(NaturalNews) Do you suffer from diminished sex drive, impotence, or some other form of low libido? If so, you may have already grown weary of trying to fix these problems with Western medicine's drug-based treatments, many of which can make libido problems worse in the long run. So here are seven natural ways to holistically jump-start your libido without triggering the harmful side effects commonly associated with conventional sex-boosting drugs.
1) Gelatinized maca. Sometimes referred to as Peruvian ginseng, maca root powder is an amazingly-powerful adaptogenic herb that has been used for hundreds of years in ancient cultures to enhance libido and treat impotence. Rich in 18 amino acids, trace minerals, phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, proteins, and other nutrients, maca is capable of naturally increasing sexual desire and function in those that regularly consume it.
Particularly in men, maca tends to boost sexual desire without negatively affecting hormone levels. In a 2001 study published in the Asian Journal of Andrology, researchers found that sperm count and motility can drastically improve as a result of taking maca. And in women, maca can help relieve post-menopausal symptoms and treat sexual dysfunction as well. (http://www.naturalnews.com/035283_Maca_libido_sperm_count.html)
"Adaptogens greatly improve your body's ability to adapt to stress, whether it's a hectic schedule, heat or cold, noise, high altitudes or any number of other stressors," says the site Medicine Hunter about adaptogens. "This elite class of herbs imparts strength, energy, stamina, endurance, and they improve mental clarity." (http://medicinehunter.com/adaptogens/)
2) Goji berries. Goji berries are another libido-boosting superfood that offers numerous health benefits. Like maca, goji berries contain 18 amino acids, as well as 21 trace minerals, B vitamins, vitamin C, antioxidants, and proteins. Goji berries are particularly helpful at improving circulation, treating an enlarged prostate, fighting systemic inflammation, and improving the health of skin and eyes. (http://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-goji-berry.html)
In traditional Asian cultures, goji berries have long been referred to as a "sexual potency food of the highest order" because they demonstrably enhance fertility and boost sexual function. And one of the specific ways they do this is by stimulating the secretion of human growth hormone (HGH), which helps promote sexual desire in both men and women. (http://www.naturalnews.com)
3) Cayenne pepper. This amazing superfood is capable of spicing up not only your favorite meals but also your sex life. Cayenne pepper possesses the unique ability to significantly improve circulation, which in turn helps "increase the pulse" of the lymphatic and digestive rhythms. This improved circulatory function can help cure erectile dysfunction and "get the blood flowing," which of course is necessary for healthy sexual activity. (http://www.globalhealingcenter.com)
Besides improving the flow of oxygen-rich blood to all parts of the body, cayenne pepper also helps boost immunity, heal digestive ulcers, eliminate fungal pathogens, prevent and treat blood clots, and relieve pain. And because each of these problems can exacerbate libido issues, cayenne pepper offers a multifaceted approach to curing sexual dysfunction.
4) Pumpkin seeds. The mineral zinc is absolutely essential for the production of testosterone in men. It also concentrates in a healthy prostate where it serves as a catalyst for the regulation of prostatic fluid and the production of semen. Not surprisingly, many men with low libido are actually just deficient in zinc because they are not eating enough foods that are naturally rich in this important nutrient.
This is why eating pumpkin seeds and other foods rich in zinc is vital for men trying to normalize their sexual health. Even women can benefit from pumpkin seed consumption, as this nutrient-dense superfood contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which are the precursors to prostaglandins, the hormone-like substances that promote strong sexual desire. (http://www.naturalnews.com/023828_pumpkin_seeds_zinc.html)
5) Nettle root. Known for its ability to boost levels of free testosterone in the blood, nettle root is a powerful libido enhancer that has long been used throughout Europe as a natural treatment for hypertension. Nettle root tends to bind more easily to free testosterone than sex hormone-binding globulins (SHBG) do, which effectively increases blood levels of testosterone in men.
Nettle root also helps promote improved vasodilation, or the natural relaxation of blood vessel walls, which in turn helps improve circulation and healthy blood flow. Similar to how it inhibits SHBG from binding to free testosterone, nettle root inhibits dihydrotestosterone (DHT) from binding to receptor sites on the prostate membrane, which can also help thwart the development of an enlarged prostate in men. (http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2003/may2003_cover_test_03.html)
6) Fenugreek. The dried leaves and seeds of the fenugreek plant possess compounds that have been scientifically-proven to improve sex drive and even help cure impotence. An Australian study last year found that men who supplement with fenugreek can experience a significant boost in their sex drives. (http://www.dailymail.co.uk)
Not only does fenugreek help rekindle sexual desire, but it may also help promote healthy hormone levels. A 2008 study out of Yeungnam University in South Korea found that fenugreek generates a stimulatory effect on the production of growth hormone, which as mentioned earlier, helps regulate sexual desire and function. (http://www.ergo-log.com/fenugreekgrowthhormone.html)
7) Eleuthero root. Considered to be one of the most powerfully-effective adaptogenic herbs, eleuthero root helps promote healthy adrenal gland function, which as mentioned earlier helps stimulate the healthy production of sex hormones. When combined with other adaptogenic herbs like maca, chrysin, rhodiola rosea, muira puama, astragalus, ginseng, and nettle, eleuthero root has the potential to cure erectile dysfunction and other sexual problems.
Besides generally promoting longevity, stamina, and vibrant immunity, eleuthero root can also help stimulate the production of testosterone in men. And like many of the aforementioned natural treatments for low libido, eleuthero root effectively helps dilate blood vessels and improve blood flow throughout the body, which is necessary for healthy sexual function. (http://books.google.com)