Is your peak sex life behind you? In your 20's you couldn’t get enough, but now it seems like sex is something you need to check off the to-do list...right beside the task of doing the dishes, laundry, and taking care of the animals.
Many factors, including your relationship status, self-image, happiness in your relationship, and past traumas, can sure impact your libido. But what if you’re not struggling with those factors and you're still not getting excited in the bedroom? What if you're head over heels with your significant other, but sex is the last thing you're thinking about?
You may want to look into what issue is contributing to your low sex drive in the first place and how you could benefit from libido-boosting herbs.
What Causes Low Sex Drive?
Imbalanced sex hormones could play a role in your reduced desire to have sex. Estrogen, for example, increases during your follicular phase and peaks during ovulation. This evolutionary design encourages reproduction since high estrogen levels are associated with increased libido.
So, that increased sex drive you’re supposed to experience right before you release an egg during ovulation is no evolutionary mistake!
If your estrogen or progesterone hormones are imbalanced, it could cause a disruption in this natural process, making it hard to feel sexy in the bedroom no matter what part of the cycle you’re in.
The Birth Control Pill
The birth control pill inhibits your natural cyclic flow of sex hormones, stopping the rise and fall of estrogen levels as mentioned above. Because you're not experiencing those high estrogen levels and actually even ovulating on the pill, you won’t experience the heightened sex drive you normally would mid-cycle.
Unfortunately, the pill can numb your sex life along with many other negative and surprising side effects.
Elevated Stress Levels
First off, when you are stressed out and have a million thoughts floating around in your head (what's for dinner?, which kids have sports tonight?, what work is left outstanding at work?, dang, you missed a dentist appointment...again), it's pretty hard to get in the mood.
But beyond the mental aspect of wanting to get sexy time on, stress can impact your body physically too. When you feel stressed, your cortisol levels increase. Your body will put its energy into responding to stress instead of reproduction. This is because, from an evolutionary standpoint, stress used to mean danger and life-threatening. Because your body is responding to the stress, it will put progesterone production on the back burner. This could lead you to lower progesterone levels and low libido.
As you age, it may seem like your sex drive and sex life starts to fade. If you think you're the only one, you're not! In fact, around 1 in 5 females say they experience a loss in sex drive once they hit menopause.
As you get older, estrogen and testosterone start to diminish. Again, from nature's point of view, this makes total sense. After menopause, you don't need to make babies anymore, and so reproduction isn't necessary. Since reproduction isn't your body's priority, it doesn't focus on enhanced libido.
And let's not skip the fact that as you get older, you've been with the same person for decades. As a couple, you may find enjoyment in other areas of your life rather than just your sex life. But remember, there’s no reason you need to slow down if you don’t want to!
If you're eating processed foods and an overall unhealthy diet, your libido's not going to thank you for it. Poor eating habits can increase your risk for imbalanced hormones and weight gain, which may lower your self-esteem and lead to uneven sex hormone ratios. Imbalanced estrogen to progesterone ratios can be a significant factor in your reduced sexual drive.
If you aren't consuming enough healthy fats, it could impact your testosterone levels. Testosterone levels (yes, even in females) are needed for enhanced libido!
How to Increase Sex Drive Naturally
To get your sex drive back and feel sexy in the bedroom, here are some first steps you can take in your daily life. These can boost your libido and help with your overall health!
Eat a well-rounded diet consisting of proteins, healthy fats, and carbohydrates. Eat whole organic foods as much as possible. This encourages your body to stay in balance.
Consume healthy fats like avocados, nuts, and seeds.
Avoid toxins that could disrupt your hormones.
Reduce your stress by practicing breathing exercises, journaling, yoga, and not over-scheduling yourself.
Add libido-boosting herbs to your daily routine.
3 Best Herbs for Libido
Damiana for Boosting Sex Drive
Damiana is an ancient aphrodisiac. It’s a wild shrub that grows in Mexico, Central America, and the West Indies. Damiana has both libido-boosting and erectile enhancing properties. The flavonoid compounds present in the leaves help increase circulation and sensitivity to female organs, offering a pro-sexual effect.
How to Consume Damiana
You can consume damiana up to three times a day as a tea. You simply seep 1 teaspoon (6-12 g) of dried damiana leaves in boiling water for 10 minutes. You can also take it as a capsule or liquid extract form.
It would be best if you talked to an expert herbalist about the dosage that is right for your body since it depends on a number of factors, including body size, other medications/ supplements you are taking, and current health and goals.
Ashwagandha Increases Libido
While ashwagandha is a known adaptogenic herb that helps the body respond to stress, this magical herb should also be known for its ability to improve sexual function in women and increase sperm count in men. Ashwagandha is one of my top go-to herbs for helping my clients reach their health goals because there are so many benefits.
How to take Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha dosage ranges from 125 mg to 1,250 mg per day. Be patient with ashwagandha. It can take up to two weeks to feel its effects. It's vital you work with a healthcare provider who truly knows herbs so they can recommend you the correct dosage that is safe yet effective.
Shatavari for Enhancing Sex Drive
This is the new maca! It's a great hormone balancer, enhances libido, and improves fertility! It can also help with stress and burnout, which can help you relax (which we know is much needed when trying to get in the mood).
How to Consume Shatavari
You can take ¼-1/2 teaspoon of Shatavari powder (500 milligrams) twice a day, or you can take a capsule twice a day.
Work with a Functional Health and Herbal Expert, Jessica Meyers
If you are struggling with low libido and a handful of other nagging symptoms and want more expert recommendations, contact me. I'm Jessica Meyers, a Functional Health and Herbal Expert. I can recommend libido-boosting herbs to my clients, as well as connect you with functional lab tests, and offer personalized lifestyle, diet, and supplement recommendations. Make an appointment with me to get started today!