This article discusses the science behind Avena sativa; a natural aphrodisiac and libido enhancer that’s been shown to be pharmacologically active. This herbal sexual enhancer is most effective in the long term and is most effective for men. Historically, it’s a powerful herb thought to increase strength in the mind, spirit and body, often being used to combat fatigue, without the jitters of caffeine. And, like Tribulus terrestris, Avena sativa reportedly supports increased levels of free testosterone in men.
Why is this important?
Luteinizing hormones are released by the pituitary gland in men. These hormones are the messengers what tell the male body to produce more testosterone. As men age, their free testosterone gets bound with other hormones, decreasing the levels of available testosterone in the male body. Free testosterone helps to support a healthy sexual response.
We harvest our concentrated raw herb when the plant is in its “milky” stage for maximum potency and effectiveness.
There are numerous references to Wild Oats (Avena sativa) as an effective libido enhancer, but it isn’t as popular in the mainstream as one might expect for such as successful herb. The German Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia: Volume 1 discusses it’s use as an aphrodisiac. The Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality conducted trials that gave positive results in relation to increasing interest in sexual activity in males over the long term. In the 12th century, it has been reported that wild green oats are used as mood enhancers and contribute to a clear, sharp mind. It also builds strength which benefits those suffering chronic fatigue.
I have noticed more extracts appearing in the marketplace, though. From reports on online forums, it seems that Avena sativa is growing in popularity as a natural alternative to prescription erectile enhancers. And, it’s not just men who are reporting these positive results; women have noticed an increase in libido as well. When we gave a 4:1 extract of this herb to our panel of 32 volunteers, both men and women reported increased “sexual energy”, as well as “increased libido.” in over 50% of our participants. Both sides reported the effects as “mild”, and said that it took several days of use for the effect to build up enough to notice.
In 1986, a study was conducted by the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality. This study also showed a positive response by participants over several areas of sexual and physical health. To qualify, participants had to have some complaint related to libido, and/or sexual desire and energy levels. The participants covered a wide age group as well, and consisted of equal numbers of men and women. The testing dose was a 300mg capsule of Avena Sativa extract (strength not stated), taken three times a day, over the course of six weeks. These were the results:
- Men reported an average of 22% increase in genital sensation.
- Women reported an average of 15% increase in genital sensation.
- Men reported a 36% increase in the frequency of orgasms.
- Women reported a 29% increase in the frequency of orgasms.
In 2006, an Israeli team conducted a study of Avena sativa for aging patients. It wasn’t focused on sexual wellness, but overall energy levels in relation to stress and fatigue. What they found was that not only were there positive results for helping to eliminate stress and fatigue, but there were signs of mood balancing, as well as cognitive enhancement. This definitely can help explain why this plant has become known as an aphrodisiac; overall health, reduced stress, and increased energy can definitely lead to more interest in sexual activity. With the additional discovery that bound testosterone prevents stimulating the needed sexual centers in the brain, this is a potent mix for men, and an interesting one for women.
“Avena Sativa Ferm 33 C 2000.” German Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia: Volume 1. Stuttgart: CRC Press, 2003. 315+.
Malviya N, Jain S, Gupta VB, Vyas S. Recent studies on aphrodisiac herbs for the management of male sexual dysfunction–a review. Acta Pol Pharm. 2011 Jan-Feb;68(1):3-8.
Schellekens C, Perrinjaquet-Moccetti T, Wullschleger C, Heyne A. An extract from wild green oat improves rat behaviour. Phytother Res. 2009 Oct;23(10):1371-7.
Schmidt K, Geckeler K. Pharmacotherapy with avena sativa – a double blind study. Int J Clin Pharmacol Biopharm. 1976 Oct;14(3):214-6.