In Ayurveda, and many ancient traditions, sexual energy, or Shakti energy, is synonymous with creative energy. The desire to connect with the sexual aspect of this energy is connected to the shukra dhatu (male reproductive tissue) and artava dhatu (female reproductive tissue). To achieve and maintain a healthy balance of your sex drive, you must consider your whole body’s well-being and emotional health. Welcome to Ayurveda where everything is connected!
Listening to Your Body
Let’s begin this exploration by looking at instances of imbalance as a starting point to identify nourishing practices, herbs, recipes and inquiries that can usher in greater balance and ultimately, fulfillment.
When libido, or sexual drive, is low or off, it is actually a very important signal or messenger for the body. Ayurveda would point to this as the innate intelligence of the body diverting attention and energy away from sexual desire, as something else needs to be addressed or healed in order to restore that energy. Hence, if you have ever felt your own libido lower than comfortable, consider offering the body gratitude for showing you that something needs your attention. For instance, a low sex drive could be a sign of emotional factors, high stress levels, hormonal imbalance or even reproductive organ weakness. The important thing is to get to the root cause, before turning to remedies or herbs to elevate this energy. Something as seemingly simple as constipation could affect your sex drive!
Honoring your Energy Cycles and Needs
Each dosha also has a different relationship with the expression of sexual energy. For instance, Vata is especially drawn to excess sexual activity, but this can actually aggravate Vata, thus creating an imbalance. It’s important to recognize what level and amount of expression is right for your body and your needs. Women and men have different routes to arousal and differing relationships with this energy.
Women’s sex drive may vary throughout the month in relationship to their own moon cycle, with their drive typically being higher around the period of ovulation. For women, tuning into this energy is very connected to the mental preparation – many women enjoy the anticipation and the act of being pursued.
Men, on the other hand, have a bit more stable, or consistent sex drive, as their own vital energy cycles are more connected to the sun. The sun is constant, stable, and varies little day to day, whereas the moon moves through cycles. Of course, it’s useful to remember every individual is different; simply let these principles serve as points of inquiry to better understand your own drive and cycles.
Herbal Allies for Your Sex Drive
With this bit of background, we can now turn to an exploration of herbs and remedies to support the vital sexual energy. Different herbs can be utilized between men and women. Most commonly used and well known for men, Ashwagandha is a powerful herb that strengthens libido. It roughly translates to “the strength of a thousand horses”! It can be taken with warm milk (1 tsp) and sipped at night, mixed the with herb vidari (1/2 tsp). The same formula can be used for women, replacing Ashwagandha with Shatavari. Another herbal remedy would be to utilize brahmi or shatavari infused ghee in a therapeutic massage externally, to the reproductive tissues.
Recipes for Women & Men
There are also simple and effective remedies that can be utilized by both men and women in the form of some delicious recipes! These are adapted from Vasant Lad’s book The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies. Try a one or more of the following for 1-2 weeks at a time:
- Strengthening Soaked Almond Drink
- Soak 10 almonds overnight. Peel the skins and blend with warm milk, 1 tsp ghee, a little raw honey or coconut sugar, a pinch of saffron and nutmeg. Drink in the morning.
- Delectable Dates
- Soak 10 fresh dates in a quart jar of ghee with a pinch of saffron, 1 tsp ginger, and 1/8 tsp cardamom. Eat 1 date daily, for 2 weeks. These support libido and chronic fatigue – double duty!
- Apple Dessert
- Core and peel 5 apples, blend or mash into a pulp, and mix in a little raw honey, a pinch of saffron and nutmeg, 1/8 teaspoon cardamom, and 10 drops rose water. Enjoy 1/2 cup 1 hour after meals (avoid combining or eating close to milk, yogurt, or fish for optimal digestion).
- Figs & Honey
- Eat 3 figs with a bit of local, raw honey after breakfast.
- Garlic and Onions
- Option 1: garlic milk (surprising, yes! but according to Ayurveda, this is an aphrodisiac) – mix 1 cup milk with 1/4 cup water, and 1 clove of garlic. Boil gently down to 1 cup of liquid and drink at bedtime.
- Option 2: take 1 tsp onion juice mixed with 1 tsp ginger juice twice daily.
Lifestyle Exploration and Takeaways
Lastly, and as with all things Ayurveda, it’s essential to look at the whole picture. If stress or anxiety are present in your life in high degrees, it may be beneficial to explore these deeply before reaching for a ‘remedy’. Regular meditation, yoga, and breathing exercises are excellent ways to reduce stress and regulate the nervous system back to a grounded and easeful state. Especially useful asanas include the Camel Pose, Hero’s Pose, and the King Dancer Pose. You might consider a daily supplement to support you, like My Healthy Mood, which has powerful adaptogens to help regulate mood and ease stress.
Communication with your partner is also invaluable. Opening the door for clear communication outside of intimate time, in a loving, compassionate, and non judgmental way will ultimately open a doorway for deeper connection to yourself and to each other, and a greater and more fulfilling expression of your own Shakti energy.
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Author – Alexandra Kazimir (YouVeda Wellness Contributor)