Garlic is a popular ingredient that has been linked to a long list of health benefits.
According to some studies, garlic could help fight inflammation, reduce cholesterol levels, and protect against chronic disease (1).
Given its many medicinal properties, people may also wonder whether garlic can improve sexual function or increase libido.
This article looks at the evidence to determine whether garlic can increase your sex drive.
May improve blood flow
Some research suggests that garlic may help increase blood flow, which may be beneficial for treating issues like erectile dysfunction in men.
In fact, multiple human and animal studies have found that certain compounds found in garlic can increase blood flow and improve blood vessel function (2, 3, 4).
What’s more, one study among 49 older men found that a medication containing ingredients like aged garlic extract, ginseng, and velvet antler improved erectile function (5).
Garlic can also increase nitric oxide levels, a compound that helps blood vessels dilate to promote better blood flow. This could potentially help improve erectile function (6, 7, 8).
However, more human studies are needed to evaluate the effects of garlic on erectile dysfunction specifically.
Garlic may help improve blood flow, which could help prevent erectile dysfunction. However, more human research is needed.
May enhance male fertility
In addition to increasing blood flow, some studies have found that garlic may help promote male fertility.
One review of 18 studies concluded that garlic helped boost sperm production and increase levels of testosterone, which may be due to its antioxidant properties (9).
In a recent animal study, S-allyl cysteine, a compound found in garlic, increased testosterone production in mice (10).
Another animal study also showed that aged garlic extract could protect against changes in sperm production and testosterone levels caused by chemotherapy (11).
Still, further research is needed to determine how garlic may affect male fertility and testosterone levels in humans.
Although studies in humans are limited, some research shows that garlic and its components could improve male fertility, enhance testosterone levels, and increase sperm production.
Acts as an antioxidant
Antioxidants can not only help protect against chronic disease but also may play a key role in sexual health and fertility.
Fresh garlic and aged garlic extract are rich in antioxidants and can help neutralize harmful compounds known as free radicals (12).
According to one study among 100 men with infertility, taking an antioxidant supplement increased sperm count (13).
Interestingly, one study in rats with diabetes found that S-allyl cysteine from garlic improved erectile function by blocking the formation of free radicals (14).
However, additional studies are needed to understand how the antioxidants in garlic may affect sexual function and fertility in humans.
Garlic is a good source of antioxidants, which may improve sexual health and fertility.
The bottom line
Garlic is a powerful ingredient that has been linked to many potential health benefits.
According to some human and animal studies, it may improve sexual function by increasing blood flow and enhancing fertility, especially in men.
Still, limited research is available on garlic’s effects on sex drive specifically, and it remains unclear how it might affect sexual function in women.
However, it can easily be enjoyed as part of a nutritious, well-rounded diet to support overall health and protect against disease.
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