By David Blyweiss, M.D.
Do you find you just aren’t as interested in sex as you once were?
Well, if you answered yes, it turns out that you aren’t alone. In surveys of 27,000 men and women around the world, about 30% to 40% of them reported a lack of desire.
A healthy sex life is vital to your emotional health and well-being. It’s also good for your physical health. In men, frequent sex can help prevent prostate cancer.
Women who maintain an active sex life find they don’t suffer the vaginal dryness so common after menopause.
So how can you re-ignite the flames of desire? The following natural libido-boosters make it easy:
Ginkgo biloba. Ginkgo is best known for its effect on memory and cognitive function. But it can also play a role in the bedroom by increasing circulation throughout the body. And better blood flow automatically enhances sensation.
According to a clinical trial conducted at the University of Texas at Austin, gingko enhanced arousal as well as the ability to experience an orgasm. In another trial of 63 women with antidepressant-related sexual dysfunction, scientists at the University of California, San Francisco, found that 84% experienced an improvement in desire, excitement and orgasm.1 I recommend you take 120 mg daily.
L-Arginine. This amino acid can help intensify sensation in both men and women by boosting nitric oxide. This, in turn, increases blood flow to the genitals. The typical dose for both women and men is 50 mg of arginine daily, increasing it to 8,000 mg. as needed. However, skip this nutrient if you suffer from diabetes, low blood pressure, herpes or cancer.
Mucuna Pruriens. This Ayurvedic herb contains serotonin, a natural brain chemical that improves mood and relaxes muscle. More importantly, mucuna is a wonderful source of l-dopa. Your brain converts l-dopa into dopamine, a hormone-like substance that increases sexual desire.2 What’s more, recent studies have found that mucuna extract enhances mental alertness and improve coordination. To be sexy and smart, take 300 to 600 mg of mucuna containing at least 10 percent l-dopa a day.
Niacin. This B vitamin has a reputation for causing flushing. While that may not be pleasurable under normal circumstances, it can boost both arousal and orgasm during sex. Here’s how it works: The ability to reach orgasm is directly related to adequate amounts of histamine in the bloodstream. Niacin triggers histamine release, which not only causes flushing but heightened sensation as well. Taking just 50 mg of niacin 10 or 15 minutes before having sex may be enough to create a powerful orgasm.
Panax ginseng. Also known as Korean ginseng, this herb has a long history of use in Traditional Chinese Medicine as a sex stimulant—and with good reason. A recent study shows that the ginsenosides in panax ginseng dilate the blood vessels in the genital area and relax the smooth muscles in the vagina, both of which enhance arousal.3 Ginseng also helps amplify sexual desire by increasing energy levels, reducing fatigue, easing sleep disturbances and lessening depression.
But there’s more to boosting desire than taking a few supplements. It’s also important to get and stay in shape. Exercise not only boosts your body image and self-confidence, it also eases stress and enhances flexibility and stamina.
One of my favorite forms of exercise is yoga. Not only does it help erase stress, it keeps me flexible. Better yet, certain yogic positions direct blood flow to your pelvis, creating a warm, relaxed sensation which helps increase desire and arousal.
Additional Articles of Interest:
Ramp Up Desire
Natural Sexual Enhancers
Side Effects of ED Drugs
- Meston CM. Short- and long-term effects of Ginkgo biloba extract on sexual dysfunction in women. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 37:530-547, 2008.
- Suresh S. Dose- and time-dependent effects of ethanolic extract of Mucuna pruriens Linn. seed on sexual behaviour of normal male rats. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 122:497-501, 2009.
- Kim SO. The effect of Korean red ginseng extract on the relaxation response in isolated rabbit vaginal tissue and its mechanism. Journal of Sexual Medicine. 2008;5:2079-2084.