Aloe vera is an aphrodisiac
Aloe vera is a plant with many applications. Extracts from the plant are found in cosmetics, weight loss supplements and also in traditional African libido formulas. Joseph Erhabor from the University of Benin gave those Aloe vera products to laboratory rats - and came to the conclusion that they were effective...
The researchers gave male rats an ethanol extract of Aloe vera root [scientific name: Aloe barbadensis] every day for 14 days. In Nigeria, local healers give these extracts to men who complain about too little libido.
The rats received 100, 200 or 400 milligrams per kilogram of body weight daily. You can read here how to calculate the human equivalent of those doses. The human equivalent of the lowest dose fits in 1-2 capsules.
Animals in control groups received sildenafil, the active substance in Viagra, or nothing at all.
On days 1, 7, and 14 of the study, the researchers placed sexually mature females with the rats and recorded the sexual behavior of the male rats.
Supplementation with the Aloe vera extract increased the sexual prowess of the rats. On days 1 and 14 of the study, the rats that had received the low dose were significantly more likely to ride than the rats in the control group. The pro-sexual effect of Aloe vera was less than that of sildenafil.
The researchers suspect that at least part of the pro-sexual activity of Aloe vera is the result of an increased production of testosterone. Especially the relatively low dose of the Aloe vera extract increased the concentration of cholesterol in the blood, you can see below. The body manufactures testosterone from cholesterol.
In addition, on some days the researchers found more testosterone in the blood of the rats in the Aloe vera groups. We honestly find the hormonal effect unconvincing, and we suspect that the pro-sexual effect of Aloe vera can be explained through a different mechanism. Whatever.
"The increased blood testosterone and cholesterol concentrations by the ethanol extract of Aloe barbadensis can probably be said to be the possible mechanisms of action for its aphrodisiac property", the researchers conclude. "The plant may also be used to treat hypotestosteronemia following its ability to increase testosterone."
"These findings therefore give backing to the acclaimed local use of Aloe barbadensis root as an aphrodisiac in males."
Almost forgot. The researchers found no side effects.
BMC Complement Altern Med. 2017 Jul 11;17(1):360.
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