Women can experience a sluggish libido for a variety of reasons. But treatment options are available that can get you back in the mood.
A women’s health specialist can pinpoint issues like medication side effects or hormone changes during pregnancy, breastfeeding and perimenopause that could be interfering with your desire. But there are also natural ways to rev up your libido.
Saffron is an ancient spice with a long history as a natural aphrodisiac. It has been shown to increase serotonin levels in the brain, improving mood and libido.
In addition, it may help with PMS symptoms and reduce oxidative stress. Studies also show that saffron could be beneficial in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which can cause depression, weight gain, and low libido.
Other natural libido boosters for women include the herb kava, which acts as an anti-anxiety remedy and helps relieve stress. Stress is linked to low libido in both men and women, so any herb that can improve mood and reduce tension can boost sex drive.
The best vitamin supplements for women’s libido are those made with a combination of herbs and nutrients known to stimulate libido, such as maca root, L-arginine, ashwagandha, and shatavari. We like Perelel, a brand founded by an OB/GYN and a team of women’s health doctors, which has a range of women’s-specific vitamins and supplements that are clean, thoughtfully formulated, and third-party tested.
Women’s libido levels go up and down throughout the year, often tied to relationship issues and hormonal changes such as menstrual periods or pregnancy. But if your sex drive is low for an extended period of time, it can have a serious impact on your life and affect your partner as well.
One natural remedy is dark chocolate, which contains PEA (phenylethylamine), the mood elevator that increases arousal and sexual satisfaction. It also has a number of vitamins and minerals that promote a healthy sex drive, such as zinc and magnesium, which are linked to libido.
Chocolate also contains Vitamin B3, which increases blood flow and helps you feel orgasmic. Other aphrodisiac foods include figs, avocados, bananas and whole grains such as brown rice and quinoa. You can also get vitamin E from walnuts, apricots, spinach and sun-dried tomatoes. Vitamin E helps regulate sex hormones and increase arousal.
3. Vitamin C
Vitamin C helps boost blood flow, which can lead to increased libido and orgasms. It also plays a key role in immune function. A good daily dose of this nutrient is found in foods such as strawberries, oranges, pineapple and broccoli.
Another libido booster that many women love is kava, an herb known to reduce anxiety and improve mood. It is also considered an empathogen, meaning that it can encourage feelings of connection and empathy.
To support libido in women, consider a high-quality multivitamin that contains key nutrients such as zinc and magnesium. A great option is Elm & Rye’s Libido Supplement for Women, which uses all-natural ingredients that have been shown to increase libido in women, including ashwagandha, maca root and shatavari. These capsules are also free from fillers and other unnatural additives.
4. Vitamin D
Getting plenty of Vitamin D is essential for good health, and it’s also been linked to better libido in women. Try to get a few minutes of sunlight on your face and arms each day or supplement with Vitamin D3 (the form most easily absorbed). Foods high in Vitamin D include fatty fish, dairy products, eggs and mushrooms.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps increase blood flow and facilitates orgasms, which can boost your libido. It also helps with sex hormone production and regulates female reproductive cycles. You can get this nutrient from avocados, peanut butter, sunflower seeds, whole wheat bread and sun-dried tomatoes.
A few foods and herbs are considered natural aphrodisiacs, although most of the research on these is more folklore than science. Chasteberry, fenugreek and figs have been suggested as potential aphrodisiacs, but more research is needed. Other options that can enhance a woman’s libido naturally include maca root and damiana.
Eating two weekly servings of fish might help boost libido and make it easier to conceive, according to a recent study. Fatty fish like salmon and tuna are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which improve circulation and mood. Also, fish is high in zinc, which many experts believe promotes libido.
Another food to add to your diet is chili peppers, which contain capsaicin, a natural aphrodisiac. This compound increases blood flow and heightens sensation, which can lead to orgasm.
Watermelon is one of the best dietary sources for aphrodisiac vitamins, especially vitamin B5. This fruit decreases stress levels and acts as a vasodilator to help open up blood vessels for better sexual performance.
A lack of libido can signal hormone imbalances, especially in women during perimenopause and menopause. Eating a balanced diet of protein, healthy fats and fresh fruits and vegetables can help restore hormone balance. Zuma Nutrition also carries supplements like the Happy Hormones Tonic, which is formulated to support healthy hormonal levels and endocrine health.
A recent FDA approval for a drug that boosts women’s libido may help the estimated one in 10 premenopausal women who experience low sex drive, according to AMAG Pharmaceuticals. The daily pill, flibanserin (Addyi), works in a similar way to medications for men with erectile dysfunction but targets brain chemistry that affects female sexual desire.
A cup of coffee can help a woman feel more frisky by increasing blood flow to the genitals, which can trigger orgasms. Several studies show that consuming caffeine stimulates the section of the brain that regulates sexual arousal in females, so it’s considered an aphrodisiac.
Other foods that are often recommended as aphrodisiacs include figs, oysters and chasteberry, but there’s no scientific evidence that they improve libido. Other natural libido boosters for women are ginseng, maca and fenugreek. Try these herbal supplements in capsule form or add them to your favorite drink to get in the mood.