Did you hear that the FDA recently passed a pink pill for women (like a female Viagra) to help them get “in the mood”?

I have to admit, it kind of irked me when I saw that, hence this blog post to provide alternatives.

My issue with this new pill is that it comes with many side effects and doesn’t address the root cause of low sex drive, which is physical, mental, and emotional.

Sex is an important part of life and has a myriad of health benefits, yet we are often reticent to talk about it.

Having recently returned from Europe, I appreciated how they are a bit freer with sex and nudity and choose to instead limit their exposure (and their children’s exposure) to violence, whereas we seem to do it the opposite way here in the U.S.

So, today’s Food as Medicine segment celebrates the health benefits of sex and gives you five natural ways to get and stay “in the mood” (some unconventional!).

Here are the top 4 health benefits of having sex:

1: Sex is proven to elevate mood and reduce depression with endorphin release.

2: It also boosts immunity. A UPENN study indicated people having sex one to two times per week had more immunoglobulin A (a major antibody to fight foreign invaders and prevent leaky gut) than those who didn’t.

3: Glowing skin! Sex triggers a release of DHEA and human growth hormone. This rush of hormones can release cortisol build up (chronic stress) and even help reverse damage caused by the sun!

4: Lower blood pressure! By focusing the mind away from stress, our blood is better oxygenated and our blood pressure normalizes.

Studies also show that self-esteem is higher, sleep is deeper, relationships are more satisfying, inflammation reduces, and our brain functions better.

So we know it’s good for our body, mind, and soul, but what if we just don’t have the drive?

That’s where we incorporate these five libido-boosting tools to see if we can get our mojo back.

1: Relax and Connect  

Our society is so programmed to DO all the time, leaving us little time for receptivity.

When we (women especially) are chronically stressed and depleted, it’s hard to have an interest in sex.  It can sometimes feel like just another thing on the to-do list.

To improve our sex life, we must create some space in life to slow down and recharge so we can get into a receptive space.

This could be as simple as taking a short bath, a walk in nature, a few minutes to stretch and breath, getting a massage or taking a yoga class – whatever it is that gets you into that expansive state.  There is reason why so many babies are made on vacation.

I love to use magnesium oil for relaxation. Add 4oz to a bath or 2 oz to a foot soak to float away from the day’s stressors. Magnesium oil is easily absorbed through the skin, relaxing the nervous system almost instantly.

This relaxation ritual can also take place with your partner. Sex for women is so much about the emotional connection they have and feel with their partner that consistently spending a few minutes synching up and unwinding together can be invaluable to improving your sex life.

For the chronically stressed, rhodiola rosea is a wonderful adaptogenic herb to balance cortisol levels that can wreak havoc on your sex drive.

2: Eat Oysters and Shellfish!

Thanks to the Greek goddess of sexuality and love, Aphrodite, we know that an aphrodisiac is a substance that increases sexual desire.  Throughout history, many foods, drinks, and behaviors have had a reputation for making sex more attainable and/or pleasurable.

It’s not a myth that oysters are an aphrodisiac, but do you know WHY?

Oysters are an amazing food for replenishing the pituitary gland. This is one of the two master glands in your brain that tells the rest of the hormones what to do and how many hormones to make.

Also, oysters especially, but all shellfish is high in zinc, an essential mineral to help make testosterone, which enhances libido.

3: Load Up on Avocados

One of the richest sources of Vitamin E, avocados can be a helpful food to assist the body in making testosterone. Avocados' nutrition content can also aid in the production of cervical fluid.

4: Get Spicy!

Spices like cayenne, jalepeno, and serano chiles improve blood flow to the reproductive organs in both men and women and stimulates nerve endings to make them more sensitive.

5: Hormone Boosters

The near-magical Peruvian root known as maca is known to boost libido and fertility and the precursor hormone that will let your body make the amount of testosterone it wants to make.

Now I want to hear from you. What are your challenges to low sex drive and what works for you to improve it? Let me know in the comments below.