Herbs to Heal Acne - and Improve Sexual Function
A nutritional supplement has been shown to significantly improve
women's sexual desire and overall satisfaction, according to a recent
The supplement — which contains ginkgo, ginseng, damiana, L-arginine
and other vitamins and minerals — offers a nutritional approach to
female sexual health, including the enhancement of sexual desire and
healing acne outbreaks, said lead researcher Mary Lake Polan, MD, PhD,
MPH, professor and chair of gynecology and obstetrics at Stanford
University School of Medicine in Stanford, California.
L-arginine is an essential amino acid that works to increase levels
of nitric oxide in the body, which can increase blood flow and
potentially act as a signal molecule for sexual arousal, she explained.
Gingko, ginseng, and damiana also have a long history of traditional use for overall well-being and hormonal balance.
"There are a lot of herbal supplements that are marketed for sexual
functioning, but to our knowledge this is the only nutritional
supplement for women that has any clinical testing behind it," Polan
In their double-blind study of 93 women between the ages of
22-73 years who indicated they were lacking in sexual desire, 46 women
received the nutritional supplement and 47 received a placebo.
The participants used the Female Sexual Function Indexquestionnaire
to rate their level of sexual functioning before and after treatment.
At the end of 4 weeks, 62% of the group that received the supplement
reported greater satisfaction with their overall sex life compared with
38% in the placebo group.
Additionally, 64% of those in the supplement group reported
improvement in their level of sexual desire compared with 43% in the
placebo group. Of the women nearing menopause who took the supplement,
91% reported an increase in the frequency of intercourse compared with
20% in the placebo group.
With no adverse effects reported, Polan said, the supplement is
clearly an option for some women, but she pointed out that it is not a
panacea. She advised women and their physicians to speak openly about
sexual dysfunction, noting that it is critical to have a medical
professional conduct a full evaluation, because sexual dysfunction has
several different etiologies, including a physical condition or adverse
effect of medication that can be managed medically, or it could stem
from relationship issues that can be addressed by counseling.
"We still don't have a magic bullet," Polan noted. "But the
supplement does give women more choices. It's a real product with real
Female sexual dysfunction — low libido, slow arousal, difficulty
reaching orgasm, and painful intercourse — occurs in about 43% of
women. While that exceeds the number of men who report sexual
dysfunction — 31% — there is a lack of treatment options for women,
Many postmenopausal women benefit from hormone therapy, but not everyone can or wants to take estrogen.
Other products come with adverse effects. Androgen gel may cause
excessive hair growth and, according to Polan, should only be taken
with a doctor's involvement. And the testosterone patch, which is not
currently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, may cause
acne or growth of facial hair.
The nutritional supplement used in the study is marketed by The Daily Wellness Company under the trade name ArginMax.