Last week, we explored the importance of physical connection and intimacy in relationships. Libido and sex drive are influenced by a variety of interacting factors that are biological, emotional, and psychological. Focusing solely on addressing one aspect, such as hormones or physiological responses, is often just treating one symptom in a complex condition. It does not account for the impact of relationship quality and emotional coherence on health. For example, someone may have restored hormonal balance and an increase in sex drive, but continual arguing with their spouse or the inability to deal with stress in a productive way will quickly drive the hormones into disharmony. This will bring the libido back down, with the possibility of other symptoms arising. (source, source, source, source, source, source, source)
This week, as promised, I will address several common concerns for men- male libido, hormonal health, and infertility. I will also give some empowering information on how essential oils can support these areas.
Male Libido and Essential Oils
Male libido issues and erectile dysfunction are more common than the media and societal stereotypes portray. One out of five men are reported to have low sexual desire. (source) This is associated with diabetes and cardiovascular issues and is also linked to hormones, pelvic trauma, psychological factors, neurological disorders, organic causes, medications, lifestyle factors, and penile disease. (source, source, source, source, source, source, source, source, source)
Previously, we discovered that mind-body practices and essential oils can support hormone, emotional, and stress instigators. I also discussed various cardiovascular triggers that ultimately lead to three finite responses: oxidative stress, immune dysfunction, and inflammation. Essential oils can modulate these triggers and responses. Therefore, these secondary metabolites can be used to support circulatory health and overall wellness due to their versatile actions. Combine this with a functional and naturopathic approach, and hearts and other systems can beat in harmony again!
In a previous blog, I described how rose oil was shown to help male libido in those taking antidepressants. You can read the full study here. Rather than manipulating one physiological response, rose oil has been shown to have many actions including:
- Microbe inhibition
- Healthy cellular growth support
- Mood elevation
- Relief of discomfort, irritation, and redness of the tissues
- Calming to the brain and nervous system
This demonstrates that essential oils can simultaneously support cellular and tissue health, brain and nervous system function, mood, and infectious triggers which all impact libido and healthy hormones.
The Sniff of Male Affections
Certain fragrances have been deemed to be aphrodisiacs. This is based on the complex connections between odors and the nervous system leading to psychological and physiological responses. They could also be a form of repulsion if one associates a particular smell with an unpleasant experience. Hence, most people would be more attracted to the enticing aroma of ylang ylang versus inhaling the smell of skunk stank.
In one study, the author reviewed the smell-sex connection by assessing the effects of odors on male erections and libido. Not only was desire increased, but penile blood flow was improved with the scent of lavender and pumpkin pie.
The abstract states these implications as follows:
Folk wisdom has it that various aromas are sexually enticing but no data exists demonstrating actual effects of specific odors on arousal. The present study reports the effects of 30 different scents on sexual arousal of 31 male volunteers by comparing their penile blood flow, measured by brachial penile index, while wearing scented masks and while wearing nonodorized, blank masks. Odors found generally pleasant in previous surveys were selected for this study. Each produced some increase in penile blood flow; the combined odor of lavender and pumpkin pie produced the greatest increase (40%). A multitude of mechanisms may mediate these effects. A potential application of odorants to increase penile blood flow in patients with vasculogenic impotence deserves study. Odors that may decrease penile blood flow have yet to be found for possible use in treating sexual deviants.
Mamma always said the way to a man’s heart may be his stomach…maybe it’s more his nose?
But I don’t Want to Have “Man Breasts”
Guys may be wary of using certain essential oils because they have heard the rumors that lavender and tea tree cause gynecomastia, breast growth in males.
Let me put your mind at ease.
That’s actually not true for many reasons.
The “lavender” and “tea tree” that were blamed in these cases were not validated as therapeutic quality essential oils. Furthermore, a few of the studies combined the oils with endocrine disruptors, chemicals associated with estrogenic effects, in personal care products! You can get the details in this short blog I wrote here.
Pure essential oils are modulators that bring the body’s hormones into balance, rather than specifically acting to increase estrogen (“estrogenic”). Certain oils may promote more estrogen balance, but the “estrogen environment” is the determinant of their effect. I will go back to this topic at a later date.
I hope you will apply this information to empower you with your use of essential oils for relationship health, emotions, hormones, and libido.
In Part II, I will explore factors in male infertility and highlight studies with essential oils that may be usual to those couples struggling with this condition.
Many blessings from my heart to yours!
This material is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prescribe for any illness. You should check with your doctor regarding implementing any new strategies into your wellness regime. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. (Affiliation link.)
Disclaimer: This information is applicable ONLY for therapeutic quality essential oils. This information DOES NOT apply to essential oils that have not been tested for purity and standardized constituents. There is no quality control in the United States, and oils labeled as “100% pure” need only to contain 5% of the actual oil. The rest of the bottle can be filled with fillers and sometimes toxic ingredients that can irritate the skin. The studies are not based solely on a specific brand of an essential oil, unless stated. Please read the full study for more information.