Not ready to hit the Viagra yet? Thanks to these 10 helpful tips, you may not have to. Several natural methods exist that can help get you and your partner back under the sheets (or wherever else strikes your fancy).
And don’t worry—you’re not alone. According to Harvard Health Publications, sexual dysfunction affects both men and women of all ages for a variety of reasons, including old age, chronic illness, stress, and anxiety.
Take a Bite Out of a Forbidden Fruit
While little evidence supports the effectiveness of such substances, there’s no harm in experimenting with the much touted libido-boosting foods, known as aphrodisiacs.
Figs, bananas, and avocados are just a few of the foods known to arouse both men and women simply by their suggestive appearance. But these foods also provide important vitamins and minerals that can potentially increase blood flow to the genitals and promote a healthy sex life
Indulge in All Things Chocolate
Throughout history, chocolate has been a symbol of desire not only because of its delectable taste, but because of its power to improve sexual pleasure.
According to an article published in the South African Journal of Clinical Nutrition, chocolate releases phenylethylamine and serotonin into the human system, which can produce some aphrodisiac and mood-lifting effects. However, according to a study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, the effects of chocolate on sexuality are most likely more psychological than biological.
Take Your Daily Herbs
Next time you decide to sit down for a romantic dinner, add a little basil or garlic to your dish.
The smell of basil stimulates the senses and garlic contains high levels of allicin, which increases blood flow and may help men with erectile dysfunction, according to the BBC.
Ginkgo biloba, an extract derived from the leaf of the Chinese ginkgo tree, is another herb found to effectively treat antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information.
Take a Tip from Africa
Yohimbine, an alkaloid found in the bark of the West African evergreen, has long been known to function as a natural Viagra.
Some studies suggest that Yohimbine bark can help you obtain and maintain an erection and enhances the quality of an erection. However, researchers say there is no natural equivalent to match Viagra.
Boost Your Self-Confidence
The way you feel about your body affects the way you feel about sex. An unhealthy diet and lack of exercise can not only cause you to have a poor self-image, but it can discourage you from having and enjoying sex.
According to Harvard Health Publications, you can boost your self-esteem and your sex drive by shifting the focus from your flaws to your attributes. You can also focus on the pleasure experienced during sex, instead of just the physical aspect.
Stick to One Glass of Wine
Two glasses of wine might be one too many, but one glass of wine is just right, according to Mayo Clinic. As many of us are familiar with, drinking one glass of wine can put you at ease and increase your desire to be intimate.
But too much alcohol can ruin your ability to perform the act, affecting erectile function and the ability to orgasm.
Take Time to Meditate and Relieve Stress
No matter how healthy you are, being stressed out is going to affect your sex drive. According to Harvard Health Publications, women are particularly susceptible to the effects stress can have on one’s sex life.
Men, on the other hand, can sometimes use sex as a way to relieve stress, which can cause conflict.
To relieve stress, Mayo Clinic suggests participating in sports activities, practicing tai chi, or taking a yoga class.
Hit the Snooze Button
Those with a hectic lifestyle don’t always have the time to get the sleep their bodies truly need, let alone make time for a sex life.
According to Mayo Clinic, people who balance a work life with caring for aging parents or young children are often left exhausted, leading to a lack of sex drive.
Boost your energy and sex drive by taking naps when you can and eating a healthy diet high in protein and low in carbohydrates.
Keep Your Relationship in Check
If you’ve just had an argument with your partner, chances are you’re not in the mood to have sex. According to Mayo Clinic, women are prone to value emotional closeness as an essential prelude to sexual intimacy.
Therefore, unresolved conflicts in your relationship can harm your sexual relationship as well.
According to Harvard Health Publications, communication is essential for partners to build the trust needed for a successful sexual relationship and prevent resentments from building.
Consult a Doctor
Even if you’re taking a natural approach to boosting your sex drive, it still might be a good idea to consult your doctor to help identify underlying problems.
A doctor may suggest proven strategies for enhancing sexual health, such as communicating with your partner, making healthy lifestyle choices, and treating underlying medical conditions.
Knowing the root of the problem in your sex life will make it easier to find a solution.
Trial and Error
As you can see, there are a variety of different approaches to enhance your sex drive naturally.
However, it is important to remember that every couple is different, and it may take a little experimentation to find out what works best for you.
And if you do decide to turn to prescription drugs, remember that desire is at the core of sex. If emotional issues are impinging on libido, even that little blue pill may not be the answer.