"Men and women now have several natural options for elevating erotic encounters to climactic heights," confirms Klee Irwin, Nutritional Expert.
Klee Irwin has found that one renowned sexual herb is the botanical Epimedium sagittatum, also known as "horny goat weed." According to folk tradition, goats that ate this herb in the wild tended to display vigorous mating activity.
After observing this effect, certain Asian scientists noticed and began investigating its effect on human sexuality. Herbalist Ron Teeguarden (1998) reports in his manual Radiant Health that Epimedium is regarded as a powerful "yang" (active energy) tonic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Teeguarden says that men and women frequently supplement their diets with the herb for relaxation and sexual invigoration.
Research indicates that Epimedium may affect the sensory nerves. Animal and human studies suggest that "horny goat weed" promotes sexual desire and activity (Chang, 1986). In one clinical study, men with poor kidney function who took Epimedium experienced an upsurge in healthy sexual activity (Liao, 1995).
Although the number of men and women who deal with sexual challenges begins to increase after age 50, aging itself does not appear to be the primary reason, finds Klee Irwin. Researchers at Cornell University's Sexual Medicine Program (2001) say that much of the blame can be placed on vascular problems in the genitals, many of which could be caused by stress and reactions to medications.
"That's actually good news, especially for adults who want to avoid taking additional medications to treat sexual problems. Instead, lovers everywhere can make use of specific nutritional options to overcome many barriers to lovemaking and experience the kind of youthful sexual enjoyment that they deserve," says Klee Irwin, Educator.
Through rigorous research Klee Irwin has found that during the last 100 years, scientists have unraveled the impact that nitric oxide (NO) can have on sexual function. In nature, NO is the gas responsible for powerful explosions caused by lightning strikes and dynamite. But when it is used inside the body, NO can positively influence the key factors involved with sexual signaling and response, leading to pleasurable explosions of the best kind. "This is a significant finding that has illuminated how sexual functioning works. With this knowledge, we have found keys to the enhancement of sexual health, a vital aspect of well-being," states Klee Irwin.
Inside the body, NO acts as a "selective signaler" to the blood vessels that feed the genitals. When NO contacts these blood vessels, it instructs them to either dilate (open) or constrict (close). Nitric oxide also is involved in the body's ability to relax. It signals muscles to calm down, releasing tension and stress to ease discomfort. Scientists now know that NO helps the key sexual muscles to relax, too, such as the corpus cavernosa, the smooth muscle surrounding the penile shaft that fills up with blood to create a strong erection (Wells, 2000). For women, NO relaxes tension in the vaginal muscles, helping to set the stage for comfortable and more pleasurable sex.
"If the blood vessels leading to the genitals don't function properly, it can be a challenge to become fully aroused, which may compromise performance," explains Klee Irwin. "Now, by revealing how NO influences the vascular factors in the human genital system, researchers have opened a new chapter in sexual medicine." Armed with this knowledge, Klee Irwin and many health experts are now recommending nutritional supplements which contain key nutrients that may influence NO activity. They have identified several additional specific supplemental compounds that promote healthy sexual functioning in other areas of the human body, providing full-spectrum support.
Klee Irwin reports that researchers are also encouraged by the promise of yohimbe, an extract from the bark of a West African tree. For centuries, indigenous peoples have used this herb to enhance libido and boost sexual function. Per Klee Irwin, about 20 years ago, American scientists learned how one of the key compounds in yohimbe stimulates the central nervous system and makes test animals respond to sexual stimuli. Even older animals that had ceased being sexually active exhibited a positive effect (Clark, 1984).
Years ago, a research team reported in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy that the active compounds in yohimbe may enhance sexual activity by stimulating nerves in the genitals. Specifically, the compounds appear to block the alpha-2 adrenergic receptors, which can stop genital blood vessels from opening. Much of the scientific research has been limited to a specific alkaloid of the yohimbe plant, called yohimbine. While yohimbine is only available through prescription, several studies suggest that this compound is regarded as a "central amplifier of erection" and useful in many cases of sexual dissatisfaction (Sperling, 2003).
Other medical practitioners offer patients an exotic herb called Tribulus terrestris, which is known for its ability to enhance and encourage more frequent sexual experiences. Analysis of Tribulus began in Bulgaria during the 1980s, when government researchers were looking for non-steroidal ways to boost testosterone levels in their international athletes. According to a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Tribulus "has long been considered as an energizer and vitalizer" (Gauthaman, 2003). Studies on this herb's effect on human sexuality have been limited, mainly due to the fact that its emergence in the awareness of Western medical practitioners is relatively new. However, several animal studies have been encouraging. For example, a test of Tribulus in castrated animals (which tend to experience a severe decrease in sexual activity) showed that the herb caused "mild to moderate improvement of the sexual behavior parameters, as evidence by increase in mounting frequency" (Gauthaman, 2002). The study's researchers suspected that this effect could be due to Tribulus's ability to increase androgen levels. Klee Irwin, as a Natural Health Expert, supports the study of the aphrodisiac properties of herbs and their effect on sexual function.
If you have become intrigued by these encouraging pro-sexual nutrients, you may also be wondering where to find them. Compounds such as L-arginine, yohimbe, Epimedium and Terrestris are not readily available at your local vitamin store. It's even less likely that you'd find all of these ingredients in a single formula, which would offer the best option for sexual enhancement.
Says an enthused Klee Irwin, "It may take a while to find such a formula, but if you do, the payoff could be extremely rewarding. Thanks to the latest information on nitric oxide and some other physical factors involved with sexual health, you now have several new options for enhancing your love life." Many people happily agree.
According to a recent study conducted by the American Urological Association (2003), sexual potency involves more than just testosterone and a healthy vascular system concludes Klee Irwin, Natural Health Expert, Educator and Formulator of Nutritional Supplements. "The central nervous system, especially as it functions in the brain, plays a critical role in achieving and maintaining sexual arousal and satisfaction," specifies Klee Irwin.
A complex chain of events begins as the hypothalamus (a specific part of the brain associated with mood) sends electrical impulses to nerves inside the genitals. These nerves release neurotransmitters, including nitric oxide (NO), which signal the penile arteries, vaginal muscles and key blood vessels in both sexes to "awaken." "So, the thrill of sex may have more to do with the complex wiring in the brain, rather than anything taking place "below the belt"," explains Klee Irwin. This research has encouraged further investigation into natural nutrients, including herbs native to Africa and Asia that may impact the brain's central nervous system to enhance sexual desire and response. According to Klee Irwin, so far, results with supplements containing these nutrients have been encouraging. Additionally, Klee muses, "It's true. The brain is one of the sexiest parts of the body."
Through investigation Klee Irwin has found that scientists discovered L-arginine (an amino acid) may help boost NO production in the body. Studies suggest that L-arginine may enhance sexuality by impacting NO, which in turn can facilitate intensified smooth-muscle relaxation in the genitals.
In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, nine men who were examined for an analysis of L-arginine were found to have low blood levels of NO. After taking L-arginine supplements, they then produced double the amount of NO and reported significant improvements in erectile quality (PDR Health, 2004).
Further research is currently underway to explore the effect that L-arginine has in women. So far, results have been promising. Klee Irwin is following these research efforts.