You’re in a happy, healthy relationship with someone you love more than anything or anyone. You’ve been through it all and care deeply for one another. Everything between you is magic… minus one thing. Your sex drive.
Sadly, you’re not alone. Millions of people struggle with low libido, and subsequent feelings of confusion and frustration.
Is it you? Is it them? Where’d the spark go?
You have feelings for your partner and you’re attracted to them but you just can’t seem to get in “the mood.” For those who know this confusing conundrum all too well, we need to talk:
It might not be you, it might not be them… and it might be your hormones.
Hormones are a delicate system of chemicals that drive our every move. So much of what we do as humans is driven by our hormones. Eating, sleeping and sex are just a few of those many activities.
Our reproductive hormones are some of the most complex, sensitive and amazing biological networks that we have. Though we may not necessarily want a baby as an outcome of sex, our DNA does. If conditions for said potential baby are not ideal, your hormones are likely going to try to stop you from acting in a way that could result in a baby.
Stress, birth control, menopause, nutrient deficiencies and medications are just a few things that could be subliminally telling your body to stay away from sex.
While some of these factors may be influenced by lifestyle changes, some situations could be beyond your immediate control. Thankfully, there are several herbal remedies that can help to “hack” your hormones and have you back in the bedroom in no time.
1) Maca Root
Native to the Puruvian Andes, this plant has been used for centuries as a traditional medicine for energy and fertility.1
Due to its anecdotal efficacy, Maca has become a “superfood of the moment” across the world for increasing sex drive.
One study confirmed its beneficial effect on sexual dysfunction specifically for women who were taking SSRI anti-depressants, which are sometimes known to kill libido.2
Maca has a unique set of plant chemicals that scientists have dubbed “macamides,” since they have yet to be found in any other plant. It was found that the Andean people dried this root in a very specific way that actually enhanced its macamide profile, which may determine its medicinal potency.3
Studies have shown a drastic range of macamides in Maca supplements on the market.4 When looking for a Maca supplement, make sure its third party tested for a high macamide percentage.
2) Horny Goat Weed
Its name ought to speak for itself. For thousands of years, this herb has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to enhance reproductive function. Referred to as Yin Yang Huo, its known for balancing the “yang.”
In TCM, balancing “yin” (read: feminine side) and “yang” (read: masculine side) in each individual is essential for proper sexual function and vitality.
TCM looks at the body from a very holistic perspective and has a somewhat metaphorical way of explaining medicine.
To get the idea from a Western standpoint, you could imagine yin and yang as your sex hormones.
For example, someone too low in testosterone, male or female, is going to struggle with their libido. While this may not be the exact mechanism at work, it’s clear that it does something to that effect.
Its been most significantly shown to treat sexual dysfunction and osteoporosis, two issues that are intimately connected to hormones.5
Another Chinese herb that’s been used to treat sexual dysfunction is Ginseng. This herb is a potent adaptogen, which means its going to cater to your own individual biochemical needs.
One of the things adaptogens are really good at is reducing symptoms of stress, including inflammation and oxidative damage, two things that could be stalling your libido without you even knowing it.
It’s been shown to promote arousal in menopausal women and also as a possible treatment for men with erectile dysfunction.6,16
When picking out a Ginseng supplement make sure its species is Panax Ginseng. There are quite a few different plant species, but Panax is the one used traditionally and is the most potent.7
Another adaptogenic herb, sometimes referred to as Indian Ginseng, has served many purposes in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. One primary use has been as an aphrodisiac.8
One way Ashwaghanda may increase sex drive is in its promotion of the release of Gonadotropin.
This is the same hormone that activates puberty. It also plays a key role in maintaining the activity of your reproductive system.9
In a study on female sexual function, high potency Ashwagandha, at 300 mg twice per day, had significantly higher improvement than placebo.8
In another study, it increased sperm count in males. Watch out if babies aren’t your end goal!10
Native to the Southwest US and Mexico, this folk remedy has quite a stir around it in regards to its aphrodisiac properties. So much so that it’s even earned itself a sexy botanical name: Ternera aphrodesiaca.
Though there haven’t been any human studies, there have been quite a few animal studies demonstrating its effects.
One such study found that it had no effect on sexually potent rats, but had a marked effect on sluggish/impotent rats.11
While nobody’s been able to isolate the plant materials, much of the scientific literature emphasizes its potential as a sexual stimulant.12
6) Suma Root
This remedy is known as “South American Ginseng” for its supposed adaptogenic-like effects on energy, sexual vitality and reduction of stress symptoms.13
In mice studies, this herb has been shown to to elevate estradiol and progesterone in females, and testosterone in males.
While testosterone is well known for its importance in men, progesterone and estradiol are hormones vital to the female reproductive system.
One of the ways that Suma Root may operate is through phyto-steroids that are similar to the steroids that make up hormones. By elevating your intake of these plant steroids, you’re adding to your body’s hormone building materials. In turn, this may help you rev up your engine in the bedroom.14
Before You Get Started
Everyone is different, and some of these herbs will work differently based on your bio-induviduality. Test out a few different options and see how they affect you.
When purchasing herbal supplements, go high quality and make sure their contents are third-party tested. Some supplements have been shown to barely contain a trace of what’s on the label.15
Do your research and pick a company you trust! Mountain Rose Herbs is a highly recommended company to work with.