Working with thousands of people on their health over the past 30+ years, I have heard just about every question you can think of, and some questions you may wonder how people come up with. But as they say, you can’t get the answer if you don’t ask the question. Lately, I have had many questions on improving libido or improving sexual performance for men and women. Here are some helpful tips, herbal and otherwise, which you might be able to use to help with intimate issues.
First of all, it is important to remember that having a healthy libido is a normal human function. It is also essential that your body is healthy overall. Many people have a healthy libido even if they are not healthy, but having a healthy body, can definitely help you sexually, including attracting you to the opposite sex. It is most effective for people to focus on overall general health instead of just the “magic bullet” theory of taking a pill for a particular symptom. Otherwise, it is like fixing a leaky roof on the house and then finding out the house’s foundation was off, causing the roof issue initially. A healthy body builds a solid foundation, helping the total body, instead of just attempting to repair a symptom.
The first place to start is with your digestion, then the elimination systems. If these systems are working optimally, the body can usually take care of the rest. But if you are not assimilating food properly or eliminating toxins the way nature intended, it isn’t surprising that you might be having other issues. Once your body can absorb the nutrients it needs, your hormones will be able to balance themselves out. It is also important that the fluids within your body are adequate and your mind healthy as well. Of course, this isn’t a perfect world, and sometimes our bodies have imbalances, usually because of nutritional deficiencies, toxicity, or emotional issues. But focusing on these areas can get you going in the right direction.
Nutritional deficiencies and toxicity can cause imbalances and weaknesses in any/all of our bodies’ systems. This is basic common sense — if you put the right type of food in the body, your body will have the nutrients it needs to build new cells, repair damaged cells, and flush toxins. If you put the wrong kind of fuel in your body, you are now adding more toxins. This creates extra work for your body, causing you to be exhausted and causing your organs to be overworked and undernourished.
We must eat what the correct fuel is for our bodies. The correct fuel is fresh fruits and vegetables, quality whole grains, and meats. Our bodies are not meant to handle all of the food additives that are in today’s foods. It is interesting to think about how many billions of dollars are spent to get us to purchase sodas, packaged food, and other “foods” that do not actually feed us nutritionally. You don’t see organic healthy foods advertised usually, only the items that we wouldn’t normally purchase if we were listening to our bodies instead of the advertisements. When we are sick, we are nutrient deficient or toxic, not drug or junk food deficient.
In traditional Chinese and Western medicine, energy is linked to the “fire” element. Thus, a person with a strong fire element will have a good sexual drive, while a “burned out” person will not. This is recognized in the popular idiom as well. People often say they are “burning with desire,” “lighting someone’s fire,” or getting “hot” about intimate desires. The opposing side of this is if a person becomes “cold” or “frigid” when they lose that desire. A loss of fire characterizes the “fire-weakened” constitution in Chinese medicine. Symptoms may include nervous exhaustion, foggy thinking, forgetfulness, insomnia, fatigue, mental exhaustion, cold limbs, and lack of sexual desire.
Since our glandular system regulates our sexual drive, the various glands’ weakness is a major cause of loss of desire. This is not just the sexual glands, but also the pituitary, thyroid, adrenals, pancreas, and liver. Thyroid function has a strong connection with sexual drive, and low thyroid can cause PMS symptoms, cold, fatigue, and reduced sexual drive. Low adrenal response and blood sugar issues may also be related to sexual problems. Many herbs and supplements can help to balance support the glandular system. Check with your health professional to find the best product for you.
There are several foods and herbs that have earned a reputation as aphrodisiacs. These items are known to tone up the reproductive organs, increase desire, and otherwise improve intimate relations. Some of these include the ginsengs (including Panax, American, and Siberian, not a true ginseng, now called Eleuthero), horny goat weed, maca, cordyceps, deer horn shavings, damiana, saw palmetto, DHEA, sarsaparilla, Yohimbe, zinc, Vitamin E, oysters, red raspberry, bee pollen, and licorice root. Do they really work? Yes, for many people, they can.
Several of these herbs help boost the energy of the body or the “fire.” If you have heard, “Not tonight dear, I’m too tired,” it may not just be an excuse. When the body is exhausted, it shuts down non-essential functions to conserve energy. The lack of proper nutrition will often show up in the hair, skin, and nails since these body parts are considered less vital to survival than the liver or pancreas. Unfortunately, sexual relations are optional for physical survival; therefore, their desire can shut down as a person loses energy. There are herbs for specific glands suffering from overuse, poor nutrition, and/or exhaustion. Still, other herbs help increase circulation to the sexual organs, increasing desire. There are herbal formulas available from your herbalist or health food store that may mix several of these ingredients for the best results in an easy to take capsule form.
There is no natural magic bullet that works for everyone. It’s all about finding the parts of your body that need nourishing; feed those, so your body has what it needs to do its job correctly. Check with your natural health professional for the best results.
It is also important to read the labels when purchasing these products. Many of the “natural” products may contain healthy nutrients, but sadly many products contain artificial ingredients, sugar, and preservatives. Read the label to make sure you are getting just the natural ingredients; otherwise, you are just putting more toxins into your body, defeating the purpose of using natural products. Look at the “Other Ingredients” on the label, that is typically where the toxic ingredients are listed.
Lack of sexual desire may not be entirely a physical problem. Often there are emotional issues each person must get in touch with that they may need to overcome. Usually, these stem from childhood issues that manifest within our job, relationships, or other parts of our life. Many self-help books point out that if we have trouble with a particular issue in our lives, we will keep returning to that issue until it is resolved in our lives. Counseling is often helpful, as is talking with your partner, journaling, or reading self-help books. This is a very unique and personal issue for everyone. But I can guarantee you this; if you do nothing, nothing will ever change.
Flower essences may be beneficial for people with sexual problems. Fuchsia helps people release deeply repressed emotions such as sexuality, anger, or grief. Basil is used to help integrate spirituality and sexuality in love relationships. It has been used to help couples get to the roots of their conflicts. Sticky Monkeyflower has been used to dispel fear and confusion about intimacy and integrate feelings of love and sexuality. It is reported to be helpful for blocks in intimacy due to unresolved pain in past relationships. Flower essences can be taken internally or used topically. Check with your health professional for best results.
Sometimes people need a little help learning how to improve their sex live and intimacy. Unfortunately, many sexual manuals are offensive to people’s religious beliefs or moral standards. Some are very tasteful and helpful. One of the best is Love, Sex, and Nutrition by Dr. Bernard Jensen.
This is written so that it should not be offensive to anyone and offers good counsel on nutrition, health, attraction, marriage, and intimacy.
Regardless of what you decide to use to help yourself or your partner, I encourage you to enrich this part of your life and enjoy the feeling of closeness and love that intimate relations should bring. It is an important and fulfilling part of your life — don’t miss out!