A healthy sex drive is important for building a healthy relationship with your partner. Your sex drive or libido is an indicator of your health because it reflects your hormonal balance.
Hormones regulate every organ system and process our emotions and mood. Diet and exercise surely play a vital role in boosting sex drive in females, but there is something more, which you can add to your daily diet to enhance the libido. These magical, natural substances are ‘herbs’.
Herbs are a gift of nature to mankind that are filled with different health-promoting compounds. Herbs boost the sex drive and improve hormonal balance in females. They are completely natural and come without any serious side-effects.
Natural Libido Booster for Women
Let’s throw some light at how these natural libido boosters increase your sex drive and rejuvenate your hormones:
Korean Red Ginseng
Korean red ginseng is a traditional and alternative medicine, which grows in the cooler climate of the Northern hemisphere.
Studies have reported that KRG improves sexual arousal as well as it treats sexual dysfunctions in women.
This natural herb has estrogenic effects on females. Because estrogen has a positive effect on sexual desire, it results in an improved sexual function.
Ginseng improves the synthesis of nitric oxide, a vasodilator that improves the blood flow towards the vagina and boosts libido in women.
Besides this, ginseng is a powerful antioxidant that neutralizes the free radicals, which otherwise destroy the production of nitric oxide. Oxidative stress causes constriction of arteries, which may impair the blood flow towards the vagina. Hence, ginseng may help in lowering the burden of oxidative stress.
One interesting research found an improvement in female sexual function, particularly arousal, after consuming KRG for 8 weeks. There was an improvement in more than 40% women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder and female sexual arousal disorder.
Ginseng is safe to use and here are some different ways to use ginseng:
- Ginseng is available in the form of capsules and powders.
- Dried ginseng powder can be added to tea, coffee and soups.
Anti-depressant induced sexual dysfunction is a complication in the treatment of patients with mood and anxiety disorders. This affects libido, arousal and orgasm in females.
Maca is a plant used for nutritional and fertility-enhancing properties. Studies have found that intake of 3 grams of maca root powder per day improved libido in women who were on anti-depressant medications.
Maca root helps in improving the mood, reduces anxiety and depression. Hence, it prevents the major side-effect of anti-depressant medications, that is low sexual desire in women.
Women undergoing treatment for anxiety or depression must definitely add maca root to their diet to eliminate or lower the ill-effects of the medications on sexual life.
Low energy levels can sometimes interfere with the sexual desire or libido. Maca root possesses anti-fatigue property, which may help you to pump up your energy levels.
Here’s how you can add maca root to your diet:
- Enjoy the benefits of maca by adding one teaspoon maca powder to a glass of smoothie.
- This nutritious powder can also be sprinkled on a bowl of oatmeal.
- Make a paste of maca powder with organic honey. Have one tablespoon of this paste regularly.
- Maca powder tastes good when added to a cup of hot chocolate.
- Maca can also be added to pancake mixture or a cookie mixture.
Asparagus Racemosus or Shatavari
Asparagus Racemosus (Shatavari) is a female tonic, which improves fertility and vitality. In modern Ayurvedic practice, the roots of Shatavari are considered to be an effective aphrodisiac.
It is a rejuvenating herb, which boosts libido in females. It also helps in solving other problems, which may interfere with sexual desire like:
- Shatavari cures inflammation of the sexual organs.
- It also prevents vaginal dryness and moistens the dry tissues of the female sexual organs.
Low levels of estrogen produces stress in the body, causes vaginal dryness, which leads to painful intercourse. This results in, reduced sexual desire or arousal in females.
Shatavari possesses estrogenic properties, which help in regulating sexual desire and mood in females. Shatavari may also exert a beneficial effect on the sex drive in post-menopausal women, whose estrogen levels are low.
How can you consume Shatavari?
- You can add Shatavari to a glass of warm milk or water.
- You can mix Shatavari powder to ghee, which can be then used for cooking.
- Add Shatavari powder to your cup of tea or coffee.
- Shatavari is also available in the form of tablets, capsules or liquid extracts in the market.
Studies have reported that ashwagandha is effective in treating female sexual arousal disorder, female orgasmic disorder and hypoactive sexual desire disorder. These disorders result in reduced libido, dryness in vagina, reduced arousal and problems to achieve orgasm. Ashwagandha further ameliorates diminished sexual desire in women.
In today’s modern life, chronic stress is the major cause of sexual dysfunction and poor libido in women. Women having chronic stress are less motivated towards sexual activities. This further causes sexual arousal difficulties and vaginal pain.
Several studies have confirmed the anti-stress effects of ashwagandha. It reduces the level of cortisol, a stress hormone, which causes stress and sexual dysfunction.
Such an effect of ashwagandha is attributed to the presence of phytochemicals; withalonides and steroidal lactones in it.
How can you consume ashwagandha?
- Ashwagandha is available in the market in the form of tablets and powder.
- Mix one teaspoon ashwagandha powder in one cup of warm milk. Drink it before going to bed.
- Ashwagandha powder can also be added to a glass of warm water.
Gingko biloba is a herb native to China. It facilitates the blood flow, influences nitric oxide systems and has a relaxant effect on the smooth muscle cells. These processes are important to the sexual response in women.
One interesting study found that treatment with gingko biloba was effective in treating anti-depressant induced sexual dysfunction in women. It enhanced sexual desire and arousal as well as improved vaginal lubrication and orgasm in females.
Inadequate blood flow to the genital region can impair sexual arousal in women. Gingko biloba enhances the flow of nutrient and oxygen-rich blood towards the genital region. Thus, it lubricates the inner wall of the vagina and enhances sexual arousal mechanism.
Such an effect of Ginkgo biloba is attributed to the presence of healthy plant compounds; flavonoids and terpenes in it.
Gingko biloba is available in the market in different forms, such as:
Start with small doses of Gingko biloba. Taking large doses of this herb may result in nausea, indigestion, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps and dizziness.
Gingko biloba is a blood thinner, so make sure you do not take it with other blood thinners and anti-seizure drugs.
Tribulus terrestris is a herb that may safely and effectively improve sexual desire in women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder. It helps treat a variety of sex problems in women, which include:
- Pain during intercourse.
After treatment with tribulus terrestris, an improvement was observed in the above-mentioned aspects.
This herb stimulates the androgen receptors in the brain that helps the body to respond positively to the hormones.
It also boosts the production of nitric oxide in the body, which is required to improve sexual desire. Nitric oxide is a vasodilator that increases the blood flow towards the vagina. This enhances sexual arousal in women.
Besides this, tribulus terrestris positively affects the mood and reduces stress or anxiety, which may otherwise interfere with the sex life and overall performance.
This herb is available in the market in different forms, let’s have a look:
- Tribulus terrestris tea.
- Liquid extract.
- It can also be combined with other herbs like ashwagandha.
Note: All the above-mentioned herbs are safe but ask your healthcare provider before starting with any of these herbs.
- Chung, H. S., Hwang, I., Oh, K. J., Lee, M. N., & Park, K. (2015). The Effect of Korean Red Ginseng on Sexual Function in Premenopausal Women: Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind, Crossover Clinical Trial. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4700177/
- Shin, B. C., Lee, M. S., Yang, E. J., Lim, H. S., & Ernst, E. (2010). Maca (L. meyenii) for improving sexual function: a systematic review. BMC complementary and alternative medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2928177/
- Sharma, Komal & Bhatnagar, Maheep. (2011). Asparagus racemosus (Shatavari): A Versatile Female Tonic. International Journal of Pharmaceutical & Biological Archives. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/258448671
- Dongre, S., Langade, D., & Bhattacharyya, S. (2015). Efficacy and Safety of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) Root Extract in Improving Sexual Function in Women: A Pilot Study. BioMed research international, 2015. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4609357/
- Meston, C. M., Rellini, A. H., & Telch, M. J. (2008). Short- and long-term effects of Ginkgo biloba extract on sexual dysfunction in women. Archives of sexual behaviour. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2863090/
- Akhtari, E., Raisi, F., Keshavarz, M., Hosseini, H., Sohrabvand, F., Bioos, S., Kamalinejad, M., … Ghobadi, A. (2014). Tribulus terrestris for treatment of sexual dysfunction in women: randomized double-blind placebo – controlled study. Daru: journal of Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4045980/