The libido is the established human feelings and instincts within us, both men and women, which we equate with sex drive. Here we look briefly at the purposes (and some of the weaknesses) of the human libido, and discuss a variety of herbs and nutrients which can support the libido in aging men and women.
When Libido Gets Low
Lowered libido is something that at least 1 in 5 men and women will experience at some point. It can happen for a variety of reasons. These can include depression, stress, and anxiety, as well as relationship problems with your partner. Libido can also be affected by the consumption of alcohol, as well as the use of certain medications. However, one of the most common factors in decreased libido is aging. Reduced production of sex hormones, and other factors, can reduce the interest and drive or sex in aging men & women.
A common side effect of reduced libido is the reduced ability to perform sexually. For men, this means erectile dysfunction (ED); for women it can mean vaginismus (the tightening of the vaginal muscles before penetration). Health factors can impact libido health in men and women.
Supplements to Lift Libido
Certain natural herbs and compounds can physiologically benefit someone with low libido or impaired sexual functioning. Consider how these supplements might help you, and talk to your healthcare provider about them.
DHEA, short for dehydroepiandrosterone, is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands, and which contributes to the production of sexual hormones. Some studies suggest a few benefits to libido and sex drive: increased libido, improved sexual functioning, and the mitigation of erectile dysfunction (ED) in men.
Maca is an herb which is widely touted for its ability to support the libido. The root of the maca plant is one of the parts which is typically ground down and concentrated as an oral supplement. Maca is known for bolstering the libido without raising or affecting testosterone levels. The reputation of maca’s benefits to the libido has been supported by credible scientific study. This benefit is generally applicable to most adults, but has been touted specifically for use in postmenopausal women. Maca should be taken consistently in order for you to see the real benefits.
L-arginine is an amino acid which can contribute to sexual enhancement in men.
Amino acids generally contribute to the structure of various proteins, but L-arginine also contributes to the formation of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide helps to relax the blood vessels and thus stimulate blood flow. In turn, men can experience healthier erections when sexually aroused. L-arginine should be taken with your healthcare provider’s recommendation, since it’s not recommended for men with past heart issues.
Tribulus terrestris is a leafy plant native to China and Indian medicinal traditions. Scientific study supports the use of tribulus terrestris for increasing sex drive in both men and women. Some studies also suggest it can potentially mitigate ED.
Ginkgo biloba, like maca root, is an herb which can support sexual functioning in men by supporting the production of nitric oxide and improving blood flow. It could be helpful when taken alone, or in combination with other libido-enhancing herbs.
Preserving your libido and sexual functionality can become a concern, especially when the age factor comes into play. Consider how the supplements above might be of help. It’s highly recommended that you talk to your healthcare provider about any of these before taking them, since many of these can interact with certain medications or produce other side effects.