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Aloe Vera Benefits for Men: Fact or Fiction?

Kelly Brown MD, MBA

Reviewed by Kelly Brown, MD

Written by Rachel Sacks

Published 08/22/2021

Updated 04/13/2024

Remember the last time you got a bad sunburn? You probably reached for some aloe vera (and an ice pack) to cool off. Derived from the aloe vera plant, this gel is commonly known as a cooling treatment for all sorts of burns, from kitchen burns to sunburns.

But aloe vera has also been a bit of a buzzy natural ingredient lately, popping up as a hydrating and collagen-boosting ingredient in skincare, in juice form at health food stores and even as aloe vera for male enhancement with claims that it can help improve the appearance, size or function of your penis.

Which might raise the question: does aloe vera help sexually? What are the aloe vera benefits for men?

Let’s break down the benefits of this green, goopy plant and separate fact from fiction about whether or not aloe vera can help you in the bedroom.

Aloe vera has been used for several centuries for its medicinal benefits and is still a popular plant today. Here are some of the well-established aloe vera benefits for men.

Acts as a Natural Lubricant

If you’ve ever been in the middle of some bedroom action and ran out of lube, then you’ll be relieved to know you can use aloe vera gel in a pinch.

Soothes Irritated Skin

You probably already know how soothing aloe vera gel can be when applied to a fresh sunburn. That soothing, cooling sensation also comes in handy if you find yourself with razor burn after shaving your face — or anywhere else.

The hydrating effects of topical aloe vera gel may also prevent acne, psoriasis or eczema flare-ups.

Maintains Genital Health

For most people, aloe vera is gentle enough for use on genital skin. That’s good news, because there’s evidence that aloe vera may help heal genital sores from the herpes simplex virus.

Helps Heal Wounds

Aloe is also known for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s chock full of vitamins A, C and E (also known as antioxidants), which all have some wound-healing properties.

May Improve Stomach Issues

There’s some research suggesting that drinking aloe vera improves symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, such as constipation and stomach pain.

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So, there are a lot of benefits to using aloe beyond a burn soother post-beach day.

But for all the proven benefits of aloe vera, do the claims that this topical gel or an aloe vera drink have benefits for men’s sexual health have the evidence to support them?

Boosts Libido

While you might see claims that aloe vera can boost your sex drive or libido, the only research so far has been done on animals. Specifically, a 2017 study found that using aloe on rats potentially enhanced libido — but we can’t say yet whether it has the same effect on humans.

Improves Sperm Quality

You may have also heard that aloe vera can improve the quality of your sperm. However, these studies were also only done on animals — and there have been conflicting results too.

One study from 2014 found there were potential benefits to sperm health and hormone levels in mice injected with an aloe vera compound.

Meanwhile, a different 2011 study with animals found topical aloe vera actually reduced sperm concentration and quality.

Helps Erectile Dysfunction

One of the most common forms of sexual dysfunction — about 30 million men in the U.S. alone are affected — erectile dysfunction (ED) is the struggle to get or maintain an erection firm enough for sex.

With so many men affected, it’s easy to see why there are many treatments claiming to help — including aloe vera.

However, there’s no evidence to back the claims that aloe vera juice or gel improves ED.

Choose your chew

Aloe vera is widely used (see the stocked shelves every summer, right next to the sunscreen). However, there are some potential side effects of aloe vera use, including:

  • Skin irritation

  • Stomach pain or cramps

  • Laxative effects, like diarrhea

  • Electrolyte imbalances

And while aloe vera is safe for most people, an allergic reaction is possible, especially if you have sensitive skin. If you’re worried about being allergic to aloe, try a patch test on your skin before using it, either topically or orally.

While it’s excellent for relieving a nasty sunburn or as a natural lubricant, the research on aloe vera benefits for male sexual health isn’t quite there.

But there are plenty of alternatives to aloe vera for improved sexual function.

ED Treatments

Although many people think erectile dysfunction is something that only happens to older men, age is simply one cause. Issues like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, stress, drinking alcohol and obesity can contribute to the development of ED by affecting blood flow (a key part of the erection process).

That’s where medications known as PDE5 inhibitors come in. These drugs essentially help increase blood flow to your penis, allowing for firmer erections when you want them.

You may have heard of the more common ED medications:

  • Sildenafil. The generic version of Viagra®, sildenafil is a popular PDE5 inhibitor because of how fast-acting it is — it usually works within 30 to 60 minutes of taking it and lasts for around four hours.

  • Tadalafil. Another PDE5 inhibitor, tadalafil, is also sold under the brand name Cialis®. Tadalafil is called the “weekend” ED medication because it can improve performance for up to 36 hours

  • Stendra®. Although a newer ED medication, Stendra— the generic version of which is avanafil — is also a PDE5 inhibitor. A couple of major perks of Stendra are that it works after just 15 minutes and is thought to cause fewer side effects.

While these medications are often sold as oral tablets, they're also available as convenient chewable hard mints.

If pills aren’t your thing, there are several devices you can purchase that are marketed as assisting with erectile dysfunction, such as vibrators, and vacuum pumps.

The intention of a penile vibrator is to stimulate your penis so that blood flows to the area.

Similarly, pumps create a suction to pull blood into the penis. After that, you put a plastic ring around the base of your penis to keep the blood there.

These methods all treat physical causes of ED, but often the causes of sexual dysfunction can be in your mind, also called psychological ED. These causes can be anything from daily stress and relationship issues to sexual performance anxiety or mental health issues like depression.

The idea of talking about what happens (or doesn’t happen) in the bedroom to a stranger may be intimidating or straight-up embarrassing. But therapy can actually be an incredibly helpful tool in improving your sex life.

Going to therapy either on your own or with a partner can help you work through any challenges you’re up against, face any sort of anxiety you might be dealing with and even work on communication issues.

Several types of therapy are available. They all have different methods but the same end goal of helping you work through issues and hopefully improve your sex life.

PE Treatments

Another common type of sexual dysfunction, premature ejaculation (PE) affects around 39 percent of the male population. Premature ejaculation can be defined as reaching orgasm and ejaculating early during sex.

For many men, topical creams and sprays that reduce the sensitivity level of your penis are enough to treat this condition. These creams, sprays or wipes — like Clockstopper Benzocaine Wipes or Delay Spray — contain topical anesthetics such as lidocaine or benzocaine and are designed for use before sex.

There aren’t any medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat premature ejaculation, but healthcare providers may recommend antidepressants off-label (which simply means used for something other than their intended use). Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like paroxetine are a common treatment option.

Numerous studies have also found that sertraline, the active ingredient in Zoloft® and one of the most widely used antidepressants, is effective at delaying ejaculation.

Some studies have also found that sildenafil (yes, the active ingredient in Viagra) could improve sexual satisfaction and self-confidence in men affected by PE.

Even if you don’t struggle with premature ejaculation or ED but want to shake things up in your sex life or increase sexual arousal, there are plenty of sex toys you can try.

Cock rings like the Standing O Penis Rings enhance sexual pleasure during intercourse by applying pressure to the area near the base of your penis. Some even vibrate, like the OMG Ring Penis Vibrator, providing added stimulation for both partners if the vibes are powerful enough.

Or you can use a vibrator, which is enjoyable for vaginas, the clitoris, anuses, the G-spot and everything in between. May we suggest a Bullet Vibrator?

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A powerful little green plant, aloe vera has been used for centuries and is still popular for treating sunburns. Some have even claimed aloe vera gel or drinks can help improve male sexual health. But are these claims true?

  • Aloe vera is a succulent plant that contains medicinal properties, as well as hydrating benefits. Often used as a healing ointment, aloe vera can also be used as an aftershave or to prevent eczema or rash flare-ups.

  • While there are quite a few benefits of aloe vera extract, there’s little to no research when it comes to its use for male enhancement.

If you’re looking to treat sexual dysfunction, you're better off saving the aloe for your next beach vacation. Instead, look to scientifically proven erectile dysfunction medications or premature ejaculation treatments to manage your sexual health.

14 Sources

  1. Surjushe, A., Vasani, R., & Saple, D. G. (2008). Aloe vera: a short review. Indian journal of dermatology, 53(4), 163–166. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2763764/
  2. Aloe Vera | NCCIH. (n.d.). National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Retrieved from https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/aloe-vera
  3. Hekmatpou, D., Mehrabi, F., Rahzani, K., & Aminiyan, A. (2019). The Effect of Aloe Vera Clinical Trials on Prevention and Healing of Skin Wound: A Systematic Review. Iranian journal of medical sciences, 44(1), 1–9. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6330525/
  4. Erhabor, J. O., & Idu, M. (2017). Aphrodisiac potentials of the ethanol extract of Aloe barbadensis Mill. root in male Wistar rats. BMC complementary and alternative medicine, 17(1), 360. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5504857/
  5. Modaresi, M., Khodadadi, A., (2014). The Effects of Aloe Vera Extract on Spermatogenesis and Reproductive Hormones in Mice. Research Journal of Biological Sciences, 9(5): 165-168. Retrieved from http://docsdrive.com/pdfs/medwelljournals/rjbsci/2014/165-168.pdf
  6. Olugbenga, O. M., Olukole, S. G., Adeoye, A. T., & Adejoke, A. D. (2011). Semen characteristics and sperm morphological studies of the West African Dwarf Buck treated with Aloe vera gel extract. Iranian journal of reproductive medicine, 9(2), 83–88. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4216440/
  7. Definition & Facts for Erectile Dysfunction - NIDDK. (n.d.). National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Retrieved from https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/erectile-dysfunction/definition-facts
  8. Yafi, F. A., Jenkins, L., Albersen, M., Corona, G., Isidori, A. M., Goldfarb, S., Maggi, M., Nelson, C. J., Parish, S., Salonia, A., Tan, R., Mulhall, J. P., & Hellstrom, W. J. (2016). Erectile dysfunction. Nature reviews. Disease primers, 2, 16003. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5027992/
  9. Smith, B.P., Babos, M. Sildenafil. [Updated 2023 Feb 14]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK558978/
  10. Reference ID: 4221373. (n.d.). accessdata.fda.gov. Retrieved from https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2018/021368s030lbl.pdf
  11. Stendra. (n.d.). accessdata.fda.gov. Retrieved from https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2018/202276s018lbl.pdf
  12. Stein, M. J., Lin, H., & Wang, R. (2014). New advances in erectile technology. Therapeutic advances in urology, 6(1), 15–24. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3891291/
  13. McMahon C. G. (2007). Premature ejaculation. Indian journal of urology : IJU : journal of the Urological Society of India, 23(2), 97–108. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2721550/
  14. McMahon, C. G., Stuckey, B. G., Andersen, M., Purvis, K., Koppiker, N., Haughie, S., & Boolell, M. (2005). Efficacy of sildenafil citrate (Viagra) in men with premature ejaculation. The journal of sexual medicine, 2(3), 368–375. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16422868/
Editorial Standards

Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references. See a mistake? Let us know at [email protected]!

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Learn more about our editorial standards here.

Kelly Brown MD, MBA
Kelly Brown, MD

Dr. Kelly Brown is a board certified Urologist and fellowship trained in Andrology. She is an accomplished men’s health expert with a robust background in healthcare innovation, clinical medicine, and academic research. Dr. Brown is a founding member of Posterity Health where she is Medical Director and leads strategy and design of their Digital Health Platform, an innovative education and telehealth model for delivering expert male fertility care.

She completed her undergraduate studies at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (go Heels!) with a Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Science and a Minor in Chemistry. She took a position at University of California Los Angeles as a radiologic technologist in the department of Interventional Cardiology, further solidifying her passion for medicine. She also pursued the unique opportunity to lead departmental design and operational development at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, sparking her passion for the business of healthcare.

Dr. Brown then went on to obtain her doctorate in medicine from the prestigious Northwestern University - Feinberg School of Medicine and Masters in Business Administration from Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management, with a concentration in Healthcare Management. During her surgical residency in Urology at University of California San Francisco, she utilized her research year to focus on innovations in telemedicine and then served as chief resident with significant contributions to clinical quality improvement. Dr. Brown then completed her Andrology Fellowship at Medical College of Wisconsin, furthering her expertise in male fertility, microsurgery, and sexual function.

Her dedication to caring for patients with compassion, understanding, as well as a unique ability to make guys instantly comfortable discussing anything from sex to sperm makes her a renowned clinician. In addition, her passion for innovation in healthcare combined with her business acumen makes her a formidable leader in the field of men’s health.

Dr. Brown is an avid adventurer; summiting Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania (twice!) and hiking the incredible Torres del Paine Trek in Patagonia, Chile. She deeply appreciates new challenges and diverse cultures on her travels. She lives in Denver with her husband, two children, and beloved Bernese Mountain Dog. You can find Dr. Brown on LinkedIn for more information.

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