A lot of people are don’t want to talk about how to increase libido. But there it is: your sex drive has taken a dive and you don’t know why. You’re likely embarrassed, confused and upset. Try not to be. Over the course of a lifetime, it happens to lots of us for lots of reasons.

Studies show that as many as 43% of women and 31% of men experience a drop in libido at some time in their life. Without a doubt, this has an impact on your overall physical and emotional health, as well as your relationship with your partner. Ironically, those same three issues are often the underlying factors in a low sex drive, which can be attributed to lifestyle and relationship problems, age-related hormonal changes, stress, physical disability, and certain medications. But there is help. Before venturing into unknown territory with a mass-marketed “quickie fix,” consider a variety of holistic approaches to help increase libido.

5 ways to increase libid0

  1. Take Specialized Herbs. Several herbs have been studied for their positive impact on low sex drive, insufficient hormone levels, and performance problems, such as erectile dysfunction or inability to achieve orgasm. Herbs to consider are Panax Ginseng, Yohimbe, Maca Root, and Dong Quai. Each one works differently and some can interact with other medicines. It’s important to first consult with a qualified health professional before trying any herbal remedy.
  2. Get to the Point with Acupuncture. Shown to be a beneficial complementary therapy for sexual dysfunction, acupuncture can help boost libido by stimulating physiological systems in the body that are involved in sexual response.
  3. Talk about Sex. Sometimes what’s not going on in the bedroom has a lot to do with how you and your partner communicate. From the honeymoon period, to being together for decades, sexual needs can and do change. Have honest, open conversations. Consider engaging the services of a sex therapist, who can guide you toward strategies that will lead to more fulfilling and intimate times together.
  4. Enjoy Forbidden Fruits. While there are few specific studies on the aphrodisiac effects of fruits, for centuries different cultures have touted the stimulating benefits of foods such as avocados, figs, pomegranate, dark chocolate, watermelon, and strawberries. The most likely effect of having these foods in your diet is that they provide vitamins and minerals necessary for peak performance of the whole body. Why not experiment with pomegranate wine and dark chocolate nibs to get you in the mood?
  5. Move that Body. Exercise improves circulation, creates sexy muscles, helps manage stress. and promotes both positive body image. When you feel good physically and emotionally, you’re more likely to be in the mood for love. Also, working out with your partner can stimulate the sexual energy between you.

Healthy lifestyle practices provide the best foundation for enhancing sexual prowess. When the body is unhealthy, it may not respond optimally to the use of holistic approaches, which are intended to work synergistically with your natural ebb and flow.

 

Resources

Kotta, S., Ansari, S.H., & Ali, J., “Exploring Scientifically Proven Herbal Aphrodisiacs.” Pharmacognosy Reviews (2013) 7:13, 1-10. Accessed on 10 June 2016:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3731873/#sec1-4title

Meletis, C.D. “Nature’s True Aphrodisiacs: Vital Health Factors For Men and Women.” Alternative and Complementary Therapies.(July 2004) 6:4, 207-211. doi:10.1089/10762800050115176. Available from: http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/10762800050115176?journalCode=act&

Murphy, L. L. & Lee, T. J.-F. “Ginseng, Sex Behavior, and Nitric Oxide.” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences (2002) 962:372-377. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2002.tb04081.x Accessed on 13 June 2016:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1749-6632.2002.tb04081.x/abstract

Everyday Health. “Understanding Low Libido.” Accessed on June 27, 2016. http://www.everydayhealth.com/sexual-health/low-libido.aspx

Cleveland Clinic. “How Integrative Medicine can help You Enhance Your Libido.” Online Health Chat with Brenda Powell, MD, Integrative Medicine Physician, and Lead Acupuncturist Jamie Starkey, Lac. Accessed on 13 June 2016:  http://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/transcripts/1351_integrative-medicine-can-help-you-enhance-your-libido-

Saw Palmetto:  http://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/saw-palmetto/background/hrb-20059958

Bella, A.J. & Shamoul, R., “Traditional plant aphrodisiacs and male sexual dysfunction.” Phytother Res. (2014) 6:28, 831-5. PMID: 25032254. Accessed on 10 June 2016: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25032254

Avey, T. “Why these 10 Foods are Edible Aphrodisiacs.” PBS.org (2014). Accessed on 13 June 2016: http://www.pbs.org/food/the-history-kitchen/10-edible-aphrodisiacs/

Bay, R. et al. “Effect of Combined Psycho-Physiological Stretching and Breathing Therapy on Sexual Satisfaction.” BMC Urology (2013) 13:16. PMC. Accessed on 13 June 2016: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3614470/   

American Council on Exercise. “Studies Show Working Out can Improve Your Sex Life.”  Accessed on 12 June 2016: http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/fitness-fact-article/159/studies-show-exercise-can-improve-your-sex/

Penhollow, T. M. & Young, M. “Sexual desirability and sexual performance: Does exercise and fitness really matter?” Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality (October 2004) 7. Accessed on 13 June 2016: http://www.ejhs.org/volume7/fitness.html

Sifferlin, A. “Scientists on Aphrodisiacs: What Works and What Doesn’t?” Time online (September 9, 2015) based on a research report from International Society of Sexual Medicine. Accessed on 13 June 2016:  http://time.com/3984196/aphrodisiacs-that-work/

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