Women over 50 are reporting low sexual desire in numerous health surveys.
Libido limbo is what naturopathic physician Laurie Steelsmith calls it. Shes the author of a new book, Great Sex, Naturally: Every Womans Guide to Enhancing Her Sexuality Through the Secrets of Natural Medicine.
Steelsmith, who practices in Honolulu, maintains that any woman at any age can regain sexual excitement and desire naturally.
Most women want to do something to boost their sexual energy, she says. Sexual energy is a powerful life force and if it goes away, we need to look at ways to create it.
Were talking about that energy that is the wellspring of life. Health creates sexual energy and sexual energy creates more health. They are ultimately reinforcing.
Q: Are you saying women should have more sex as they age? Sexual energy doesnt mean having sex. It can be fulfilling in myriad ways. Were talking about creative pursuits, about the vital force of life. It can be sex and intimacy, yes, but it can also be a creative force.
Q: OK. Your book lists nine ways to get out of libido limbo. What are they? Nine strategies to get you started? These are listed in my book:
• Add super-libido foods to your diet. Foods and supplements unusually rich in nutrients, vitamins and minerals that have unique potential to promote your sexual well-being include flaxseeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, coconut oil, pomegranates, blueberry juice, acai juice, mangosteen juice, cruciferous vegetables, green tea and shiitake mushrooms.
• Do sex-enhancing exercises. Balance is the key. You want to get the benefits of both aerobic exercises and resistance exercises like weight lifting. Do at least 20 minutes of each three to four times a week. You can also use the Chinese principle of yin and yang to achieve balance. Yin exercises include walking or swimming or slow ballroom dancing. Yang is more rigorous like running, tennis and weight lifting.
• Detox your home for better sex drive. When your body is not bombarded with chemicals it cant easily process, it doesnt have to spend so much energy flushing out toxins. Go through every cabinet, drawer and shelf and swap chemical cleaning products and personal-care products for all-natural versions. Throw out Teflon pans and dump plastic containers.
• Cleanse your body from the inside out. Do a 21-day dietary cleanse. For 21 days, eliminate all gluten and sugar. Consume only rice, quinoa, amaranth, tapioca or buckwheat for grains. Eat a multicolored raw salad daily. Increase your vegetable intake. Avoid dairy and eggs. Limit protein to organic poultry, wild salmon, beans and legumes. Minimize fruit intake. Drink 12 ounces of water with lemon juice added. Try to visit a sauna weekly to sweat out toxins.
• Supplement to support your midlife libido. Seaweed and cruciferous vegetables will noticeably improve your bodys ability to make friendly estrogen and eliminate unfriendly estrogen.
• Try herbal aphrodisiacs. Because they vary from one person to the next, you may want to experiment. Try Chinese ginseng, cordyceps, rehmannia, epimedium, reishi, ginkgo biloba, catuaba, suma, muira puama, damiana, maca and yohimbine.
• Consume libido-enhancing foods and supplements. After the 21-day cleanse, these foods can pack an extra punch of pleasure potential: sweet potatoes; chocolate; oysters; chili peppers; and honey.
• Minimize anti-aphrodisiac foods in your diet. They include alcohol; fatty foods that make you feel heavy and lethargic; trans-fats; sugar, which reduces your ability to become aroused; and caffeine, which breaks down testosterone.
• Spend more time with your partner. Sharing intimate thoughts and feelings is a definite aphrodisiac. Work on building sexual trust a womans capacity for pleasure is closely linked to her brains ability to release inhibition and suspend judgment. Add yoga, art, music, dance and spontaneous fun to your life.
Q: Most important, you also say chocolate is a love food?
Yes. No wonder its the food of choice for Valentines Day.