water. Drink two cupfuls daily.

For centuries the Peruvians have used Maca (Lepidium meyenii) as an energy- and sex-enhancing herb. A study published in Urology (April 2000) confirmed the sex-enhancing effects of the root. After using 2,000 mg daily, study participants claimed a
significant increase in libido, increased frequency of sex, and enhanced sexual function.

Traditional Chinese herbalists treat sexual imbalances such as impotence or low libido by supporting the kidney/ adrenal, one of the pathways of the circulating energy of the body. Combining Chinese ginseng (Panax ginseng) with ginkgo biloba and sarsaparilla (Smilax medica) is more effective for both men and women than using the single herbs. This is how it works: ginkgo increases peripheral blood circulation, ginseng increases the vitality of the adrenal glands, and sarsaparilla enlivens the action of ginseng. Suggested daily dosage is 100 mg Panax ginseng, 50 to 100 mg of ginkgo, and 1000 mg twice daily of sarsaparilla.

A natural health care approach frees us from seeing a libido problem as a disease condition and places it where it belongs-in the context of our health and vitality.

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