Hormones play a big role in determining our sex drive, energy and mood. Other confounding factors include communication, intimacy and emotional states. Some research attribute 70% of hormonal imbalance to the food we consume. Nutrition is a small hinge the swings big doors.
The hormones typically involved in libido are your thyroid hormones, adrenal hormones, as well as sex hormones estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. In Chinese Medicine, your kidney energy governs your libido and ability to maintain an erection.
If you have sore breasts, are irritable, and having irregular cycles or more frequent cycles, your libido could drop. These symptoms often indicate low progesterone. Progesterone is the “connectivity” hormone. Closeness with a partner has been shown to increase salivary progesterone levels. Also getting good doses of vitamin C will help build this hormone.
Caffeine – whilst it gives you a boost to your short term energy production, is a stimulant that jolts your cortisol (stress hormone). Some studies have shown caffeine to block progesterone from binding to its receptors. Whilst it does not lower progesterone, it reduces the ability of the hormone to do its job by not being able to bind to the receptors. Good substitutes for coffee are roasted dandelion root tea (which will also cleanse your liver), green tea or rooibos tea.
Alcohol consumption causes oxidative stress to the testicular leydig cells and leads to lower testosterone levels and it also increases estrogen levels, making a male more feminine. In a man, high stress levels and poor eating habits can dampen kidney energy, hence causing an inability to maintain an erection. Men need more zinc than women, so check those levels, and using herbs like damiana can also help with male libido. Using high antioxidant compounds like berries and herbs can help reduce oxidative stress.
Healthy communication, clean, good eating, de-stressing through prayers, meditation or yoga and regular exercise can be the answer to your low libido and bring you more fulfilling relationships. Practising forgiveness and gratitude can only do you good.