By Richard Labaki
Women often complain about men being utterly consumed by sex to the point of losing their mind. And while there is truth to this matter, women tend to forget or overlook the fact that they are also sexual creatures (actually highly advanced sexual beings compared to men!) After all, they are the ones blessed with an organ that serves no other purpose but pure sexual pleasure (the clitoris). This tiny but mighty organ has around 8,000 sensory nerve endings interacting with over 15,000 other nerve endings in the pelvis - as opposed to the 4,000 found in the penis (as claimed by certain scientists.) So if we put things into perspective, women are obviously designed to experience heightened sexual pleasures at a level we men could never feel or even comprehend! Unfortunately, social and religious norms have been playing a suppressing role when it comes to female sexual expression and urges. This could partly explain why most women are uncomfortable with their sexuality – consequently, resenting men for being more expressive and open in this regard. I am not a sociologist or psychologist to present an academic view on the topic. But I simply wish to share my perspective on the physiological elements pertaining to female sexuality in light of the recent release of the “Pink Viagra” – Flibanserin (Addyi) – for women.
Those who know me too well are aware of my hatred of pharmaceutical drugs in general (of course there are exceptions, especially when it comes to the emergency room where certain meds could mean the difference between life and death.) So by default, a drug designed for female sexuality could only instigate my ridicule and sarcasm. Such drugs, even if they do work for some people and under certain circumstances, could only come with a mélange of side effects, especially if used for a prolonged period. Simply put, all of our physiological functions could be balanced through our lifestyle habits, food intake and supplement use. But if things are in disarray like when we come under severe stress, these functions – including libido – will be adversely affected. Too much of the stress hormone cortisol could spell disaster for both men and women in terms of overall health and sexual desire/performance. So in effect, you don’t boost libido/sexual performance by taking some drug manufactured by Big Pharma. You work on reducing your stress levels in a proactive manner, and this in turn will reflect positively on your sex drive and performance. Activities like yoga, meditation, tai chi, massage and others have all been shown to be effective in counteracting the ill effects of stress. And there are of course adaptogenic herbs that help tremendously in this regard.
Another important aspect regarding the female libido is testosterone levels. If you have been minutely awake during biology class at school then you should know that this is the male hormone. Well, in reality women have testosterone too but not in high levels compared to men. However, this hormone is very critical when it comes to female health and sexual satisfaction. In other words, if a woman suffers from low levels of this hormone then she will surely suffer sexually. But how to remedy this problem? Luckily, certain nutrients and herbal extracts have been shown to regulate female hormones and boosting testosterone levels naturally. Good testosterone levels in women have been linked to improved energy, mood and motivation, in addition to increased bone strength and body-fat burn.
Reclaiming the feminine mojo
As mentioned earlier, there are safe and natural ways to boost testosterone production in the female body – thanks to various herbs, vitamins and minerals. Here are some of my favorite ones given their effectiveness and relative safety.
Chasteberry (Vitex): This herb is probably one of the best hormonal balancer for women – with an impressive record. Vitex has been shown to regulate estrogen, progesterone and testosterone.
Tribulus Terrestris: I love this one. I have used it for athletic purposes, since it naturally improves testosterone production. However, it has also been shown to increase testosterone in women in a gentle way – leading to improved sex drive.
Tongkat Ali: This herb from Southeast Asia (used mainly in Malaysia) increases libido and stimulates the production of testosterone.
Horny Goat Weed: This one increases testosterone and improves blood circulation (blood flowing into the right places also leads to improved sexual desire/performance.)
Zinc: An important mineral for overall health, zinc has been shown to increase testosterone levels.
All the aforementioned herbs and nutrients have been proven by science to be effective in increasing testosterone levels naturally. Nevertheless, you always need to consult with a therapist/professional before using them (some individuals might have certain health conditions that prohibit them from using these supplements.)
Women are entitled to enjoy an active and gratifying sexual life as much as men do. And this should not be reliant upon a so-called “miracle pill” or “wonder drug”! Stress, hormonal imbalance and other health conditions that negatively affect libido/sexual performance could be and should be solved through natural and sustainable means.
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