How to Boost Your Libido Naturally?Luke Coutinho
Low libido or sex drive is a common problem many people face today. We come across several of these cases in our own practice. Holistic, integrative, and lifestyle medicine not only covers nutrition, exercise, sleep, and emotional health, but also sexual wellness. Healthy aging is not just dependent on the number of friends you have, how much time you spend at the gym, or how much organic food you eat. Sex and making love is a natural and beautiful part of graceful aging. As long as it is safe, consensual, and respectful – appreciate its beauty.
Sex is natural and beautiful aspect of life. Photo Credits: Unsplash
Sex has been a part of evolution. It has always existed in the animal kingdom as it does among the human species. It is unfortunate today that when people struggle with low libido problems, they start blaming it on their age. As couples start aging, they think their libido is falling. And so, they should have lesser sex. But a good sex life can not only improve the quality of your relationship but also your life. Research today points out that couples in their 70s and 80s who enjoy good health have the frequency of having sex once a week, whereas many couples in their 20s and 30s don’t even have sex once a month.
Understand that low libido isn’t a disease. It is a common sexual dysfunction. Very few cases of low libido are related to other medical conditions like poorly managed diabetes, high blood pressure, erectile dysfunction (among men), or menopause (among women). There are instances where women going through menopause experience a drop in their estrogen levels and low libido.
But today, we will address some commonalities, possible causes, and natural ways to maintain or boost libido.
- Sleep deprivation
The number one commonality we observe in people with low libido is lack of sleep. Now, this is common sense, not rocket science. When you have disturbed sleep patterns or sleep deprivation, you wake up tired. It throws your hormones off balance. One of the components of good libido is hormonal balance. So if your testosterone levels dip too low, you will not feel aroused to have sex. If your estrogen dips and your progesterone and cortisol (stress hormone) levels shoot up, you will face problems with low libido.
Sleep is the magical drug that nature has given us completely free of cost. Deep quality sleep recharges your body and rebalances your hormones naturally. It will help set the foundation for your body and mind to have the right amount of libido.
Sleep deprivation is also a vicious cycle. It is connected with the anxiety that you are likely to experience the following day. So, focus on fixing your sleep patterns. Check out pre-bedtime rituals for better sleep here.
Are you sleep deprived? Photo Credits: Unsplash
- Chronic anxiety and stress
Chronic anxiety and stress affect you at a deep cellular level. A good way to explain its connection with sex is to dive into understanding your autonomous nervous system and further into its branches – the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system.
The autonomous nervous system controls various bodily functions from your heart rate, breathing, digestion, excretion, to even arousal. While your sympathetic nervous system activates your flight or fight response, your parasympathetic nervous system activates your rest and digest or feed and breed mode. When you are constantly anxious, you are in the sympathetic nervous system where the body cannot raise its libido. For improved libido, your body needs to activate the parasympathetic nervous system where you are at ease. So look at natural ways to overcome anxiety.
If you’re going through chronic anxiety and sleepless nights – your libido may be automatically low. So no amount of pills, viagra, and supplements will fix your problem. Address the root cause of your anxiety. Check out this flow exercise to calm your anxiety.
Are you chronically stressed? Photo Credits: Pixabay
- Sedentary lifestyle
If you are sedentary, you automatically become lethargic. This reduces the blood circulation to your reproductive organs and can result in low libido. Good blood circulation to the clitoris among women and to the penis among men is important for a healthy sex drive. Your heart is responsible for controlling and regulating blood flow in the human body. High or low blood pressure and inflammation can affect blood flow to your reproductive organs. Sitting is the new smoking. So, keep incorporating adequate activity into your routine to improve your libido.
Doing jump moves, squats, pull-ups, push-ups, and weight training can boost your testosterone levels. Practice meditation, deep breathing, and yoga. Yoga improves flexibility and the way your body utilizes oxygen. It makes you more mindful and calmer sexually. Pranayama and breathing exercises can help improve your sexual performance. If you continue to be sedentary, no amount of performance-enhancing pills, supplements, and vitamins will fix your problem.
Are you moving enough? Photo Credits: Unsplash
- Self-worth, pornography, and foreplay
Another commonality that we see in most people we counsel is low self-worth. When you struggle with low self-worth, you constantly compare yourself to others. In your social circles, you may come across couples who boast about their sex lives. When you start believing that your sex life is not as great as theirs, your self-worth drops, and so does your libido.
Similarly, when you watch porn excessively and cannot distinguish the line between reel and real sex, and start building unrealistic expectations – your self-worth and libido fall. You need to remind yourself that what you see on the other side view of the screen is not really how sex is meant to happen.
Pornography is designed to get you attracted, aroused, and hooked. So, when you start believing that what you see on screen should reflect in how you please your partner, you are mistaken. When you are unable to do this in your bedroom, your self-worth drops, and your libido automatically falls. Your libido is connected with the way your thoughts, emotions, and feelings. Know how much porn to watch and how it can control your mind.
Understand that foreplay is crucial. What happens in movies and TV series can warp our idea of intimacy. You often see couples on-screen get straight into the act, experiment with positions, and have this brilliant make-believe hot sex life. But foreplay is hardly shown. When you try to replicate this in real life and do not enjoy it, your self-worth drops.
If you have low libido, it is worth investing time into foreplay. Foreplay is what actually builds up the final climax and beauty of sex. The power of touching, hugging, kissing, and foreplay can boost your libido and contribute to better sex life. We are not machines but humans at the end of the day. What you see on the screen is not real. Those are airbrushed actors and actresses following a script. Do not set your benchmarks based on what you see on the internet.
- Quality of your relationships and communication
Many people have labeled themselves as having low libido because of their strained relationships with their partners. If you are in a toxic relationship that lacks trust and communication, you are less likely to have a healthy sex life. Lack of trust and open communication will not allow you to be your true self. It will emotionally drain you and your partner both.
Similarly, in a relationship, if there is a lack of attraction or the absence of effort to create it, your sex drive is likely to suffer. When relationships first begin, there is plenty of kissing, foreplay, date nights, and sex. The honeymoon phase of relationships is one of the best. But as we move on and start taking our partners for granted – the emotional bonds weaken, and we lose the chemistry we once had. It affects our libido, too.
Rekindle the spark, invest in that romance, go on those dates and make them feel loved. If there are misunderstandings, lay them down on the table and talk through them. So, work with your relationships and have clear communication with your partners. Trust and open communication will improve your sexual health and compatibility.
Do you have meaningful conversations with your partner? Photo Credits: Unsplash
- Sex as taboo
Another gap today is how sex is considered a taboo subject. People think sex is a negative subject to be uttered in hushed whispers. The truth is: The more that we subdue it as a country, the more unsolicited behaviors and crime will be on the rise. So, have healthy discussions around sex with your teenagers and partners. Keep it respectful, emphasize consent, and respect boundaries. Create a safe space.
You may have heard smoking is injurious to health. But did you know it is equally damaging to your sexual wellness too? Men, the more you smoke, the more the possibility of erectile dysfunction. When you smoke excessively, your arteries constrict. This means you have poor blood flow to your penis. It makes it more difficult to get or maintain an erection. So, nix smoking for better sex life.
Do you smoke excessively? Photo Credits: Unsplash
- Dealing with trauma and past abuse
Several individuals have suffered some form of sexual abuse in their lifetime. The trauma resulting from these experiences can scar you for life if left unaddressed. Seeking sex therapy or counseling can help you work with your fears. So many people feel stuck in their marriages or relationships where they cannot truly enjoy intimacy because of their past. Empathize with your partner, do not trivialize their wounds, and give them your undivided attention and support to heal. Seek professional help to get the right guidance for the journey ahead.
When you overtrain and do not give yourself enough rest to recover, you can struggle with low testosterone (in men) and estrogen (in women). Lack of rest combined with sleep deprivation will shoot your inflammation through the roof and affect your heart health in the long run too. Don’t just sweat buckets in the gym, give your body the time and space it needs to rejuvenate. If rest and recovery are not part of your workout regimen, your plan is incomplete. Focus on it.
- Oral contraceptives
Check for the side-effects of the pills you are on. Photo Credits: Unsplash
As straightforward as it sounds, today many women with PCOD and ovarian issues are handed oral contraceptives like candy. We are not trying to make a blanket statement here. Yes, a few of them may need it. But what most of them need is a lifestyle overhaul. Oral contraceptives are infamous for decreasing libido in women.
There are so many young girls today in the age group of 13 to 16 put on oral contraceptive doses. Make an informed decision before you put chemicals in your body. Don’t rely on them unless your condition needs a prescription. Making lifestyle changes can help naturally balance your hormones. Learn how you can achieve this by working with our integrative hormonal care experts here.
- Nutrient Deficiencies
Men struggling with low testosterone also need to check for zinc, Vitamin D, and omega-3 deficiencies. These nutrients play an important role in the generation of testosterone in your body when paired with adequate regular exercise. Check and fix these deficiencies.
- Foods to promote good libido
When it comes to improving low libido, eating a nutritious diet is extremely important. Poor eating habits affect your blood flow. So eat your fruits, nuts, seeds, and leafy greens for good blood circulation to your reproductive organs. Replace junk, processed, chemically-laden foods, refined and white flours/sugars that drain your body of energy. A clean diet and balanced rainbow meals boost your energy levels and help your body perform better to improve your libido.
Eat fruits rich in collagen and Vitamin C like bananas, watermelon, lemons, and pomegranates, among others. Strawberries and raspberries are loaded with zinc that can boost your sex hormones. Avocados contain folic acid and vitamin B6 that boost your sex drive, build energy, and stabilize hormones. Peaches improve sperm count and quality and are considered effective in reducing infertility.
Eat your fruits. Photo credits: Unsplash
- Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds rich in zinc and omega-3 like cashews, almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, hazelnuts, and peanuts, among others, are beneficial to boost your sex drive. Whole free-range eggs can help improve erectile dysfunction.
Soak your nuts. Photo Credits: Unsplash
- Dark chocolate
The darker a chocolate, the better it is for your libido. Dark chocolate contains tryptophan, a precursor to serotonin and endorphins that enhance your mood and boost your sex drive. Ensure to consume the right quantity and quality of dark chocolate. Do not overdo it. Buy good quality dark chocolate here.
Do you like dark chocolate? Photo Credits: Unsplash
The Natural Aphrodisiac Mix
We are not here to claim that drinking this concoction will build your libido right up. Do it if it suits you, and give it time.
- 1/2 tsp fenugreek or methi powder
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
- 3 to 5 pure saffron strands
- 2 cloves
- Boil all the above ingredients in 2 cups of water or a cup of pure hormone-free Indian cow (desi) milk.
- Add 1/2 to 1 tbsp raw and unpasteurized honey.
- Sip slowly as a bedtime drink.
Disclaimer: Those under specific medications or treatments must discuss them with their healthcare expert before consuming this concoction.
The ingredients in this concoction are natural aphrodisiacs that may improve your sex drive, stamina, and energy levels. Have this an hour or two before bedtime. Do this for a couple of days. Since it is natural, it takes time to get into your system and help you. But again, this is not going to work if you’re highly stressed, anxious, or sleep-deprived. Fix your root causes first.
Do you drink out of plastic bottles? Photo credits: Unsplash
Stop drinking water out of plastic bottles. BPA which stands for bisphenol A (an industrial chemical used to make certain plastics popularly packaged for food and beverages) can leach into your system. It is an endocrine disruptor, can impact sperm count among men, and act as an estrogen disruptor among women. Similarly, avoid eating processed foods in microwavable bags. These have a chemical called PFOA (Perfluorooctanoic acid) that has the same effect as BPA.
- A shift in perspective about aging
By the end of this article, you may have realized that it all boils down to lifestyle. Take what you can and also do your research if you must. But what we need in addition to a lifestyle shift is a mindset shift. We need to stop looking at aging as the end of a beautiful aspect of our lives. Many women think that when they hit menopause, their sex life is over. Others think becoming older means giving up sex. It doesn’t have to be that way.
How do you perceive aging? Photo credits: Unsplash
Change your mindset before it starts controlling you. What you believe is what will happen to you. The choice is yours. Before you hop onto chemical-laden pills and supplements with tremendous side effects to boost your sex drive – address the basics. See if a natural approach helps you and how your body responds. Tell us if it worked for you.
If you are struggling with seeking the right help, get in touch with our Sexual Wellness Consultant at You Care Wellness. Book your one-on-one slot here.
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