A somewhat taboo subject, libido problems in women are actually more common than you might think. Globally, between 10% and 50% of adult women are thought to experience sexual problems related to desire over the course of their lives (1).
A number of potential factors have been linked to a lack of female sex drive:
But fear not ladies: sometimes all it takes is one small change to reinvigorate a sluggish libido - or boost existing sexual desire.
When it’s a lack of energy that’s causing a low sex drive, acupuncture appears to be a good, natural approach (3). Following a preliminary assessment to identify the cause of the energy blockage, needles are placed in precise meridians of the body to increase energy flow.
For problems of this kind, acupuncturists usually concentrate on meridians corresponding to the liver, stomach and kidneys.
Aromatherapy has its erotic secrets too (4). With its sweet, intoxicating perfume, essential oil of ylang-ylang totum encourages uninhibitedness and stimulation of the senses. Combined with the precious Damask rose and Jasmine absolute, it offers a synergy that’s particularly sensual. Always dilute in almond oil or a vanilla maceration!
For optimum effeccts, apply a few drops to the lower back and lower abdomen. Better still, let your partner massage you with it for guaranteed intimacy.
Also known as Maltese Cross, tribulus terrestris has long featured in the Ayurvedic pharmacopoeia. In ancient times, it was much sought-after for its aphrodisiac and fortifying fruit. Tribulus has now been shown to play a role in hormone and sexual organ activity, due largely to its high content of saponins (5).
To enjoy nights of unbridled passion, you could take a tribulus supplement (try, for example, the product Tribulus Terrestris, standardised to 40% saponins for optimal efficacy).
A member of the passifloracaea family, the evocatively-named damiana (Turnera aphrodisiaca) is a small, bushy, fragrant shrub with yellow, camomile-scented flowers. Supporting sexual health and mental well-being, this plant was a favourite of the Mayan and Inca peoples who consumed its leaves primarily in the form of a tea(6-7).
Women will be glad to know that this plant has found its way into supplements designed to pep up your sex life (such as Damiana Extract, a supplement based on natural extract of Damiana).
Perhaps all you need to do to ‘raise the temperature’ is to create the right ambiance in your bedroom. You may not realise it, but a bedroom devoted solely to sensual pleasure can quickly rekindle the spark of desire and revive your libido.
Scented candles, incense, soft lighting, satin sheets… Create a sensual cocoon, and you could soon find yourself in seventh heaven!
Part of the same family as the humble turnip, maca (Lepidium meyenii) is one of the only plant species capable of withstanding the extreme climate conditions of the high Andes. And this ‘Peruvian ginseng’ is a strong performer when it comes to sex too: containing macamides and macaenes, it plays an active role in supporting sexuality and fertility (8-10).
This amazing tuber thus features in certain supplements (such as the ethical product Super Maca, formulated from yellow maca specifically focused on sexual function).
It’s actually possible to boost your sexual vitality by practising yoga (11-12)! Certain postures are thought to stimulate Kundalini, the centre of libido located within the sacral chakra. To do this, you need to unlock the 3 bandhas, the ‘energy locks’ found in the pelvic floor, navel and throat.
How do you do this? Sit in a cross-legged or lotus position, contract the pelvic floor and the area below the navel, then let your chin drop towards your breastbone. Take 3 to 5 deep breaths, then gently go back to your starting position. Simple, but apparently effective!
And here’s one that’s definitely barking up the right tree ... Catuaba (Erythroxylum catuaba) is a tree native to the Brazilian rainforests, the bark of which holds all its libido-enhancing secrets. Indeed, the country’s indigenous Tupi Indians have long infused it to make their love potions (13).
Is there any risk of addiction? Absolutely not: unlike other species from the Erythroxylum genus, it contains no traces of alkaloid.
This exceptional plant has been wisely included in certain supplement formulations (such as Catuaba Power, with a 375mg dose of catuaba for maximum effect). It also features in the aphrodisiac elixir Triple Play, where it’s combined with bois bandé and muira puama.
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Used for thousands of years, Tribulus terrestris is very popular for helping to keep things fun in the bedroom. Spotlight on this unique plant.