7 Secrets for Lifelong Libido

008 by Dr. Maoshing Ni a Health Expert for Alternative Medicine

Healthy loving lengthens your life span; it’s nature’s fountain of youth. Intimacy raises your levels of endorphins, DHEA, and growth hormone, which increase longevity. Simultaneously, lovemaking lowers levels of the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol; hormones which decrease your life span.

While healthy loving adds years to your life, it also takes years off your face, making you actually look younger. Studies show that people who are highly satisfied with the quality and quantity of their sex lives looked 4 to 7 years younger than their peers. This no doubt results from reduced stress, greater happiness and contentment, and better sleep — in addition to the hormonal and chemical changes that satisfying sex can bring.

An active love life is good for both your health and your relationship. In fact, people who enjoy regular intimacy live longer. To boost your libido naturally, here are 7 foods and herbs that heat up passion:

1. Oats promote libido lift
Besides its reputation for lowering cholesterol, the common oat plant, Avena sativa, has long been considered a sexual tonic. Oats contain a nutrient called avenacoside, a substance that supports healthy testosterone levels by freeing bound-up, inaccessible testosterone and making it available to your system. The percentage of testosterone that is inaccessible rises with age. A healthy level of testosterone lifts the libido of women as well as men, and increases muscle strength, endurance, and mental capacity.

2. Flax to fix your sex life
Flaxseed, also called linseed, contains a rich supply of lignans in its hull. Lignans are phytoestrogens that improve levels of good estrogens such as estradiol, which protects women from heart disease, bone loss, and vaginal dryness. It is also helpful in maintaining a healthy ratio of testosterone to its bound cousin, DHT. Optimal testosterone levels are crucial to a raised sex drive for women and men. Studies have found other benefits from lignans, including the ability to prevent hair loss and acne, keep cholesterol and blood sugar in balance, and act as potent antioxidants. Flax oil contains small amounts of lignan, so your best bet is to grind your own flaxseed, hulls and all, and take one tablespoon daily. Sprinkle over your breakfast cereal or mix into a smoothie.

3. Nuts and seeds for a sexual boost
Traditional Chinese herbal therapy prescribes nuts like walnuts, almonds, and chestnuts along with sesame and hemp seed as tonics for sexual vigor. Even recent studies show that nuts and seeds are rich in the amino acid arginine, which appears to restore declining levels of growth hormone to a range typical of the prime years, thereby boosting sexual and mental functions. To give a boost to your sex life, you can take 6 to 10 grams of arginine daily in supplement form — or just snack on a handful of mixed nuts and seeds every day. Other arginine-rich foods include eggs and meat.

4. Histidine increases arousal
Abundant in poultry, saltwater fish, meat, eggs, and soy, histidine is a semi-essential amino acid that can help increase sexual arousal. Women who take histidine an hour before sexual activity experienced enhanced arousal and intensified feeling. The same amino acid may benefit older men’s sexual performance as well. As a supplement, typical dosage is around 500 mg a day, but it is best to get histidine from food sources.

5. Spice up your love life
Pungent, spicy foods — garlic, onions, chives, cinnamon, ginger, peppers, coriander — can activate arousal centers and increase blood flow to the lower body.

Cardamom, in particular, is a spice with libido-perking properties. A stimulant with a positive effect on overall well-being, cardamom is used as both a tonic for the body and as an antidepressant for emotional disorders. And orchid bees are drawn to cardamom, using it to synthesize pheromones. Thanks to this combination of properties, it is often prescribed by Chinese doctors, in doses up to 5 grams daily, to revitalize sexual desire.

6. Smells for sexual excitement
Studies have found that certain smells can excite a man sexually and increase blood flow to the penis. These include pumpkin pie, black licorice, and vanilla. Use that mm-mmm cooking smell to perk up your sex life!

7. Horny goat weed
Thousands of years ago, Chinese shepherds noticed that goats, after eating a certain weed, would become sexually energized and active. The same weed was used as a traditional remedy for disorders of the kidneys, joints, adrenal glands, and liver. The patients got well, but that wasn’t all! Soon Chinese doctors began prescribing it to increase libido and sexual function. It is now believed to promote blood flow to the reproductive organs and mimic the effects of sex hormones. Considered a longevity herb, horny goat weed stimulates the sensory nerves and increases sexual desire in both men and women by supporting essential neurotransmitters that play a role in sexual arousal. For successful results, it must be taken daily. The herb is available in health food stores, online, and from Asian pharmacies and acupuncturists, often times in a formula with other natural libido-boosters.

Other herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine for lifting libido and improving sexual energy are cnidium (or snake’s nest seed), schisandra fruit, and morinda. You can find a formula with all of these and more to improve your sex life. Look into Feminine Desire for women and Male Dragon for men.

I hope this article helps you enjoy all the benefits of sexual intimacy! May you stay healthy, live long, and live happy!

–Dr. Mao