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Some herbs that address adrenal functions, alleviate anxiety or aid as muscle relaxants can be used as anaphrodisiacs, meant to reduce libido. Herbs used by women to treat painful menstruation or other premenstrual symptoms can be used by men to decrease sexual urges. Most of these herbs can be ingested as teas, and should not be used excessively, or without consulting your physician first.

Herbal Anaphrodisiacs

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The berries from chaste tree (also known as vitex or chasteberry) can be boiled into tea to serve as an anaphrodisiac, although the more common use of these berries is to reduce premenstrual symptoms and increase a woman's milk flow. The crushed berries can also be consumed to alleviate weakness and limb pains.

Hops, which are found in many beers, can decrease libido and premature ejaculation. The fruits of this herb also help with anxiety, irritability, and skin problems such as eczema.

The dried roots of the valerian plant can be made into an anaphrodisiac tea, and can help cure sleeping disorders and decrease heart rate.

The herb called skullcap can treat muscle spasms, anxiety, anorexia nervosa, headaches, and insomnia, while it is also used to decrease sexual urges.

Hops, valerian, and skullcap, while they may help, are not proven to show long-term effects.

Marjoram, which can be found in many Mexican dishes, is used often for anxiety and painful menstruation. It is listed by Wikipedia as a possible anaphrodisiac.

The Chinese herbs privet and <i>Rehmannia glutinosa</i> are possible anaphrodisiacs as well.

Where to find these herbs

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Local GNCs might carry some of these herbs, but offer only two related products online. GNC carries a bath made from hops and valerian that may help to relax the sexual senses. It also has bottled Valerian root that you can prepare on your own.

The Penn Herb Company, located in Philadelphia and founded in 1924, is probably the best service to order from. It carries all the herbs listed in this article (except Chinese privet and <i>Rehmannia glutinosa</i>) and staff may be able to help with any other herbal needs you might have. (See Resources 2)

Another option is to check out local farmers' markets. To find one near you that will carry an array of herbs, visit the United States National Organic Program’s website at http://apps.ams.usda.gov/FarmersMarkets/ and fill in your location information. Farmers' markets will offer both dried and fresh herbs.

You could also contact your local acupuncturist to see what herbal services are offered. He or she can probably offer advice about where to get some of these herbs, especially the more hard-to-find ones like Chinese privet and <i>Rehmannia glutinosa.</i>

If you’re interested in growing the herbs yourself, Richters Herb Specialists would be your best bet. This company is based in Canada. (See References 3)

Side Effects

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In extreme cases herbs used as anaphrodisiacs can cause impotency. (See References 2) The alkali from such herbs may act in an aggressive way, reducing or eliminating semen count. These herbs should be used in moderation. They are used mostly to relax muscles or the nervous system, thus aiding in the relaxation of sexual organs and urges. Consult your doctor to learn any possible side effects from using any of the herbs.

Consult your family doctor or dietitian to make sure that these herbs are safe for you and won't react with any medicines or health issues.

About the Author

Madeline Lauria

Madeline Lauria graduated from Duquesne University with a bachelor's degree in English and journalism. She was the news editor at "The Duquesne Duke," an intern at Creative Nonfiction and published in the school's literary journals, "Off the Bluff" and ":Lexicon." Lauria currently works as a freelance copywriter in Elmira, N.Y. and a crew member in The ALT Project.