Lube 101 Definitions

Goji Berry Extract

An extract made from the fruit of Lycium barbarum, a woody plant that grows mainly in Northern China. In traditional Chinese medicine, goji berries are used to treat inflammatory conditions. Some studies indicate that goji berry extract could have anti-inflammatory properties.

Goji berry extract is sometimes used in lubricants for its potential health benefits. The extract also has a pleasant scent, and allergies are very rare. Some manufacturers claim that goji berry extract acts as a natural aphrodisiac; however, there is no research to directly support these claims.


A plant species primarily found in the Amazon rain forest. Guarana has an especially high concentration of caffeine, and it may have positive effects on memory and mood.

Guarana is sometimes used in sexual lubricants for its energizing properties. It is often said to improve users’ libidos and overall sensitivity. However, there is no clear scientific evidence to support or discredit this claim.

Guava Bark

An ingredient made from the bark of a genus of tropical shrubs known as guava. Many guava plants are commonly used in folk medicines to treat inflammation, bacterial infections, and a number of other health problems.

Guava bark is sometimes included in natural lubricants as an analgesic (pain-killer) and anti-bacterial ingredient. You should always take care when using lubricants with analgesic ingredients, as they can increase the chances of injury during oral or anal sex. Apart from its potential painkilling properties, guava bark is a safe lubricant ingredient with a low incidence of side effects


A physician who specializes in providing health services for women.

Gynecologists can diagnose and treat problems related to the female reproductive system. They can also prescribe birth control and other medications when necessary.

Regular gynecological examinations play an important role in overall health. According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, all sexually active women should schedule regular Pap smears and pelvic examinations with their physicians every two to three years.

Ginkgo Biloba

A species of tree. In an extracted form, the leaves of the ginkgo biloba plant may promote healthy blood circulation when applied topically.

Ginkgo Biloba is sometimes used in lubricants to provide a stimulating effect, which may allow for heightened sensations and a better overall sexual experience. Ginkgo is generally a safe substance when applied topically, but it may cause serious side effects for people with circulatory disorders when taken internally. However, most “stimulating” lubricants contain a relatively small amount of this ingredient.


Usually refers to propylene glycol, an organic compound commonly used in lubricants, pharmaceuticals, toothpaste and other products. Propylene glycol is mildly sweet and acts as a solvent for other liquid ingredients.

In large quantities, glycol can cause topical irritation, but it should not cause adverse reactions when used as a lubricant ingredient. Glycol is not a food source for candida, the fungus that causes yeast infections, and it is generally considered to be a safe, well-tolerated ingredient.

Paullinia Cupana (Guarana) Seed Extract

A common lubricant ingredient created by concentrating oils from the paullinia cupana plant, more commonly known as guarana.

The guarana plant naturally produces a large amount of caffeine, which can improve endurance when taken in significant doses. However, while guarana seed extract is a safe lubricant ingredient, it is not clear whether it improves sexual endurance when applied topically. People who are sensitive to caffeine should avoid lubricants with guarana extract

Ginger Root Extract

Ginger Root Extract is stimulating ingredient made from the essential oils of ginger root. It is capable of causing intense warming and tingling sensations in high doses. When used in sexual lubricants, ginger root extract is often combined with other stimulating ingredients such as cinnamon and capsaicin.

Lubricants with ginger root extract are safe for vaginal, oral or anal sex. Some research suggests that pregnant women should not use products with ginger.


A plant popularly used as a health supplement prized for its purported ability to stimulate the central nervous system. Ground ginseng is often used as a folk remedy for erectile dysfunction, and some personal lubricant manufacturers claim that lubes with ginseng can increase blood flow to the genitals.

When used as a lube ingredient, ginseng is safe, has a low incidence of side effects and does not negatively affect the life of a lubricant.


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Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI)

Sexually transmitted infections are illnesses that can spread through sexual contact, including vaginal, oral and anal intercourse. People can reduce the chances of a sexually transmitted infection by using condoms during any sexual contact.

While the term “sexually transmitted disease” refers primarily to pathogenic infections that negatively affect the carrier, “sexually transmitted infection” is a broader term that includes all infections, regardless of their effect or symptoms.

Some common examples of STI’s include gonorrhea, yeast infection, HIV, genital herpes and HPV. However, any disease that is transmitted sexually can be classified as an STI, including influenza and the common cold.

Lube 101 Definitions