Adaptogens for Intimacy
It’s no secret that stress can have a number of impacts on our bodies and minds, from triggering headaches and sleeplessness to causing digestive issues and hair loss. Another area it can affect? Intimacy.
Firstly, when we experience stress, our bodies prepare to enter fight, flight, or freeze mode. This involves increasing essential functions like heart rate, breathing rate, and blood pressure, and diminishing non-essential functions like sex drive. Plus, this response also triggers the release of cortisol, a hormone that can further decrease our desire for sex.
But it’s not just physiological; there are also psychological effects of stress that can impact our desire for connection and ability to enjoy intimacy. For example, stress often causes us to withdraw from others or become more irritable which can lead to tension in our romantic relationships. It can also prompt us to neglect self-care or adopt unhealthy coping mechanisms like smoking and excessive drinking, both of which can influence our mood and self-confidence and, in turn, influence intimacy.
Enter adaptogens: As we’ve discussed in previous posts, adaptogens are a class of herbs, mushrooms, and minerals that help our bodies cope with stress. Take ashwagandha, for instance; a superherb that grows in India, the Middle East, and parts of Africa, ashwagandha is often used to alleviate stress. So if racing thoughts and anxiety are the cause of your lower libido, you can address this issue at the root with a daily ashwagandha supplement.
But did you know some adaptogens also have the power to enhance intimacy? Let’s take a look:
Ginseng: Used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries, ginseng is an antioxidant-rich herb believed to increase energy levels, desire, and performance. While ginseng is traditionally chewed, today you can enjoy it in delicious drinks like the Vybes Pineapple Ginger Sparkling Adaptogenic Drink.
Maca: Also known as Peruvian ginseng, maca is a nutrient-dense root that’s native to South America. As well as being mood-boosting, maca is known for its ability to support sexual wellness, energy, and libido. A daily supplement that features maca, like the In The Mood Capsules from Rae Wellness, can help you enjoy these benefits. As herbalist Rachelle Robinett explains, “Occasional usage can be enough to see increased libido and energy.”
Cacao: Cacao beans or seeds are found in the pod-like fruit of the Theobroma cacao tree. Though often associated with chocolate production, cacao has been used medicinally to help ease anxiety, elevate mood, and enhance energy levels. “A combination stimulant and calmer, cacao is a potent plant for pleasure! And it’s very easy to take,” Rachelle Robinett says. And she couldn’t be more right! At our New York City Wellness Latte Bar, we’re excited to offer the Cosmic Cocoa Latte which features cacao to brighten your mood and boost libido.
Too excited to choose just one? With adaptogen stacking, the process of combining two or more adaptogens to enhance benefits, you don’t have to. Plus, many supplements already blend multiple adaptogens, taking the hard work out of the equation. For example, Sex Dust from Moon Juice features both cacao and maca to support mood, energy, and sexual function. And remember, you can always consult our Ingredient Directory to learn more about the properties of adaptogens, herbs, and more.