By Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo, MS, DC, CCN, DACBN
A woman I met on a recent airplane flight told me that her gynecologist mentioned to her that all of her patients over 40 complained of lack of sex drive. The doctor said loss of sex drive was the most common complaint she heard a daily basis and she had no solutions to offer.
Causes of diminished sex drive include anemia, depression, alcohol, certain medications, hormone imbalances, in particular low testosterone, thyroid and estrogen, stress and adrenal exhaustion and relationship problems.
Fortunately, there are natural ways to improve your sex drive.
1. Learn to manage stress. Cortisol, the hormone produced by your adrenal glands when you’re under stress interferes with libido. Cortisol has the same precursors as do estrogen and testosterone, and when you’re under stress and in the fight-flight mode, most of the precursors are used to make Cortisol. Over time, the excess Cortisol production will lead to deficiencies of testosterone and estrogen. Low testosterone decreases your sex drive. Low estrogen inhibits your sexual pleasure.
My favorite stress management tool is from the Institute of HeartMath ®. Using a combination of breath and appreciation, you can transform your stress to positive emotions within minutes.
2. Eat a diet high in green leafy vegetables. This will correct anemia, improve neurotransmitter function and provide the nutrients needed for your body to rebuild your adrenal glands. Add sea vegetables to support your thyroid gland, since it’s an important player in overall hormone health.
3. Avoid processed foods, caffeine and alcohol since these stress the system further and contribute to hormone imbalances. Use licorice and ginseng instead of caffeinated beverages to start your day, because they support your adrenal glands. (Regular use of Licorice may increase your blood pressure, so be careful if you have a tendency towards hypertension).
4. Take time every day for nurturing and supporting yourself, even if it’s only 10 minutes. By getting enough sleep, exercising, engaging in artistic pursuits, and having fun on a daily basis, you are resetting your body to a calm state that’s conducive to hormone balance and increased sex drive.
5. Discover the wonderful world of herbs. There are herbs that balance hormone levels and below are a list of a few herbs that can help with libido
Maca Root: Improves both male and female hormone balance, supports the adrenals, increases stamina, helps with erectile dysfunction and increases sex-drive and fertility! Start with a teaspoon a day in a smoothie and increase up to 4 teaspoons a day.
Cardamom: It is viewed by some cultures as a powerful aphrodisiac and as a treatment for impotence. It works well with Maca. It tastes great in smoothies, sauces and nut milk.
Basil: increases circulation, stimulates the sex drive and boosts fertility! Basil oil was once used by Mediterranean prostitutes as a perfume to attract customers!
Saw Palmetto. This herb can be used to treat both male and female low libido conditions. It works by triggering the body to produce the right hormones to aid in sexual drive.
Pumpkin Seeds are also good for boosting sex drive because they’re high in zinc, which is important in testosterone production. They’re also a good source of omega 3 fats, which aid in balancing hormones.
If you’re one of the millions of women whose relationship has lost its sizzle due to diminished sex drive, now’s the time to take charge of your health. By reducing stress, eating a balanced diet of whole natural plant based foods, taking time for self care, and including a few herbs, you are on the road to regaining the sizzle!
We’ll be putting on a full three night Telecourse with Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo starting on Sept 8th, 2009. During this revealing course, she’ll reveal how to boost your libido, balance your hormones naturally and look and feel younger!