Foreplay, cuddling, kissing, champagne, and oysters may all help prepare you for intimacy. Some essential oils have aphrodisiac properties and can get you in the mood.
Research suggests several kinds of essential oils may have aphrodisiac properties when inhaled before or during intimacy. In fact, it’s known that some strong odors can trigger erection trusted Source and that women with a stronger sense of smell tend to have more orgasms Trusted Source during sex.
Here’s a rundown of essential oils you may want to introduce to the bedroom.
Certain plants have been used to boost male and female sexual desire, performance, and pleasure for centuries. However, little scientific research has explored how essential oils may benefit a person’s sex life. While it’s not possible to say any essential oil is an aphrodisiac, there are some properties of essential oils that can be linked to a more positive sexual experience.
1. Clary sage
Scientific studies suggest clary sage can help ease issues with women’s reproductive systems, such as painful menstrual periods. Research Trusted Source has also shown that clary sage can decrease stress hormones when used as an essential oil.
While there’s no clear evidence of its mood-boosting properties, it’s possible clary sage could help set the mood for sex.
Research suggests that inhaling ylang ylang essential oil is associated with feelings of euphoria, and helps relieve depression. One study trusted Source even demonstrated that applying ylang ylang oil to the skin can improve self-esteem.
While there’s no clear scientific link between ylang-ylang and sexual experience, evidence suggests it can improve mental health. And because the mood is linked to sexual experience, it’s possible that ylang-ylang is a good essential oil for sexual stimulation.
In Africa, men often chew the stem and root of carpolobia to get to the plant’s oil before sex to boost their performance. However, there is no clear scientific understanding trusted Source of how carpolobia essential oil affects male sexual performance.
6. Casimiroa edulis
Scientists have found a trusted Sources that oil from the casimiroa edulis plant, commonly called white sapote, can increase sexual behavior and ejaculations in male rats. In Central America and Asia, the seeds from this plant that contain a potent oil are commonly consumed as an aphrodisiac.
More research is needed in humans to determine the aphrodisiac effects of casimiroa edulis oil.
7. Eurycoma longifolia
Studies suggest Eurycoma longifolia, also called Tongkat Ali or pasak Bumi, increases male rats’ ability to have erection trusted Source and also boosts the sex driveTrusted Source of rats hesitant to have sex. In Malaysia, this plant has a reputation for being a powerful male aphrodisiac. More research is needed to investigate these benefits in humans.
8. Fadogia agrestis
Scientists believe oil from the fadogia agrestis could be a powerful aphrodisiac for men. In their researchTrusted Source, they have found it slowed the speed at which male rats ejaculate during sex, increased their testosterone levels, and significantly increased the size of the rats’ testes.
9. Lepidium meyenii
Research suggestsTrusted Source that maca root and its oil do not seem to affect levels of reproductive hormones in men. But researchers have found that men using maca oil reported increased sexual desire at the end of eight weeks of use.
So while it’s possible maca oil can serve as an aphrodisiac, how it works is not well understood.
10. Kaempferia parviflora
Kaempferia parviflora has long been used in Southeast Asia to enhance the sexual experience of men. Scientists have found trusted Source that kaempferia parviflora essential oil extract appears to increase blood flow to the testes of male rats, suggesting it may have aphrodisiac qualities.
11. Mondia whitei
ResearchTrusted Source shows mondia whitei oil can boost sperm count in men by increasing levels of male sex hormones. It’s possible mondia whitei can be used as a male aphrodisiac.
12. Myristica fragrans
14. Satureja khuzestanica
ResearchTrusted Source on male rats suggests that satureja khuzestanica essential oil can boost fertility, sperm production, and litter size in rats. The evidence that this oil can boost fertility in male humans is unclear.
When ingested in the correct dose, Yohimbe oil stimulates blood flowTrusted Source through the body — including to the penis — by dilating blood vessels. Yohimbe has also been found to produce a brain chemical linked to forming erections and stimulates nerves in the pelvis that boost sexual performance.
Essential oils for female stimulation
Women who have higher scent sensitivity report more orgasmsTrusted Source than women who do not. So if you have a good nose, your sex might benefit from using essential oils.
Some essential oils with possible aphrodisiac effects for women include:
Essential oils for male arousal
There’s a bit more research studying how male sexual experience is affected by essential oils. Scientists have found that the following essential oils may work as aphrodisiacs for males: