Setting the Mood: 6 Essential Oils to Boost Libido
In this article you will learn about:
- You're Not Alone
- Low Libido Causes
- 6 Oils to Get in the Mood
- Message of Hope
Enjoying a strong, vibrant sex drive is normal. Sadly, low, sluggish libido affects more people than you can imagine. If you can relate to this, it's important to realize that sexual desire is the product of many factors and natural therapies like essential oils can help boost libido like few things can!
You're Not Alone
If you are struggling with low libido, the first thing to understand is that you are not alone. For men, low libido often culminates in erectile dysfunction, which ranges in prevalence from 5% in younger men to 25% in men over 65. (1) In women, low libido is common in all stages of life thanks to fluctuating hormones.
Having a low libido periodically or chronically is nothing to be ashamed of. Bringing your concerns into the open can start the path toward health, intimacy, and resolution.
Low Libido Causes
Causes of low libido vary from person to person and range from lifestyle influences to serious disorders. Some of the most prevalent factors include:
- Stress – One of the most basic yet most difficult causes of low libido to fix, simply being stressed out and overtired can put a damper on the mood. Stress over relationship issues such as raising the kids, money, and house concerns, can lead to lack of intimacy and hinder libido as well. Most stress can be relieved with simple lifestyle changes. (2)
- Alcohol – An often overlooked cause of sexual dysfunction, alcohol can be a stressor of its own. While contemporary advice says to utilize alcohol to just relax, it could have the opposite effect and ruin efforts toward libido increase.
- Hormones – Here's where it gets complicated. The body's network of hormone responses create long-term messages for the body to respond to. So they aren't quick to fix. Hormones are connected to causes like stress, aging, disease, and menstrual, pregnancy, and menopause related libido issues. (3, 4) When hormones are at the root of libido issues, expect change to come progressively over time.
- Illness – Physical stressors on the body – such as obesity, heart health, and other illness – can hinder sexual desire and response, as well. When an illness or condition is at the root of low libido, working with a doctor is important.
Check the resource list at the bottom of this article for more about low libido and its various causes. If you are one of the many who struggles with low libido in the face of stress and normal hormonal shifts, essential oils too boost libido may soon become your new best friend!
6 Oils to Get in the Mood
As gentle and relaxing aromas, these oils can be used in diffusions, sprays, topical applications and more. Get creative to see how you can boost libido by incorporating these essential oils into both your daily life and romantic life.
As an anxiety-relieving, calming oil, it comes as no surprise that rose essential oil is also traditionally used as an aphrodisiac. As a pricey oil, though, rose is most efficiently used in blends or heavy dilutions.
Application: Blend into a perfume to carry this romantic floral scent with you, or diffuse periodically throughout the day for both partners to enjoy.
A precious and pricey oil derived from delicate flower petals, jasmine has proven itself well in studies. Researchers tested alertness and “behavioral arousal” after a topical treatment of jasmine oil. Of course, the participants were found to be more refreshed, with their senses on alert. (5)
Application: Apply jasmine topically in a perfume or sensual massage oil for men and women. Note that the delicate petals sometimes require the use of a solvent to extract the oil. Check labels carefully, especially for an organic certification.
3. Clary Sage
A 2014 study undertook the question of menopause symptom relief and essential oils. The found that simply inhaling hormone-balancing clary sage essential oil had an anti-depressant effect on menopausal women. (6) When libido is low due to hormonal shifts like menopause, clary sage is a balancer that may bring some relief.
Application: Diffuse or inhale periodically to relax, balance hormones, and get in the mood.
4. Ylang Ylang
Ylang ylang is widely used as an aphrodisiac throughout the aromatherapy world. Its gentle floral scent is appealing to nearly everyone, and its application potential is diverse. Enjoy with other floral oils or deepen the fragrance with sandalwood.
Application: Diffusion, inhalation, or diluted into a carrier oil as a massage oil for both men and women.
Essential oil derived from orange blossoms instead of the fruit's peel is called neroli, a precious and very useful oil. In one clinical trial, researchers found that “inhalation of neroli oil helps relieve menopausal symptoms, increase sexual desire, and reduce blood pressure in postmenopausal women,” making it another helpful option when libido is low due to hormones or stress. (7)
Application: Diffusion or inhalation a couple of times each day for calming, balancing effects.
As a whole herb, “Fennel seeds have been reputed to increase milk secretion, promote menstruation, facilitate birth and alleviate the symptoms of the female climacteric, increase libido and alleviation of the dysmenorrheal symptoms.” (8) Fennel essential oil retains some of these estrogenic effects, making it a beneficial addition to your libido-increasing, hormone-balancing diffusion or massage blends.
Application: Include fennel essential oil in DIY lotion blends or massage oils for balancing effects.
Message of Hope
Men and women of all ages have faced low libido and have found hope and renewal. There is no shame in admitting the struggle and seeking a solution! As a bonus, openness and partnership in finding a remedy or resolution as a couple will help to increase intimacy, as well.
To relieve the stresses of every day life, boost libido and begin to ignite a spark with your significant other, try this DIY libido boosting blend diffused or diluted into a carrier oil (almond or coconut are excellent!) for a soothing massage. Simply blend:
- 2 drops neroli (or sweet orange)
- 2 drops jasmine
- 2 drops ylang ylang
Directly into a diffuser (or inhaler, with one drop each).
For topical application, ylang ylang, clary sage, rose and jasmine are go-to oils that are known to be very safe and, when highly diluted (1% – 3 drops of EO blend per tablespoon of the carrier oil of your choice), can be a pleasant body massage oil or even lubricant.
Safety & Contraindications
When it comes to drug interactions and contraindications, there are literally textbooks devoted to the study of essential oil safety, and I must defer to the chemists, pharmacists and experts who understand this complicated topic more than I.
With that said, as a trained researcher and doctor, I think it’s important to note that there is virtually no research out there discussing how essential oils interact with drugs in human clinical trials. Essentially, what this means is that essential oil safety is still a wild frontier in the science community and no one really knows (for certain) how essential oils will interact with drugs or your body.
Let common sense be your guide. Still, be sure to maintain proper dilutions, and general safety considerations still apply. As always, discontinue use if any adverse reactions occur and consult your physician immediately.