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Libido

General characteristics

General characteristics

The libido is generally defined as a male or females sexual desire or appetite. Libido may be described as absent, low, normal or excessive and tends to fluctuate according to life's ups and downs. It should not be confused with impotence or other more physical difficulties associated with love making.

In many ways the libido gives a decent reflection of the general health of an individual, not always indicating the state of the physical but also to the mental and emotional health. Low libido can result from stress, exhaustion, over-work, unbalanced sex hormones, depression, adrenal gland exhaustion or over excitation, parathyroid gland disorders, anxiety, diabetes, obesity, malnourishment, anaemia, certain medications (some anti-depressants and high blood presuure medicines), psychological issues with sex and sexuality or being bored with a partner. Excessive libido can result form unbalanced sex hormones, adrenal gland disorders, bi-polar disorder or mania, medications (such as those used for Parkinson's disease), stimulants such as cocaine and amphetamines, alcohol abuse or psychological reasons connected with a greater than normal need for intimacy and close contact.

It should be stated that fluctuations in sexual desire are perfectly normal. There are no norms when it comes to how often we should have sex, either as single individuals or as couples. Only when libidos of couples are consistently out of sync should it really be considered a problem, or when the continual desire for sex interferes with living a normal productive life.


Diet and lifestyle

Diet and lifestyle

Eat a diet based around fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds and avoid processed and junk type convenience foods.

Stay away from foods and products that contain hormone disruptor's. Unfortunately they are pretty much everywhere but some of the worst culprits include non-organic meat and dairy products and the foods containing them. Look at this site for much more information on sources and effects of common hormone disruptors in our everyday world.

Make sure your alcohol intake is moderate and controlled.

Eat foods rich in zinc such as oysters and other sea-foods, pumpkin seeds and whole grains to help boost male sexual vitality and possibly libido.


Useful herbs

Useful herbs

The herb siberian ginseng (Eleuthrococcus senticosus) is an all round excellent herb that helps the body adapt to stress and acts as an overall tonic to the whole body including sexual appetite, performance and stamina and even fertility. It also acts to enhance the health and hormonal output of the adrenal glands which are often implicated in an over or under active libido. It can be safely taken for long periods by both men and women. Take 1 teaspoon of the tincture 3 times daily to get things started.

For men
The herb agnus castus (also known as chasteberry) is a well known hormone balancer for women but is also known to lower the libido for men. It was used by European monks to dampen their sexual appetite.
Hops are also known to lower the libido in males, probably due to their oestrogenic properties.
Wild lettuce contains opium like substances which serve to dampen sexual desire and provide relaxation and pain relief. Other relaxing herbs such as valerian may also help. Take an hour or so before bedtime.
A formula of equal parts of the tinctures of agnus castus, hops and wild lettuce ( 1 teaspoon in water 3 times daily) will lessen sexual appetite in males. Do not take for longer than a month as hormone levels, particularly 'female' hormones, may become unbalanced.
Damiana, sarsaparilla, saw palmetto and ginseng are well known aphrodisiacs that also help to increase stamina, sexual performance and arousal levels and vitality. Ginkgo can also be useful.
Fenugreek seeds enhance sexual function and act as an aphrodisiac in men.
Daily oatstraw tea will give a boost to libido and functionality.
 
For women
Wild yam has been known to increase libido in many women but also to decrease it in others.
Agnus castus can help to balance sex hormones so can raise or reduce libido in women.
Ashwagandha and ginkgo can also be useful to raise libido and increase sexual vitality.
Wild lettuce, chamomile, valarian and the other relaxing nervines can help to lower libido, especially when taken in tea or tincture form an hour or so before bedtime.
Damiana is a well knwon herb used to increase the libido in women as are fennel seeds.
Fenugreek seeds also act as an aphrodisiac for women.
Oatstraw tea will also raise libido and energy levels.

Natural healing

Natural healing

Regular exercise helps to normalise sex drive. Physical activity helps to de-stress the body and promote an overall sense of well being whilst also burning off excess energy and producing a calm and more relaxed state of mind and body.
The homoeopathic remedy cantharis may help reduce an excessive desire for sex. Consult a registered homoeopath.
Bee pollen has an invigorating effect on the sex drive and sexual vitality generally, for both men and women. It contains many nutrients including zinc, well known for its aphrodisiac effects.

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