Boost Your Libido Naturally

By Jamie Bussin and Joel Thuna

From time to time, on the talk show we discuss human libido and sexual health. Most recently on Episode #329 I engaged the new round table of experts to come up with some natural health solutions edified by their respective modalites. One of the members of the panel was Master Herbalist Joel Thuna, a frequent contributor to the show and the magazine. The discussion reminded me of one of our previous interviews on Episode #197 in which Joel focused on supplements that might help boost sex drive. This is an encapsulation of that discussion.

The natural aging process tends to diminish sex drive. There are also illnesses and disabilities and medicines that treat those illnesses and disabilities that can also affect your ability to have and enjoy sex. Chief among these are conditions that cause pain, as well as diabetes, heart disease and depression. Be sure to talk to your healthcare practitioner to work on these underlying conditions, because any improvement in those should dramatically improve your sex life. Also, consult with your healthcare practitioner before taking any supplement to ensure there are no adverse effects or contraindications.

Everyone, at some point in their adult life, has wondered if there is a simple cure to help with a waning sex drive. If you were to do a web search you could find any number of products promising fantastical and instant results. But there are dangers, as Joel explains; “You could look at it as a joke, but you have to be very careful because some of these products are quite dangerous. There’ve been multiple Health Canada and FDA recalls on traditional Asian and Indian secret formula products that in the end, were found to have dangerous pharmaceuticals in them. You want to stick with clean, ideally certified, organic, well-known, well-researched and Health Canada licensed products, especially in this realm.”

However, in addition to living a healthy lifestyle-good sleep, exercise and a balanced diet, there are 6 supplements that Joel identifies as supportive of sexual health:

Imperial Ginseng: Ginseng is an overarching term. There are multiple types of ginseng available on the market which are touted to help with sexual dysfunction. Consumers should look for Imperial ginseng which has been used for thousands of years and it’s one of the most widely researched herbs. According to Joel, the research has shown that Imperial ginseng can be a useful alternative in the treatment of erectile dysfunction in men. It promotes the production of nitric oxide, the compound that improves muscle relaxation in the penis and increases blood circulation. On top of that, Imperial ginseng has been shown to fight fatigue and promote energy and stamina. However, Imperial ginseng is for men’s use only, not for women, as it can trigger hot flashes for those in perimenopause.

Dong Kwei: Dong Kwei is known as ‘female ginseng’. It’s a staple herb in Chinese medicine. It’s given to younger women to make menstrual cycles more regular, but it’s also given to mature women to help with vaginal dryness and pain during sex. The good additional benefit is it’s also said to reduce hot flashes. 

Vitamin B12: Adequate levels of Vitamin B12 are required for good sex. Unfortunately, B12 deficiency affects almost half of us. It can lead to fatigue, low energy and low stamina levels. If you want to have sex, deficiency  in B12 can also contribute to a lack of pleasure at the time of climax very specifically. So taking adequate B12 will boost your energy. It increases your stamina, which can lead to a sex life that’s bigger, bolder and better. On top of that, Vitamin B12 can also actually increase your libido. And it can be taken daily.

Protein: Protein is a pillar of a healthy diet. Everyone should be consuming protein in their diet daily. It’s the building block of muscle. It affects your balance, your strength and your endurance. As we age, naturally our protein intake decreases because of our diet changing and, on top of that, our ability to break down our protein is reduced. So this is why most health professionals recommend that mature adults supplement with protein daily to maintain healthy muscle tone. Specifically, when it comes to sex, Joel recommends whey protein.  He states; “Studies have shown that whey protein can increase testosterone levels, which, in turn, aids sexual desire as well as performance and satisfaction in both men and women.”

Horny Goat Weed: Its hilarious name attracts attention every time you say it, but behind the name lies a very serious plant. It’s a centuries-old herb that’s been used throughout Asia as a sex enhancer, an aphrodisiac and an energizer, and the way it works is it actually increases the blood flow throughout your body. By doing that, it increases your energy, endurance and libido, in both men and women, and in men, it actually improves erections.

Saw Palmetto: Saw palmetto is considered to be the be-all and end-all herb when it comes to prostate health. These little berries have been used for centuries to help men perform better and to prevent male urinary issues. What they do is they enhance erections by improving vasodilating. There are very small blood vessels within the penis. In order to get enough blood in to have an erection, those small blood vessels have to dilate. Saw palmetto helps that occur. If you have enough blood flow, it leads to faster responsiveness, increased rigidity and longer-lasting erections.