Many of us find our libido starts to wane as we get older, particularly when we experience discomfort due to menopausal symptoms like vaginal atrophy (dryness) or a lack of mobility in general. There is no reason, though, why your sex life needs to grind to a halt, if you’ll pardon the expression.
Whilst HRT is an obvious route for those whose menopausal symptoms have greatly decreased the quality of life, others prefer a more natural solution to preserve, if not swinging from the chandeliers, then certainly the intimacy and closeness that sex can bring to a relationship.
The following are natural sexual stimulants which you may want to explore – with the caveat that you should be wary of taking anything that may conflict with existing medication or exacerbate an existing condition. As with all these things, seeking your GP’s advice is sensible.
What are sexual stimulants?
Sexual stimulants claim to arouse or increase sexual desire, or libido. A broader definition includes products that improve sexual performance and give stamina in bed. Aphrodisiacs are named after the Greek goddess of sexual love and beauty, Aphrodite and the list of supposed sexual stimulants includes anchovies and adrenaline, liquorice and lard, scallops and Spanish fly, and hundreds of other items. Personally I can’t imagine being remotely turned on by lard but each to their own I suppose!
Here is a very partial list of some herbal ingredients commonly found in sexual enhancers/stimulants:
Avena Sativa (Wild Oats)
Avena sativa, or oats, have long been used by breeders to help male animals “sow their oats” or boost their fertility. Avena Sativa is one of the best remedies to feed the nervous system when under stress and strengthen it to handle the situation. It works to calm down performance anxiety.
Brazilian Catuaba Bark
Brazil’s most famous and highly regarded libido booster. It is considered a central nervous system stimulant and used for sexual weakness and lowered libido in both men and women.
Horny Goat Weed (Epimedium)
This Chinese herb is also known as Goat Sex Herb. It has been used for centuries to help improve sexual functions. It has androgen-like effects. Androgens are involved in sexual desire in both men and women. Horny Goat Weed may help improve circulation and kidney function.
Longifolia Jack (Tongkat Ali)
A popular Malaysian tree, it is proper for its aphrodisiac properties for both men and women. The researched focus is towards improved desire and sexual initiation.
Grown high in the mountains of Peru, Maca root tends to significantly boost libido and sex drive in men and women by enhancing the endocrine function. The endocrine system includes all of the glands, and the hormones they secrete, that exist in the body and that control such conditions as fertility, sexual function, digestion, brain and nervous system physiology, and energy levels.
Mucuna Pruriens Extract
A rare and powerful Ayurvedic herb that has unusually high levels of naturally occurring L-Dopa. L-Dopa is an amino acid that has been the subject of over 25 years of extensive scientific and medical research. It may help with improving sexual dysfunction, loss of libido, stimulating arousal, and increasing intensity and frequency of orgasms for both men and women.
Found in the Amazon, this extraction is very potent and has an impressive research history of helping restore libido and has been used to help prevent erectile dysfunction.
Also known as Puncture Vine and Gokshura, may help to increase seminal fluid, not by volume but sperm count, and at the same time may increase sexual desire, arousal and performance in men and women. Tribulus may help to increase the duration of erection and assist in achieving orgasm in those previously unable.
A tree that grows throughout the African nations of Cameroon, Gabon and Zaire. (A similar plant in South America is called Quebracho). The bark has been smoked as a hallucinogen and has been used in traditional medicine to treat angina and hypertension. The herb is a sensual stimulant for healthy men and women.
If you do try any of these, proceed with caution and if you are still worried, see your GP. It is perfectly normal for libido to vary depending on your overall state of health. Talking to a therapist might also help.