In The Mood, Body Chemistry For A Healthy Sex Drive
There’s something about that sparkle in the eyes when the libido is ignited for that special someone! This kind of healthy sex drive thrives in a state of relaxed motivation where the parasympathetic nervous system is in charge. If hormones are imbalanced or stress hormones are in charge, sex drive can decline. Many natural supplements are formulated to help with libido. They typically balance hormones, improve circulation, and include sex drive stimulators.
Dr. John R. Lee, M.D. who specializes in natural hormone balancing, explains that hormones are subtle and complex, and “a slight imbalance can have major effects,” especially on sex drive. The most important hormones to monitor for a healthy libido include testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, and DHEA. Tests can help determine these hormone levels, and all of these hormones can be naturally stimulated with creams or supplements that Good Earth carries.
Testosterone is the main driving hormone for a healthy sex drive and is the first one to check in men. Healthy testosterone levels for men are typically ten times higher than for women and they tend to peak between the ages of 25-30. DHEA, a precursor to testosterone, also peaks during this time and both hormones decrease on average 2% every year thereafter. This is why most male formulas include testosterone boosters and DHEA. A popular booster called tribulus terrestris has been shown in studies to have “a powerful ability to increase testosterone levels and as a result increase sexual desire, hardness of erections and stamina.” Other helpful ingredients for male libido include epimedium sagittatum, yohimbe, eurycoma longfolia, muira puama, and circulation supplements like L-arginine, or L-citrulline. If circulation is inhibited because of prostate inflammation, traditional prostate supplements such as pygeum, saw palmetto, pumpkin seed oil, and zinc may be helpful.
Sometimes unnatural estrogen dominance can lower libido in men and women. Xenoestrogens that come from petroleum chemicals in our environment can fill up our estrogen or testosterone receptor sites. These chemicals can interfere with the activity of real sex hormones. If these chemical estrogens are dominant, a natural product called diindolylmethan (DIM) can bind with them and calcium D-glucarate helps carry them away.
Progesterone levels are more of a focus for women’s libido issues because it helps balance estrogen and testosterone in their systems. Low levels of progesterone can result in estrogen or testosterone dominance, both of which can jeopardize sex drive. Too much prescribed progesterone can also dampen libido. Dr. Lee typically starts his clients on 15 to 30 milligrams per day of natural progesterone. Estrogen, testosterone, and DHEA can also be boosted with creams or supplements if tests show the hormones are low.
Maca is a Peruvian ginseng that naturally stimulates a healthy hormone balance in both men and women without the use of hormones. One study suggests that maca works by “stimulating the pituitary to produce and secrete the precursor hormones, which in turn, elevate estrogen and testosterone levels…” Dong quai, vitex, and hormone balancing blends in combination with omega 3-6-9 oils also encourage female hormone balance. Maca is considered an adaptogen, which means it has natural qualities to help the body adapt to stress by helping lower stress hormones like cortisol, adrenaline, and noradrenaline. This helps normal sex hormones absorb properly into the hormone receptor sites. Other helpful adaptogens include any type of ginseng, ashwaganda, licorice root, shisandra, rhodiola rosea, and damiana.
If your sex drive is still not heating up, you might look further into supplements that promote the calm state in which the parasympathetic nervous system is in charge, and a relaxing neurotransmitter called acetylcholine reverses the effects of stress in the mind and body. GABA, 5-HTP, choline, and magnesium specifically help with this calming process. Other supplements found in both brain and libido formulas include theobromine, bacopa, holy basil, and velvet bean. Libido formulas often include circulation ingredients like L-arginine, gotu kola, gingko, ginger, saw palmetto, and passionflower.
When choosing your pathway for balancing hormones and stimulating a healthy libido, be sure to consult with a Wellness Consultant at your local Good Earth Natural Foods. With so many products and avenues to take, educated guidance can be very helpful. Consultations are free, respectful, and professional. When your hormones are balanced, your mind and body are relaxed, and there is good circulation, you and your special someone might be ready to go!
Lee, John R., MD, and Virgina Hopkins. What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Premenopause: Balance Your Hormones and Your Life from Thirty to Fifty. New York: Warner Books.1999.Gray, John, PhD. Venus On Fire, Mars On Ice: Hormonal Balance-The Key to Life, Love, and Energy. Coquitlam, BC: Mind Publishing. 2010. p. 249 Hormone-Balancing Effect of Pre-Gelatinized Organic Maca (Lepidium peruvianum Chacon): (III) Clinical responses of early-postmenopausal women to Maca in double blind, randomized, Placebo-controlled, crossover configuration, outpatient studyhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3614644/
WRITTEN BY TATIA NELSON, BS, MH, IRIDOLOGISTSPECIALTY DIET COACHGOOD EARTH NATURAL FOODSCOACH.GOODEARTH@GMAIL.COM