Ristela is a dietary supplement for increasing sexual satisfaction and stimulation in women, sold by a brand called Bonafide. The brand claims that their supplement “increases orgasm and physical arousal” and is manufactured with “high quality ingredients.”
But does Ristela contain research-backed ingredients for supporting sexual health in women, or are these just marketing claims? Does it contain any questionable additive ingredients? How do real users rate and describe the effects of the supplement? And what retailer sells Ristela for the best price?
In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we analyze the ingredients in Ristela based on medical studies to give our take on whether the supplement is likely to be effective for improving sexual satisfaction in women, or if it’s a waste of money.
We’ll feature real customer reviews and provide a cost comparison to show which retailer sells Ristela for the best price.
The active ingredients in Ristela are shown above.
There are some ingredients in this formulation with research backing for enhancing sexual function in women.
L-arginine was shown in a meta-study published in the Pharmacy journal to improve sex drive in women.
The study authors analyzed results from seven clinical trials on l-arginine supplementation for sex drive in women, and in six of the seven trials, l-arginine use was shown to enhance libido. The doses used in some of the trials were lower than that in Ristela.
L-citrulline is another amino acid, and while we can’t find any clinical trials showing it to improve sexual function in women when taken in isolation, it was shown in a 2013 clinical trial to enhance sexual function scores in women when combined with other ingredients that are in Ristela.
When supplementing with l-citrulline along with the other active botanical ingredients experienced a 227% improvement in sexual function scores after eight weeks of treatment.
Pycnogenol is a patented compound derived from pine bark, and it was shown in a 2011 clinical trial to improve symptoms associated with menopausal transition including loss of libido.
While there are clearly some research-backed ingredients in Ristela, there is also one inactive ingredient that may be questionable from a health perspective. The inactive ingredients in this supplement are shown below:
Titanium dioxide is a colorant that’s banned for use in the E.U. over toxicity concerns, as we discussed in our review of Olly Lovin Libido, another women’s health supplement.
Overall, we consider Ristela likely to improve sexual function and sex drive in women. From an effectiveness perspective, we consider this supplement to have one of the more impressive formulations of any libido enhancer we’ve reviewed on Illuminate Health.
We don’t currently recommend Ristela due to the inclusion of titanium dioxide.
But how do real users rate and describe the effects of this supplement? We’ll discuss in the next section.
Real Users Review Ristela
A YouTube creator named “Savvy’s Second Act” reviewed a number of Bonafide supplements including Ristela. We’ve timestamped the below video to begin at the point she starts discussing Ristela:
Ristela is sold on Amazon, which is a better resource for honest customer reviews than a brand’s website in our opinion.
The supplement has been reviewed over 60 times with an average review rating of 3.4 out of 5 stars.
The top positive review from a verified purchaser comes from a user named “Cait” who claims Ristela was recommended by her OBGYN and has been effective:
“My gyn recommended this, and said it has actual data to support its claims. It definitely has made a difference.”
The top negative review from a verified purchaser is written by a user named “Delia” who gives the supplement a 1-star rating and claims it caused severe side effects:
“After a few days of taking the pills I had a severe reaction and ended up in the hospital. Do not take these pills unless you want a one way ticket to the tomb”
Bonafide (the manufacturer of Ristela) currently has a 1 out of 5 star rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website, with a notice at the top of the page that health claims made by the brand were in violation of the BBB Code of Advertising.
We’ll review the questionable health claims on Ristela’s website in the next section.
Questionable Health Claims on Ristela Website
There are several uncited and questionable health claims on the Ristela product page of Bonafide’s website.
As shown below, the manufacturer claims this supplement is “scientifically validated” and cites specific health claims such as that 75% of women saw an increase in sexual arousal by month two:
However, the clinical trial citation for this health claim (found here) is not to a trial on Ristela but to a trial on a different supplement called Lady Prelox.
According to Pharma Nord, Lady Prelox contains the same active ingredients as Ristela but at different doses. It also contains different inactive ingredients.
We find it to be unfair to consumers to make specific health claims about a supplement’s efficacy based on a clinical trial on a different supplement, even if both supplements contain the same active ingredients.
The Ristela product page also suggests that the supplement becomes more effective over time:
This citation corresponds to a footnote on the site that lists the Menopause journal, however we cannot find any publications in the Menopause journal testing Ristela.
We recommend that consumers exercise caution when considering supplements sold by brands that make specific health claims without providing clear proof of those claims.
Where to Buy Ristela for the Best Price
Ristela is sold at a variety of online retailers. Here’s a price breakdown at the time of publishing this article:
EveryMarket: $99.52 (link)
Amazon: $64 (free shipping – link to official Amazon listing)
Brand website: $57 (plus shipping – link)
At the time of publishing this article, Ristela is slightly cheaper on the brand’s website than on third-party retailers even when factoring in shipping costs. The shipping rate based on the test address we input was only $5, bringing the total to $62.
Can Herbs Naturally Improve Sex Drive in Women?
There are herbs which have been shown in medical studies to improve sex drive in women.
Panax ginseng extract was shown in a clinical trial published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine to increase sex drive by 13% in menopausal women.
A meta-study on natural products for treating female sexual dysfunction found that Panax ginseng was effective for improving sexual arousal and sexual desire in women.
Illuminate Labs sells a Panax Ginseng Extract supplement which is third-party tested to ensure label accuracy, potency and purity, which contains no questionable additive ingredients, and which be purchased for only $15 on a subscription basis.
Ginkgo biloba extract "had a positive effect on sexual desire of menopausal women" according to a 2014 clinical trial.
A 2021 meta-study concluded that Ginkgo biloba extract can have positive effects on the sexual function of postmenopausal women.
Illuminate Labs sells a Ginkgo Biloba Extract supplement which is third-party tested to ensure label accuracy, potency and purity, which contains no questionable additive ingredients, and which can be purchased for only $15 on a subscription basis.
Vitamin D was shown to improve sexual desire, orgasm and satisfaction in young women with low vitamin D status in a 2018 clinical trial.
A medical review published in the Nutrition Research journal found that nearly 50% of US adults had vitamin D deficiency, so women with low sex drive may wish to get a vitamin D test at their doctor's office and consider supplementing (based on their doctor's guidance) if their levels are low.
Future Kind Vegan Vitamin D3 is our top vitamin D supplement because it's third-party tested, free of questionable additives and costs only $19.99.
Pros and Cons of Ristela
Here are the pros and cons of Ristela in our opinion:
- All active ingredients have research backing
- Should improve sexual function
- Should improve sexual desire
- L-citrulline may have cardiovascular benefits
- Contains titanium dioxide
- Brand makes questionable and poorly-cited health claims
- Unimpressive Amazon reviews
- Unimpressive BBB reviews
- Brand charges for shipping