3 Natural Libido Enhancers (Especially for You Ladies)
We recently discussed how training and a diet too low in fat can really kill your sex drive. And while I will always recommend a balanced workout routine and a diet that includes a healthy amount of fat, some of us want to jumpstart things, am I right? We want to see changes now! Tweaking your training and diet will help rev up your libido but it takes time - a lot of time. Since patience isn’t a virtue that I currently possess, I am not going to preach to you about having it. Also, I know some of you may have had your hormones checked out and found that they are off kilter, but you’d rather not go down the hormone replacement road just yet.
So, this article is for both of you camps of people – the impatient and the newly diagnosed seeking a more natural treatment. I am going to give you three recommendations for supplements that can light the fire under your libido.
There are many different reasons why your libido might not be what it used to be and different supplements serve different purposes. We’ll start with the most obvious: low testosterone and/or estrogen (for the ladies). When our levels of either hormone are too low we just don’t have sexual urges we used to nor the physical responsiveness. As both estrogen and testosterone go down, so does the sensitivity of the genitalia and the lubrication needed to make sex comfortable. As you might imagine that makes initiating sex and actually achieving orgasm harder. So, we need something to boost our testosterone, and perhaps estrogen, in a natural way.
DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is a hormone that is converted to testosterone and estrogen in the body. If levels are too low, as they often are as you age or when you are stressed, you will produce less sex hormones. Therefore, supplementing with DHEA will often times increase testosterone and/or estrogen levels.
Women respond best to 50-100 mg of DHEA daily.
I would also highly recommend adding in the supplement DIM (diindolylmethane - pictured below). This is a phytonutrient that can help with the healthy metabolism of estrogens and can decrease something called sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG).
If you’re taking a birth control pill or drink regularly or in excess, your liver will produce SHBG. It does exactly what it sounds like it does - binds hormones, specifically testosterone. When a hormone is bound it can’t do its job. So, your lovely testosterone gets bound to SHBG and just floats around not making you want to have sex. Boo!
Also, if you’ve checked your hormones and you know you have high estrogen levels, DIM can enhance the healthy metabolism of estrogen. This basically means it decreases the bad estrogen, ups the good stuff, and can decrease cramps, bloating, and heavy cycles on top of making you feel a little more amorous. Score!
About 100-200 mg per day is enough to reap the benefits.
3. Yohimbine and Arginine
Sometimes blood flow to the genitalia is the biggest reason for a decreased sex drive or an inability to actually climax. We ladies are typically slow starters anyway but if it takes longer than normal this may rally be a damper on date night and might make the whole thing seem like too much effort. So, there are two more supplements that work very well together to enhance blood flow and the ability to orgasm - yohimbine and arginine.
Arginine is actually the supplement that increases blood flow. It works like the pre-workout supplement you might use. It causes vasodilation and you get a “pump” but in a different area than what your pre-workout supplement was intended. Studies have shown it works best when combined with yohimbine (pictured right). The exact mechanism by which yohimbine increases libido and sexual responsiveness isn’t clear, but when you put it together with arginine good things happen!
Dosages of around 6 mg of both supplements have been shown to increase libido, but some sources suggest 500-1000 mg of arginine is more beneficial. I’d say it would be best to start low and titrate up to see how you tolerate it. I promise your significant other won’t mind experimenting.
There are many other natural supplements that may be beneficial as well. I suggest trying things systematically until you find the right combination for you. And don’t forget that you also need to enhance your sexuality mentally and emotionally as well. You can’t expect to come home from a crazy day at work, walk in the house, and be ready to go.
You also can’t expect to be super into a partner sexually if the rest of the relationship is flawed. Figure out what makes you feel sexy. Make sure you are happy in the other areas of your life as well. And if you simply need to relax in order to set the mood, consider wine (not too much) your aphrodisiac of choice. Now you have some things to experiment with - so go get busy!
DHEA graphic by Edgar181 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
DIM graphic by Fvasconcellos (talk · contribs) (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.