By Katrina Scampini, Certified Aromatherapist
Imagine it: the lights are low, the candles are lit, and all the stars have aligned just right for you and your love to have a magical, romantic evening. Then, erectile dysfunction rears its ugly head and ruins everything!
Even though our culture is wrought with jokes and one-liners about ED, I’m going to try to refrain. Because honestly, experiencing frustration in the bedroom really isn’t anything to joke about. When things aren’t working out like you want them to, both partners can suffer. And chances are, if you’re reading this, you are looking for some serious, practical, and natural ways to support the needs of yourself or your partner.
So how exactly is Plant Therapy going to help with your intimate bedroom issues?
Well, the same way we try to help you with all of your concerns—essential oils! And no, before anyone asks, no, you absolutely do not apply them topically to the, um, area of concern.
However, essential oils do provide a ton of support for symptoms that men diagnosed with ED may encounter. Not being able to achieve or maintain an erection is often directly related to both the emotional and physical struggles a man is dealing with.
So we’re going to address both of those issues and talk about the essential oils best suited to support them.
Achieving the right mood and the right attitude:
Stressed out, exhausted, and definitely not in the mood? This happens to all of us from one time or another; when it starts to happen regularly it might be time to take a closer look at why. Feeling emotionally strapped can have a huge impact on sexual desire. This can have a similar impact if you or your partner is suffering from symptoms of depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem.
Sometimes relationship issues may be a secondary outcome of sexual dysfunction. Partners may begin to feel unattractive and consider themselves to be the reason for the lack of arousal. Taking better hold of negative or unproductive thought patterns is a great way to slow down or stop this process.
If you’re interested in learning more about essential oils can positively impact your sex life, check out this blog: Essential Oils and Sexuality.
Essential oils have been used for centuries as natural aphrodisiacs to boost libido.
They can help shine some light on a dark mood by supporting positive thinking, as well as being jointly calming and uplifting.
Here are a few essential oils that can help you relax, unwind, and help connect more intimately with your partner. Each can be used to make a romantic massage oil, comforting bath experience, diffused in the bedroom, or just inhaled straight from the bottle!
Known to support symptoms of frigidity, depression, and anxiety, Ylang Ylang is fantastic to help men experiencing ED. It can give a needed confidence boost and support an overall feeling of everything being A-OK, meaning he’ll be in a better mindset to engage intimately.
Who can walk through a rose garden and leave feeling cruddy? Some scents are just too darn beautiful to support a bad mood, and Rose is definitely one of those. Studies have shown that Rose can help relieve depression and aids in relaxation . Its relaxing qualities can boost self-esteem, increasing libido and stimulating sperm and testosterone production .
Rose oil has been known to relieve depression and aid in relaxation in animal and human studies. It’s an aphrodisiac thought to bring about happiness and self-confidence that can aid in sensuality.
When we talk about feeling good and relaxing, Lavender shouldn’t be left out. Not only does it have calming and relaxing effects, but studies have shown that it can increase arousal. Studies have also shown Lavender to effectively reduce damage to sperm and reproductive system in rats, as well as increase penile blood flow in human volunteers [3,4].
Supporting your body:
Of course, we can’t blame everything on emotional issues—physical symptoms can play a major role in impotence as well. Getting and maintaining an erection depends largely on blood flow to that area, which is often initiated by thoughts of arousal. If for any reason the amount of blood flow is restricted or dysfunctional, problems are going to show up in the bedroom. Sexual interest is also largely dependent on hormonal issues, environmental toxins, sperm count, and testosterone levels.
Let’s check out some essential oils that can support the body and have an overall positive effect!
This oil is thought to be rich in antioxidant properties, which is believed to have a positive effect on testosterone levels and sperm quality. A study conducted in 2015 showed that when combined with Lavender, Rosemary can reduce reproductive function damage and oxidative stress in diabetic male rats. I know, I know: rats aren’t people. But the current body of research involving essential oils and ED rely heavily on animal studies, so please keep that in mind as you read!
Cinnamon has shown to stimulate hormone levels and improve sexual function in animal tests . The study also claims that it increases both sperm count and testosterone levels. This is promising information for men experiencing ED, since simply inhaling Cinnamon may promote reproductive health, leading to more pleasurable romance time!
Environmental toxins can also influence a man’s performance with his partner. Working around toxic heavy metals (such as lead, cadmium, and mercury), has long been known to negatively impact testicular tissue. Basil has shown to protect against these toxins and positively impact the testicular tissue of rats. It also increased sperm motility, viability, and count .
The properties of Ginger make it great for helping to reduce inflammation and environmental toxins. This, in turn, can have a strong effect on hormonal activity and increase sperm count. A study with mice found their sperm production to increase in only a few weeks after using ginger extract, compared to a control group .
A study examining Nutmeg’s effect on male mice show that it both enhanced the animal’s mounting behavior and supported their overall mating performance . Nutmeg is also known to promote blood circulation, a vital part to consider when combating the physical symptoms of ED.
Clove Bud and Nutmeg provide very similar ED support. This traditional aphrodisiac demonstrated a sustained sexual activity level in male rats  and also helps to improve blood circulation.
Ways to use these essential oils safely….
Again, I would like to reiterate that none of these oils should be applied to the genitals. Also, we do not recommend ingesting any of these oils. Here are a few safe ways to use them:
- Make a massage oil. You can use one of these oils at a time or make a blend of many, just make sure to use the correct dilution rate. Each essential oil has a link to its product page where you will learn their safe dilution rates, which we highly recommend everyone check out before making any kind of topical products. You’ll need a carrier oil or one of our pre-blended carrier oils (Marvelous Massage, anyone?) and can focus the massage on your partner’s lower back and abdominal areas.
- Diffuse one or a blend of several in the bedroom about 30 minutes before spending alone time together. It’s a great way to help set the mood and create a romantic environment!
- Use any of these oils in a DIY spray for your pillows and linens. Use 3 ½ tbsp of water and ½ tbsp of Everclear (or other high proof alcohol) in a 2 oz spray bottle. You can use up to 40 drops of essential oil, so this is a great opportunity to experiment with different blends and find something both you and your partner love.
- Make a bath blend to help improve intimacy and calm the nerves. You can simply dilute essential oils (depending on their individual dilution rate) in body wash and add to warm, running bath water. If you want, add ½ cup of Epsom salt or follow the directions here** to make essential oil infused bath bombs! This recipe does not call for the oils listed here so you may want to experiment with your own blend to find the aroma that’s just right.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a critical step for any kind of emotional and physical improvements—and dealing with ED is no different. Please contact your healthcare provider for more information, support, and treatment options for ED. Incorporating essential oils safely into your activities can enhance your self-care routines, but is absolutely not a cure. There are currently no conclusive studies that demonstrate essential oils as a successful, permanent treatment option for human men suffering from ED.
And don’t forget to check out the Safe Essential Oil Recipes group on facebook! With thousands of passionate members and skilled aromatherapists answering your questions, this is an excellent resource to learn more about how essential oils can positively impact your life!
[1 ] Mahboubi, M. (2015). Rosa damascena as holy ancient herb with novel applications. Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine. Vol. 6, Issue 1. Pgs. 10-16. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2225411015000954?via%3Dihub
 Kose, E., Sarsilmaz, M., Tas, U., Kavakli, A., Turk, G., Ozlem Dabak, D., Sapmaz, H., & Ogeturk, M. (2011). Rose oil inhalation protects against formaldehyde-induced testicular damage in rats. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1439-0272.2011.01187.x
 Hirsch, A., & Gruss, J. (2014). Human male sexual response to olfactory stimuli. American Academy of Neurological and Orthopaedic Surgeons. https://aanos.org/human-male-sexual-response-to-olfactory-stimuli/
 Kose, E., Sarsilmaz, Meydan, S., Sonmez, M., Kus, I., & Kavakli, A. (2011). The effect of lavender oil on serum testosterone levels and epididymal sperm characteristics of formaldehyde-treated male rats. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21744749
 Sariozkan, S., Turk, G., Guvenc, M., Yuce, A., Ozdamar, S., Canturk, F., & Yay, A. (2016). Effects of Cinnamon (C. zeylanicum) Bark Oil Against Taxanes-Induced Damages in Sperm Quality, Testicular, and Epididymal Oxidant/Antioxidant Balance, Testicular Apoptosis, and Sperm DNA Integrity. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27008095
 Sakr SA, Nooh HZ. Effect of Ocimum basilicum extract on cadmium-induced testicular histomorphometric and immunohistochemical alterations in albino rats. Anat Cell Biol. 2013 Jun;46(2):122-130. https://doi.org/10.5115/acb.2013.46.2.122
 Aleissa, M. (2014). Effect of ginger supplements on some reproductive parameters and spermatogenesis of mice. Indian Journal of Fundamental and Applied Life Sciences. http://www.cibtech.org/J-LIFE-SCIENCES/PUBLICATIONS/2014/Vol-4-No-1/JLS-044-099-ALEISSA-EFFECT-MICE.pdf
 Tajuddin, Ahmad, S., Latif, A., Qasmi, I. A., & Amin, K. M. (2005). An experimental study of sexual function improving effect of Myristica fragrans Houtt. (nutmeg). BMC complementary and alternative medicine, 5, 16. doi:10.1186/1472-6882-5-16
 Tajuddin, Ahmad, S., Latif, A., & Qasmi, I. A. (2004). Effect of 50% ethanolic extract of Syzygium aromaticum (L.) Merr. & Perry. (clove) on sexual behavior of normal male rats. BMC complementary and alternative medicine, 4, 17. doi:10.1186/1472-6882-4-17