Is there a remedy I can take to boost my libido?

I’ve pretty much lost interest in sex since I started menopause. I just want to sleep or read my book when I go to bed. I feel sorry for my husband, who is very patient. Is there a remedy I could take?

Dong quai (Angelica sinensis) is one of the best herbal remedies for women with low libido due to menopausal changes. This adaptogenic Chinese herbal remedy can also relieve symptoms such as hot flashes and increase energy levels.

Dong quai has a tonic action on the reproductive system, helping to restore hormonal balance and also increasing vaginal lubrication.

Andean superfood maca, pictured, is another adaptogenic herb that helps nourish the body, balance hormones and restore libido. Maca is a root vegetable that has been used as a superfood and sexual health supplement for thousands of years. It is a complete protein and rich in vitamins and minerals, including calcium and zinc. Zinc deficiency is a common cause of decreased libido.

You can find maca in many forms, but “gelatinized” powder is the most effective. The powder is precooked in the traditional way to trigger the release of the active metabolites.

Ayurvedic medicine also includes herbs to treat stress, anxiety and overload when treating female libido and hormonal issues – such as ashwagandha root (Withania somnifera) and shatavari root (Asparagus racemosa).

During this period of a woman’s life, it is common for weight to increase, especially around the middle. Many women choose a low-fat diet to try to lose weight, which can deplete vitamin A levels and trigger a lack of interest in sex.

B vitamins are also important for energy levels and hormonal balance. Vitamin B3 (niacin) plays a key role in sexual function, orgasm in particular. B3 is crucial in the release of histamine, and women with low histamine levels may have difficulty reaching orgasm. You can get good amounts of niacin through your diet by eating fish, poultry, and peanuts, or you can take a no-rinse niacin supplement..

My teenage daughter has painful periods and sometimes needs medication to get through the first few days of her period. What would you suggest?

Since your daughter is in such extreme pain, it is wise to contact a specialist to determine whether or not there is an underlying problem, such as endometriosis.

Essential fatty acids, especially evening primrose oil (EPO), can help reduce pain and inflammation related to the menstrual cycle. EPO is a rich source of gamma-linoleic acid (GLA), a prostaglandin that acts as a natural anti-inflammatory. Efamol High Strength Pure Evening Primrose Oil contains a third more GLA than most other EPO supplements. Efamol’s high strength EPO supplement costs £10.49 for 30 x 1000mg capsules. Ideally, your daughter should initially take one 1000 mg capsule of EPO three times a day with food for 12 weeks, then reduce the dose to just one capsule a day for maintenance.

Calcium and magnesium are essential for nerve and muscle function. Magnesium also helps regulate estrogen-progesterone balance. Cal-M from G & G Vitamins is a highly bioavailable instant drink powder made with calcium, magnesium and apple cider vinegar. A 10 g serving contains 820 mg of calcium and 63 mg of magnesium. Cal-M is available from www.gandg.iewhere 100g of powder costs €13.03.

Stress robs the body of B vitamins, which are essential for nerve health and function, so it’s no surprise that levels are often low in women who have symptoms of PMS or EPP.

The liver is crucial for hormonal balance as it helps regulate sex, adrenal, and thyroid hormones. Milk thistle and dandelion root are excellent herbs for the liver and can often be found in herbal tea blends.

NOTE: The information in this column does not replace medical advice. Always consult a doctor.

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