The Science behind low sex drive

Our bodies are a balance of different chemicals, commonly known as hormones.  If the hormones are out of balance, then the body will begin to malfunction.  This is a basic understanding of a major area of medicine: Endocrinology– but it doesn’t make it any less true.  Testosterone interacts with other hormones, which can lower your sex drive and your ability to maintain an erection.  Understanding the balance between hormones can help you to understand how to increase libido and improve your sex life.

Cortisol and Testosterone

Stressed Man

Cortisol is the hormone created by stress.  This is not always a bad thing.  Some stress in life pushes us to work harder and succeed more.  It is only a problem when there is too much stress and too much cortisol is released.  It is the imbalance in the body’s chemicals that impacts on health.

There is some debate about whether a drop in testosterone causes an increase in cortisol or whether the stress hormone impacts on testosterone.  You would think that an increase in adrenalin – which cortisol is – would facilitate an increase in testosterone.  You would think that it would be a message to the body that you need to be stronger and bigger.  To be honest, to a certain degree this is true, but there is an optimal level and after this level cortisol enters into a negative corollary to testosterone.

Therefore, there is a ratio of testosterone to cortisol that your doctors see as healthy.   Testosterone is secreted from the Leydig cells in the testes and is important for muscle and bone strength.  Cortisol is secreted from the adrenal gland and helps regulate blood pressure and is also important for blood sugar management. If cortisol is too high, then testosterone levels drop.  If testosterone levels are too high, then cortisol levels drop.  Much research has been done by scientists interested in improving sporting performance, where the giving of supplements to improve physicality needs to be balanced against the need to feel the prompting of adrenalin to perform.

Therefore, high cortisol levels can cause a disruption to your libido and is also be named as a contributory factor in erectile dysfunction.  Extended periods of high cortisol levels lead to muscle breakdown and blocks testosterone’s effect on the body.  The double whammy effect of muscle degradation and decreased testosterone is the reason why cortisol impacts on the erection so directly.

In short:

  • There needs to be a balance between testosterone and cortisol in your body
  • Cortisol is caused by stress but is also important for blood pressure and blood sugar levels
  • Low testosterone can lead to low libido and erectile dysfunction
  • Cortisol can also cause muscle degradation which can exacerbate erectile dysfunction

 

Estrogen and Testosterone

Estrogen is the female hormone and testosterone is the male hormone, but both men and women have a balance of both. Men, on average, produce between 6 – 8mg of testosterone per day, compared to 0.5mg produced by females.  In women, estrogen regulates the menstrual cycle and helps in the lubrication of the vagina.  In men, high estrogen levels can lead to reduction in sexual appetite and cause erectile dysfunction.  It can also cause men’s breasts to grow and a loss of hair.

blood cells

Research has yet to understand what positive impact estrogen has on men, other than to say that hormones work together to help cells, tissue and organs to grow and function properly.  Many studies suggest that estrogen plays no part in male physiology and too much estrogen can have negative impact on the testosterone levels.  However, some physicians believe the body produces more estrogen as men grow older to naturally dampen the sexual drive of men to cope with decreased physicality in other areas.  In other words, having too much testosterone as we grow older may lead to us becoming exhausted and frustrated by our bodily limitations.  Therefore, the body naturally dampens the desire to help us maintain energy for other life-continuing body functions.

So, as men age testosterone converts to estrogen.  This is called the aromatase reaction.  Fortunately, the production of estrogen can be countered easily once discovered and can therefore reverse the impact on libido and penis functionality. So, even though you might argue that the reduction in testosterone is a natural function of our body, this does not mean we have to succumb to the suggestion we are past a healthy sex life.

In short:

  • Men and women have both testosterone and estrogen in the body
  • Men have far more of the male hormone testosterone
  • As men age they experience a reaction called aromatase, which turns testosterone to estrogen
  • High estrogen levels can cause low sex drive and erectile dysfunction

 

Prolactin and Testosterone

Prolactin is produced in the pituitary gland by cells called lactotrophs.  In women, this is the gland that helps them to produce breast milk when they give birth.  In fact, prolactin absolutely loves estrogen and together they promote the growth of the other.  As noted before, estrogen has a negative impact on testosterone levels, so already it is clear why prolactin and testosterone do not play well together.

Prolactin does have hundreds of other functions. The most important being control of our metabolic and immune functions, crucial for male health.  Prolactin is the hormone that helps us to sleep, or at least it is the hormone that regulates the circadian rhythms of our body.  Prolactin levels are highest when we sleep but they are also elevated when we experience high emotional or physical stress.  Too much prolonged physical activity can cause prolactin, which in turn promotes the production of estrogen.

A study of cyclists who take part in long races such as the Tour De France revealed that their prolactin levels increased and in turn this caused an increase in estrogen.  This then caused muscle breakdown and could eventually have a negative impact on strength.  Both prolactin and estrogen have a negative corollary with testosterone, with the more of one causing a reduction in the other.  Therefore, sports scientists are clear that long distance cyclists have to manage periods of rest to ensure hormones are balanced within their body.

So, if too much prolactin can adversely affect your testosterone, it can lead to infertility and low libido.  Prolactin also antagonises dopamine and means that the period of recovery between erections is much longer.  Dopamine and testosterone share a positive corollary, in other words the more dopamine there is, the more testosterone you produce and vice versa.  Therefore, prolactin’s negative corollary with dopamine impacts directly on testosterone levels too.  That is not all – prolactin inhibits a gonadotropin-releasing hormone, which is released from the hypothalamus.  This is what the body needs to stimulate the Leydig cells in the testes.  These are the cells that produce testosterone. So, low testosterone means low libido and higher chances of erectile dysfunction.

Too much prolactin is called hyperprolactinemia and can be caused by medications or tumours of the pituitary gland.  The easiest symptom to look out for is discharge from the nipples but also anorgasmia – the absence or delay of ejaculation.

In short:

  • You need prolactin to regulate your sleep pattern
  • Prolactin has a negative corollary to testosterone – they certainly do not play well together
  • Hyperprolactinaemia can cause a loss of libido, delayed ejaculation and a longer recovery between erections
  • Symptoms of too much prolactin should not be ignored

 

Luteinizing hormone and Testosterone

Luteinizing hormone is produced by the anterior pituitary gland, by the gonadotropic cells – therefore, it has a direct influence on your reproductive system.  In men, this is the hormone that communicates with your testes and encourages the Leydig cells to produce testosterone.  It works in synergy with follicle stimulating hormones and is regulated by gonadotropin- releasing hormone produced in the hypothalamus.  Basically, without this hormone there is no testosterone and you will have no libido and be unable to ejaculate, if indeed you can form an erection.

Here’s the strange bit.  If your body gets carried away and produces too much testosterone, then the body gets into a negative feedback loop.  In short, the hypothalamus decides your body doesn’t need this much testosterone, so it stops releasing gonadotropin-releasing hormone, which then means the luteinizing hormone doesn’t communicate with the testes and then testosterone production is stopped.

Therefore, keeping a healthy balance of testosterone in the body means that the feedback loop between the different hormone creating systems in the body act in a healthy fashion.  In truth this imbalance is easily treated and the balance can be restored.  Once restored men will see an improvement in libido and erectile dysfunction.  However, it does seem to suggest that you really can have too much of a good thing.

In short:

  • Luteinizing hormone and testosterone work together to aid male reproduction
  • Too much testosterone creates a negative feedback loop with other hormones, which results in a shut down on the Leydig cells that produce testosterone
  • The negative feedback loop can lead to low libido and erectile dysfunction

Overall, what should we conclude?

The route to understanding how to improve libido lies in an understanding of the balance of hormones in our body.  Doctors can order tests that measure the hormone levels in our blood and urine and can suggest treatments that rebalance our bodies.  Although some of these level changes are perceived as a natural result of ageing, there is no need to accept the impact of time on our bodies.

These impacts can include:

  • Loss of libido
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Increased rest period between erection
  • Infertility
  • Low ejaculation

 

These equate to a devastating impact on our lives and can then adversely impact our sense of manhood and our happiness.  Therefore, understanding how to balance the hormones in our bodies and make the most of life should be seen as an all-important health issue as we move into older age. Thankfully for Real Herbs there is a way to combat low testosterone symptoms, a Tongkat Ali supplement that has an effective potency of 200:1.tongkat ai

10 Simple tips on how to improve your sex life

Our sex life is an important part of the ingredients needed for contentment.  We sometimes hide or diminish sex as being a past-time, as something we do to have a good time and not something fundamental to being human. Yet, it is the expression of our bond with another human being and it is the way that we continue our species. So, we work hard to improve our health with supplements, so we can extend our life. Therefore, we should use supplements to help with sex, to help extend our contented way of life.

There are maybe herbs, roots, and spices that have been used for centuries to aid sexual performance. Chinese medicine has thousands of years of heritage of helping men to procreate. So, when searching for 10 simple on how to improve your sex life, there are a wealth of options available.

Number 1: Tongkat Ali

Tongkat Ali Extract, Sexual Enhancers

The strongest dosage of Tongkat Ali is 200:1, which is also retrieved using water-based methods, which means more of the active agent is available. The question is: why do we want so much of the active ingredient? Well, to begin with, Tongkat Ali, also known as Long Jack or Malaysian Ginseng, is an aphrodisiac. There is a large body of evidence that supports the role of the supplement in encouraging sexual desire. Some question the validity of this science but no-one questions the anecdotal evidence that says this is one of the better aphrodisiacs on the market.

The chemicals in the supplement are pro-testosterone and anti-estrogen – so, it essentially makes you feel more manly. Nothing wrong with that – in any situation.  However, the effects of this pro-testosterone are to make you more fertile and it has been used through the centuries to boost fertility, as it increases sperm production. The boost to the Leydig cells is said to help produce testosterone. It’s anti-estrogen effects are said to be equal to commonly prescribed medication Tamoxifen when the active ingredient is injected – so this is powerful stuff!

Tongkat Ali can also help your sex life, as it is a pro-erectile agent.  The molecule 9-hydroxycanthin-b-one is associated with delayed ejaculation – so not only will it help to gain an erection, but it will help you to keep it for much longer. If the stimulating effects feel too much to believe, then you can take it just as an anti-anxiety med. The decrease in anxiety could help to reduce inhibitions in the bedroom and improve your sex-life because you can relax into the event and enjoy the moment.

Number 2: Maca

Sexual Enhancers, Maca

Maca is known as the Peruvian Ginseng or Lepidium Meyenic and is also known as a supplement that can act as a diet aid. Improving your body can help with your sex life – so worth using it to inspire a higher self-esteem. However, Maca also enhances libido and boosts energy. Now, that really will be a benefit in the bedroom.

The tale of the Maca root is something of a tale of inspiration in itself. It grows at 13,000 feet in the Peruvian Andes. It survives in hard, rocky soil and the roots enable this by drawing all the vitamins and minerals it can from the rocks and the soil. It is determined to survive and as such a five-year-old Maca plant is laced with many of the essential vitamins and minerals we need in life.

Native Peruvian people have used this herb for thousands of years and they claim that anyone who takes the root will reach old age and still be a man – we can only infer they mean still able to perform as a man – and therefore enjoy virility into old age.  It is seen as a treatment for fatigue and weakness but it also increases sexual desire and stamina.

Number 3: Yohimbe

Yohimbe is also a fat-burning compound, so like Maca can help to impact on your body-image and self-esteem when naked. This has to be a bonus when wanting to be yourself with your partner. However, like Maca, Yohimbe is also an aphrodisiac. The active ingredient: Yohimbine is a stimulant and works by increasing the adrenaline levels in the body. Therefore, not only does it increase desire but it also aids in the process of achieving an erection. There is no need to wait until you have an erectile dysfunction to take this supplement – many take the supplement to improve the erection or maintain an erection for longer.

It is best taken on an empty stomach – so take it in a period of fasting – it is highly stimulating and you might want to begin using the supplement gradually. You should carefully increase the dosage.

Number 4: Red Ginseng

This supplement is known as the herbal Viagra and by Chinese herbalists as the male remedy. The FDA has banned many supplements that call themselves herbal Viagra, therefore Red Ginseng is one that survives and is seen as powerful. Taking 600-1000mg three times a day and the plant must grow for five years for the root to be seen as an effective supplement. The label will give you all the information you need to see if these criteria are met.  The root works by improving your erection – therefore you can be certain of your performance and you can go for much longer.  The confidence that you get from the supplement may only be a placebo for you but who will know the difference: if it gives you that small hope for something better for your sex life.

A Korean study seems to suggest it does more than act as a placebo, though – as it show 60% effectivity when men took a dose of 150mg three times a day.  The science sounds plausible too, as the supplement breaks down cortisol in the body, which is created with stress.  Over 80% of men cited stress as being the killer of their sex-life and so to improve their experience they need to take out the chemical caused by excess stress.

Studies suggest that Panax Ginseng has improved sexual function and can come as a cream.  As a cream, it can help with premature ejaculation, which for your partner, is a benefit to their experience.  A side effect is an insomnia, which you might feel to be a negative – however, it might also help make an all-night experience possible – always worth looking for the silver lining in all situations!

Number 5: L-arginine

L-arginine is an amino acid that occurs naturally in the body and helps to make nitric oxide. Nitric oxide helps to improve the blood flow throughout the body – and is also good for heart health.  However, it helps to improve your sex life because it will increase blood flow to the penis.  A 1999 study of men taking 5 grams a day orally for 6 weeks found that the supplement had a significant impact in 31% of men.  This was part of a study for the treatment of erectile dysfunction but there is no need to wait until there is a problem to improve the quality of your erection.

Number 6: L-citrulline

L-citrulline is also an amino acid that is found in high concentration in water melon.  Therefore, you can eat lots and lots of water melon – and risk the potential toilet issues that come from being that well-hydrated – or you can take the supplement to improve the flow of blood to your penis.

Number 7: Gingko Biloba

Ginko Biloba for sex life

This supplement comes from the Chinese Maidenhair Tree, which helps with circulatory problems and fatigue.  Research in Sweden have proven that the flavonoids – the active ingredient in the tree – improves sluggish circulation.  A clinical trial recently showed it was 84% effective in treating impotence caused by depression.  The suggested dosage is between 40 – 80mg three times a day.  The suggestion that this is a remedy to a poor sexual experience but if you know you are susceptible to depression than this might be a positive choice for maintaining and improving your sex life too.  It is also thought to have the potential to increase blood flow – so will help to gain and maintain an erection, too.

Number 8: Cinnamon, ginger, and cloves

Ginger

This sounds like an ingredient list for your favourite takeaway – and the suggestion is that you could get the active ingredient from your food.  However, to be effective to improve your sex-life you need doses far higher than you can hope to gain from your standard meal.  Eating supplements taken from these spices are said to literally warm up the blood.  There is no clinical evidence to suggest these supplements act as an aphrodisiac but many cultures have used them for centuries to improve sexual drive.  Sometimes history is superior to science if people keep using a supplement then it is likely because they have been pleased with the results.  Seems logical – don’t you think.

Number 9: St John’s Wort

For the final two tips on the list to improve your sex life there is going to be a slightly different approach.  The truth is that our sex life is impacted by our approach to life in general.  If we have low mood and high anxiety, then the chances that we can relax in the company of the people we care about and perform in a way that nurtures their needs are low.

St John’s Wort is a well-known herbaceous shrub used to help with depression and low mood in general.  It has been used since the times of Ancient Greece in the treatment of nervous disorders.  Remember what was said about history – well – this is some history!  The supplement contains hypericin which impacts in a similar way to serotine uptake inhibitors, such as Prozac.  This essentially raises the levels of serotonin available to the brain.  Serotonin is the brain’s natural happy drug and will, over a period of time, help to give you a general sense of well-being.  So, with a dosage of 300mg, three times a day will over time help you to feel generally better about life.

The links to improving your sex life are obvious – the better you feel about life, the more comfortable you feel within yourself, the more likely you are likely to see opportunities with your partner to enjoy each other’s company and the more you are likely to relax into the event.  Be aware that St John’s Wort can interact with anti-depressants, so talk to your doctor before taking the supplement.

Number 10: Whey Protein and BCAA

Here is another way of look at your sex-life.  If you see it as an Olympic event – as something that takes energy, stamina, endurance – then treating your sex-life like it is a workout in the gym might have some merit.  This is not to suggest that midway through the sexual act you stop and shake your whey tub but it is to suggest that improved fitness, in general, will improve your sex life.  One of the biggest influences on your sexual performance is your weight.  Obese men are more likely to have erectile dysfunction or be dissatisfied with their sexual performance.  The reasons are obvious both physiologically and psychologically, it is an act of the body and the mind and both are inhibited by carry weight.

Therefore, using protein whey shakes to help you work out better and BCAA to help the protein reach your muscles will improve your sex-life.  Yes, this is essentially telling you to get your butt out there and exercise to improve performance – but this is actually pretty sound advice – as much as we hate to consider this possibility.  A healthy body will have better blood flow – will have stronger muscles that will hold erections better – and will keep you active for longer into the night.  And, let’s face it, you will feel damn fine – so you will believe that your partner will want to have sex with you.  There is nothing more powerful than confidence to work wonders on your sex life.  So, get your kit on, workout, drink your whey shake and then feel like you can do anything!

Here is how alcohol is stopping you from enjoying sex

Is alcohol affecting your sex life?

Alcohol and Sex

Since time immemorial, alcohol has been blamed for many sexual misadventures of couples young and old. Whether some of those decisions were actually affected by the consumption of alcohol or was just attributed to the much-maligned beverage for justifying something that had to happen anyway, can be debated and argued. Although alcohol has been linked to sexual behaviour in humans for a long time indeed with many interpretations and outcomes having been recorded at various times, it is true that alcohol consumption does have proven credentials towards removing a part of the inhibition and shyness that are a precursor to getting physically close.

In this article we will discuss the much spoken about topic- ‘Is Alcohol affecting your sex life” and if Yes, then to which extent and whether really something is that can have you take wrong decisions towards sexual behaviour.

The Good effects of Alcohol on your Sex Life:

  • Alcohol makes you more relaxed and Less inhibited: The consumption of alcohol is said to induce relaxation and make people less socially inhibited. Alcohol mimics the action of a neuro-inhibitor GABA (Gamma anti butyric acid) inside the nervous system and also slows down the release of the excitatory neurotransmitter, Glutamate. This affects the experience of reality, which may seem slower and you might feel more relaxed since the mind is not deciphering information as fast as it did before the consumption of alcohol. Whereas this effect can be somewhat beneficial in a social setting where people feel less shy in approaching others for a conversation, this same response can be hazardous while attempting tasks that require the presence of mind and quick decision making, such as driving or operating machinery. Consumption of limited amounts of alcoholic beverages shuts down some of the processes of the brain, thereby making you more reciprocative and less anxious. These feelings can be said to have a constructive effect on the sexual disposition of humans and may help them in succeeding in finding sexual partners through the reduction of inhibition and taking chances.

Physically

Alcohol and Sex

It is known that the antioxidants found in some wines and other alcoholic beverages can have the effect of making you feel more aroused because of the increased blood flow to the genitals. Taken in moderation, alcohol can make you feel warm and nice, especially around the sexual organs. Alcohol can also help in dilation of the various blood vessels which make them carry more blood to the sexual body parts such as the penis in man and the clitoris, labia and vagina in women that can make them feel more engorged and lubricated.

Mentally: If the brain were your largest sexual organ, moderate quantities of alcohol does make you feel more aroused mentally. Basically, Alcohol slows down the thought process and cognition by depressing the cerebral cortex, which in many ways is the nerve centre of memory, perception, attention, thought, language etc. Sexual desire and arousal actually comes from a few diverse parts of the brain which include brain parts such as the amygdala, hippocampus, hypothalamus and mainly the orbitofrontal cortex, also known as OFC. The intrinsic sexual impulses are controlled by the amygdala and pituitary etc and is not affected much by the consumption of alcohol, but the OFC which facilitates decision making and preference of sexual partner is somehow depressed by the consumption of alcohol and results in the simplification of the thinking process that aids faster decision making. Alcohol also mimics certain neuromodulators such as acetylcholine, serotonin, GABA etc that makes you feel happy, relaxed and aroused. The combination of all these factors will eventually create conditions that are favourable for indulging in the sexual act.

Basically, the above two are the only two somewhat positive points of alcohol consumption in as much as its effect on your having a positive impact on your sexual life. The ill effects of alcohol consumption towards reproductive and sexual health are much better documented and proven. Let us discuss some of the most commonly known ill effects of Alcohol consumption on the sexual drive, performance and desire of individuals:

  • Alcohol dehydrates the body: Alcohol is a known diuretic. It reduces the amount of ADH – Ant diuretic hormone that the body makes and leads it to dehydration. Each shot of alcohol is said to force the kidneys to generate an extra 120 ml of urine apart from the 60-80 ml that the kidneys make anyway. While dehydrating the body, alcohol decreases the blood volume at the same time increasing the hormone angiotensin, that is the hormone responsible for the incidence of lack of sexual desire. Since the body is not optimally hydrated, many biological functions of the body are compromised including the sexual desire and erection.
  • Alcohol may cause erectile dysfunction: It is now a well-known fact that whereas alcohol does have some effects on human beings where they feel less shy and more uninhibited, it certainly does not qualify to be an aphrodisiac. On the contrary, the consumption of alcohol, especially in high quantities can severely impact the ability to achieve sexual desire, erection and orgasm. According to Mayo clinic, excessive drinking is one of the most common causes of erectile dysfunction in men. With the increased alcoholic content in the blood, the brain’s ability to sense sexual stimulation decreases. Since alcohol is also a depressant, it directly affects the sexual desire by interfering with the parts of the nervous system that are responsible for arousal and circulation of blood to the various organs of the body. With respect to the blood flow movement in and out of the penis, the alcohol in the blood stream causes the blood vessels to expand and disrupt the normal, synchronised blood flow in the sexual organs that causes them to feel the sexual desire and arousal.
  • Alcohol can cause misjudgement towards safe sex: It is easy to imagine that under influence of alcohol and a little bit of over-enthusiasm that might be alcohol induced, it is easy for young couples to misjudge the rational control and perspective and take wrong decisions towards getting close. Many times under the influence of too much alcohol in the bloodstream, couples tend to not take enough precautions towards the choice of partner as well as towards employing planned birth control measures. Both of the above factors can be severely detrimental to the people engaged in the sexual act since on one hand it increases the chances of sexually transmitted diseases due to unverified partners and can also increase the chances of unwanted pregnancies, which can be quite traumatic physically and emotionally. Also, due to the decrease in physical sensation and lack of quick physiological response, it becomes harder for the couple to realise if the condom has slipped off during the lovemaking or if it has broken. At the same time, the consumption of high amounts of alcohol can also inhibit the judgement of both parties if the other is fully consensual about the sexual relationship to go forward. There have been many cases where the couples expressly regret entering into a hurried sexual intercourse, not being able to judge the complexities at the time of intercourse due to blurry decision making.
  • Alcohol is one of the main causes of Premature Ejaculation: Whereas it is usually believed that the numbness of the sexual organs achieved due to the consumption of alcohol can cause one to continue in the sexual union for longer and reaching late climax, the fact is that it is not completely true. Studies have shown that men who are dependent on alcohol have 60 to 70 percent higher chances of suffering from the sexual problem, including premature ejaculation. Whereas alcohol does have limited benefits towards providing relaxation and a slightly more elevated state of mind, it is a fact that too much alcohol consumption causes nervousness, uneasiness and an overall feeling of sickness/nausea which can never be a good thing. Prolonged substance abuse including alcohol can cause various other sexual problems including the inability to orgasm and erectile dysfunction in men and dryness of the vagina and lethargy in women.
  • Alcohol consumption can cause long term Sexual problems: Whereas alcohol is one of the main reasons people make wrong decisions and indulge in sexual activities they wouldn’t have otherwise, alcohol consumption in high amounts will most definitely have long term effects on the sexual and the mental well-being of a person, and his/ her relationship with the spouse. The increase of blood sugar due to alcohol consumption which can cause diabetes and heart disease which reduces the body’s capacity to indulge in vigorous physical acts such as sexual intercourse in the most negative way possible. Excessive drinking also increases the stress hormone cortisol and lowers the testosterone, the hormone responsible for sexual desire. Taken together, this can cause severe hampering of the sexual libido and performance. Apart from the physical harm, long term alcoholism can also severely impact the mental confidence of a person, making him/her reclusive and difficult to approach for a physical relationship. The alcoholics can also fall into depression or a state of physical and social despair.

Alcohol and Sex

  • Alcohol causes a serious loss of libido: Whereas alcohol has always been associated with a certain amount of masculinity and ‘machoism’ attached with it, the fact is that long term or excessive consumption of alcohol is one of the most effective ways in which people, especially men can experience a loss of desire to indulge in sexual intercourse. Alcohol by virtue of being a natural depressant causes sexual indifference and loss of desire. Consumption of alcohol in large quantities is also known to cause severe, often irreparable damage to the functioning of the liver. A damaged liver can severely hamper the body’s ability to regulate hormone distribution, including the hormones responsible for sexual desire. Along with intoxication, that alone can cause the loss of libido, alcohol also causes fatigue and dehydration which are another two reasons that a person can experience lowered sexual desire. Lowered libido can play an extremely detrimental effect on a person’s self-confidence, his/her relationships with others as well as their own mental health.

 

It can, therefore, be said with some degree of certainty that the effect of consumption of alcohol on the sex life of a person is more negative than positive. More alcoholics suffer from severe sexual problems, along with possibly other health problems as a result of alcohol consumption. The most common problem, that of erectile dysfunction in men and dryness of vagina in women has been found to be severely affected by the consumption of alcohol. Other alcohol-induced health conditions such as depression, anxiety, hypertension and diabetes can all affect the man’s or the women’s ability to participate in a fulfilling and healthy sexual life. Alcohol is a known depressant and causes loss of libido and hampers the ability of the penis to maintain an erection.  Apart from the obvious physiological ill effects of alcohol consumption, the social and psychological effects must also be considered carefully. Whereas the high consumption of alcohol makes people less sociable and are less liked socially, hence impacting their chances to find a suitable sexual partner, the effects of alcohol on the mental state and health are also quite significant. Since alcohol is a habit-forming substance i.e. an addictive substance, it is severely detrimental to the self-confidence of the person who is addicted to alcohol, at the same time can encourage a person to indulge in anti-social or criminal behaviour, or to behave in a sexually violent way, that can be injurious for both partners.

Overall, it can be safely said that alcohol does affect the sex life, and in more negative ways than positive. Whereas if had in moderation, alcohol can make you relaxed and a bit less inhibitive, long term effect of alcohol consumption or dependence can wreak havoc on your entire health, including the sexual health.

 

Natural Aphrodisiacs

Natural Aphrodisiacs

Life can get to you now and again, and we frequently turn out to be so caught up in everyday anxieties that the last thing on our minds is sex. Still, physical closeness is a vital and necessary part of a successful relationship. On the off chance that, amid the anxiety of everyday life, you let closeness with your partner take a back seat, then you could be disregarding an essential way in which to reconnect with each other.

Additionally, feeling sensual and sexy is part of the overall experience of being human, and contributes to feeling confident and attractive. It is normal to experience times when you feel down, but not feeling sexual or balanced for long stretches of time can have a negative effect on your state of mind. So how to give yourself a boost? One way is by using an aphrodisiac, this article will be looking at natural aphrodisiacs in particular.

What is an aphrodisiac?

For centuries, certain foods, plants, and supplements have been thought to have aphrodisiac properties. An aphrodisiac is a substance, such as a food or a drink, that increases sexual desire. How do aphrodisiacs accomplish this task? Sometimes we simply do not know. They may lower stress, increase blood flow or positively affect your attitude. What is important is that all of these effects can improve libido.

Why natural aphrodisiacs?

Any form of medication you may obtain from your doctor can have side effects. All drugs are poisons; what matters is the dose. Therefore, if you can, it is preferable to use natural aphrodisiacs in order to side-step these effects.

Here we list some of the different substances that are available, how they work, and to what extent.

Plants

The betel nut, kola nut, and guarana each contain a compound that stimulates the central nervous system (increased body temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate) and are reported to increase sexual desire. The root ginseng in particular has been attributed to increasing sexual desire and improving erectile function.

Catuaba Bark Powder

This Amazonian plant is considered a stimulant of the central nervous system and has long been used in Brazilian herbal medicine because of its aphrodisiac properties. It can also help with poor memory and nervousness. It is said to help with erectile dysfunction and apparently will work better when combined with another herbal aphrodisiac. For some people, it seems to increase confidence and energy. It can be taken in tea or food and the effect begins after three weeks of regular use, others report an effect after 20 minutes. The effect can increase over time.

Korean Red Ginseng

Korean red ginseng is an herb that has been shown in studies to help increase libido. Researchers noticed that Korean red ginseng was more effective than placebo in improving sexual desire and helping to treat erectile dysfunction in participants of the study.

Foods

Natural Aphrodisiacs

Of course the first thing that probably occurs to you when you think of an aphrodisiac is food, as this is the most common way people generally take them. Chocolate is, perhaps surprisingly, an aphrodisiac and contains a plethora of natural components that make you feel better by stimulating your responses, activating mood associated brain regions, and boosting your level of serotonin.

Some food contains nutrients required for reproduction. Oysters, the classic aphrodisiac people name when they are asked to think of one, are very high in zinc, a mineral required to make healthy sperm. Other seafood also contain omega-3 fats, which increase blood flow.

Some vegetables (zucchini, eggplant, asparagus) and fruits (pomegranate, fig, banana, peach), like herbs and spices, contain larger amounts of plant nutrients. Plant nutrients help improve blood flow and protect blood vessel walls.

A large study, which monitored 25,000 men for 10 years, found men who ingested the most fruit (particularly blueberries, strawberries, pears, apples, lemons and limes) had a 14% lower risk of experiencing erectile dysfunction over a longer period. The smallest risk was among men who ate blueberries and/or citrus fruit more than 3 times a week.

Researchers correlated this to higher intakes of the plant nutrients which give these fruits their deeper colour. Some of the most potent natural aphrodisiac foods are a mixture of ones that you will have heard of, and some which you may not.

Apple cider and honey

Apples are the oldest known fruit that have been cultivated by humans, and honey has always been cultivated for medicine and food by humans for longer than the records go back. Raw honey combined with unpasteurized, pure apple cider is a powerful medicine and has been long been used as a treatment for many illnesses. In fact, there remain some doctors who believe these two foods combined are so astonishingly advantageous to our health that together they can tackle almost every health problem that affects the human race. One fact that researchers know is that this powerful combination stimulates the sex hormone production and doubles the stamina of a man. Just combine one teaspoon of honey with one teaspoon of apple cider just prior to sex.

Oysters

Natural Aphrodisiacs

Ah oysters, the first food that comes to mind when someone is asked to name an aphrodisiac. In fact, a study in 2005 proved this indeed to be the case, oysters really are a genuine aphrodisiac. This came as a surprise to many scientists when it was announced, there had not really been any firm research conducted before and so it was nothing more than a suspicion or an old wives’ tale. Without going into all of the technical science stuff, essentially some of the naturally occurring chemicals in oysters set off a chain reaction of hormones that leads to an increase in the production of testosterone, the hormone that is the main driver of sexual desire in men. There is one caveat however; the oysters must be eaten raw. For some people this is their favourite way to eat them, for others there is nothing more disgusting. But the evidence is there now, it is a fact, they really do work. Perhaps it is time to grow and like them? They’re very healthy too, containing high levels of zinc.

 

Strawberries

Natural Aphrodisiacs

For a time, the ancient Grecians prevented the consumption of the strawberry and all other red foodstuffs, which led people to believe that the enigmatic berries had great power. The strawberry was once known as a symbol of Venus, the Roman goddess of love. Though they do not possess any magic ingredient, the phytochemicals and antioxidants in strawberries help to lower joint inflammation. Their beautiful colour, sweet flavour and shape make them the ideal treat for sharing with your partner at a romantic meal. If you happen upon a double strawberry, ensure you break it in half with someone special… an old legend makes the promise it will bring true love.

 

Beets

Beets have for thousands of years been thought to be an aphrodisiac in many a culture. In ancient Rome it was the belief that beets and their juices increased sexual desire. In Greek mythology Aphrodite consumed beets to enhance her appeal. In Pompeii, paintings of beets adorned the walls of the Lupanare brothel. This old-fashioned folklore actually has some base in reality. Beets are a natural source of betaine and tryptophan, which are both substances that help feelings of wellbeing. They also contain high concentrations of boron, a trace mineral that raises the sex hormone level in the bloodstream.

 

Asparagus

For hundreds of years, cultures all over the world have acclaimed the aphrodisiacal qualities of asparagus. The Greeks talked of it in the Kama Sutra and love poetry advised drinking it in a liquidised form. Rumour has it the French used to dine on three meals of asparagus the previous day to their wedding in the hope it would increase their libido for the wedding night. Asparagus is also packed with potassium, vitamin E, and calcium which all aid in cleaning the urinary tract and kidneys, as well as providing a boost to your energy levels. Asparagus contains aspartic acid, which helps to neutralise excess ammonia in the body, which can lead to sexual disinterest and fatigue.

 

Coffee

Natural Aphrodisiacs

Whilst coffee does not usually come to mind when we think of an aphrodisiac, the ability it has to give us an extra spring in our step cannot be denied. The smell of freshly brewed coffee has this effect, for example. In fact, the scent of coffee was discovered to be a major turn on for women in a study conducted by Mindlab International Laboratory in Sussex, UK. It is the caffeine in coffee that increases blood flow and boosts heart rate, while the alkaloids it contains help to increase stamina and maintain sexual performance. Additionally, it has an effect on brain chemistry – it stimulates the release of dopamine, the feel good chemical.

 

Honey

Natural Aphrodisiacs

It is not difficult to understand why honey has for centuries been considered an aphrodisiac. The actual word “honeymoon” has its origins in the hope for a successful marriage. There are those who say honey’s romantic repute comes from an early custom in which the newlyweds drank mead, a fermented drink made with honey, until the first moon of their lives together. According to a historic French superstition a bee sting was allegedly akin to being given a hit of pure aphrodisiac. Honey also contains nitric oxide, which during arousal is released into the blood stream, and boron, which regulates hormone levels. It is also a symbol of procreation and fertility in some cultures.

 

 

Pomegranate

Legend has it the forbidden fruit of the Bible wasn’t an apple; it was a pomegranate fruit. The term aphrodisiac comes from Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love who is credited with planting the first pomegranate tree in Greek mythology. As they have many seeds, the pomegranate is often connected with abundance and therefore fertility. The pomegranate does appear as a symbol of romanticism in literature and sonnets going back centuries. A study by Edinburgh’s Queen Margaret University in 2011 discovered that a daily drink of pomegranate juice led to a decrease in cortisol levels, which can in turn increase testosterone levels in both women and men. An increased testosterone level leads to heightened mood and therefore an increase in sexual desire.

Artichokes

Greek mythology states that Zeus created the artichoke. After being let down by a beautiful young girl, he turned his object of affection into a difficult and thorny thistle. Soft on the inside but tough on the outside, the artichoke is well versed in playing hard to get, their history as aphrodisiacs has long been rumoured. When Henry II married Catherine de Medici, known for her insatiable appetite for both romance and food, she brought artichokes to France. A seventeenth century French sexologist and writer reported that Swedish women who felt neglected in the bedroom by their husbands, would feed them an artichoke so as to increase their stamina and desire. They are also packed with antioxidants and so they are good for your health in more ways than one.

Figs

Figs are packed with flavonoids, antioxidants, potassium and fibre. Whilst their numerous seeds represent fertility, their leaves have an association with modesty. Rumoured to be the favourite fruit of Cleopatra, the erotically shaped fig has been connected to sexuality in almost every world culture. They were believed to be a symbol of love in Ancient Greece, where the arrival of a new crop of figs elicited a ritual of copulation.

Avocado

At the time Montezuma shared an avocado with Cortez and his other conquerors, the Aztecs enlightened them to the fact that their name, ahucatl, came from their capability to enflame sexual passion, as well as their physical appearance. The Aztecs had such a belief in the aphrodisiac influence of the ahucatl that they wouldn’t allow virgins to leave the house during the harvest. When Louis XIV needed to revive his aging libido, he used the exotic avocado to assist him, giving the fruit the nickname la bonne poire (the good pear). It seems he may have been ahead of his time, as avocados have high levels of vitamin E, which helps give skin a youthful appearance and boosts the immune system.

Chocolate

For many a woman, decadent and sweet chocolate is the ultimate treat. Chocolate has, throughout history, had many a role, most particularly as a natural aphrodisiac. The bean pods of the cacao plane, the chocolate source, are grown on Theobroma cacao trees, which translated is “food of the gods.” The Maya and Aztecs used the beans from inside the pods as a form of currency. The Mayan’s were known to swap a few cacao beans for a passionate night at the brothel, whilst Montezuma, the Aztec emperor, is rumoured to have consumed fifty cups of chocolate daily in order to please his numerous wives. Even the infamous Casanova mentions chocolate in his memoir, regularly discussing his routine of consuming many a cup of chocolate in order to maintain his stamina. Scientists have described the two components that make chocolate so potent – tryptophan and phenethylamine. Phenethylamine is a stimulating neurotransmitter that is released into the brain when we have feelings for someone, whilst tryptophan helps to release serotonin, the brain chemical related to sexual arousal and elevated mood.

 

Garlic

The Ancient Egyptians used to use garlic as a natural aphrodisiac. It was also consumed by the Romans and the Chinese for similar purposes The Romans offered it up to Ceres, fertility goddess, and they also used to make love potions from coriander juice and pressed garlic. Not perhaps a drink that one would favour drinking today.

 

Which natural aphrodisiac should you choose?

As you can see there are so many options to choose from when considering natural aphrodisiacs. They can be sourced from plants, herbs, spices, animal products, food, drink. The options do seem endless. Of course, the obvious choice is to select something that you are actually going to enjoy eating or drinking. There is little point in trying to drink that coriander and garlic drink if garlic is one of the foodstuffs that you really cannot abide!

As well as taste, there is also trial and error. Try a few different ones. If you discover one works better for you than another, stick with that one. As natural aphrodisiacs have no side effects, or very mild ones depending on the substance, there is no risk associated with experimenting. Remember, these are natural alternatives to traditional medical interventions. Whereas medicine prescribed by your doctor may not be all that good for you, even if it achieves the desired effect, all medicines have side effects. This is precisely why a doctor needs to prescribe them, as they need to minimise the risk that inherently comes with taking a drug.

Whether your sexual performance and desire needs a pick up or not, there are always times when we feel like we need something to give us that extra bit of pizzazz.  Natural aphrodisiacs have all of the benefits and none of the risks.