Couple with legs intertwined under sheets - improved libido after work at Eastwest Integrated Care and the use of Traditional Chinese Medicine

TCM and Libido

If you are struggling with low sex drive, you are not alone. Many things can affect your desire for intimacy, such as stress, depression, age, medications, drug and alcohol abuse, low testosterone, and diabetes. These are just some of the potential causes of low libido, and they can have different effects on different people.

Hormones Are Messy

If you are a man over 40 years of age, you may experience a drop in testosterone levels. Testosterone is a key hormone that affects your muscles, bones, fertility, sex drive and sperm quality; low testosterone can cause problems such as low sex drive, tiredness, erectile dysfunction, loss of muscle mass, anxiety, and insomnia. On the other hand, if you are a woman going through menopause, you might notice that your libido, or sex drive, is changing. Some women may experience an increase in libido, while others experience a decrease. Not all women go through this libido decrease, though it is quite common. In most cases, a lower libido during menopause is due to decreased hormone levels. These can lead to vaginal dryness and tightness, which can cause pain during sex, making you less interested in sex.

Have you considered Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) to help improve your libido?

From the TCM standpoint, loss of libido can be the consequence of several “patterns of disharmony.” A “pattern” is when our body systems’ balance gets disrupted, leading to symptoms or signs that something is wrong (like loss of libido).

One of the main patterns leading to decreased libido is related to the Kidneys’ system. In TCM the Kidneys’ principal role is to store and release Jing (also known as Essence). During childhood, Essence is responsible for the growth of bones, teeth, hair, brain, and sexual maturation. In maturity, Essence controls reproductive function, fertility, conception, and pregnancy.

Kidney Essence is also the foundation of sexual life and healthy libido, and the material root for the creation of sperm in men and ova and menstrual blood in women.

By the middle of one’s life, Essence will progressively decline. Aging, excessive sexual activity and Kidney Yin or Yang deficiencies over a prolonged period may lead to the decreasing of Kidney Essence. If the Kidney Yang energy is weak, the symptoms may include feeling cold, a sore lower back, pale complexion, weak legs and knees, lassitude, and loose stools. As the Essence becomes weaker, other signs such as deterioration of bones and brain function, teeth decay, and hair loss or premature greying may appear.

TCM herbal formulas may just be the ticket to improve your sex life and reignite your fire.

Kidney Essence is the essential element in terms of healthy sexual function; therefore, a deficiency of Essence may cause all kinds of sexual dysfunction for both women and men such as infertility and sterility. Let us review some of the most popular herbal formulas to address such deficiencies:

  • Zuo Gui San (Restore the Left (Kidney) Tea) – Nourishes the Yin, strengthens the Kidneys, fills the Essence, and augments the marrow.
  • Tu Si Zi San (Cuscuta Seed Tea) – Warms the Kidneys, prevents abnormal leakage such as urinary incontinence or seminal emissions.
  • Wu Zi Yan Zong San (Five Ancestors Tea) – Tonifies Kidney Yang, strengthens the Essence.
  • You Gui San (Restore the Right Tea) – Warms and tonifies Kidney Yang, replenishes the Essence, tonifies the Blood.
  • Er Xian San (Two Immortals Decoction) – Nourishes Yin and tonifies Yang of the Kidneys, clears empty Heat, regulates the Directing and Penetrating vessels.
  • Shen Qi San (Kidney Qi Pills from the Golden Cabinet) – Tonifies and warms Kidney Yang.

In addition to the above diagnosis and treatment, another common factor for low libido could be stress, anxiety, or depression. TCM can also treat these conditions as the root cause of low libido (an emotional and physical stagnation) with acupuncture and herbal formulas.

Keep it in mind!

Taking an herbal formula is safer instead of one single herb. For instance, taking Ginseng alone could be too warm for an individual and cause other problems such as high blood pressure, anxiety, headache, and palpitations. It is best to see a qualified herbalist or TCM practitioner to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment; it is not advisable to self-diagnose and treat oneself with herbs.

Along with herbal formulas you can try acupuncture and warming moxibustion on the lower back, along with lifestyle changes in diet, and sleep hygiene. Adding light exercise such as Tai Chi or Qi Gong could be extremely beneficial as well. Ask a qualified provider.

Post Category:
Acupuncture, Sexual Health
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