Herbs and Libido
Expert’s Name: Dr. Nalini Chilkov
Interviewer: Gail Edgell
Gail Edgell: Will it say “American Ginseng” on the product label?
Dr. Chilkov: Yes. You will see that Ginseng can be labeled as Korean Ginseng, Chinese Ginseng or American Ginseng. Women can use Chinese Ginseng and Korean Ginseng. But American Ginseng is much more balanced for them.
The next herb that I want to talk about is called Cordyceps. This is one of the great shining stars in Chinese Medicine, particularly in terms of aphrodisiacs. I will also say that it is one of the great herbs in cancer care and immune stimulation. But it’s a very powerful sexual stimulant as well. A woman is building her sexuality and her immunity when she uses an herb like this. She will want to take it on a daily basis, combined with Ginseng and Epimedium. Over time, she will feel much, much more vibrant. Cordyceps has been shown to provide significant improvement in the treatment of sexual function. It’s also used in men to treat impotence. It’s very safe, and it increases endurance, vigor and energy. Even athletes use this herb.
There is a fourth herb that I want to talk about that is not a Chinese herb. Maca root is an herb from Peru. It has been used for thousands of years in South America for boosting sexual health, libido and fertility. I have found that when estrogen starts to decline, Maca root is one of the best herbs for giving a woman balance. It helps smooth the menopausal journey. This herb also has a lot of minerals, enzymes and amino acids. These are all very important for normal sexuality and a high libido. It really increases desire.
I want to emphasize that these four herbs that I have mentioned — Epimedium, American Ginseng, Cordyceps and Maca root — are all safe to use. These herbs are widely used in China. Many people over 40 take tonics like these. It’s comparable to taking a multivitamin.
These herbs will reduce menopausal symptoms. They will regulate hormonal irregularities and smooth out the menopausal transition. For women who are still menstruating, it will ease their cycles. These herbs do this by leveling out mood fluctuations and helping with mental acuity, concentration, stamina and vitality. These are not herbs that a woman only wants to use the night before she wants to have sex. These are herbs that need to be used on a daily basis, so that she feels like having sex more often and has the energy to do it.
Gail Edgell: Do you typically take the last one, the Maca root, in combination with the other herbs that you mentioned?
Dr. Chilkov: Each one of these herbs can be taken alone. But the real art of herbal medicine is making balanced formulas. As an herbalist, I find it much more effective and much more balanced, even much more elegant, to make a formula that is tailored for an individual. You will see that if you look at a good natural food store, or if you live in a city where there is a Chinatown, that the formulas are always found in combinations. You can also buy very expensive Ginseng root that is prepared in a very special way.
Note: This article is an edited transcript of an audio interview. Changes have been made.