Libido: Herbs for increasing sex drive

Q:
What herb really works for a woman that has lost her libido urge altogether? starting memopause and hormones are messed up. I am afraid to take drugs of testosterone because of side effects. Would the herbs have the same side effects?

A:
Increasing sex drive depends a lot on why your sex drive is low. Considering your age I would first suspect estrogen dominance. As a women goes in to menopause their estrogen levels will drop some. Though their levels of progesterone drop drastically. Progesterone is an estrogen precursor, though it is also an estrogen antagonist. So progesterone regulates estrogen levels. Again as a women goes in to menopause their progesterone levels drop and estrogen is created from another precursor hormone. Though this leaves the estrogen unchecked due to the lack of progesterone. Other factors aggravate this as well such as estrogen replacement therapy, poor liver function, decreased levels of intestinal flora, constipation which allows for reabsorption of estrogen metabolites, diet, etc. The unchecked estrogen will cause lack of libido, weight gain, thyroid dysfunction, depression, etc. So since I do not know more about you I am going to start by assuming that this is at least a part of the problem.

Treatment of estrogen dominance involves raising progesterone levels first. Raising your progesterone levels can be done with vitex (chaste tree berry) and progesterone containing creams. Phytoestrogens can lock up estrogen receptors which prevents the side effects of estrogen. Good sources are alfalfa, fresh hops, black cohosh, red clover, licorice root, and soy. Bioflavonoids also have a weak estrogenic effect, like phytoestrogens, and can help regulate your estrogen levels.

The acne treatment above will help with liver function, or you can use digestive bitters in place of the formula. Either way will improve liver function which is important since the liver breaks down excess estrogen in to estrogen metabolites. The intestinal flora break down estrogen metabolites which are excreted in the feces. If they are not broken down or not excreted, the estrogen metabolites will reabsorb and add to the estrogen load of the body. Fibers from a good diet will help build up the intestinal flora and keep you regular so that the estrogen metabolites will be excreted. Kelp is also good for this.

The kelp will hold moisture in the colon to make a better growth environment for the flora, and acts as a mild laxative. Kelps also contain phytoestrogens and iodine which will help with the estrogen dominance thyroid dysfunction. Stay away from meats and dairy as much as possible. Farm animals are injected with estrogens to fatten them up. Traces of these estrogens are still found in their tissues and in the milk, and will contribute to your estrogen load. Keeping your adrenal glands healthy will also help since the adrenals also form small amounts of progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone to help balance hormone levels as women go through menopause. Signs of adrenal dysfunction include allergies, including asthma, and autoimmune disorders. Vitamin C and adaptogenic herbs will help build the adrenals. I would recommend reading the informational sheets on the Adrenal Tonic and Flora Garden for more detailed information on the adreanals and building the intestinal flora.

Speaking of which I have a message board there. Can I have your permission to post your question there so others can learn from this information?

Anyway another tip is to be sure to get plenty of sexual stimulation. Glands have a tendency to shrink when they are not being used. Frequent sexual stimulation helps keep ovaries and adrenal glands actively pumping out hormones to maintain a proper hormone balance. The source of stimulation is not important, the stimulation can be from a partner or through masturbation.

There are several other supplements that may be helpful. Damiana is considered to be a female aphrodisiac as well. Suma can help balance female hormones. Boron also helps with hormone balance, and it will prevent bone loss in the absence of estrogen replacement therapy. Recommended dosage of boron is 3mg daily. Muira puama is normally used by men to increase blood flow to the penis. It should work in the same manner to increase blood flow to the clitoris as well which in turn should help with sexual pleasure.

When using progesterone creams remember to rotate the application site each day. For instance you can start with the right upper arm the first day. The second day apply to the right breast. The next day the left breast. Subsequent days would be the stomach, left inner thigh, right inner thigh, then back to the right upper arm. This is repeated for 20 days, then take 10 days off.

What you have in your mind?