Elizabeth Somer, M.A.,R. D.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that living on cheese puffs and cola will breed a slug, not a rabbit, in the bedroom. Both severe dieting and obesity disrupt ovulation in women, while blood testosterone levels plunge by 50% in men when they consume high-fat meals. In short, too little or too much calories, dietary fat, or body fat can interfere with a person’s love life.
Nutritional deficiencies, from vitamin A to zinc, also sap your mental and physical energy, while a nutrient-packed, low-fat diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat milk products, and legumes can reduce the likelihood that you’ll be too pooped to pucker or complain ‘not tonight honey, I have a headache’
Folklore remedies like exotic rhino horn, oysters, or ginseng do little for your libido, and as Shakespeare said, “[alcohol]provides the desire, but takes away the performance.” Instead, boost your libido with the ambiance of a candlelight dinner, or by peeling grapes and feeding them to your lover one by one, or dipping strawberries in chocolate in front of a roaring fire.
Eating well combined with daily exercise and relaxation, moderate caffeine and alcohol, and limiting medications to only those prescribed by a physician will go much further than any aphrodisiac to boost your desire and energy. Of course, the most important sexual organ and the best aphrodisiac in the world is your imagination!Elizabeth Somer, M.A., R.D., is author of several books, including Food & Mood (Owl Books, 1999) and Nutrition for Women (Owl Books, 2003).
Nancy Welliver, N.D.
The pace of the 21st-century lifestyle is not conducive to a good sex life! Slow down and bring pleasing scents, soft music, soothing colors, and massage into your lives together. Also, make sure that you eat well, drink enough water, exercise moderately, and get eight hours of sleep. The creative energy of the libido flows best when we are nourished and relaxed on all levels!
Then, focus on supporting the nervous system and adrenal function. I use adrenal tonic herbs like schisandra, ashwaganda, and rhodiola, along with gentle herbal relaxants such as lemon balm or a touch of lavender, and gentle circulatory stimulants such as ginkgo, or a touch of ginger in a formula. You should be able to find liquid extracts of these at your healthfood store. You can mix equal parts of all but the ginger and lavender, which should represent 10% or less of your total volume. If using lavender essential oil, a few drops will do. Take 1-2 droppersful 2-3x per day. Also, I usually include a vitamin B-complex that has at least 225 mg of B-5 as it is a nutrient specific for adrenal health.
There are many performance enhancing products on the market. I would avoid those without the ingredients above. Many of these types of products will work in the short run, but exhaust the system if used longterm.Dr. Nancy Welliver has been a practicing naturopathic physician for the last eleven years and is currently a faculty member at Bastyr University.
Spas can help boost your libido in several ways; increasing intimacy and feeling better about one’s body. Many spas now offer couples options that support both these things. Couples massage classes, where couples learn to increase intimacy and feel more relaxed and centered through easy massage techniques they can do to one another, are becoming more popular. A couples massage (both people receive a massage at the same time), a couples yoga class, or Tantric massage, can all increase intimacy between you and your partner. Specialty yoga classes that include breath techniques can also be helpful. Many couples are taking advantage of these offerings with the knowledge that a weekend together participating in these treatments and programs will bring them closer and break down the barriers that day to day life puts between us all.Amy McDonald is the Spa and Programs Director at EL Monte Sagrado Living Resort and Spa in Taos, New Mexico. Amy has been in the spa industry for twenty years and is an industry expert in integrating both spa and educational programs into transformational experiences for guests.