What is Libido?
In short, libido is sexual desire, referring to the appetite for sex. Psychiatry describes libido as the energy of sexual drive – a component of life’s instincts. It is an important and natural part of health, though desire for sex is very personal and ranges from high to low.
If a person thinks of sex often and can’t wait to engage in the act, he or she has a high libido. On the other hand, low libido occurs when there is no desire for sexual relations. If libido has deviated from its normal state, there may be cause for concern. The good thing is that libido can be boosted naturally.
When Does Libido Need a Good Boost?
Libido is dependent on your baseline which is whatever your normal drive has been during your adult life. If you’ve been dependent on sexual engagement once per day, that is your baseline. On the other hand, once per week or month may be your norm. The cause for concern comes when you have a significant deviation from your baseline.
Fluctuations in libido occur from time to time depending on relationship status, stress levels, and age. Abnormally low sexual drive, to the point of non-existence, may be caused by an underlying medical condition or psychological issues. Chronic disease like hypothyroidism, for example, can zap a person’s energy and diminish sexual drive. Psychological problems such as depression is a common cause for sexual dysfunction. Side effects from pharmaceuticals, such as anti-depressants and birth control pills, can also lower libido. With any significant change to your baseline libido, a boost is definitely needed.
3 Botanical Herbs to Boost Libido
Talking with a healthcare practitioner about sexual drive isn’t easy for most people. Recommendations for sex education classes, counseling, medication, or hormone therapy for low libido are most likely. Unfortunately, conventional medication and hormone therapy don’t come without side effects. The good news is that a variety of natural solutions exist that can help anyone get their groove back.
Botanicals can enhance sexual drive in a variety of ways. Depending on the underlying cause of low libido, herbs can help improve circulation, enhanced nerve activity, hormone regulation, or physical stimulation. Following are three powerful botanical herbs that can help boost libido.
TONGKAT ALI ROOT (LONGJACK)
A highly sought-after herb for libido is tongkat ali, most commonly found in southeast Asia. The root from this tall, slender evergreen shrub-tree has earned a reputation in Malaysia and Indonesia for being a powerful overall hormone regulator – one that stimulates sexual desire. Tongkat ali boosts libido in both men and women.
Men receive an increased testosterone production with Tongkat ali. Because of this, it has the ability to significantly improve erectile dysfunction. The largest study on this herb showed that 71.7 percent of men treated with Tongkat ali had normal testosterone levels after being treated for one month with 200 milligrams daily. This is comparison to 35.5 percent of men with normal testosterone levels prior to treatment.
Women improve libido due to Tongkat ali's balancing effect. Improvements can be felt after four weeks of taking 200 milligrams daily. This level enhances the metabolism of pregnenolone and progesterone to yield more dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and androstenedione. For women who only need a testosterone boost, only 50 to 100 milligrams are needed to restore normal testosterone levels.
Stressed-related sexual dysfunction also improves with Tongkat ali as it improves stress hormones and mood which are often linked to decreased sexual desire. Tension, anger, and confusion can be reduced as much as 11 to 15 percent. Cortisol exposure may be reduced by 16 percent, and testosterone may increase by 37 percent. Based on available scientific evidence in humans, including dieters and athletes, a dosage range of 50 to 200 milligrams of water-extract tongkat ali root (standardized to 22 percent eurpeptides) may be taken daily.
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As one of the most highly regarded libido boosters is a plant root that grows in the Peruvian Andes called maca. This starchy, potato-like tuber has been a primary food staple for millions of Peruvians for at least 3,000 years. Maca is rich in plant sterols and is a good source of vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin C, calcium, iron, potassium, copper, and manganese. Though researchers aren’t exactly sure how maca works on libido, they have proven that it is a powerful booster for both men and women.
Significant improvements were made by taking 1.5 to 3 grams of per day (3 grams for those taking an SSRI). One scoop of the following supplement provides five grams, so you may want to take half of a scoop to start and increase it every couple of weeks until you find the right dosage for you personally.
HORNY GOAT WEED
While this herb has had its name since the northern and southern dynasties of the fifth century in China, horny goat weed may seem a bit cliché since we’re talking about sexual desire. However, this herb has a fascinating history of improving libido. Legend has it that a Chinese physician began studying the herb after a goat herder told him about a grass that was making his goats very sexually active. Horny goat weed is beneficial for both men and women.
Men – One of the active properties of horny goat weed is icariin, a type of flavonoid that is effective in treating erectile dysfunction. Icariin is a vasodilator, meaning it increases blood flow, which also allows blood vessels in the penis to have better circulation. Icariin has also been proven to increase testosterone levels which, in turn, boost libido.
Women – Because it contains many different flavonoid compounds associated with decreased menopausal symptoms (icariin included), horny goat weed has shown to improve libido in women.
The following products contain both maca and horny goat weed so that you can benefit from both. It comes in formulas for both men and women:
Create a Fire...
If you’re desiring more libido, many natural options are available to you. Try one of the botanical herbs mentioned in this article. Maca root, Tongkat ali root, or horny goat weed may just create a fire in your bedroom that you’ve never dreamed of before. Though you may experience an improvement in sexual desire within just a few weeks, be sure to take it daily for at least three months for optimal benefit.