For Patients & Caregivers
Zestra may improve sexual function in normal women and in those suffering from female sexual disorders.
Zestra is a personal product for women that contains borage seed oil, evening primrose oil, angelica root extract, Coleus forskohlii extract, ascorbyl palmitate (vitamin C), and dl-alpha tocopherol (vitamin E). It is being promoted to relieve symptoms of female sexual dysfunction. Sexual dysfunction may include painful intercourse, loss of desire, and difficulty in achieving arousal or orgasm. Stress, changes in hormone, cancer treatment, drugs, or menopause are some of the factors that may cause sexual dysfunction. The manufacturer claims that use of Zestra results in increased clitoral and vaginal warmth, increased sexual arousal, and sexual pleasure. Scientists believe that the borage, evening primrose, angelica, and Coleus forskohlii may be responsible for Zestra’s activity. A recent small scale study showed that Zestra can improve sexual function in both normal women and in those suffering from female sexual arousal disorder.
Zestra has not been studied in cancer patients. Women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or those trying to get pregnant should not use Zestra.
For Healthcare Professionals
Zestra is a topical botanical formulation of borage seed oil, evening primrose oil, angelica root extract, Coleus forskohlii extract, ascorbyl palmitate, and dl-alpha tocopherol. It is being promoted to relieve symptoms associated with female sexual dysfunction. Sexual dysfunction may involve painful intercourse, loss of libido, difficulty in maintaining arousal, or difficulty in achieving orgasm. It may be caused by factors such as stress, hormonal changes, cancer treatment involving surgery, radiation, chemotherapy or hormone therapy, use of antidepressants, or menopause. Use of Zestra results in increased clitoral and vaginal warmth, heightened arousal, and increased sexual pleasure. The borage, primrose, angelica, and coleus extracts may contribute to Zestra’s activity by increasing blood flow and nerve conduction (2)(3)(4). Clinical studies show that Zestra benefits both normal women and those with sexual disorders (1)(6).
Zestra has not been studied in cancer patients. Adverse effects from use of Zestra include mild burning sensation locally. It is contraindicated in women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, and in those trying to conceive.
Studies show that borage and evening primrose oils are rich in gamma-linolenic acid that is metabolized to prostaglandin E1 in the skin (2). This process is known to increase blood flow and nerve conduction. Osthole, a compound present in Angelica root extract was found to increase the levels of cGMP and cAMP (3). The Coleus forskohlii extract contains forskolin, coleonol, and related diterpenes that are known to stimulate adenylate cyclase (4).