Is Low Sex Drive Affecting Your Relationship? Boost It the Natural Way
Published | 6 min read
Is a low sex drive becoming a bane in your relationship? Understanding its causes is crucial for identifying suitable natural remedies for this.
Contrary to popular belief, a low sex drive is common. As couples begin to have less sex, they may find it difficult to find excitement in the bed. Unfortunately, no couple is immune to a depleting sex drive, especially as they approach middle age.
There are several reasons why a person has reduced libido. These are often physical but could indicate an underlying problem. And if left untreated, these problems may take a toll on your relationship and well-being.
Here are some of the common causes of a low sex drive and natural ways to remedy it.
Common Causes of Low Sex Drive and How To Naturally Boost It
There’s no one-size-fits-all cause for a low sex drive. In fact, its causes involve both physical and psychological reasons.
This condition is usually related to old age and declining estrogen levels. In addition, vaginal dryness (VD) can also result from breastfeeding, taking antidepressants or contraceptives, undergoing cancer treatments, or a hysterectomy. Doctors also associate vaginal dryness with health problems like diabetes or Sjögren’s syndrome — an immune system disorder.
Cyclic fluctuations in hormone levels can also lead to vaginal dryness. As a result, a woman may experience various symptoms, including dryness, that’ll impair her longing for intimacy.
How to overcome it: The use of traditional natural ingredients or formulations is effective in re-establishing normal vaginal secretions. Specifically, phytoestrogen-rich herbs can be used conjunctively with topical emollients to moisten and heal vaginal tissue and relieve VD and discomfort during sex. For instance, herbs like Shatavari root and liquorice rhizome, which are used in Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), respectively, can help increase vaginal mucus. Liquorice, in particular, contains isoflavones, which also acts as phytoestrogens.
It’s worth noting that these herbal ingredients may be good for treating VD but are not necessarily the first option prescribed by a TCM practitioner. Talk to your physician about the treatments that will help you most.
Premature ejaculation (PE) involves men ejaculating too quickly during intercourse. Physical factors like prostate and thyroid disorders or the use of recreational substances could be the cause of PE. Psychological factors like depression, stress, and sexual performance anxiety can also cause PE.
How to overcome it: TCM believes that kidney deficiency is the predominant cause of PE. As such, here are 2 different kidney-tonifying herb combinations that can address PE and improve a man’s sex drive.
According to 2009’s A Materia Medicine for Chinese Medicine, the first mix includes Fructus psoraleae (bu gu zhi), Eucommia bark (du zhong), Corni fructus (shan zhu yu) and Rehmanniae radix praeparata (shu di huang). A concoction that uses these ingredients can be effective for alleviating PE, low back pain, or spermatorrhoea — an excessive emission of semen without orgasm.
The second mix, meanwhile, includes Cuscutae semen (tu si zi) and Cistanchis herba (rou cong rong). It can be consumed to tackle a kidney yang deficiency, helping to rectify impotence, spermatorrhoea and PE.
Lok Mei Pa Plus pills, which contain multiple kidney-strengthening herbal extracts, can be taken to remedy PE. There are many other benefits of using these pills as well. It can alleviate fatigue by tonifying qi, improve cold intolerance by boosting body-warming yang energy, strengthen the loin and knees, and relieve back and knee pain.
Pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding
Exhaustion, painful intercourse, physical changes, disruption to hormone levels, and issues with body image are the primary reasons a woman can feel drained and feel less desire to have sex.
How to overcome it: A TCM ingredient like an edible bird’s nest can help boost libido, especially amongst pregnant women and women who have undergone childbirth. During pregnancy, consuming bird’s nest can provide essential nutrients that can support a woman’s well-being. It can also help enhance breast milk quality and aid womb and stretch mark recovery.
Growing old will not directly reduce sex drive but increases the risk of health disorders linked to lower libido. A reduced level of sex hormones in men and women, mobility issues, and the side effects of medicine use are some reasons a person may experience a lack of sexual desire.
How to overcome it: Integrating acupuncture with herbal ingredients like ginseng, goji berries, and horny goat weed can increase sex drive. Moxibustion — a burning of ground mugwort leaves on or near the skin’s surface — and traditional exercises like tai chi and qi gong are also beneficial for boosting libido.
Herbal Formulas to Maintain a Healthy Libido
According to TCM, the common causes of a low sex drive include cold, damp heat, and liver stagnation. It also include kidney deficiency, blood deficiency or blood stasis, and spleen-deficiency induced phlegm and dampness. “These are usually the result of high-stress levels and unhealthy eating,” says Real Health Medical Senior TCM physician Brandon Yew.
He adds, “For these reasons, it’s recommended that people consume herbal formulations to help alleviate the distinct causes of a low sex drive. For instance, Xiang Sha Liu Jun Zi (香砂六君子) is a very prominent and often-prescribed TCM remedy to treat patients with chronic weak gastrointestinal system, which can result in low sex drive.”
Physician Yew also suggests the use of over-the-counter formulations that can address these issues:
- Cold, and deficiencies of the blood and kidneys: Liu Wei Di Huang Wan (六味地黄丸), Shen Qi Wan (肾气丸), Cong Rong Bu Shen Wan (苁蓉补肾丸), Wu Zi Yan Zong Wan (五 子衍宗丸), Zuo Gui Wan (左归丸), and You Gui Wan (右归丸)
- Damp heat: Er Miao San (二妙散), Long Dan Xie Gan Tang (龙胆泻肝汤), and Ba Zheng San (八正散)
- Liver stagnation: Chai Hu Shu Gan San (柴胡疏肝散) and Xiao Yao San (逍遥散)
- Blood stasis: Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan (桂枝茯苓丸)
- Spleen-deficiency induced phlegm and dampness: Xiang Sha Liu Jun Zi (香砂六君子)
Sex drive is different for every person. Nevertheless, your lack of sexual intimacy could put a strain on your relationship. In that case, you should identify the exact causes of your reduced libido and take steps to improve them naturally. Opting to self-medicate without prior assessment may be detrimental to your overall well-being. Thus, seek advice from a TCM practitioner before choosing to use any of the abovementioned OTC medications.
- The Journal for Nurse Practitioners. 2014. Sexuality and Quality of Life in Aging: Implications for Practice. [Accessed 17 October 2021]
- NHS. 2018. Vaginal dryness. [Accessed 17 October 2021].
- ScienceDirect. 2017. Vaginal Dryness. [Accessed 17 October 2021]
- NHS. 2019. Ejaculation problems. [Accessed 17 October 2021]
- ScienceDirect. 2009. Spermatorrhoea. [Accessed 17 October 2021]
- ScienceDirect. 2015. Yang Deficiency. [Accessed 17 October 2021]
- NHS. 2019. What can cause orgasm problems in women? [Accessed 17 October 2021]
- US National Library of Medicine. 2016. Acupuncture in Premenopausal Women With Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder: A Prospective Cohort Pilot Study. [Accessed 17 October 2021]
- Translational Andrology and Urology. 2017. Asian herbals and aphrodisiacs used for managing ED. [Accessed 17 October 2021]
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