A person’s libido can wane due to a variety of factors, including age, lifestyle, and diet. Here, we take a quick look at the factors that can lead to a reduced libido, and we then suggest five supplements that can help a person increase their libido naturally and in a healthful manner.
What Is “Libido”?
Before addressing how to increase a lowered or impaired libido, Let’s define the term. Most people might think of libido simply as a term that refers to sex drive, or to the sexual instinct. However, the true definition is more broad than that.
The first definition of libido offered by Merriam-Webster is, “instinctual psychic energy that in psychoanalytic theory is derived from primitive biological urges (as for sexual pleasure or self-preservation) and that is expressed in conscious activity.”
In other words, libido is the “life energy” that drives a person to carry out their own agency by engaging in work and other meaningful activities that they would be intrinsically or extrinsically motivated to do. Sexual drive is the second definition of libido, and is the most commonly considered expression of the term. The rest of this article focuses on libido as it is expressed in sexual drive.
Lifestyle Factors & Libido
Many different factors can contribute to a decreased libido, or decreased sex drive. One of them is burdensome emotional experiences such as pronounced stress or depression.
Various diet influences can also affect your libido up or down. Processed foods can lead to decreased energy, which means decreased libido. Making sure you’re getting enough calories each day bodes well for energy levels, as well as for your libido. Additionally, consuming healthy foods such as fish and nuts that contain omega-3 fatty acids is good for both blood flow and dopamine production, which contribute to healthy sexual functioning.
Getting sufficient sleep (eight hours traditionally is regarded as the optimum amount). Avoidance of smoking and alcohol consumption also should help keep one’s libido at a healthy if not robust level.
Supplements for Healthy Libido
The following supplements are touted for their ability to help boost libido and sexual drive. Be sure to talk to a medical professional before taking any supplement for the first time.
Tribulus is a plant that has a traditional usage in Eastern medicine. Studies have shown that taking tribulus correlates with increased sex drive in both men and women. Other studies have correlated it with increased sexual performance in men.
L-arginine could help sexual performance in men by increasing blood flow. L-arginine helps the body produce nitric oxide, which helps blood vessels relax and open such that blood flow is improved. Those with heart disease or a history of heart attack should avoid this supplement.
Fenugreek is an herbal supplement that can increase sexual desire, especially in men. It can ramp up libido, and also help regulate testosterone levels that are otherwise low.
Maca is an herb that has a popular use in traditional natural medicine as a sexual stimulant. It has been shown to both increase sexual drive, as well as decrease sexual dysfunction (e.g. erectile dysfunction, or ED). Horny goat weed, which contains maca and ginkgo biloba among other ingredients, is a substance with similar properties as maca.
Ginkgo biloba is an herbal supplement that can potentially improve sexual dysfunction such as ED and low libido. It’s been found to be especially effective when combined with other helpful supplements such as tribulus and l-arginine.
Improving libido/sex drive, and sexual performance as well, means making healthy lifestyle choices. The right natural supplements and remedies, especially the ones mentioned above, can certainly make a difference. If you or your spouse are experiencing low libido, then consider the above supplements, and talk to your medical practitioner about using them.