Better Sex Naturally: A Consumer's Guide to Herbs and Other Natural Supplements That Can Jump Start Your Sex Lifeby Chris Meletis, Susan M. Fitzgerald
Go From Good Sex to Great Sex!
Spanish fly, saw palmetto, Brazilian bark. The legends surrounding their aphrodisiac powers abound, but how can you know what really works and what doesn'tand how much to take? The answers are all here in Better Sex Naturally, the most complete guide to remedies for commonand uncommonsexual problems./i>
Go From Good Sex to Great Sex!
Spanish fly, saw palmetto, Brazilian bark. The legends surrounding their aphrodisiac powers abound, but how can you know what really works and what doesn'tand how much to take? The answers are all here in Better Sex Naturally, the most complete guide to remedies for commonand uncommonsexual problems.
Learn how to:Increase stamina with ginseng Augment your sex drive with wild oats Promote multiple orgasms with gingko biloba Relieve PMS with dong quaiCombat impotence with pygeumand much more
This book explains which botanicals to use with caution and which to avoid altogether, and includes an indispensable appendix of natural-goods suppliers from around the country and on the Web. Better Sex Naturally will help you experience the best sex of your life.
Author Biography: Chris D. Meletis, N.D., is Chief Medical Officer and Dean of Clinical Education of the National College of Naturopathic Medicine. He lives in Portland, Oregon.
- HarperCollins Publishers
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- 1 ED
- Product dimensions:
- 5.34(w) x 8.02(h) x 0.53(d)
Read an Excerpt
The Right Chemistry
It's Saturday morning, and you and your partner are getting the chores done when she distracts you by bending over to pick up your socks--there's just something about that position that gives you a tingle. She swings her head back up and you, see the bounce in her hair, the curve of her hip, and as she walks by, you impulsively reach out to her. She pauses and smiles, so you take the opportunity for a hug. Unconsciously, or maybe not, you pick up each other's scent, and as she moves into you, you get the idea she'd like more than a hug. A warm, full-bodied kiss cranks both your engines and the next thing you know, you are messing up the freshly made bed.
Any combination of things could happen next, but what we're going to talk about is, the chemistry required to get us to this point. For both men and women, the sex drive is fueled by testosterone, so he feels that tingle and she responds to that hug, but sexual responsiveness takes more than testosterone. Healthy adrenal glands release the chemicals that trigger the special scent that some researchers believe we each have. Mental alertness to sexual cues and responses is required, so that when she bends over, he notices, and when she pulls him closer, he knows what that means. Both partners feel relaxed and comfortable with each other and who they are. They have the physical energy to pursue what their chemistry has set in motion, and the healthy heart and arteries to pump the blood and deliver the hormonal messages to where they need to go.
If our most basic instinct is this complicated, it simply underscores the importance of keeping all theequipment operating at peak efficiency. Herbs can be a vital ingredient in the mix. Let's look at each ingredient in this chemical cocktail and get a glimpse of what herbs can bring to theparty.
Testosterone is the key ingredient in men's and women's sex drive. In men, it also act as an anti-depressant, making them feel optimistic. While much is written of women's hormonal fluctuations, men have no room to point fingers--testosterone levels can fluctuate greatly, throughout any given day. Abnormally low levels of testosterone will have a marked effect on men's outlook and sex drive, depressing both their mood and their libido.
We know that women's sex drive stems largely from testosterone, because even if the ovaries, which produce estrogen, are removed, a woman's sex drive can be unimpaired. But take the testosterone-producing adrenal glands out of the picture, and she can kiss her sex drive goodbye! Estrogen does play a role in sexual health, however; low levels can cause diminished lubrication and vaginal atrophy, in which the vaginal walls become thinner; this means that friction will cause injury, pain, and possible bleeding.
One way to keep testosterone activity up is to take ginseng. The ancient Chinese used ginseng as a sexual tonic.
This herb is so potent that in laboratory experiments, even castrated rats go into a mating frenzy. While ginseng hasn't been shown to be hormone-like, it is known to accentuate testosterone activity, which increases the effectiveness with which the body releases and uses the hormone.
The adrenal glands are small, almond-sized organs that have a big impact on our system. They are located directly above (ad) the kidneys (renal), hence their name. The adrenals produce a variety of hormones--we have many more of them than just the gender-oriented testosterone and estrogen--that regulate many physical responses. One non-gender hormone that most people know about is adrenaline and the "fight or flight" response that triggers its release. Adrenaline has an indirect impact on sexual preparedness. For example, if that "fight or flight" response gets triggered on the way home from work by some road rage, the adrenaline rush causes the arteries to constrict, keeping blood from the extremities so it is available for the brain and internal organs. This works well as a protective mechanism, but it certainly doesn't do much for the "extremities" if your partner wants to hit the hay as soon as you hit the door! Even hours after that enraging traffic, after you think you've calmed down, your body is still reeling from the hormones that flooded your system.
"Tonic" herbs such as India's ashwagandha can come to the rescue. The tonic effect is described as balancing the system, relaxing it if it is stressed, and energizing it if it is fatigued, both of which result from an adrenaline rush. If your stressful life results in frequent adrenaline hits, it is also a good idea to include plenty of nutrients such as Vitamin C and pantothenic acid from fresh fruits, vegetables, and nuts to preserve adrenal health.
The adrenal glands also produce dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), which has received a lot of publicity as the "anti-aging" hormone. It is a basic ingredient of other sex-related hormones such as progesterone. As a building block, some scientists believe there is more DHEA in our bodies than any other hormone. Sufficient DHEA levels have been implicated in pheromone production, the "sexy smell" chemical that some researchers theorize makes people feel attracted to each other. Some scientists think humans no longer have this capability and that only animals emit pheromones as a method of attracting each other for sex. Others continue research to document that human pheromones still exist. Marketers aren't waiting around for human proof. They're convinced by lab research that shows pheromones are so powerful that insects can detect them even miles away, and they are banking on humans to buy pheromone-based colognes.
The brain is the body's biggest sex organ. It's true--the limbic system of the brain rules desire and emotion. Women know this but some men still scoff. Let me pose this question, gentlemen: If Pamela Anderson or Sandra Bullock walked into your room and gave you a scorching "come hither" stare, would you get that tingle if your brain didn't give the high sign? Nope. It's the brain that triggers the release of testosterone, kicking off the chemical reaction that results in that tingle and the urge to do something about it.
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