There are many well-known ways to boost a sagging libido, from oysters to zinc to Viagra. But what about some holistic alternatives?
Dr. Hyla Cass of the UCLA School of Medicine and co-author of the book Natural Highs offers this information about natural aphrodisiacs.
"First of all, with age our libidos go south – estrogen, progesterone and especially testosterone in men and women," Cass said.
To combat a low sex drive, Cass first recommends eating right and getting enough fatty acids in your diet. "Fish oil particularly or flax oil because that's a precursor to the sex hormones."
There are a lot of herbs that actually enhance sexuality, Cass said. Here are a few:
5 sex-boosting herbs
• Epimedium (a mushroom)
So is there any concern that you can take too much or that these herbs can have side effects?
"It's always good to talk to your doctor when you're on medication and taking an herb," Cass said.
Some herbs, Cass noted, act on the hormones themselves while others work on the circulatory system. The good news is that instead of side-effects, some of the herbs have side-benefits.
"A lot of these actually lower your blood pressure," she said. "So if you tend to have hypertension this will actually bring your blood pressure down in a much more natural way."
As for fragrance and aromatherapies, each individual has his or her own individual chemistry and things that they will prefer. But the following standards, Cass said, traditionally affect the emotional system, going "right into our emotional body and into our sensuality... and turn us on."
9 stimulating scents
As far as food goes, chocolate, particularly for women, is a sensuality enhancer, Cass said. Dark chocolate is probably better because you get more of the actual chocolate and less of the sugar, fat and other things.
Berries, bananas, peaches and other fruits are more about how you eat them rather then their composition, she said.
"Think of feeding each other berries, feeding each other a ripe peach or apricot," she said. "There's something very sensual about that. It's part of the foreplay."
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