Sexual health and energy are an integral part of total health for both men and women, and a way to measure well-being. When libido and sexual performance wane, it can be a sign that your vital energy systems need additional support.
Low sexual vitality can be accompanied by other symptoms, including:
- A decline in overall energy
- Decreased stamina and physical performance
- Poor mood and reduced mental clarity
- Low immune functions
People who experience a decline in sex drive — whatever their age — are typically stressed and not reaching their full health potential. While loss of libido and performance is common with aging, sexual vitality can decline prematurely.
Top Causes of Low Sexual Vitality
Setting aside medical conditions, the most common potential causes of low sexual vitality include:
Obesity: Fat is stored in adipose cells, which are hormonally active and convert libido-promoting androgens into estrogen. Lower androgens relative to estrogens can diminish sexual vitality.
High insulin: A diet consistently high in refined carbohydrates can cause insulin resistance. This metabolic condition disrupts the production of testosterone, which is a key player in sex drive in both men and women.
Endocrine-disrupting chemical toxicants: Many of the petroleum-derived chemicals in our air, food, and water have estrogenic activity. These compounds affect the organs and glands that regulate sexual function, reproduction, and more.
Pharmaceuticals: Prescription drugs are another class of endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Among these, antidepressants and oral contraceptives are well known to adversely affect sexual energy. Even if you don’t take these pharmaceuticals, trace amounts are present in the water supply.
Stress: Daily stress of all kinds taxes the nervous system, disrupting the hypothalamus. As we’ll discuss below, the hypothalamus is the center of the most important hormone pathways in the body.
Sexual Vitality and the HPA Axis
Stress, obesity, and endocrine-disrupting toxicants all send abnormal signals to the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus, in turn, controls glands that secrete hormones essential for sexual health.
When the hypothalamus is disrupted, it impacts:
- The pituitary gland and secretion of growth hormone necessary for energy and regulation of insulin
- The thyroid gland, disorders of which are associated with low libido and sexual performance issues
- The adrenal glands, which play a significant role in anxiety and sex drive
- The ovaries and testes, which are directly responsible for secreting hormones
- Production of endorphins, feel-good hormones associated with sexual arousal and pleasure
This entire system is referred to as the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis or HPA axis. Dysregulation of the HPA axis is often at the root of low sexual vitality, diminished energy, stamina, strength, mood, immunity, and more.
Tips for Supporting Sexual Vitality
To promote sexual vitality and overall well-being, adopt a natural protocol that supports your HPA axis:
- Limit carbohydrates — especially of the refined variety. Choose unprocessed, whole foods instead.
- Go organic to minimize your exposure to the pesticides and herbicides that affect hormones.
- Choose grass-fed lean meats to limit intake of the pesticides and herbicides that concentrate in the fatty tissues of livestock that were fed corn and soybeans.
- Drink clean. Remember that hormones and chemicals are present in the water supply, but a good filter can reduce your exposure.
- Practice safe skincare. Your skin is permeable, and many conventional products we apply to our skin and hair contain petroleum-based ingredients with estrogenic activity.
- Phase out plastics. Derived from petroleum, plastics are known to disrupt hormones. Keep them out of your home.
- Get moving. Consistent, low-impact exercise stimulates glandular functions and regulates hormones.
- Decompress daily. Quality relaxation normalizes the HPA axis and balances hormones disrupted by stress.
- Add adaptogens to your supplement regime. Adaptogens have the unique quality of protecting the body from stress and supporting its natural energy systems.
How Adaptogens Boost Sexual Vitality
Adaptogenic herbs reduce the negative effects of stress on the body, so you can function better—with more vigor, stamina and drive.
When it comes to sexual vitality, adaptogens work by supporting the HPA axis. A balanced HPA axis creates the conditions for natural glandular function and normal hormone production.
Adaptogens won’t artificially boost your libido or performance. They do not contain hormones or hormone-like substances, and neither are they artificially stimulating.
Instead, adaptogens promote naturally-optimal levels of hormones like cortisol, thyroid, and testosterone. When these hormones are balanced, we can enjoy a more vital sex drive and performance.
Balancing the HPA axis has benefits beyond sexual vitality. Adaptogens can improve overall physical and mental performance, too. Here’s how:
- As potent antioxidants, adaptogens protect cells from daily wear and tear and support immune function.
- By balancing neurotransmitters, adaptogens promote a feeling of wellbeing, a more stable mood, and better cognitive functioning.
- Adaptogens increase uptake of oxygen, enhance blood flow, and support cardiovascular functioning, promoting stamina and physical performance.
- As anabolic substances, adaptogens help build muscle mass and promote healthy bones.
- By supporting glucose metabolism and normal insulin levels, adaptogens can promote a healthy metabolism.
Adaptogens are a potent natural answer to stress and decreased vitality. When we feel strong, resilient, balanced, and uplifted, we also feel more naturally sexual.