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Low Libido & Sexual Health

What is Libido?

Libido refers to a person’s sex drive or desire for sexual activity. Loss of libido is a common problem that can affect men and women of any age.

There are many reasons for a low libido or low sex drive - stress, hormonal imbalances, age-related health problems, lack of sleep, anxiety, depression, relationship problems and grief to name a few.

In all instances we recommend consulting a health practitioner to diagnose the underlying cause of a low libido – medical or psychological.

View libido enhancement & sexual health products

Hormonal effects on sex drive…

Hormones e.g. testosterone, are a major component of libido in both sexes. In both men and women, testosterone levels decline as you age. As well as menopausal women, women who have had their ovaries removed surgically can also notice a drop in sexual drive.

Hormone replacement can be helpful in those with age-related sexual dysfunction, however this is only available on prescription so you will need to consult a doctor first.

For women concerned about hormone levels, Healthyonline stocks saliva hormone testing kits

Other factors which can contribute to a low libido…

  • Vascular health – changes in the flow of blood to and from the genital organs
  • Medication – e.g. antidepressants, hormonal contraception (i.e. “the pill), some medications for high blood pressure, cancer treatment (i.e. chemotherapy)
  • Medical conditions - e.g. Diabetes, multiple sclerosis, hypothyroidism, Anaemia, Depression
  • Weight – being obese or underweight/malnourished
  • Smoking, alcohol and drug abuse
  • Lack of sleep
  • High stress levels
  • Relationship problems

Herbal remedies and supplements to help with low libido…

Herbal treatments for decreased sex drive can help to increase libido, but can also have the added benefit of improving overall health and body functioning.

Dong Quai – A Herbal remedy for women to support hormonal balance and help keep oestrogen & progesterone levels within the normal range.

Horny Goat Weed - A leafy plant native to Asia and the Mediterranean that has a long history in traditional Chinese medicine. In women, it could be helpful to naturally increase sexual interest during or post menopause by assisting in hormonal balance. In men Horny goat weed also appears to act by inhibiting the PDE-5 enzyme, which is the same way that the popular drug Viagra works. Products that contain Horny Goat Weed include: Women’s Plus Libido Support and Man Plus

L-arginine - An amino acid that has numerous functions in the body. It is needed by the body to make nitric oxide, a compound that helps to relax blood vessels and allow blood to flow through arteries.

Natural aphrodisiacs that may increase libido include…

Ginseng - Has been used for centuries to help boost energy, sharpen the mind, reduce stress, treat impotence, and extend life. Some popular products include:

Xcitement Plus - Unisex Natural Aphrodisiac - Contains Korean Ginseng, used by the Chinese for thousands of years to support vitality in both men and women. Korean Ginseng is reputedly known for its ability to promote the sexual function in both males and females.

Herbal Y Extreme for men – Combines the herbs horny goat weed, tribulus & damiana all acclaimed as aphrodisiacs, together with Siberian and Korean ginsengs for stamina and endurance. Ginkgo & cayenne help maintain circulation to the extremities, while zinc, an important mineral for the male physiology & sex drive completes this powerful formula.

Acai Berry - Native Brazilian healers have long used açai for curing common ailments & for increasing sex drive, while Amazonian warriors would eat it before going into battle to help improve stamina & give them courage.

Eurycoma Longifolia - An aphrodisiac plant widely used in Southeast Asia for centuries to help enhance the sexual health and vitality of both men and women.

Maca - A hearty root that grow at extreme elevations high in the Andean Mountains of Peru. Native Peruvian's have consumed maca for centuries for its energy and stamina effects. Today maca is also gaining favour for its hormonal balancing, sexual function and fertility enhancing properties, in both men and women.

Are there any foods that can help increase sex drive?

It is possible that cold-water fish e.g. salmon, sardines, and shellfish, along with roe/fish eggs, may increase libido as they contain important fish oils. These fish oils help dilate blood vessels, help brain cells work better and may influence hormonal balance – thereby improving overall sexual health.

Eating a healthy diet with lots of vegetables as well as herbs and spices, may also help.

Top ways to Increase Libido naturally…

1. Exercise each day (low to moderate) - this will help you sleep deeper at night which does wonders for libido levels. It also makes you feel better about your body, and could also have an influence on your overall stamina.
2. Eat healthily - more cold water fish (salmon, sardines), more vegetables, and avoid or reduce high sugar foods, junk foods, sodas, white bread, pastries, etc.
3. Add more spices in your cooking, e.g. mustard, nutmeg, garlic, ginger, etc.
4. Try to get adequate sleep of high quality.
5. Avoid too much alcohol
6. Try to reduce your stress and anxiety

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The Naturopathic Team
Ideal Health

Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered and is intended to be used for educational and general information purposes only. It is not intended as medical advice or as a means to diagnose, treat, cure or prescribe for any particular condition or disease. You assume all responsibility for the treatment which may be undertaken as a result of the information on this site, or treatment recommended by any other party. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.


If you need help or advice, please email our naturopathic team with your health question.  Please allow 48 hours for a response.

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