Herbs for Libido

by Kobie Babb

Just about everyone of us in our adult life has experienced decreased libido at one time or another. This can happen for many reasons that can be either mental or physical. Some of the reasons for decreased libido include high blood pressure, lipid problems such as high cholesterol or triglycerides, diabetes, alcoholism, or cigarette smoking to name just a few reasons. Endocrine problems such as low testosterone and thyroid problems also contribute to low libido. Neurological disorders, strokes, and cerebral trauma can also play a role. Excess body weight and birth control are also libido killers. In a nut shell, stress is the problem. All of these things contributes to stressing your body in one way or another. These are physical stresses, but there is also mental stress that comes in the form of psychological disorders like anxiety, depression, or just plain old fashion fear (scared to have sex). 

Erectile dysfunction is defined as the consistent inability to obtain or maintain an erection for sexual satisfaction. ED can happen at any age, but the odds of suffering with ED rises with age. About a quarter of women of reproductive age and half of postmenopausal women suffer from decreased libido. It's unknown exactly which hormones really dictate sex drive, but hormones such as testosterone and estrogen are abundant when we are younger and diminishes with age. A critical factor for the production of these hormones is cortisol. Cortisol is the stress hormone in the adrenal gland. Cholesterol can either follow one path to turn into cortisol or another path to form estrogen and testosterone. When cholesterol(good cholesterol) is very low or stress is very high, we produce less estrogen and testosterone. This is part of the reason why libido is usually pretty high during a stress free vacations. There is good news though. A vacation isn't the only way to increase libido. Nature once again has come to our aid.

Damiana is native to South Texas, South California, Mexico, as well as North and South America. It has been used for many generations for many reasons, including libido. Usage dates back to as far as the Aztecs and the Mayans.  There are three types of aphrodisiacs. The first is to increase libido, the second is to increase potency, and the third is to increase sexual pleasure. Damiana covers all of these topics. Damiana is a natural female relaxant and aphrodisiac. It works by increasing circulation and sensitivity to the female organs. The flavonoid compounds found in the leaves of this plant are responsible for these effects. 108 women between the ages of 23 to 73 with low sex drive were treated with damiana for 4 weeks. In 72% of the women, sexual desire increased, and satisfaction with their overall sex life increased by 68%. Post menopausal women seemed to benefit the most. Damiana acts as a tonic and a  restorative for the nervous system. It enriches oxygen supply to the genitals. Damiana also increases energy levels with help from its caffeine content. Caffeine and flavonoids play a huge role with the sex improvements brought on by damiana. These compounds also help reduce the time between post ejaculation intervals. Long term use can increase sexual fitness and performance. It works great for premature ejaculation and impotence as well. It improves a woman's ability to orgasm by quieting the mind. when used long term, women are said to benefit more than men. Damiana contains compounds that bind to progesterone receptors in the brain that mimic the hormone. Progesterone is a precursor to estrogen, which helps to keep the vaginal tissue moist.

Saw palmetto nourishes the prostate glands. Not only does it nourish the prostate, but it also stimulates the production of testosterone. Saw palmetto also enhances circulation, which is exactly what your libido needs. Long term use definitely improves libido, especially after the first year.

Red clover is actually a legume. It is high in a phytoestrogen called isoflavones, which is very similar to female estrogen. It can be used to relieve menopausal symptoms as well as to naturally boost a woman's libido. It's shown to not only improve libido, but also to improve mood, sleep, and energy.

Yohimbe is an evergreen tree that is found in parts of Central and Western Africa. We can't have a discussion about libido without mentioning yohimbe. Yohimbe is the first plant approved by the FDA for treating impotency in the late 1980's and was dubbed "herbal viagra" in the February of 1999 edition of Environmental Nutrition in Europe. Yohimbine Hydrochloride is the prescription version of yohimbe, which is sold in America. It dilates blood vessels, which stimulates blood flow. It also increases the bodies production of norepinephrine, which is essential for an erection. Yohimbe contains the alkaloid yohimbine, which impacts the production of the brain chemicals like dopamine, which boost sexual drive and increase blood flow to the genitals. Excess use of yohimbe can cause anxiety attacks, so don't over use. It is also good for low blood pressure.

There are lots of herbs that work great for your libido. Most blood cleansing herbs will help with this because they help with blood flow. Without good blood flow, there's no erection. Stress is the number one enemy of libido, so herbs that helps maintain low levels of stress will also aid with libido. These are just my personal favorites that I chose to write about. Comment and let us know which herbs works best for your libido.

We recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.

*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. For educational purposes only.