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Jane Glenn Haas, The Orange County Register , Published August 05 2012

Author says women can boost their libido

Women over 50 are reporting low sexual desire in numerous health surveys.

“Libido limbo” is what naturopathic physician Dr. Laurie Steelsmith calls it. She’s the author of a new book, “Great Sex, Naturally: Every Woman’s Guide to Enhancing Her Sexuality Through the Secrets of Natural Medicine.”

Steelsmith, who practices in Honolulu, maintains that any woman at any age can regain sexual excitement and desire naturally.

Q: OK. Your book lists nine ways to get out of “libido limbo.” What are they?

A: Nine strategies to get you started? These are listed in my book:

- Add super-libido foods to your diet. Foods and supplements unusually rich in nutrients, vitamins and minerals that have unique potential to promote your sexual well-being include flaxseeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, coconut oil, pomegranates.

- Do sex-enhancing exercises. Balance is the key. You want to get the benefits of both aerobic exercises and resistance exercises like weight lifting.

- Detox your home for better sex drive. When your body is not bombarded with chemicals it can’t easily process, it doesn’t have to spend so much energy flushing out toxins. Go through every cabinet, drawer and shelf and swap chemical cleaning products and personal-care products for all-natural versions. Throw out Teflon pans and dump plastic containers.

- Cleanse your body from the inside out. Do a 21-day dietary cleanse. For 21 days, eliminate all gluten and sugar. Consume only rice, quinoa, amaranth, tapioca or buckwheat for grains.

- Supplement to support your midlife libido. Seaweed and cruciferous vegetables will noticeably improve your body’s ability to make friendly estrogen and eliminate “unfriendly” estrogen.

Try herbal aphrodisiacs. Because they vary from one person to the next, you may want to experiment. Try Chinese ginseng, cordyceps, rehmannia, epimedium, reishi, ginkgo biloba, catuaba, suma, muira puama, damiana, maca and yohimbine. My book explains more about how to take them.

- Consume libido-enhancing foods and supplements. After the 21-day cleanse, these foods can pack an extra punch of pleasure potential: L-arginine, an amino acid; PEA, known as the “love supplement”; sweet potatoes; chocolate; oysters; chili peppers; and honey.

- Minimize anti-aphrodisiac foods in your diet. They include alcohol; fatty foods that make you feel heavy and lethargic; trans-fats; sugar, which reduces your ability to become aroused; and caffeine, which breaks down testosterone.

- Use your mind to create a sexy lifestyle. Manage your stress. Spend more time with your partner. Sharing intimate thoughts and feelings is a definite aphrodisiac. Work on building “sexual trust” – a woman’s capacity for pleasure is closely linked to her brain’s ability to release inhibition and suspend judgment. Add yoga, art, music, dance and spontaneous fun to your life.