Alternatively Speaking: Getting in the mood

Alternative medicine expert Natalie Marx answers your questions: Can you suggest any herbal remedies to help boost my libido?

A kissing couple (photo credit: REUTERS)
A kissing couple
(photo credit: REUTERS)
I receive dozens of letters each week from women who struggle with a low libido. As a natural healthcare practitioner, it is important for me to investigate where the problem derives from.Stress, hormonal changes, certain medications, depression and circulatory problems all can negatively affect a woman's libido. Modern medicine has until now been unable to offer a long term cure for female impotence, however there are many medicinal herbs, vitamins and certain foods which can help to enable a healthy sexual response in women.
Q. Dear Natalie, I have no idea why, but in the last few months I've had no sex drive whatsoever. It's really beginning to affect my relationship with my husband. Please can you suggest any herbs to help boost my libido. Yours gratefully.
A. It is important to realize that you are not alone – this is a very common issue that I deal with on a weekly basis with women that come into my clinic. I suggest beginning with the herb Black Cohosh. It is renowned for its oestrogen-like compounds and its ability to stimulate the female reproductive system. It can improve a woman's libido, particularly after menopause. I often prescribe Black Cohosh for women who suffer from vaginal dryness. 
My second favorite is Vitex, also called chasteberry. This is probably the number one herb for maintaining female hormonal balance. If the reason for your low libido is from a hormonal imbalance, Vitex can improve sexual response.
Damiana leaf is also known in the scientific world as turneria aphrodisiaca, and even according to its name appears to be beneficial as an aphrodisiac for women. It works to stimulate sexual desire in women and increase the pleasure associated with sex by enhancing clitoral sensitivity.
An excellent  adaptogens like ginseng is commonly used amongst herbalists to improve sexual function. Adaptogens are used in stressful situations where there are changes or fluctuations in appetite, sleep or sexual desire. Ginseng works wonders for improving energy levels and thereby also enhancing sexual desire.
Q. Dear Natalie, I am desperate for your advice. I have lost my sexual desire completely. Absolutely nothing turns me on. Can you suggest any vitamins that can help increase my libido?
A. There are indeed several vitamins which can help re-balance your sexual hormones, thereby increasing your sexual desire.
Vitamin B6 helps to balance the levels of progesterone and estrogen, which are essential hormones in our sexual and reproduction processes. When taken regularly, Vitamin B6 can help a woman reach orgasm more easily and can also increases sexual stamina.
It may be worth checking your levels of Zinc. Zinc has been found to be one of the leading causes of a decreased libido. Try taking one supplement daily to bring your libido back to normal.
Vitamin D is also essential for enhancing sex drive in women. Research published in "Endocrinology" (2000) proves that Vitamin D is essential for full gonadal function in both sexes and regulates estrogen biosynthesis.
Finally, Vitamin B3, also called niacin, can help enhance libido. As well as working to reduce the effects of aging, enhance circulation and promote relaxation, Vitamin B3 has been known to improve orgasm.
Q. Dear Natalie, I am looking for ways to increase my libido through the food that I eat. What should I be cooking more of? Thank You!
A. There are certain foods, such as vegetables, fruits and nuts which contain minerals and vitamins that provide the body with energy, thereby increasing sexual stamina.
Asparagus contains Vitamin E, which helps the body produce and balance the hormones testosterone, estrogen and progesterone. It is also a good source of foliate, which is necessary for histamine production that is used to reach orgasm.
Hot chiles increase blood circulation to both the male and female sexual organs, making them more sensitive. Bananas are packed the the enzyme bromelain that increases libido. Avocados contain folic acid and contains high levels of Vitamin B6, which help increase male hormone levels enhancing our sexual desire.
Just the right season for Pomegranates - they help increase blood flow to sexual organs.
Watermelon contains phytonutrient citrulline, which relaxes blood vessels and increases blood circulation. This will decrease the amount of time it takes to become aroused. Figs are packed with amino acids and are known for increasing libido. Try snacking on some almonds which contain essential fatty acids since this increases blood flow to the sexual organs.
Although perhaps not the most sociable vegetable...garlic contains allicin, which too increases blood flow to sexual organs.
Nutmeg and clove both work to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps us to relax and can increase sensitivity all over the body.
Eggs contain Vitamins B6 and B5, which help to balance our hormones and also reduce stress.
It is no myth that dark chocolate really can make us feel good! It contains phenylethylamine, which provides the body with antioxidants and produces relaxing and positive feelings. Finally, a spoonful of honey provides the body with energy, fuel and B vitamins which help the body to use estrogen for arousal. Bon Apetite!
Book your free consultation today with Natalie to devise your own personal health plan: Telephone: 054-733-7401 or email [email protected]