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Expressing our sexuality and sensuality is intrinsic to our very nature. Sex is a powerful way to deepen a relationship by connecting emotionally with another person. Sex is such a fundamental part of life that the ancient Greeks worshiped Aphrodite, the goddess  of love, sex and beauty. In fact, today  her essence is  alive in the  word aphrodisiac.   

Annual festivals honor this goddess and offerings of  pomegranates, wine, and honey are  made in her name.

Regular sex is  great for your health. Not only does it count as cardiovascular exercise, but sex can also boost immunity, mood, and is an excellent stress buster

That is why Mother Nature,  in its infinite wisdom, has provided food, herbs and knowledge to help you get back in the mood and enhance your sexual desire.  Because despite of what those Viagra commercials say, great sex is really a holistic approach. All parts of our health affect the other parts, and that most certainly includes our sexual health and vitality.  Plus, with natural aphrodisiacs there is no need to worry about crazy side effects such as blindness or penile damage, which are two horrifying side effects of the drug Viagra.    

Feed your body the right foods, live a lifestyle that fosters vitality (including avoiding excessive alcohol, as well as cigarettes and drugs) and focus on actions that promote a more positive mindset (such as affirmations), and you will be on your way to achieving a more fulfilling sex life.

But how does sexual desire work in the first place? Basically, it all comes down to hormones, particularly testosterone. Both men and women have this sex hormone.   Now there are numerous hormones that help kick start arousal in the first place.  But when testosterone is too low, desire dwindles and you might find yourself wanting to watch a Netflix movie rather than getting it on with your special someone! Sure movie nights sometimes are cool, but we don’t want that to be the most regular activity of your time together…especially when snuggled in bed. =)

It starts when the part of the brain that deals with emotional processing detects something sexually stimulating.  Then signals are sent to the pelvic area and erection (the penis for men and the clitoris for women) begins.  Several neurotransmitters, like dopamine for desire, acetylcholine for arousal, and (GABA) for orgasm is released by the brain.

Aphrodisiacs work on the pleasure center of the brain, the same part that releases norepinephrine and dopamine that tells the body what feels good and pleasurable.  

Now that you have a clearer picture of how an aphrodisiac works, let’s get to the good stuff.    
 

So how do you create your own natural aphrodisiac? Well, the first step is to:

Eat Sexy

Beets

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Beets are gorgeously colored, and studies show that beets are rich in nitric oxide and boron.  Nitric oxide allows your blood vessels to dilate providing better circulation to the pelvic areas.  This results in stronger erections and better sexual sensitivity.  Both boron and nitric oxide also contribute to a healthy cardiovascular system.    

 

Strawberries

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This berry is another libido boosting food because they are high in vitamin C. Much like nitric oxide, vitamin C increases circulation to the genitals during arousal and intercourse. For men, a diet rich in vitamin C increase sperm count according to this study.  Be sure to pair it with another well-known natural aphrodisiac, chocolate. And…please get organic! Because strawberries have been cited as one of the most pesticide-saturated fruits/produce items out there.

 

Cocoa

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Speaking of chocolate, let’s not forget the famous cocoa bean, one of the most famous sexy foods of all.   A study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine says that women who eat chocolate on a daily basis had more sex. Is it any wonder?  Chocolate makes you horny! =) But that’s not all, cocoa has been scientifically proven to release not only nitric oxide, but also PEA or phenethylamine.  PEA  is a chemical that stimulates the nervous system, triggering the release of feel-good chemicals like endorphins and dopamine, both associated with sexual arousal and sexual pleasure.  

 

Olives

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Go ahead. Add some olives to your salad. The oil itself can be used sparingly, as the natural oils and properties within olives have been shown to also help boost testosterone.  That’s because Leydig cells in the testicles need cholesterol to make the sex hormone. So a diet that includes some olive oil can help these cells absorb cholesterol, resulting in higher testosterone production.   

 

Herbs are natural aphrodisiacs too

Besides healthy, nourishing foods, herbs provide a safe and sane way to increase sexual desire.  However, here is a word of caution.  Always consult a certified naturopath before beginning any herbal supplementation regimen.  

 

Tribulus Terrestris

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Isn’t this pretty? Love the colors! Native to warm climates, Tribulus Terrestris is great for increasing sexual desire in both sexes.  This study shows that in both animal and human studies, this herb increases sex drive and boosts levels of testosterone.

 

Maca

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Native to the Andes Mountains, Maca has received a lot of positive press and boasts plentiful health benefits; sexual desire not being the least of them.  Take this Australian study, for example.  After three months, people in this study had a big jump in mood and libido. Sometimes I add maca into my afternoon Rainforest Acai smoothie.  

 

Horny Goat Weed

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 The name says it all doesn’t it?  Horny Goat Weed, is proven to enhance erections in animal studies. As with our old friend, the beet, this herb  increases nitric oxide production, which plays a large role in blood pressure and improving blood flow to the male sex organs.

 

Panax Ginseng

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To ginseng novices (like myself, really), it’s interesting to learn that there are at least nine varieties of ginseng.  But Panax Ginseng increases  libido, according to a study published in Spermatogenesis.  Lab rats given Panax  Ginseng for two months showed an enormous increase in their testosterone levels as well as greater sexual desire.  

Tap into your Sacral Chakra

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 In Eastern philosophy, the seven chakras are energy centers that run from the tailbone to the crown of the head.   The sacral chakra, which is located just a couple of inches below the belly button, is responsible for creativity and sexuality.    If you have checked out The Beauty Detox Power, you’ll see the whole section on eating to help balance your chakras…

When any of the seven chakras are thrown out of balance emotional and physical problems arise. In the case of the  sacral chakra, imbalance brings low libido,  problems with reproductive organs and fertility, low self-esteem, and the ability to let go of negative emotions to name a few.
 
 So how do you balance the sacral chakra?    One the best way is by doing hip opening yoga poses such as Child’s Pose, Bound Angle Pose, and Eagle Pose.  Another way to balance the sacral chakra is by using essential oils  and through meditation and doing a lot of things that brings joy and creativity into your life.  However, it is also a great idea to balance the other six chakras.   This quiz I created can help you do that.  

Yoga as a natural aphrodisiac
Like sex, this ancient Eastern practice is all about developing a powerful mind-body connection.  Also, yoga helps reduce stress, improve circulation and helps you stay focused and in the moment.  Try these yoga moves that can help enhance your sexuality as a happy side effect to the main benefits of each pose.

Wide-Legged Straddle Pose

This pose is excellent for those with low libido because it helps to improve blood flow to the pelvic area.  Studies have shown that improved blood circulation to the genitals  results in better sexual arousal.  

Child’s Pose

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If you are not an experienced Yogi, don’t worry, even the  beginner yoga student can do this pose.   Sometimes sexual intercourse is impeded by a busy mind.   By quieting the mind, your sexy time will last longer and be more pleasurable.  This pose helps with this problem.    

Pigeon Pose 

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As us ladies especially know, we tend to carry a lot of tension in our hips.  Both Lizard and Pigeon poses are perfect for easing hip tension.  This will make you more flexible while calming your mind and increasing focus.  

Goddess Pose  

The Goddess Pose is powerful for reducing PMS and menopause symptoms.  Both are common causes of low libido in women.  The benefits don’t stop there because striking a Goddess Pose also improves the function of your reproductive organs.

 Bound Angle Pose

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The Bound Angle Pose stimulates the ovaries. In men, the pose helps tone the prostate gland. It also benefits the heart and improves circulation to all parts of the body. Practicing Bound Angle on a regularly stretches the inner thighs will keep the groin muscles strong but relaxed, making sex more pleasurable.

 Downward Dog

This is definitely one of the sexiest yoga positions. Well, as it turns out, sticking this pose invigorates the body and awakens the mind. A great stress-reliever, downward dog, may remind you of a particular position.  

Eagle Pose

According to the Karma Sutra, yes the bible of sex, this move rushes blood into the cervix that will enhance sexual satisfaction. If you are a beginner, this pose may seem hard, but with a little practice you will master it and   bring more sexual pleasure to your life. This pose is also great for rebalancing the Sacral Chakra.

Bridge Pose

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This move is similar to the Kegal exercises because they both focus on strengthening the bladder to stop urinary leakage and strengthens the muscles of the female sex organs, which can help improve orgasms.

Shoulder Stand

If you are an advanced yoga student, you can try this pose. Flipping your body upside down helps your body defy the effects of gravity. Also, this improves circulation and because the blood is allowed to flow to your head better. Practicing shoulder stands will lessen anxiety and have more energy, which is what everyone desires, especially during sex. This yoga pose is beneficial to both men and women.

 

Meditation as a Natural Aphrodisiac

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Meditation is meant to be grounding, help you get centered and feel your intrinsic connection to the universe/God/or whatever you want to call Source. But by calming down and fostering being less reactive in life in general, meditation can help improve all aspects of your life.

When your mind wonders and you are not in the present moment, it can make sex a lot less enjoyable. Meditation is a great way to calm down and focus on your partner and the sexual experience.    

There is a part of your brain called the insular that is responsible for emotions and entities such as lust, arousal, and orgasms. Those people who engage in regular meditation have a larger insular. Therefore, they  enjoy positive sexual benefits like greater bodily sensations during sex, and have a deeper sexual connection with their partner. So ladies, according to this study, regular meditation practice may bring you better orgasms.  

So if you want better sex (and seriously, who doesn’t?!) do yourself a favor and start meditating. Less stress and better orgasms… what’s not the love?

Aromatherapy

What does lavender and pumpkin pie have in common? Well, combined they make a powerful aphrodisiac according to this study.   In fact, the effect is so strong that the intoxicating aroma increases blood flow to the penis by as much as 40 percent! But there are other fragrances that can also make sex better.

Ylang Ylang

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Used for many years, this essential oil has a long list of benefits, but it is especially good for improving erectile dysfunction and orgasms. Ylang Ylang also balances hormones and relieves PMS symptoms.

Rose Otto

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Rose Otto essential oil is perhaps one of the most potent and exclusive of all the essential oils. For women, Rose Otto balances hormones, helps to heal reproductive issues, and helps to boost sexual desire.

Jasmine

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Extracted from the Jasmine flower, this oil helps to improve both, mood and energy.   Jasmine essential oil is used for its erotic effect on the senses because it improves impotence and premature ejaculation. As a word of caution, pregnant women should not use jasmine oil during pregnancy.

Natural Aphrodisiacs have been around for ages and every day it seems like a new one is discovered.   But remember that using natural aphrodisiacs is much more involved than merely eating foods that make you feel sexy, or wearing sexy lingerie to get you in the mood.

A healthy sex life is more of a holistic approach. You must involve your mind, body, and spirit. With a natural, whole foods based diet (like Beauty Detox), which includes foods rich in libido boosting power, yoga, and meditation it, you can foster all-inclusive powerful way to help enhance your sexual health.