Written by Dr. Dana Price DOM, Dipl. O.M., L.Ac.
For part three of our Libido Recharge blog series I would like to explore a far too common reason for low libido- “I’m too tired for sex”, which in Chinese medicine translates as Yang deficiency. This is the common pattern of living a lifestyle on the go, working too much and not getting enough rest and downtime, and then when sex does cross your mind, you just don’t have it in you.
With Yang deficiency, women can feel like their metabolism has slowed, they are gaining weight easier, they tend to be tired and low energy, and often feel cold easily. Yang is the warmth, active, moving, extroverted energy that we all have. So when we deplete our Yang through taking on too much, overwork, lack of exercise, stress and excessive adrenaline, or chronic illness we don’t have much energy left for sex.
So what can you do to rebuild your Yang deficient low libido?:
Diet: Non-wheat complex carbs with a small amount of high-quality protein (vegetable) is best as well as cutting out dairy, fruit juices, and fried or fatty foods.
Foods that rebuild the Yang are: Carrots, mushrooms, onions, leeks, sweet potatoes, ginger, cherries, apples, bananas, quinoa, lentils, black beans, cauliflower, kale, brussels sprouts, walnuts, and cabbage.
Exercise: Don’t exercise when you are tired and get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise 5 times a week.
Avoid Caffeine: Caffeine gives a “false” energy and can make you feel more run down when it wears off.
Cut Down on Alcohol: No more than one drink per night and 3 drinks in a week.
Avoid Excess Salt: Salt in a small amount boosts the Yang but in large amounts depletes it. Check your labels and avoid processed foods which are high in sodium.
Acupuncture and Chinese herbs also work great to boost the Yang