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The Brazilian Aphrodisiac

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Talk about a double standard… When it comes to help in the bedroom, men get all the attention. There’s a huge industry built around improving sexual performance.

Today I want to balance the scales. On one of my trips, I discovered a gentle all-natural aid to help women enjoy a better sex life too.

I’m talking about the herb sarsaparilla (Smilax officinalis). I first saw it when I was trekking through the Brazilian rainforest. Its prickly vines were everywhere. I knew it by its tendrils and berries.

For centuries native tribes in the Americas have used sarsaparilla root as a tonic. They believe it helps maintain youth and energy. They use it to boost sexual potency. And many other traditional cultures also consider it an aphrodisiac.

But it’s not only for men. Here’s why this herb may just be a woman’s best friend in the bedroom.

Sarsaparilla Will Increase Sexual Desire By Boosting Sex Hormones

Sarsaparilla contains plant compounds called saponins. Your body can use these to make hormones.1

One of these saponins is a plant estrogen called diosgenin. It’s a building block of estrogen and progesterone. It also mimics estrogen. That’s why diosgenin was used to create the first birth control pills in the 1960s.

Sarsaparilla’s estrogen effects can help women control PMS. They also help manage menopausal symptoms. They help regulate hormone balance. They may also act as an aphrodisiac.2

And way back in 1939, scientists first produced progesterone from sarsaparilla root extract. That’s important because most women are low in progesterone. But they don’t even know it.

Your progesterone decreases as you enter perimenopause. It can start as early as your 30s. It can also drop as a result of stress. You see, the stress hormone cortisol blocks your body’s progesterone receptors.

When progesterone drops you can suffer a long list of symptoms. They include low sex drive, weight gain, wrinkles and dry skin. It can also cause anxiety, fatigue, irritability, insomnia, and depression.

Sarsaparilla doesn’t contain progesterone. But it can stimulate your body’s own production of the hormone. By increasing progesterone activity, it helps relieve PMS and menopause symptoms. At the same time it may help lift a low sex drive out of the doldrums.

How To Balance Your Hormones With Help From Sarsaparilla

Root beer is the closest thing we have to a sarsaparilla drink. But traditional sarsaparilla tonic isn’t the same. Today’s sugary sodas are full of chemicals.

Back in the 1800s people drank a traditionally fermented brew from the herb’s roots. It contained probiotics, and vitamins C and B-6. It also had calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron and sulfur.

With some effort you could make your own fermented sarsaparilla “root beer.” But if you haven’t mastered the art of fermentation yet, you can just brew the roots as a tea.

The tea is naturally anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, and antiseptic. It’s a good tonic for general health and well-being. I like the Buddha Teas brand. They use bleach-free bags.

Try drinking 1 cup of the tea 2-3 times daily. Just be careful. Too much can cause gastrointestinal upset. Just back off if you experience any problems.

Sarsaparilla is becoming more widely available in health food stores and online. You can find it in tablets, capsules, and tinctures. It’s featured in herbal remedies for skin disorders, sex drive, balancing hormones, and sports nutrition.

Because sarsaparilla naturally helps boost estrogen, progesterone, and libido, I added it to my new hormone balancing formula. It’s called Harmony – Perfect Balance for Women.

Learn more about natural ways to better your health by signing up to receive my free natural beauty newsletter, “Ageless Beauty

To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD
Al Sears, MD


lDerrida, History and Archeology of Sarsaparilla. http://ccba.bc.ca/discuss1/_disc1/00000a49.htm

2Chevallier A Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. New York, NY:DK Publishing 1996;268.

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