7 Natural Ways To Boost Libido

We all get days when we’re not quite in the mood.

We blame it on feeling tired, stressed, or just not having the time. Sound familiar?

You’re not alone, with research showing that about 43% of American women and 31% of American men have experienced sexual dysfunction at some point in their lives.

Many factors can affect your libido, from aging and health problems to intimacy issues, anxiety, and depression.

The cause will vary according to the individual, and while having a low sex drive is not generally a problem, it can harm a person’s self-esteem and relationships.

Luckily, getting back in the mood is easier than you might think. Here are 7 natural ways to effectively increase libido.

1) De-Stress

While it can be easy to dismiss stress as just a normal part of everyday life, it doesn’t have to be.

Stress impacts your health in a myriad of ways, from increasing the risk of a heart attack to taking its toll on mental health.

It can also dampen your sex drive. When under stress, your body reacts with the fight or flight response, a psychological reaction that prepares to either stay or run.

When you experience this response, your heart rate will increase, blood pressure will rise, and your breathing will become more rapid. Meanwhile, non-essential functions, like sex drive, are diminished.

Practicing stress management can not only help to improve low libido but also your overall health.

Effective methods of de-stressing can range from listening to music, reading a good book, to enjoying a lavender bath.

Yoga has also been revered for thousands of years as the ultimate stress buster. It has been shown that it can help to modulate the stress response system. This, in turn, helps to reduce heart rate, lower blood pressure, and improve respiration.

2) Get a Goodnight’s Sleep

One night of restless sleep can have an impact on your mood, productivity, and yes, even your sex drive.

A study published in the Sleep Science Journal reviewed the relation between sleep quality and sexual arousal in 275 Portuguese men. The results showed that poorer sleep quality correlated with greater unstimulated sexual arousal in men with higher T levels.

Sleep deprivation is a prevalent problem, and according to a study by the CDC, more than a third of American adults are not getting enough sleep regularly.

Some tips for getting a goodnight’s sleep and improving your sex life include:

  • Limiting blue light exposure (phone screens, tablets, and TV). This can also help to strengthen intimacy with your partner, with some research suggesting that too much attention to screens could be damaging to relationships.

  • Makes changes to your bedroom. Your environment can influence you it a number of ways, and the same goes for your bedroom environment. (Think about it, a messy room isn’t going to arouse yourself or your partner). How you setup is a key component in getting a good night’s sleep.

    These factors include temperature, noise, lighting, and furniture arrangement- all of which can also help set the mood for romantic relations.

  • Limit coffee and alcohol before bed. These can stimulate your nervous system and disrupt your sleeping pattern. While a couple of drinks may help you relax with your partner, alcohol can also impair your sexual performance in the bedroom.

  • Take a Melatonin Supplement. Melatonin is a key sleep hormone that signals to your brain when it’s time to sleep. In one study, 2 mg of melatonin improved sleep quality and energy the next day. It also helped people fall asleep faster.

3) Intimacy

Relationships often go through lulls, and you might find yourself missing that initial spark of attraction and excitement.

While it’s easy to get settled into a routine, especially in long-term relationships, there is such a thing as being too comfy, and it’s important to work on intimacy with your partner.

Focus on improving/ maintaining your relationship with your partner. This can be achieved by planning a spontaneous date, cooking them a special meal, enjoying an activity together, or even sending a thoughtful message.

4) Balance hormone levels

Hormonal imbalance is a pathological issue where your hormones which control your sexual drive go out of whack.

One important hormone in men that controls sexual drive is testosterone. As men age, testosterone levels decline by as much as 1 percent a year after the age of 30-40. Around the same time, levels of estrogen increase, resulting in a hormonal imbalance.

Certain factors can increase estrogen production in men — the most significant being animals, fats, and dairy.

However, if the levels of testosterone drop below healthy levels, this can lead to sexual dysfunction.

Research has shown that low levels of testosterone in men have been linked to low libido and subsequently to sexual health problems.

One study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism reviewed the relation between libido and testosterone levels in aging men. The results showed that 318 (19%) subjects reported low libido at baseline, suggesting that libido and testosterone concentrations are strongly related.

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5) Diet

Dietary choices can either improve or hinder your sexual health, which is why it is essential to consider the nutritional value of the food that we eat.

A Massachusetts Male Aging Study found a direct connection between diet and erectile dysfunction.

Men in the study who ate plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and avoided red meat and processed grains, were less likely to experience ED.

A diet to increase libido should include:

  • Fruits and vegetables rich in sperm, boosting vitamins and minerals.

  • Oysters have been traditionally viewed as an aphrodisiac, which is rich in zinc. Zinc has been shown to regulate testosterone levels.

  • The capsaicin in chili heats up the body and increases blood flow, which is beneficial to the male sex organ, and it increases its size.

  • Whole grains and plenty of fiber.

  • Healthful oils, such as olive oil and sunflower oil.

Sugar consumption should be limited. Excessive sugar can result in insulin resistance, which lowers testosterone levels. A 2013 study published in Clinical Endocrinology found that men who consumed 75g sugar experienced a 25 percent decrease in average testosterone levels.

That afternoon beer or two could also be taking its toll on your libido. Alcohol consumption has also been linked to an increased risk of developing ED. Alcohol depresses the central nervous system, making it difficult for some men to get and keep an erection.

6) Exercise

You might wearily drag yourself to the gym, thinking ‘why am I doing this,’ but not only can regular exercise improve your overall health and well-being, it can also boost your libido.

Aerobic workouts (such as walking, running, biking, or cardio dance) has been shown to increase blood circulation and blood flow, which are two factors involved in sexual response.

A study of men undergoing androgen deprivation therapy, which lowers testosterone levels, found that regular exercise helped men deal with issues such as body image, low libido, and relationship issues.

7) Herbal remedies

Using natural herbs can help to boost a waning libido.

Tongkat Ali, for example, is a plant that is commonly used to treat impotence, boost libido, and support healthy hormone levels.

A study reviewed the effect of Tongkat Ali on testosterone levels in men. The results showed that after one month of taking 200 mg of Tongkat Ali, the number of men with normal testosterone levels increase from 35.5% to 90.8%.

Yohimbine, which is a remedy extracted from the bark of the Yohimbe tree found in Central Africa, has also been revered for its libido-boosting properties.

Maca is native to Peru. It has been proven to increase libido and sexual function in men with mild ED.

A study published in the Journal of Andrologia observed that maca improved sexual desire in healthy men aged between 21-56 years over 8and 12 weeks.

The ability to feel sexually aroused is invaluable to a man’s sexual and social confidence.

Making a few lifestyle adjustments, such as a nutritious diet, exercising, lowering stress, and improving intimate relationships, can make a difference.

If concerned about your decrease in libido, you should see your doctor, who can help to diagnose the cause and advise treatment or lifestyle changes.

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Next Up

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  2. Talbott SM, Talbott JA, George A, Pugh M. Effect of Tongkat Ali on stress hormones and psychological mood state in moderately stressed subjects. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2013;10(1):28. Published 2013 May 26. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-10-28
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  5. Caronia LM1, Dwyer AA, Hayden D, Amati F, Pitteloud N, Hayes FJ.. (2013). Abrupt decrease in serum testosterone levels after an oral glucose load in men: implications for screening for hypogonadism. Clinical endocrinology. 78 (2), p291-296.
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