11 WAYS TO BOOST LIBIDO NATURALLY
Lack of Libido refers to the lack of feeling and energy of sexual desire. It is a more prevalent in women but men can also suffer from this problem. In the United States, approximately 40 percent of women have sexual concerns and 12 percent of females complain of painful sexual problems. “Women’s sexuality tends to be multifaceted and fairly complicated” says sex psychologist Sheryl Kingsberg, Ph.D. According to a research of Global Study of Sexual Attitudes and Behaviors it was found that 23% to 45% of women have issues relating to their sexual relationships and low libido.
World Health Organization states that sexual health is the reflection of physical, emotional, mental and social relationships. This is the main reason why today’s physicians acknowledge the importance of libido as one of the key signs of good health and quality of life.
With low libido resulting in a loss of sexual desire this can impact negatively on a person’s life. It is more difficult for a man to experience low libido than a woman because decreased sexual desire may cause erectile dysfunction and a woman can have sex even if she is not in the mood. It sounds normal to say that almost every woman experiences lower sexual energy at a certain point in her life. With regards to men there is a misconception that they are always in the mood for sex but in fact this is not always true.
In addition to this, a person may become frustrated if he or she has an intense sexual desire but their partner is not fully able to satisfy them because of decreased libido.
WHAT CAUSES IT?
There are many causes of low sexual drive; it could be hormonal, neurobiological, psychological, physical, or it may even be a side effect caused by certain medication.
Hormonal and neurobiological basis of sexual drive
Some of main hormones linked with sexual desire include dopamine - which is a reward hormone, prolactin - which is antagonist of dopamine, oxytocin - which is mainly involved in fetus birth and the androgens levels in our body which includes estrogen and testosterone. These androgens levels have strong effects on our moods, sexual activity, our perception for mating and developing secondary sexual characteristics.
Libido is directly associated with testosterone and estrogens levels. Men have 40% more testosterone levels than women and this is why men usually have more sexual drive than women. This hormone is also linked with anger and aggressive behavior. Such changes in quantity of hormone levels are present in almost every species and usually male animals are more aggressive and have more attraction towards the sex than female.
Dopamine plays a major role in libido and motivation. It is a hormone and neurotransmitter and is one of the key markers in the human body. Normal levels of Dopamine are required for fighting against depression and low libido. This hormone mostly controls reward, pleasure centers, memory, emotions, sleep, motivation and mood in our brain.
The exact role of peptides in sexual drive and arousal is still not known, one reason is because of their many roles and sites of action. But researchers have found oxytocin “love hormone” to be involved in making orgasms more intense. This hormone gives us confidence to trust people more and breaks our barriers and produces a sense of bonding with our partners.
Additionally, the stimulant phenylethylamine (PEA) is involved, which is also present in cocoa and chocolate and elevates energy, mood and attention. PEA is produced in greater amounts when one is in love; conversely a deficiency (common in manic-depressives) causes unhappy feelings. It also regulates childbirth ad breast feeding.
Psychological problems are the most common causes of decreased sexual drive in both sexes, especially in females. Some psychological causes are as follows:
- Anxiety or depression due to tough and busy routine
- Stress, such as financial stress or work stress
- Poor body perception
- Low self-esteem
- Hang-ups from childhood
- Past sexual abuse
- Latent lesbianism
- Serious relationship problems with your partner
- Uncomfortable relationship with relatives and other family members
- Anemia, which is quite common in women because of iron loss during periods.
- Too much or too little exercise.
- Too much use of alcohol
- Drug abuse.
- Major diseases, such as diabetes.
- Loss of libido by the baby soon after the birth of baby usually called post baby coolness. The reason for this problem is not clearly defined but it is often related to the hormonal changes that occur soon after childbirth. Some other reasons that may cause post baby coolness are trauma or any injury occurring during the childbirth. Furthermore, some women become so frustrated after childbirth that they don’t think of having sex again.
- Medications prescribed by doctors like some antidepressant drugs for example, fluoxetine or paroxetine and sedatives or tranquillizers.
- Abnormal increase in prolactin hormone, called hyperprolactenemia
- Other hormone abnormalities: According to a Swiss Gynecologist Dr Michael Nemec, production of abnormal level of luteinizing hormone can also contribute to low sexual energy although there is not extensive evidence available which supports this idea. Some scientists claim that loss of libido in women is due to lower levels of the male androgen hormone, especially testosterone, but this idea is controversial and needs to be looked in to further.
- Age: it is normal that sexual desire of both men and women deceases with increase in age because of changes in hormones and erectile dysfunction.
- Obesity is also one of the factors for low libido. According to recent studies conducted by bikes and his colleagues, up to 30% of obese people indicate a problem with sex drive, desire, performance or all three of these.
How to boost your libido in a natural way
If you feel that you have lost desire for sex and you are not able to satisfy your partner there is no need to worry at all. You can boost your libido by simply consuming some foods which are rich in vitamins and minerals and help to promote a healthier lifestyle. For instance, daily exercise helps to keep your body relaxed and fresh. Eliminating stress from your life by simply surrounding yourself with positive thoughts, improving your sleeping habits and taking some aphrodisiacs can encourage your sexual desire and prevent you from potentially harmful medications that can causes many side effects.
FOODS THAT CAN INCREASE LIBIDO
Raspberries are among the best fruits for increasing your libido and leaving your skin feeling supple and sensitive to your partner by stimulating the natural mechanism of sexual desire. It contains many phytochemicals and is rich in vitamin C and vitamin E. Both berries and seeds are very helpful. Eat 10 berries a day or take one tablespoon of seeds a few hours before going to bed.
This vegetable changes your mind set for getting in the mood. Broccoli is a very good source of vitamin C and iron. Vitamin C increases the blood circulation, reduces stress and increases female libido. Steaming, cooking, stir frying or adding it to your salad with your meal can really work.
Cloves offer many health benefits. Like other spices it is available throughout the year. Cloves really help people to reach an orgasm too. In India cloves have been used for treating sexual dysfunction for centuries. It relaxes the mind and also contains essential oils like Eugenol that acts as a mouth freshener and eliminates bad breath during kissing. Great ways of incorporating clove within your diet include piercing an onion with clove and adding it to soup and also by adding cloves and cinnamon to apple cider. Furthermore, spicing up fruit by adding some ground cloves, adding clove powder, walnuts and raisins to your favourite recipes are also some simple ways of adding clove to your diet for a boost in the bedroom.
Figs are an excellent food that gives your sex drive a one-two punch. If you want your libido to become the same as it was in your teenage years again then try this out. They contain magnesium, a mineral which is required to produce hormones like testosterone and estrogen which increases your libido. It also contains amino acid that increases your blood circulation by making nitric oxide. Combining Figs with Walnuts and Burrata, roasting Kale Avocado Fig Salad and roasting sweet potatoes with Fresh Figs are some of the simplest ways of eating figs before sexual activity.
This summer fruit is very popular. It is made up of about 92% water that replenishes our mineral loss during the warmer months and the remaining 8% is rich in vital Phytonutrients called Citrulline. Both Phytonutrients and Citrulline react in a positive way with the human body by converting in to an amino acid which relaxes blood vessels and could even help in improving sexual health. According to the research at the Texas A&M Fruit and Vegetable Improvement Centre 2008 it has been concluded that watermelon has ingredients that provide Viagra-like effects to the human body's blood vessels and could even aid in increasing libido." Watermelon is also easy to eat and transport around as it can be simply cut into cubes and kept in a sealed plastic tub when you’re out and about.
Eggs are rich in vitamin B6, vitamin B5 and proteins which can help to balance the hormone levels in body and provide energy as well as increasing your stamina. In addition to this, eggs are a good source of amino acids which are beneficial in treating erectile dysfunction and are good for your heart. Eggs also contain Vitamin D which is why they are used to prevent a common disease in women called osteoporosis. Eating eggs for breakfast can also help with weight control as due to the high protein content you will feel full for a longer period of time. So if you are consuming eggs on a daily basis anyway our advice is to carry on doing so as they could help to increase your libido.
Ginseng is also called “king of herb”. It has been used in Chinese medicine dating back to about 500 A.D. This remarkable herb is used for decreasing fatigue, increasing stamina and boosting libido. There is strong scientific evidence that an active ingredient found in Ginseng called Ginsenosides have pro-sexual effects on the body. Ginseng roots ground into powder and added to hot water to make ginseng tea or adding sliced roots to soup are the best ways to consume optimal nutrients before going to bed.
Adding a bowl full of lettuce to your meals will not only enhance your sexual drive but will also help you to lose weight. Iceberg lettuce contains many nutrients that can activate a sex hormone and put you in the mood for sexual intercourse, so get into the habit of eating lettuce daily.
This herb has great medicinal uses. It can be used for treating nausea, motion sickness, cold, dysmenorrhea (pain during periods) and enhances libido. Making a ginger tea also helps to control weight and high blood pressure. An increase in weight may be a big factor in deterring you from being intimate with your partner, and high blood pressure decreases blood flow to the clitoris and vagina.
Oysters contain a huge amount of an essential trace metallic element called zinc which enables men to produce testosterone, a hormone necessary to produce sperm. Oysters also benefit men suffering from erectile dysfunction. It also enhances clitoris sensitivity in women. But sometimes oysters may be toxic for our health. Dr. Clement says: "Oysters and other shellfish can absorb the toxins and parasites in the ocean, which can often outweigh the benefits of zinc." So it may be better to switch to other high zinc foods like spinach in order to boost your libido if you are worried about taking Oysters or don’t like the taste.
Almonds and Walnuts
Almonds have a delicious taste and smell and these nuts relax your mind and support the body’s natural hormone production. Nuts are a great source of essential fatty acids called omega 3 that raise dopamine levels in the brain, triggering arousals. Eating a few almonds daily also reduces the risk of heart disease, relieves constipation, and is good for the skin.
Things to avoid
Processed foods and saturated fats:
Processed foods are very dangerous for your health. They may increase your risk of getting cancer and therefore should be consumed in moderation. The chemicals in these processed foods have detrimental effects on sexual performance.
Saturated fats including fried and oily foods make a person lazy and less enthusiastic about sex. It causes abnormal production of sperm in men and lowers sexual desire in females.
Food like red meat should be avoided as it has high a content of saturated fats.
According to Shakespeare, wine stimulates the desire for sex but it takes away the performance. Although alcohol provokes sexual desire it is also a great CNS depressant. Alcohol has also been linked with infertility
Smoking is the root cause of many life threatening diseases. It contains nicotine that constricts the arteries of penile by forming atherosclerosis plaque and lowers healthy sexual function
Supplements & Herbs to increase libido
Supplements and herbs are very beneficial for increasing your libido. Before taking herbs and supplements always remember to consult your doctor first to discuss the problems you have. Never shy away or avoid talking with a consultant because in the future you may become more depressed or lose your self-esteem or confidence.
Another thing that must be pointed out before switching to herbs is whether any daily lifestyle changes can help to improve your sexual desire. Regular exercise, for example, increases your blood circulation, improves your mood and gives you confidence. Some medications are also responsible for lowering sexual energy. Ask your pharmacist about side effects of the medicines you are currently taking.
Many herbs and supplements including Yohimbine have drug interactions so don’t forget to discuss your medications with your pharmacist.
The right dose of supplements at the right time is crucial for successful outcomes. Whatever you use, special attention must be given to the labeling. Consult the pharmacist for proper information of dosages and timing.
Most of the supplements available are specifically focused for men because loss of energy during sex is more problematic for men than women. It is not necessarily the case that a supplement that shows positive results in men also provides positive results for women.
Iron is linked with your libido. Women with a low iron level may have less sexual desire, arousal and lubrication. It is also possible that some women may be anemic due to blood loss during periods and poor diet.Less than 100milligrams of iron a day is enough to overcome iron deficiency in women. Before using iron supplements make sure that you have iron deficiency anemia by consultant your doctor. Overdoses have significant life threatening effects.
This is a plant with medicinal importance. Fruit, leaves and roots are used for enhancing athletic performance and treating certain sexual problems including infertility. According to research conducted on a small group of women, taking 7.5mg of herb supplement every day for thirty days improved their sexual desire and arousal and they also experienced less pain during sexual intercourse.
This is a root vegetable called Peruvian Ginseng. It contains many chemicals, fatty acids and amino acids that work together to treat symptoms of menopause, enhance fertility, improve imbalance of female hormones, arouse sexual feelings and control sexual dysfunction.
L-arginine is a building block of protein. This amino acid is obtained from diet and is used to treat erectile dysfunction and male infertility. It is naturally found in red meat, fish and poultry. It is converted into nitric acid after metabolism in the body which widens the blood vessels and increases the flow of blood towards the penile.
This is an essential amino acid which is produced naturally by your body. It provides a synergistic effect when given with Sildenafil (Viagra) in treating erectile dysfunction. According to a study, men treated with Sildenafil alone did not have a positive result but when Propionyl-L-Carnitine was added to the therapy it gave promising results. These results show that this amino acid increases the activity of Viagra when combined with something else.
Niacin is also commonly known as vitamin B3. It is created naturally by our bodies and promotes good general health. It increases good cholesterol (HDL) levels and lowers bad cholesterol (LDL) levels which ultimately results in the prevention of fatty plaque formation in the small blood vessels supplying blood to the male reproductive system.
S-adenosyl methionine (SAM-e)
SAM-e is a naturally occurring chemical normally present in cell and fluids within the body. Supplements are also available that are used to improve arousal and erectile dysfunction by treating mild to moderate depression. If depression is the main root cause for your low sexual drive, niacin may work. Some research concludes that niacin works as effectively as other antidepressant medications.
Actually, Yohimbine is an Alkaloid which is specified for the treatment of erectile dysfunction caused by diabetes. According to a scientist, Yohimbine is the most effective supplement for treating erectile dysfunction but at the same time it is the most problematic too. It may cause some drug interactions and must be used with caution in patients with heart problems, kidney problems, high blood pressure or mental health problems.
ENHANCING LIBIDO WITH ESSENTIAL OILS
The good news for you is that there are many essential oils that have aphrodisiac qualities. Essential oils have a unique smell which increases your willingness for sex, calms and relaxes your mind and makes you feel fresh.
Scents activate your brain signals of love and pleasure and you spontaneously come closer and closer to your partner.
Treatment that involves scents and essential oils is called aromatherapy. Of course, there are some specific oils that are usually recommended for enhancing sexual interest in the bedroom and it is not necessarily the case that an essential oil that stimulates sexual activity for one person will work for somebody else. This is also due to the fact that the sense of smell and feeling is different from person to person.
Below I am giving you many examples of essential oils that have been used for centuries in order to improve sexual relationships. People find that by experimenting with these oils and discovering the one which works best for them and their partner is the most beneficial method.
Rose is a sign of love. There are few oils which are more romantic than rose oil. This oil has anti-anxiety properties and puts you in to a romantic mood and increases a desire for pleasure - which is essential for a successful sexual life. Rose Oil is also an antidepressant which boosts your confidence, self esteem and sexual strength. It gives you the feeling of love, Joy and happiness.
Ylang-ylang is very good for controlling your emotions. It has a calming effect and enables you to relax and really get in the mood for making love. It eliminates anxiety, fear, worry and anger. It also lowers your heart rate and blood pressure.
Sandal wood essential oil has been used for centuries in making perfumes. It is found that sandal wood is beneficial for balancing hormone levels in both males and females. The smell of this oil is enough to release stress and tension, enabling you to feel affection while having sex with your lover.
Jasmine essential oil is extracted from the flowers of Jasmine. It is an expensive and precious flower with a sweet and pleasing fragrance. It enhances your sexual feeling and therefore has been used as a room spray to increase libido. It is also used to treat premature ejaculation and impotency because of its effect on hormones and chemicals within the body.
Clary sage essential oil is used in aromatherapy for regulating mood swings, improving sexual desire, and curing post menopausal symptoms. It also acts as a painkiller during menstrual pain.
Neroli essential oil is made up of orange blossoms and can be used a couple of times a day. It will give you a feeling of relaxation, increasing your sexual desire and reducing blood pressure.
MASSAGE OIL FOR RELAXING YOUR BODY
Taking a relaxing essential oil massage relieves the pressure and stress that we go through in our daily lives. Managing stress in your life is recommended for healthy sexual life. Focusing on the scent of essential oil while having a massage will create intense and passionate energy for sex.
The simplest way of making massage oil, especially for reducing erectile dysfunction in males, is by mixing 20 drops of Sandalwood, 30 drops of Cedarwood, 15 drops of Clary Sage and 10 drops of Rose Oil. Add 4 to 6 drops in a tub containing warm water. Finally massage in to one another’s skin.
CONVENTIONAL THERAPY FOR THE TREATMENT OF DECRESED LIBIDO
There are two ways to treat common sexual disorders and these are medication or hormone therapy.
Medications used to treat erectile dysfunction are Sildenafil (Viagra), Vardenafil (Levitra), and Tadalafil (Cialis). These medications increase the erection power during sex but do not help with low libido. These medications only work when a person becomes sexually active and include many side effects like low blood pressure if taken with nitrates, visual disturbance, back pain and muscle pain. Some antidepressants are used to treat problems arising from psychological issues like premature ejaculation.
Hormonal therapy includes estrogen which is available in the form of controlled released suppositories and vaginal cream. Also, a ring can be placed in the vagina that increases blood flow to the vagina and improves sexual desire. But reduced patient compliance is the great factor that limits the use of suppositories and rings. Testosterone replacement therapy is also available for men with low testosterone blood levels. It improves sexual desire, however, the long term effects of testosterone replacement therapy is still unknown and researchers are working on it to determine the long term safety benefits.
FINAL VIEW ON INCREASING LIBIDO
One thing everyone should keep in mind before starting to look at natural ways of increasing their sexual energy is that the results can vary and don’t necessarily occur straight away. Discovering the best natural method for you to increase your libido and sticking to it will prove beneficial in the long run.
On the other hand, ignoring low libido problems and keeping it unresolved can lead to more negative effects in your life including loss of self-esteem, confidence and less attention from your partner. Never hesitate from sharing your concerns and problems with your doctor. It is important to consult your doctor before trying any supplement or herb because it may adversely react with other medications.
Finally, life style modifications, for example; thirty minutes exercise or yoga that increases your genital blood flow, weight loss, healthy diet, quitting smoking and managing stress are all ways to improve your sex life.