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Can Tamarind Increase Libido?

Angela Sheddan

Reviewed by Angela Sheddan, FNP

Written by Geoffrey Whittaker

Published 06/14/2023

Are there tamarind benefits, sexually speaking? Keep reading to learn about the potential perks and various uses of tamarind seeds for sexual health.

Superfoods come and go like Netflix series — most never last more than a few years, even if they’re good for you. So why has tamarind continued to make lists year after year for your health — and your libido?

From tamarind seed extracts to tamarind juice, the internet is well-stocked with claims about the health benefits of this truly bizarre food source. However, there are some big caveats to the idea that a dose of tamarind seed powder is a natural remedy for reproductive health issues. 

These quirky legumes of the tamarind tree aren’t going to cause magic weight loss or make cardiovascular disease simply disappear. But as we’ll explain shortly, they can be part of a well-balanced diet in service of many health goals. 

Oh yeah, and they might boost your libido too. 

Below, we’ll explain what tamarind is and how the seeds and fruits of this tree can offer sexual benefits and more.

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Known for its distinctive tangy flavor, tamarind is a fruit that’s been consumed for centuries. Tamarind seeds are the seeds of this tamarind legume — a sweet, fruit-like tree that grows in tropical areas of Africa and East Asia. 

It’s fair to say that tamarind looks like peas or peanuts, but neither is a close relative of this rare and weird tree.

Tamarind seeds, pulp and the fruits themselves have a long medicinal history for humans. But in recent decades, a number of studies have looked at extracts from the pulp, seeds and other elements of the plant with an eye to their benefits. 

As you may suspect, there are a few promising leads, which we’re about to dive into, starting with notable sexual benefits.

We need to get something important out of the way here: tamarind is not a primary treatment for any form of sexual dysfunction or sexual health issue. If you’re suffering from erectile dysfunction (ED), premature ejaculation (PE) or issues with sexual stamina (or if you just want to boost sexual performance by making changes to your diet), you’re not going to want to start with tamarind. 

More research is needed to confirm its benefits and determine the appropriate dosage and method of administration.

That said, a number of studies have looked at the benefits of tamarind seeds for problems like low sex drive in men, ED and PE and whether they’re a solution for those wondering how to increase sex drive safely and naturally.

Generally, studies have found modest research to suggest tamarind could help:

Let’s look at how.

Improved Libido

Sexual desire should be sweet and good for you — and insofar as we leave the definition there, tamarind can definitely improve your libido with its natural aphrodisiac properties.

A 2018 study found that certain extracts can increase libido in rats, though human trials have not yet yielded substantial results.

Studies have also looked at the benefits of tamarind for fighting premature ejaculation. However, the outcomes generally pointed to existing medications like paroxetine as better options for results overall.

Increased Testosterone Levels

One recent study from 2020 looked at endocrine system function, which controls your hormones. It found that tamarind could have a beneficial effect for rats on a high-fat diet, ultimately increasing testosterone production. This suggests that tamarind may have the same effect on humans, though more studies are needed.

Improved Sexual Function

Tamarind has been found to improve erectile function in men. According to a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, tamarind extract increased the frequency of erections and improved the quality of erections in male rats. The researchers concluded that tamarind extract has potential as a natural treatment for erectile dysfunction.

Fertility Benefits

Modest animal study results have linked tamarind pulp to aphrodisiac benefits. But those same results also suggested small benefits for sperm production, meaning tamarind may one day yield some medicinal formulation that gets you turned on and makes your swimmers healthier.

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Tamarind offers other non-sexual benefits too. While these perks may not directly impact your performance in bed, we’ll readily point out that all of the below benefits can reduce your risk of things like ED in the long run.

Benefits of eating tamarind or consuming its extracts include:

  • Increased antioxidant intake

  • Reduced inflammation

  • Improved digestive health

  • Lowered cholesterol

Want to know more? Check out the details below.

Antioxidant Properties

Plenty of foods and naturally occurring medicinal plants have antioxidant properties — and tamarind is no different. Tamarind seed extract can protect the body from free radical damage, oxidative stress and even degradation of bones.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Tamarind has been found to have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation is a natural process that helps the body to heal from injury and fight infections.

But chronic inflammation is associated with a range of health problems, including heart disease, diabetes and cancer. At least one study has suggested that tamarind extracts might be able to do this for pancreatic cells, which could protect against pancreatic cancer.

Improves Digestive Health

Tamarind has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to treat digestive problems like constipation and diarrhea. It contains high levels of dietary fiber, which can help to regulate bowel movements and prevent constipation.

Tamarind also contains compounds called polyphenols, which have been shown to have a positive effect on gut bacteria, promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria and reducing harmful bacteria. Studies have even linked it to preventing ulcers.

Lowers Cholesterol Levels

Tamarind has been found to have cholesterol-lowering properties, which can help to reduce the risk of heart disease. A 2006 study found that dried tamarind pulp lowered lipid levels and — bonus — did the same for diastolic blood pressure.

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While tamarind is generally considered safe for consumption, there are some potential side effects to be aware of:

  • Gastrointestinal issues. Bloating, gas and diarrhea have been reported by people who consume tamarind, especially those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or other digestive disorders. Consume tamarind in moderation, and gradually increase intake to avoid these issues.

  • Interference with medications. Tamarind contains compounds that can interfere with the effectiveness of blood-thinning medications like warfarin and reduce their ability to prevent blood clots.

    Tamarind can also increase the absorption of certain medications, such as antibiotics and painkillers, which can lead to an overdose. Individuals taking medications should consult with their healthcare provider before consuming tamarind or any other new supplement.

  • Allergic reactions. Some individuals may be allergic to tamarind. If you experience any allergic symptoms after consuming tamarind, seek medical attention immediately.

  • High sugar content. Tamarind is naturally high in sugar, which can be problematic for people with diabetes or those trying to manage their blood sugar levels. Consuming too much tamarind can cause a spike in blood sugar levels.

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Tamarind is a delicious fruit with a range of potential health benefits supported by scientific research. Still, this oddball fruit has a long way to go to replace tested, proven methods for treating sexual dysfunction.

While it’s rich in essential nutrients, has anti-inflammatory properties, improves digestive health and lowers cholesterol levels, tamarind is no replacement for FDA-approved medications. 

Here’s the takeaway for those looking to make dietary changes to solve sexual problems:

  • Incorporating tamarind into your diet can be a tasty and easy way to improve your overall health.

  • However, it’s important to note that tamarind can interact with certain medications. With this in mind, be sure to consult with a healthcare provider before adding tamarind to your diet.

  • There are far more effective and proven erectile dysfunction treatments on the market. While they may not be as tasty as tamarind, our chewable hard mint ED meds are one option you can indeed eat (and freshen your breath while you’re at it). 

  • The same goes for premature ejaculation treatments like paroxetine.

Ready to make some changes? We can assist. Our resources can help you deal with ED, performance anxiety, testosterone deficiency and many other problems that may be keeping you from bringing your A-game.

We’re not available in the produce aisle, but we’re still convenient and affordable.

Reach out for help from Hims now — and we’ll be sure to let you know when tamarind-flavored Viagra is about to launch.

9 Sources

  1. Devarajan, A., & Mohanmarugaraja, M. K. (2017). A Comprehensive Review on Rasam: A South Indian Traditional Functional Food. Pharmacognosy reviews, 11(22), 73–82. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5628526/.
  2. Arshad, M. S., Imran, M., Ahmed, A., Sohaib, M., Ullah, A., Nisa, M. U., Hina, G., Khalid, W., & Rehana, H. (2019). Tamarind: A diet-based strategy against lifestyle maladies. Food science & nutrition, 7(11), 3378–3390. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6848808/.
  3. Iftekhar, A. S., Rayhan, I., Quadir, M. A., Akhteruzzaman, S., & Hasnat, A. (2006). Effect of Tamarindus indica fruits on blood pressure and lipid-profile in human model: an in vivo approach. Pakistan journal of pharmaceutical sciences, 19(2), 125–129. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16751124/.
  4. Rai, A., Das, S., Chamallamudi, M. R., Nandakumar, K., Shetty, R., Gill, M., Sumalatha, S., Devkar, R., Gourishetti, K., & Kumar, N. (2018). Evaluation of the aphrodisiac potential of a chemically characterized aqueous extract of Tamarindus indica pulp. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 210, 118–124. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28830817/.
  5. Sundaram, M. S., Hemshekhar, M., Santhosh, M. S., Paul, M., Sunitha, K., Thushara, R. M., NaveenKumar, S. K., Naveen, S., Devaraja, S., Rangappa, K. S., Kemparaju, K., & Girish, K. S. (2015). Tamarind Seed (Tamarindus indica) Extract Ameliorates Adjuvant-Induced Arthritis via Regulating the Mediators of Cartilage/Bone Degeneration, Inflammation and Oxidative Stress. Scientific reports, 5, 11117. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4461917/.
  6. Sole, S. S., Srinivasan, B. P., & Akarte, A. S. (2013). Anti-inflammatory action of Tamarind seeds reduces hyperglycemic excursion by repressing pancreatic β-cell damage and normalizing SREBP-1c concentration. Pharmaceutical biology, 51(3), 350–360. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23151094/.
  7. Kalra, P., Sharma, S., Suman, & Kumar, S. (2011). Antiulcer effect of the methanolic extract of Tamarindus indica seeds in different experimental models. Journal of pharmacy & bioallied sciences, 3(2), 236–241. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3103918/.
  8. Homayuonfar, A., Aminsharifi, A., Salehi, A., Sahraian, A., Dehshari, S., & Bahrami, M. (2018). A Randomized Double-blind Placebo-controlled Trial to Assess the Effect of Tamarind seed in Premature Ejaculation. Advanced biomedical research, 7, 59. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5952527/.
  9. Cloutier, F., Roumaud, P., Ayoub-Charette, S., Chowdhury, S., & Martin, L. J. (2020). The intake of an extract from seeds of Tamarindus indica L. modulates the endocrine function of adult male mice under a high fat diet. Heliyon, 6(1), e03310. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2405844020301559.
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.

Angela Sheddan, FNP

Dr. Angela Sheddan has been a Family Nurse Practitioner since 2005, practicing in community, urgent and retail health capacities. She has also worked in an operational capacity as an educator for clinical operations for retail clinics. 

She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, her master’s from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, and her Doctor of Nursing Practice from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. You can find Angela on LinkedIn for more information.


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