Natural Ways To Increase Your Libido
As humans, it is perfectly natural for us to crave sex. When our bodies crave something that feels extremely satisfying, our brains send a signal to encourage and repeat the behaviour for that ongoing and intense satisfaction.
In short, our libido steps up and takes over when we meet someone who we have a sexual attraction to.
Libido is our sexual drive or desire for sexual activity and is influenced by biological, psychological and social factors.
Our libido also varies dramatically from one person to the next, with some of us having a higher sex drive then others.
There can be many factors that can contribute to a decline in libido. Life gets busy, we get stressed, over worked or just plain tired, with sex being the last thing on our mind.
While a low libido is not usually problematic, it can affect a person’s relationships and self-esteem.
Some reasons for lack of libido include:
- Poor diet (too much sugar, high sodium, processed foods)
- Pharmaceutical medication - Medication such as hormonal contraception, antidepressants and blood pressure medication can unfortunately all have side effects such as lowering libido
- No exercise (or too much exercise)
- Hormonal imbalances
- Mental health and trauma
- Age and menopause
- Poor sleep
- Relationship conflict
- Low self-esteem and poor body image
- Chronic illnesses such as diabetes, autoimmune disease or chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)
There are natural ways to boost your libido, which are listed below:
Eat a high vibe healthy nutritious diet
Eating a variety of vegetables and fruits (organic if possible) focusing on whole-foods, healthy fats and omega-3 fatty acids, lean proteins and clean carbohydrates can all help keep our bodies energised and vibrant.
Have you heard of the saying “The brain is the biggest sex organ”? Well, a healthy body also creates healthy brain function, so if you are feeling foggy or low in energy, then look at your diet.
Reduce StressHaving high levels of anxiety is a common barrier to sexual functioning and libido for both males and females. This may be anxiety due to life stress or specific sex-related anxiety. People with an intense work schedule, caring responsibilities, or other life stressors may feel chronically stressed, overwhelmed and fatigued and, as a result, have a low sexual desire.
When we are highly stressed or in a constant state of overwhelm and anxiety, this increases cortisol in our bodies. Too much high cortisol over long periods of time can lead to depression, frustration, poor sleep, a trauma response such as fight or flight, or even a chronic illness. These can all put a burden on our sex life.
There are ways to help relax the nervous system and lower stress levels naturally such as meditation, yoga, breathing techniques. Slowing down in our day-to-day life means it could increase our libido and will be more likely to desire love-making.
Read our other blog ‘Six ways to avoid burnout’ for other tips on reducing stress.
Get your Z's
Getting good sleep can improve a person’s overall mood and energy levels, and some research also links sleep quality to libido.
A small-scale 2015 study in women suggested that getting more sleep the night before increased their sexual desire the next day. Women who reported longer average sleep times reported better genital arousal than those with shorter sleep times.
Look into nutritional deficiencies
Iron - For women, an iron deficiency can cause their sex drive to disappear, and have a negative effect on sexual desire, arousal, lubrication, and even the ability to have an orgasm. Dark leafy greens such as kale and spinach, lentils, grass-fed meats are valuable sources of iron to add to the diet.
Zinc - Zinc plays a role in sex drive as it is involved in testosterone production, which is important for both men and women. It’s a good idea to get your zinc levels tested as well as focus on zinc rich foods including legumes, oysters, organic grass-fed meats such as beef and lamb, pumpkin seeds and nuts such as almonds.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids - Omega-3’s are known to support our mood while improving heart, brain and eye health. If you aren’t getting enough of these ‘good for you’ fats, then your libido may take a hit. Try supplementing with a high quality omega-3 supplement and increasing your consumption of omega-3 rich foods such as salmon, chia seeds, cacao, flaxseed, and sardines.
Other nutritional deficiencies which can impact libido and sex drive include vitamin D, vitamin B12, and magnesium.
Improve relationship quality
Many people experience a lull in sexual desire and frequency at certain points in a relationship. This may occur after being with someone for a long time, or if a person perceives that things are not going well in their intimate relationships.
Focusing on improving the relationship can increase each partner’s sex drive. This might involve:
- Planning ‘date nights’
- Doing activities together outside of the bedroom
- Practicing open communication
- Setting time aside for quality time with each other
Focus on foreplayHaving better sexual experiences may increase a person’s desire for sex, thereby boosting their libido. In many cases, people can enhance their sexual experiences by spending more time on touching, kissing, using sex toys, and performing oral sex.
For women, foreplay may be especially important. According to a 2017 research study, only around 18 percent of women orgasm from intercourse alone, while 33.6 percent of women report that stimulation of the clitoris is necessary for them to orgasm. It’s also important for women especially to focus on and explore self-pleasure outside of the bedroom.
Exercise and move your body
Some people don’t feel like sex because they don’t feel comfortable with there body. They have poor body image, lack self-confidence and dread being seen naked. Exercise, movement and sweating for at least 30 minutes a day will help you to feel more confident in your physical body which can help to enhance your sex drive and desire for yourself and your partner. Find a way to move your body that you love and enjoy such as dancing, swimming, surfing, running, hot yoga, pilates or the gym.
Eat more aphrodisiac foods
There are certain foods that can help and improve sex drive and boost libido. These foods are known as ‘aphrodisiac foods’.
Some of these are:
- Chocolate (try to make sure it’s dark chocolate with at least 75% cacao)
- Chilli peppers
On the other hand, there are also foods that can reduce libido further and take you right out of that mood, these are known as ‘anaphrodisiac foods’. It is important to limit libido lowering foods such as foods high in sodium, high saturated fats (found in fried foods), processed packet foods, polyunsaturated fats, and foods that require insulin to process such as white flour and sugar.
Heal Your Hormones
Hormones are chemical messengers that circulate and concentrate in certain areas of the body. Hormonal imbalances can commonly result in the decline of low libido, as hormones are so intricately tied to libido.
Estrogen - Estrogen dominance is a leading cause of low self sex drive, which is why it’s so important for hormones to be well balanced.
Progesterone - Progesterone is our feel good, happy and relaxed hormone and is also a precursor to testoserone. If a woman’s progesterone is low, than this can cause estrogen dominance which can effectively cause low libido in women.
Testosterone - While this is a hormone that is mainly considered a hormone for men, it is important and necessary for a normal sex drive and libido in both men and women. Testosterone for women heightens sexual response and orgasms, but if this hormone is low than it can cause a loss of libido.
Testosterone is a hormone that is at the root of low libido and sexual dysfunction in men, as sex drive in men starts with the release of testosterone which stimulates the receptors in the brain to release nitric oxide.
Menopause - During menopause, changes in the sex hormones such as estrogen, progesterone and testosterone can all greatly affect a womans sexual desire and libido.
What are some ways you can help balance your hormones? Infrared sauna, a good sleep schedule, reducing intake of processed foods and adopting a more organic whole-foods diet (focus on a diet rich in essential fatty acids and omega-3's), adaptogenic herbs, sun exposure, limiting screens (phones, computers, TV etc) exposure after dark, and supporting your liver.
Try natural remedies
Herbs and supplementation can be a great way to improve your libido naturally. Some of these include:
- Maca Root powder - Maca powder (or ‘natures viagra’) is a superfood found in Peru, and is renowned for balancing hormones and increasing sex drive and fertility. The benefits of Maca are endless, but some of the main ones to keep in mind are: enhancement of libido (sex drive), stimulates fertility, increases testosterone levels, helps fight against erectile dysfunctions and impotency, and increases vaginal lubrication. You can mix Maca powder into water, smoothies, yoghurt, baked goods, raw desserts or chocolates, or simply just take Maca capsules
- Cordyceps - This powerful medicinal mushroom has traditionally been used for hundreds and thousands of years as a sexual tonic and natural aphrodisiac. This is because of the important bioactive compounds, such as cordycepin helping to reduce inflammation, increase libido and prevent oxidative stress
- Ginkgo Biloba - Helpful for both genders, but extremely helpful for men as it said to enhance the effects of nitric oxide help relax blood vessels and increase blood flow, especially around the pelvic region
- Ginseng - Like Ginkgo, Ginseng also works in a similar way by increasing nitric oxide levels and can be helpful for erectile dysfunction in men
- Damiana - This libido-enhancing herb contains flavonoids, phenolics, glycosides and terpenoids which can all contribute to reduced feelings of stress and increased blood flow (particularly to the pelvic area)
- Tribulus - Research studies have found that women who use this herb report greater sexual desire and more intense orgasms. This is because this herb stimulates androgen receptors in the brain, which makes the body much more responsive to testosterone and other sex hormones
- Butterfly Pea - A natural sexual enhancer which has been said to enhance mood, boosts libido in women as it works as a natural aphrodisiac, and supports fertility
- Horny Goat Weed - Horny goat weed has been known to improve libido in both sexes, and improve erectile dysfunction in men
- Bee Pollen - Bee pollen has every vitamin, mineral, amino acid, antioxidant and other trace element known to man. Some of the main ways it can benefit you sexually are: improves endurance and vitality, potent aphrodisiac, improves fertility, boosts libido, and enhances sexual pleasure. You can sprinkle bee pollen over your cereal, yoghurt, smoothie bowls, granola, or ice-cream
I love this this Eden Healthfoods High Octane natural supplement as it is made using organic and wildcrafted whole herbs and superfoods formulated specifically to provide energy, increase endurance and enhance focus without the caffeine. It also contains three of the natural herbs mentioned above: Tribulus, Damiana, and Ginseng.
Rule out any physical causesLow libido and sex drive is a common problem that can affect people of all ages, genders, and relationship types.
If you are experiencing low libido, it can be a good idea to discuss this with your healthcare provider and rule out a physical cause. If you have any sort of pain associated with sex, it’s a good idea to speak to a doctor, as you may have a treatable condition.