Natural Cures to Boost Libido: Do They Work?
A low libido can be the cause of deep stress for both men and women, and millions of people hope for a miracle cure. Unfortunately, there isn't one! But there are steps you can take to help put your libido back on track – naturally.
What Causes a Low Libido?Many things can affect a person's interest in sex, both emotional and physical. The first step is to rule out any underlying medical condition, such as cancer, diabetes or arthritis. If you feel a medical problem may be affecting your sex drive, see your GP.
Hormonal changes such as menopause can also affect our interest in sex, as can over-indulging in alcohol and taking drugs, including both recreational ones and prescribed meds such as antidepressants.
Psychological reasons can also affect our sex drive, such as low self-esteem, poor body image, depression and overall stress and anxiety. Fatigue, relationship problems and a lack of emotional intimacy can play a part as well – the list is seemingly endless!
Natural Ways to Boost Your LibidoLuckily, there are plenty of natural ways to get your mojo back. While not everything works for everyone, it's worth giving some a try. Remember, if you have any underlying medical conditions, are pregnant or breastfeeding or taking certain medications, it is advised to talk to a medical practitioner first.
AcupunctureIt literally means needle piercing, and this age-old practice is used to cure everything from morning sickness to eczema. The needles are thought to stimulate specific points in the body and balance the energy within, with one result being sexual rejuvenation.
Acupuncture can also be effective in helping other sexually related complaints such as vaginal dryness, premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction and the effects of menopause. But while some people claim it has amazing results, others get no effect whatsoever. It really is a case of suck it and see.
Gingko BilobaKnown to treat sexual dysfunction in both sexes, this versatile herb is thought to increase blood flow around the body. Studies have shown that is also helpful in women who experience a loss of libido due either to the menopause or antidepressants.
Food AphrodisiacsMany foods are considered aphrodisiacs, including asparagus and oysters. Some are given this title because they resemble sexual organs themselves (asparagus), others because they are rich in ingredients that are thought to play a role in sexual arousal (the zinc in oysters, for example).
YohimbineA purported aphrodisiac itself, this has been shown to work to help with male impotence in clinical studies, and can also be beneficial to women who suffer a loss of libido due to antidepressants.
Interestingly, many studies of this plant have been conducted on animals – it has been shown to increase the volume of canine ejaculation, and give sexual energy back to lab rats!
Libido-Enhancing HerbsHorny goat weed (no, really), maca and ginseng are all seen to have libido-enhancing powers. Horny goat weed is thought to both fight stress and increase the body's testosterone and nitric oxide levels at the same time.
Ginseng helps with both blood flow circulation and testosterone levels, while the maca root is legendary for enhancing male prowess and stamina. Known as the Peruvian Viagra, it is available in power form and can be made into a high-protein drink.
Other Natural Libido-EnhancersOther ways to boost your libido that don't require alternative medicine of any kind include:
- Stop smoking. It has long been known that smoking decreases our libido – and also narrows the blood vessels that supply blood to our sexual organs. So if you want to keep you libido on track, dump the fags.
- Exercise. Those “feel-good” chemicals that make you feel better about life in general can be brought about by regular exercise.
- Drink only in moderation. One drink can be a lifesaver in a first-date situation. Drinking too much on a regular basis can affect your health overall, and also seriously impact the blood supply to the penis.
- Have a healthy diet. Getting enough healthy fruit and veg can ward off disease and keep up feeling healthy, happy and sexually active.
- Get a regular massage. If you feel constantly stressed, resentful or angry, getting a regular professional massage can make the whole world seem a better place. Alternatively, a slow, easy massage with your partner is a nice way to get things going.
- Feel good about yourself. Entertaining negative thoughts about how you look – or how you are as a person – can be detrimental. If your problems seem insurmountable, therapy can help.
- Make time for the two of you. If you're in a long-term relationship, your sex life could easily be affected by a lack of emotional intimacy. Make sure you have time to enjoy each other as a couple, in the bedroom and out.