Man holds a piece of ginger under the covers | Ginger Benefits Sexually

Why Are Men Eating Ginger for Better Sex?

The medicinal root is so much more than a sore throat remedy.

30-Second Takeaway

Several small animal and human studies found that ginger may support men’s sexual health by increasing blood flow, boosting testosterone, improving sperm quality, and reducing oxidative stress. However, experts say supplementing with ginger alone is unlikely to treat sexual dysfunction.

Before ginger was in your sore throat lozenges, the root was used as an aphrodisiac and erectile dysfunction treatment for aging men in South Asian cultures for thousands of years (1). But can ginger really lead to better sex?

Redditors are experimenting with the traditional medicine to have better erections, fix fertility issues, and boost low testosterone levels. One poster in the subreddit r/sex claims that a cup of ginger tea with honey fixed his erectile issues in just a couple hours. Others say that eating ginger after sex shortened their refractory period. 

But experts have a different take. 

“Ginger alone is unlikely to be a sole solution for improving sexual health,” says clinical sexologist Martha Tara Lee, D.H.S. That being said, adding “ginger to a balanced diet may have potential health benefits.” 

A small body of research suggests that ginger supplementation may have sexual health-specific benefits for men. Here’s what science actually says about Reddit’s herbal fixation. 

About the Expert:

Dr. Martha Tara Lee, D.H.S., is a clinical sexologist and sexual health educator.

How Ginger Benefits Men Sexually

Reducing oxidative stress

The main way ginger supports men’s sexual function: staving off oxidative stress. 

Oxidative stress occurs when there aren’t enough antioxidants (protective molecules) to detox your body of free radicals (damaging molecules) (2). Obesity, high-fat diets, alcohol, smoking, and pollution can increase free radicals and put your body under oxidative stress (34). 

Left unchecked, free radicals can lead to inflammation—which is a major factor in men’s sexual dysfunction (5). Oxidative stress can damage the blood vessels in your penis, which can make it harder to stay hard. Research suggests that free radicals may also decrease sperm quality and testicle function (6). 

Ginger is packed with anti-inflammatory compounds like gingerols, zingerone, and flavonoids (78).

Studies on human test-tube cells and rodents have linked the antioxidants in ginger to less free radicals, protecting blood vessels from oxidative stress (9). However, many studies use concentrated ginger extracts, which pack a harder punch than you’d get from a regular ginger supplement or tea.

Increasing blood flow

Ginger supports erections by promoting vascular health, or how well your body’s circulatory system of blood vessels, veins, and heart function. Ginger contains a compound called gingerol, which relaxes and dilates blood vessels. This may increase blood flow to your penis. 

Ginger also boosts nitric oxide levels, which relaxes your blood vessels and increases blood flow (10). Your body makes nitric oxide naturally, but levels typically decline with age (11). 

However, ginger supplementation shouldn’t be your first line of treatment against persistent erectile dysfunction. “While ginger may have potential benefits for overall cardiovascular health and blood flow, it is not considered a primary treatment for ED,” Lee explains. 


Boosting testosterone

Guys are using ginger for their tea—and their T. Huberman Lab podcast host and longevity-focused neuroscientist Andrew Huberman, Ph.D., says he takes two to three grams of ginger per day to support testosterone production.

There hasn’t been a clinical study on ginger and testosterone in humans, but research shows that ginger boosts luteinizing hormone levels in rats (9). Luteinizing hormone triggers the Leydig cells in the testes to produce testosterone. But it’s hard to say if a boost in LH can move the needle on your T problems, since both low and high LH levels are associated with low testosterone (12).

Improving fertility

Bad news: men’s reproductive health is in a death spiral. 

Sperm quality has gone down by a whopping 62 percent in the past five decades, according to a 2022 study published in the journal Human Reproduction Update (13). Environmental and lifestyle factors—like pollution and toxin exposure, how much you drink, tight underwear, and inflammatory diets—can impact your swimmers.

Now for the good news: diets high in antioxidants have shown promise for men dealing with infertility, according to a 2022 study (14). Fresh ginger packs 3.85 mmol/100 g of total antioxidants per serving, which researchers consider “very high” (7). 

A small clinical trial on 75 infertile men found that taking ginger supplements for three months boosted their sperm count by 16 percent, sperm motility by 47 percent, and sperm viability by 41 percent (15). The men’s semen volume also increased by 36 percent.

Better sex drive and libido

Health conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, low testosterone, and an enlarged prostate are linked to erectile dysfunction, according to the American Urology Association. But many physically healthy guys have trouble keeping it up, too. Around 40 percent of erectile dysfunction cases are caused by mental factors like stress, depression, anxiety, or low self-esteem (16). 

A recent (and rather bizarre) study on ginger, sexual arousal, and disgust found that consuming ginger may boost desire in both men and women (17). Participants were split into two groups: one that would touch sexual body fluids and one that would interact with neutral fluids. Researchers suspected that the disgust from touching sexual fluids would kill sexual desire—and the study found that to be true.

But surprisingly the group who took ginger supplements prior to interacting with sexual fluids (and who reportedly felt disgusted shortly after) became more aroused when shown nude photos compared to the placebo group. For this reason, ginger may boost sexual function even if you have psychogenic ED.

  1. Lim. (2017) Asian herbals and aphrodisiacs used for managing ED
  2. Pizzino, et al. (2017) Oxidative Stress: Harms and Benefits for Human Health
  3. Marseglia, et al. (2015) Oxidative Stress in Obesity: A Critical Component in Human Diseases
  4. Sharifi, et al. (2020) Lifestyle, Oxidative Stress, and Antioxidants: Back and Forth in the Pathophysiology of Chronic Diseases
  5. Jones, et al. (2002) Oxygen free radicals and the penis
  6. Roychoundhury, et al. (2021) Environmental Factors-Induced Oxidative Stress: Hormonal and Molecular Pathway Disruptions in Hypogonadism and Erectile Dysfunction
  7. Bode, et al. (2011) The Amazing and Mighty Ginger
  8. Jesudoss. (2017) Zingerone
  9. Banihani. (2018) Ginger and Testosterone
  10. Naderi, et al. (2016) Effect of ginger powder supplementation on nitric oxide and C-reactive protein in elderly knee osteoarthritis patients: A 12-week double-blind randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial
  11. Sverdlov, et al. (2014) Aging of the Nitric Oxide System: Are We as Old as Our NO?
  12. Dandona, et al. (2010) A practical guide to male hypogonadism in the primary care setting
  13. Levine, et al. (2023) Temporal trends in sperm count: a systematic review and meta-regression analysis of samples collected globally in the 20th and 21st centuries
  14. Zara, et al. (2022) Diet and Male Fertility: The Impact of Nutrients and Antioxidants on Sperm Energetic Metabolism
  15. Mares, et al. (2012) The effect of Ginger on semen parameters and serum FSH, LH & testosterone of infertile men
  16. Pakpahan, et al. (2021) Comprehensive Intersystemic Assessment Approach to Relieve Psychogenic Erectile Dysfunction: A Review
  17. Wen, et al. (2023) Effects of Ginger on Disgust, Sexual Arousal, and Sexual Engagement: A Placebo-Controlled Experiment