Sex supplement for women: Elaeagnus angustifolia

Supplementation with an extract of Elaeagnus angustifolia, a shrub related to buckthorn, improves women’s sexual function. Researchers at Shiraz University of Medical Sciences in Iran discovered this, when they did an experiment with 125 women aged 18-40.

Elaeagnus angustifolia
The fruits of Elaeagnus angustifolia are edible and extracts of them contain flavonoids, terpenoids and sitosterol. Animal studies have shown that these are muscle relaxants [J Ethnopharmacol. 2003 Feb;84(2-3):275-8.] and that they inhibit pain stimuli. [Fitoterapia. 2001 Mar;72(3):255-62.] [J Ethnopharmacol. 2000 Sep;72(1-2):287-92.]

Traditional herbal healers describe Elaeagnus angustifolia as a ‘hot’, ‘dry’ and ‘aromatic’ herb, with a positive effect on ‘sexual activity especially in young girls and women’. The Iranians’ study is the first published piece of scientific research that confirms this.

The researchers divided their subjects, all of whom were healthy but had sexual problems, into three groups. A control group took a placebo, a second group took 1 tablet containing 50 mg sildanafil citrate – the active ingredient in Viagra – before having sex, for a period of four weeks. A third group took 4.5 g Elaeagnus angustifolia extract every day for five weeks.

The 4.5 g dose was divided over two intakes. Extra information: the researchers used an extract of the flowers of Elaeagnus angustifolia, to make their own supplements.

The researchers asked the women to give their orgasms and sexual satisfaction a score on a scale from 1 to 5 before and after having taken sildenafil, Elaeagnus angustifolia and the placebos.

5 = Very satisfied; 4 = Moderately satisfied; 3 = About equally satisfied and dissatisfied; 2 = Moderately dissatisfied; 1 = Very dissatisfied.

The average scores rose among the women who had taken sildeanafil or Elaeagnus angustifolia.


The percentage of women that did not have or had difficulty reaching an orgasm decreased in the sildenafil group. The decrease in the Elaeagnus angustifolia group was not statistically significant.


The researchers suspect that the phenols in Elaeagnus angustifolia increase the supply of blood to the genitals because they relax the blood vessels, but do not reveal what their reasoning is based on.

“In this study, Elaeagnus angustifolia, sildenafil citrate, and control groups respectively showed 29.41%, 58.82% and 12.5% reduction of changes as compared to the condition before the intervention”, the researchers summarised. “Thus, it seems that sildenafil citrate has been more effective in improvement of sexual dysfunction as compared to Elaeagnus angustifolia.”

“The findings of the current study can be used for improvement of women’s and families’ sexual health. Yet, further studies are recommended to be conducted using different doses of Elaeagnus angustifolia at different times.”

Comparison of Elaeagnus angustifolia Extract and Sildenafil Citrate on Female Orgasmic Disorders: A Randomized Clinical Trial.


Orgasmic disorder can create a feeling of deprivation and failure and provide mental problems, incompatibility and marital discord. This study aimed to compare the effects of Elaeagnus angustifolia flower extract and sildenafil citrate on female orgasmic disorder in women in 2013.

In this randomized clinical trial, 125 women between 18-40 years old who suffered from orgasmic disorder were divided into three E. angustifolia, sildenafil citrate and control groups. The data were gathered using Female Sexual Function Index and through measurement of TSH and prolactin. The first intervention group had to consume 4.5 gr E. angustifolia extract in two divided doses for 35 days and the second one had to use 50 mg sildenafil citrate tablets for 4 weeks one hour before their sexual relationship. However, the control group had to consume the placebo. The data were analyzed using paired t-test, one-way ANOVA, and Bonferroni posthoc test and p<0.05 was considered significant.

The frequency of orgasmic disorder before the intervention was 41.5%, 40.5%, and 57.1% in E. angustifolia, sildenafil citrate, and control groups, respectively (p=0.23). However, these measures were respectively 29.3%, 16.7%, and 50% after the intervention (p=0.004). A significant difference between the two groups regarding sexual satisfaction after the intervention (p=0.003) compared to the beginning of the study (p=0.356). Besides, the highest reduction of changes after the intervention (58.82%) was observed in the sildenafil citrate group.

Both E. angustifolia extract and sildenafil citrate were effective in reduction of the frequency of orgasmic disorder in women.

PMID: 25473627 PMCID: PMC4227976 [PubMed]