Sex drive—also known as libido—ebbs and flows throughout our adult lives. This happens not only because of hormonal fluctuations but also life in general.
Luckily, there's no need to throw in the proverbial towel if you're experiencing a diminished sex drive. Here are seven things you can do to give it a boost.
Boost your sex drive naturally tip #1: Try maca
Maca, a root vegetable that originated in Peru, pops up time and time again when talking about a lowered libido. In fact, the natural aphrodisiac has been used for centuries to improve fertility and sex drive in both men and women. It's available in capsules, liquid extracts, and powder form, so you can easily add it to smoothies and other drinks. Bonus: It's pretty tasty!
Boost your sex drive naturally tip #2: Take herbs
Ginseng and ginkgo biloba often come up in conversations about diminished libido as well. Both herbs have been quite effective at treating sexual dysfunction, according to numerous studies. Ginseng in particular has been shown to be helpful for menopausal women, while ginkgo biloba can be used to increase sex drive in men. They aren't the only herbs that can help improve sex drive, though. There's a fuller list here.
Boost your sex drive naturally tip #3: Eat libido-boosting foods
Foods that help regulate stamina, circulation, and testosterone are considered libido-boosting foods. These include zinc-rich foods like pine nuts, red meat, and oysters, as well as high-flavonoid foods like cocoa, tea, citrus, and peppers. Legumes, whole grains, fresh produce, garlic, basil, figs, bananas, and avocado are also considered aphrodisiacs.
Chocolate also can help boost sex drive, as it promotes the release of serotonin and phenethylamine, which produce aphrodisiac and mood-improving effects. Yay for chocolate!
Boost your sex drive naturally tip #4: Check your hormone levels
Hormone levels fluctuate throughout adulthood, which can affect everything from mood to sex drive. Higher estrogen levels can improve it, while progesterone levels can reduce it. This is especially the case with life changes like menopause.
There are many ways to test hormone levels, but the DUTCH test has become the gold standard. It essentially measures hormone metabolites from dried urine samples and offers a comprehensive profile of your sex and adrenal hormones to see what might be affecting your libido.
Boost your sex drive naturally tip #5: Exercise
Exercise is the cure for so many of life's ailments. Getting regular exercise can boost mood, self-confidence, cardiovascular health, sympathetic nervous system activity, endocrine system performance—and even sex drive. Any form of exercise will do!
Boost your sex drive naturally tip #6: Actively reduce stress
Many things happen to our bodies when we're stressed. Some are evident, while others—like sex drive—can be more hidden. Work on your stressors as best you can—try meditation, yoga, and straight-up removal of any stressors you can—to see if it impacts your sex drive.
Boost your sex drive naturally tip #7: Get good sleep
You're not yourself when you don't get enough sleep. That goes for sex too. In many studies, a lack of sleep has been linked to a decreased sex drive in both men and women. If you're not getting enough shut-eye, try a white noise machine, meditation app, or lavender essential oil for a more restful sleep—and hopefully an improved libido.