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Body Talk: Nature's Viagra? After several years together, things tend to cool down in the bedroom department. So wouldn't it be amazing if Mother Nature had a pill, patch or potion to put the spark back into your love life? Here, we asked three couples to roadtest different herbal aphrodisiacs...

Byline: RACHEL MURPHY

Phirago Sexual Potency Patches

I felt sexier than I had done in a long time

Jacky, 40, and Paul Moss, 35, run a graphic web design business from their home in Fife. They married five years ago and have a three-year-old son. They blame the pressures of work and parenthood for their sex life dwindling from five times a week to just once...

WHAT IS IT? Phirago patches contain ginseng to boost sex hormones and muira puama - a Brazilian aphrodisiac which affects the parts of the body needed for sexual arousal.

The patches can be placed anywhere on the body. The ingredients have a cumulative effect and are designed to start working over three or four days.

JACKY'S VERDICT: "The first time we had sex after using the patches was marked with a couple of asterisks in my diary. I felt sexier than I had in a long time. After about 10 days I felt our libidos were coming into sync. We were more relaxed and had more energy.

"And because we both had to remember to wear the patches it made us talk about sex and look forward to it, so perhaps there was a placebo effect too.

"I'd say we're halfway back to what our sex life was like when we first met. And I'm optimistic it'll keep getting better."

PAUL'S VERDICT: "Overall I think they've worked. They have made us focus on the fact that we are both actively trying to improve our sex life, which helps.

"I felt better physically after about a week. I was less tired and more interested in reigniting the initial flame of passion.

"At bedtime we are definitely more interested in getting it on rather than just going to sleep."

SEX RATING: Before: 8/10 After: 10/10

The patches cost pounds 29.99 for a month's supply and are available mail-order from Indigo Health; call 0871 871 8192.

Horny Goat Weed with Maca

Wow, this stuff is unbelievable!

Karolina Bacinska, 21, and her boyfriend Kym Beazleigh, 24, live in Harold Hill, Essex, and have been together for two years. Karolina is a student and part-time model and Kym is an insurance underwriter who plays semi-professional cricket. Their busy lives often left them too shattered for sex.

WHAT IS IT? Horny Goat Weed has been used in the Orient for centuries to intensify desire, while maca is a South American plant that is known as Peruvian ginseng and boosts sexual stamina.

In a study, 13 out of 20 men who took part in a 45-day trial reported an improvement in sexual satisfaction and an increase in desire.

KAROLINA'S VERDICT: "Wow - the result is unbelievable! After a couple of weeks I felt energised and wanted more sex.

"Normally I fall into bed exhausted and can't think about anything but sleep, but with this I was raring to get into bed for other reasons.

"I also noticed a big difference in Kym, which was a turn-on. He obviously had more energy for sex, too."

KYM'S VERDICT: "Before I took this product I would have said we had no problem with desire but a slight problem with energy levels.

"Both of us are so busy we had days when we were too tired for sex. I noticed a difference within days in my energy levels, and after about three weeks I reckon my libido was enhanced too. It really gave our sex life a boost. I'd recommend it to anyone.

SEX RATING: Before: 7/10 After: 9/10

Holland & Barrett's Horny Goat Weed with Maca costs pounds 19.99 for 60 tablets.

Sage Healthy Woman/Man capsules

My desire's increased and I feel alive again

Actors' agent Rachel Jones, 28, and her surveyor partner Denny O'Sullivan, 28, have been together for four years. The couple, who live in Harrow, Middx, took sage capsules after Rachel began to lose interest in sex and Denny felt he was lacking energy at the end of the day.

WHAT IS IT? Sage Healthy Woman is a combination of energy-boosting vitamins and minerals, plus the sexual stimulant herbs Siberian ginseng and gingko biloba.

Sage Healthy Man contains multi-vitamins and zinc, which keeps the male reproductive system healthy, and herbs such as Siberian ginseng and guarana for sexual energy.

In a recent survey, more than 60 per cent of men and women who took the products reported a noticeable improvement in their sex drive.

RACHEL'S VERDICT: "I was losing interest in sex and needed something to give me a kickstart.

"I no longer craved sex like I did at the start of our relationship, and when we did have sex I was getting tired halfway through. I didn't feel that good about myself and my confidence was flagging in bed.

"It took a month for the tablets to work and I felt a sudden surge of energy. My desire for sex increased and I felt much more sexually confident.

"Our sex life is better than ever. I feel alive and adventurous again."

DENNY'S VERDICT: "My tablets kicked in about the same time as Rachel's, which was fantastic. I had more energy and felt better in myself, and when we had sex it was like turning the clock back to when we first met.

We both seemed to have a higher libido and more energy to enjoy ourselves in bed. We both feel generally healthier and sexier."

SEX RATING: Before: 5/10 After: 9/10

Capsules cost pounds 8.99 from health shops, by mail-order on 01672 811777 or visit www.sageorganic.com

OTHER NATURAL LIBIDO BOOSTERS

LEARN massage techniques that you can use on each other to get you relaxed.

GO to bed 10 minutes earlier and lengthen foreplay.

READ a good sex book together and try new positions.

BURN sexy scented oils in the bedroom.

SHARE an aromatherapy bath with aphrodisiac oils such as rose, ylang-ylang, neroli or patchouli.

ELIMINATE foods that slow you down or make you irritable, such as highly-processed ready meals and sugar-laden puddings, and replace with whole foods and more fruit and vegetables.

CUT down on alcohol and smoking to improve your stamina.

EXERCISE regularly to boost circulation.

MAKE time for each other and prioritise sex. Book a babysitter and stay in.

HOW DO HERBS WORK?

MEDICAL herbalist Maureen Russell of Ferringtons Natural Therapy Centre in Bridge of Weir, Renfrewshire, says: "Herbs can help improve your love life in three ways.

"They can increase energy and sexual stamina. They improve your circulation, which is essential to get the blood pumping to your sexual organs. And herbs can also relax you and calm you down, which puts you in the mood for love and enhances your libido.

"Allow a month for herbs to work and don't expect miracles. The Oriental and South American cultures we have borrowed these herbs from have been taking them for centuries, and their people have grown up using herbs in their everyday lives. They don't pop a pill and expect instant results.

"Take herbs, but also boost your love life naturally in other ways - and your sex life will improve gradually."
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 30, 2004
Words:1183
Previous Article:Body Talk: What's up Doc? DO you have a health question?
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