Low libido in women and men is a pretty common issue and one that can play a major part in your relationship and quality of life.
Because it can be a sensitive topic, it’s not always discussed as a primary concern. The causes of low libido can either be psychological or physical, temporary or long term.
What are causes of Low Libido?
The first thing we need to do when addressing low libido is to look at the fundamentals:
- Practising good sleep hygiene: 7- 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep in bed by 10 pm if possible
- Whole food diet: lots of vegetables, some fruit good sources of protein with every meal
- Addressing any psychological or relationship causes
Getting to the cause of low libido
- Stress and low energy – otherwise known as adrenal fatigue and/or mitochondrial dysfunction
- Hormone imbalance, (menopause, perimenopause, andropause)
- Other endocrine issues (diabetes, thyroid)
- Digestive issues causing nutrient malabsorption
- Chronic illnesses
- Medications (some antidepressants)
- Lifestyle causing poor diet and or unhealthy weight range
Tests to consider
Talk to your doctor about a hormonal blood test. A qualified Naturopath may also do a number of tests, for example, a salivary hormone test or an adrenal profile (Cortisol and DHEA).
Herbs and Supplements to help
Damiana -Turnera Diffusa
- One of the most important aphrodisiac herbs especially in association with depression and anxiety
- No known contraindications
Tribulus – Tribulus terrestris
- The best Tribulus is Bulgarian, also a classic aphrodisiac herb, and a valuable fertility herb in both men and women. It supports the bodies’ stress response, improves physical performance and is indicated for erectile dysfunction.
Oat Seed – Avena sativa
- This herb has been used for hundreds of years as an adjuvant in libido formulas when there is also nervous fatigue and convalescence.
- Contraindicated in pregnancy and lactation
Shatavari- Asparagus racemosus
- This Ayurvedic herb is one that Western Herbalist use a lot. It is a renowned and potent female reproductive and aphrodisiac herb. Shatavari is for enhancing male fertility and to increase low sperm count.
Rehmannia – Rehmannia glutinosa
- Rehmannia is a herb used in libido formulas for people who are very adrenally depleted, in other words, people who don’t have enough energy for their libido. It restores the adrenal glands and is an important immune regulator
- Zinc is one of the most important minerals for libido as well as for approximately 300 biochemical reactions in the body. In Australia, we are quite deficient in zinc as we don’t have enough in our soil. Therefore, there is not enough in our food. As far as libido is concerned, zinc is an important precursor in the production of estrogen and testosterone. It is also vital for mood, collagen production and the immune system.
- Food sources of zinc include oysters, pumpkins seeds, sunflower seeds, brazil nuts and cashews. You can also supplement with 25 to 50 mg of elemental zinc – depending on diet, weight and sex. Best forms include zinc picolinate, zinc amino acid chelate and zinc citrate.