According to Ayurvedic philosophy, there are 3 pillars of health: diet, sex, and sleep. Intimacy and sexual expression are considered essential when balancing the mind, body, and spirit. The deep philosophy of love as a fundamental aspect of our being is discussed in detail in the ancient Kamasutra. Kama is the enjoyment of appropriate objects by the five senses, assisted by the mind together with the soul. The contact between the organ of sense and its object, and the consciousness of pleasure which arises from that contact is called Kama (7). Diet and sleep are crucial too but what can be used to support the other pillar of health?
Ayurvedic Herbs, specifically rasayanas or rejuvenative tonics, aim to rebuild vitality and therefore, sexual vigor. Rebel Herbs SensuMax is well-balanced in order to support a woman’s libido, no matter her constitution or age. The herbs in this formula reduce stress, balance hormones, and increase sexual desire. They are not only supported by a 5,000 year-old tradition but modern science backs them as well.
When stress is high, hormones go awry, and libido is low. Let’s face it, intimacy usually gets the back burner when the to-do list is growing and deadlines are approaching. Withania somnifera or Ashwagandha has been shown to decrease circulating cortisol, resulting in an increase of DHEA-S and the proliferation of sex hormones. It was also shown to decrease anxiety, insomnia, heart rate, CRP, and blood pressure (2).
Tribulus Terrestris or Gokshura also promotes the production of sex hormones, mainly testosterone, which plays an important role in women’s libido (5,4). A double-blind placebo controlled study on Tribulus terrestris for hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) in postmenopausal women, showed significantly improved sexual desire, lubrication, anorgasmia and circulating serum testosterone levels, compared to placebo (5).
Furthermore, estrogen modulation was proven with specific sesquiterpenes from Cyperus rotundus, also called Musta. The authors claimed, “it has biphasic activities on estrogen receptors which could be useful as an alternative HRT”. They measured both the estrogenic and antiestrogenic effects of musta which proved to be apoptogenic for maintaining estrogen levels and protective against hormone driven cancers (8).
The mind plays a large role in libido.1 When it comes to women’s sexuality, calming the central nervous system and staying present are important for a pleasurable experience. SensuMax contains Bacopa monnieri or Brahmi which is nootropic and apoptogenic so a relaxed yet focused state can be attained. High levels of Serotonin and
low levels of Dopamine have been linked to HSDD in women (3). Dopamine is not only our reward hormone; it is responsible for arousal. Mucuna pruriens, a known source of L dopa, is the perfect precursor for reaching the dopamine levels needed for desire.
Circulation is important in both male and female sexuality. Zingiber officinalis or Ginger is used traditionally as an aphrodisiac and is known for its warming effects. In Ayurvedic Medicine passion is fire, and ginger is the perfect thing to ignite the flame of desire! To balance out the fire and increase juiciness, Asparagus racemosus or Shatavari is used. The translation of Shatavari is “100 roots or she who has a 100 husbands”; this powerhouse herb increases libido, helps with vaginal dryness and lessens pain with sex (6).
Last, what can be done about stimulating the senses so the power of kama can be explored? The herbal-infused topical oil, LibidoMax, will heighten the senses and enhance pleasure. Imagine the invigorating smells of cinnamon, cardamom, musk, and the vanilla-like scent of hemidesmus indicus (Indian Sarsaparilla) wafting in the bedroom. Then, add the warming effects of ginger and cinnamon to increase circulation and sensitivity. Saffron, shatavari, gokshura and ashwagandha work on local hormone balancing needed for sexual desire and arousal, especially when used in combination with the systemic formula SensuMax.
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Auddy, Biswajit & Hazra, Jayram & Mitra, Achintya & Abedon, Bruce & Ghosal, Shibnath. A Standardized Withania Somnifera Extract Significantly Reduces Stress-Related Parameters in Chronically Stressed Humans: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study. Journal of American Nutraceutical Association. 2008;(11):50-56.
Croft HA, Understanding the Role of Serotonin in Female Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder and Treatment Options. The Journal of Sexual Medicine. 2017;14(12):1575–1584.
DeCherney AH. Hormone receptors and sexuality in the human female. J Womens Health Gend Based Med. 2000;9(1):S9-13.
de Souza KZ, Vale FB, Geber S. Efficacy of Tribulus terrestris for the treatment of hypoactive sexual desire disorder in postmenopausal women: a randomized, double-blinded, placebo controlled trial. Menopause. 2016;23(11):1252–1256.
Sharma, K. Asparagus racemosus (Shatavari): A Versatile Female Tonic. Biology. (2011). 7. Vātsyāyana. The Kamasutra Of Vatsyayana. New Delhi: Lustre Press, 1988;17.
Park YJ, Zheng H, Kwak JH, Chung KH, Sesquiterpenes from Cyperus rotundus and 4α,5α oxidoeudesm-11-en-3-one as a potential selective estrogen receptor modulator. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy. 2019;109:1313-1318.
Dr. Sweet’s Bio
Dr. Juliette Sweet holds a Doctorate degree in Naturopathic Medicine and Master’s degree in Ayurvedic Sciences from Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington. She is the owner of SpiraVita Natural Health where she implements Naturopathic and Ayurvedic philosophies for education, prevention and treatment. Dr. Sweet is the Director of Clinical Education for Rebel Herbs and is excited to make ayurvedic medicine more accessible to all health care practitioners. She is also the immediate past president of the New Mexico Association of Naturopathic Physicians and was actively involved in attaining licensure for Naturopathic Doctors in 2019.