Natural Paths to Better Intimacy

Medical
Self-Reliance

Sexual activity boosts your heart rate and engages some important muscle groups. Beyond its aerobic benefits, sex releases body chemicals that may help guard against cancer and infectious disease. Sex helps relieve stress. It also improves confidence and mood.

Intimacy is an important aspect of your overall health and well-being, so make sure you get the most out of it! How much sex is healthy? The average adult American has sex 58 times a year. But that may not be enough! Dr. Michael F. Roizen, who has developed a comprehensive anti-aging program, argues that having sex at least twice as often will make you feel younger and help you live longer.

There’s no age limit for enjoying sex. Unless you develop a serious health problem that makes sex impossible, you can remain sexually active all your life. It is true, however, that as we age, many of us experience symptoms of impotence or low libido. Fortunately, the decline in sexual potency can often be reversed.

Improve Your Health to
Improve Your Performance

You’re never too old to be intimate with your lover, and there are a variety of ways to improve your vitality besides heavily marketed prescription drugs. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, avoiding smoking and heavy drinking, exercising regularly, and keeping your weight at normal levels are the first steps.

A popular herbal remedy for erectile dysfunction is yohimbe. The bark of the yohimbe tree, native to Africa, has been shown in medical trials to be effective in restoring potency in men. Powerful alkaloids contained in yohimbe dilate blood vessels, which in turn helps one to produce and maintain erections. Take 15 to 30 mg of the standardized extract daily. Never take more than 30 mg of yohimbe a day without consulting a medical physician.

The herb ginkgo biloba may help to restore sexual energy in men. Gingko promotes healthy bloodflow throughout the body. Many men have reported significant improvements in erectile function after taking ginkgo extracts. However, gingko is not a “quick fix.” You may have to take it for several weeks before you begin to notice its benefits. As part of a long-term strategy to promote and maintain a healthy love life, consider taking 120 to 240 mg of ginkgo biloba per day.

You might also want to try an herb that’s been used for thousands of years in the Far East as a sexual stimulant called “horny goat weed.” (photo) As its name suggests, the herb helps users to become sexually excited.

As reported by Chris Kilham in DiscoveryHealth: “Behind the funny name of horny goat weed stands a time-tested aphrodisiac that increases libido in men and women, and improves erectile function in men. Known also as Epimedium or Yin Yang Huo, horny goat weed was first described in ancient classical Chinese medicinal texts. Today, horny goat weed holds an important place in Traditional Chinese Medicine and is gaining popularity around the world.”

Horny goat weed is often said to have the effect of a testosterone injection. It seems to help put women in the mood as well. For a couple looking to have children, horny goat weed might help get the process going, as it helps energize sperm production.

Horny goat weed is available at health and vitamin shops and is sometimes referred to as “epimedium leaf extract.” Most people will benefit by taking 2 – 4 capsules (500 mg or 600 mg each) per day.

Give Yourself a Hormonal Boost –
Here’s How

DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is a hormone produced in large quantities by the adrenal glands of both men and women. It is circulated throughout the body, where it can be converted into other hormones, including testosterone.

When we were young, we naturally had high levels of DHEA. However, as we age, our DHEA levels tend to decline — sometimes drastically. By the time we turn 60, our DHEA levels are usually about 90% less than what they were at their peak during early adulthood. Some experts believe that excessive loss of DHEA leads to premature aging. Supplementing with DHEA might help revive some of your youthful vigor.

DHEA can improve sexual function in some men. Studies have found that men struggling with impotence tend to have low levels of DHEA (and therefore low levels of testosterone since the hormone is converted from DHEA). At least one double-blind trial has shown that DHEA supplements help restore proper erectile function.

The Food and Drug Administration has in the past threatened companies that sell DHEA products. Prior to 1994, the FDA held that DHEA could only be prescribed by a doctor. However, in 1994, the Dietary Supplement and Health Education Act forced the FDA to recognize DHEA as a dietary supplement that can be sold over-the- counter.

It is possible that the FDA could arbitrarily change course again and decide to ban DHEA. At present, though, DHEA is available from reputable nutrition-supplement retailers.

Although DHEA is a naturally occurring hormone, too much of it can lead to a variety of side effects. With hormones, a balance must be struck. We can be out of balance by not having enough of a hormone or by having too much of it. As we grow older, we’re far more likely to not have enough DHEA than to have too much of it.

Unless instructed otherwise by a physician, men can take 30 to 60 mg, and women can take 15 to 30 mg of DHEA per day (pregnant or nursing women should not take any DHEA supplementation). If you have a specific condition resulting from a measured DHEA deficiency, your doctor may recommend higher doses of DHEA. Otherwise, do not exceed 0 mg per day.

If All Else Fails, Don’t
Hesitate to See Your Doctor

If your own efforts to restore your sex drive don’ t produce satisfying results, don’t hesitate to see your doctor. There’s no reason to be embarrassed; loss of sex drive is a very common problem among those age 35 and older. In fact, as many as 15 million Americans suffer from impotence.

The problem can be treated with drugs such as Viagra. Like most pharmaceuticals, Viagra is costly and does come with side effects, so it should be taken only if you have a genuine erectile dysfunction and you have discussed the matter with a physician. Other alternatives include hormone replacement therapy for those deemed to have low testosterone levels.


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