10 Best Essential Oils for Libido

 

The term “libido” refers to one’s sex drive or overall desire for sex. It’s perfectly normal for individuals to experience fluctuations with their libido throughout their lives, but it can be incredibly frustrating if it continues for an extended period of time. And while women tend to struggle with low libido more than men, it’s not uncommon for men to experience it also.

 

Factors that affect libido

 

There are many things that can affect sexual desire for both men and women, with most of them pertaining to health. Here are some of the most common factors that can affect libido:

 

  • Trauma
  • Fear
  • Hormonal issues
  • Fatigue
  • Stress
  • Sleep issues
  • Anxiety and/or depression
  • Diet
  • Overall health
  • Illness
  • Medications
  • Age

Common treatments for low libido

 

Depending on the specific factors contributing to low libido, a variety of treatments may be recommended. In general, healthy lifestyle changes are usually recommended—such as getting quality sleep, eating a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water, exercising, and reducing stress (if possible). However, conventional treatments may also include things such as:

 

  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Medication or medication changes
  • Counseling1

Can essential oils help libido?

 

There are a number of essential oils that can help support your sex drive. If stress is affecting your libido, then essential oils that help reduce feelings of stress would be a great choice. However, if low energy is a factor, then energizing essential oils might be the way to go. Furthermore, mood-boosting essential oils would be beneficial if low moods are affecting your sex drive. The key is to figure out what is contributing to your low libido and go from there.

 

The best essential oils for libido

 

While there are many essential oils that can help support sex drive in one way or another, below I’ve listed what I believe to be 10 of the best essential oils for libido.

 

1. Lavender

 

dragonfly in field of lavender

 

By now you’ve probably realized that lavender essential oil is beneficial for a number of issues. It’s one of the most versatile essential oils and contains synergistic properties that enable it to work well when combined with other essential oils. Plus, it contains relaxing properties that can help promote a calm environment.2 So, if your sex drive is low due to stress, tension, or anxiety, then lavender is a great option to consider.

 

Not only can lavender help with feelings of tension, but it also blends well with every other essential oil on this list, making it a no-brainer for blends formulated to help with libido!

 

2. Ylang ylang

 

Ylang ylang is one of the most decadent and sensual-smelling essential oils on the market. It has a rich, luxurious aroma that is unmistakable. It’s considered to be one of the very best essential oils for libido due to its aphrodisiac properties. In fact, a common Indonesian practice is to place ylang ylang petals on the bed of newlyweds.3 The essential oil contains many therapeutic properties that can be beneficial for low sex drive, including reducing feelings of stress or anxiety.4

 

Just remember that a little goes a long way with ylang ylang and only a drop is needed since it may cause headaches if too much is used. However, when used in small amounts, it can greatly enhance a blend when combined with other essential oils.

 

3. Rose

 

Rose is currently one of the most expensive essential oils, and for good reason. It requires an extremely large amount of rose petals to produce just a small amount of the essential oil. Rose essential oil contains properties that are beneficial for numerous women’s reproductive issues, as well as stress, anxiety, and tension.

 

In addition, rose oil may have a positive effect on sexual dysfunction. In fact, a study conducted in 2015 found that male participants suffering from depressive disorders experienced improvement of both their depression and sexual dysfunction after being administered rose oil.5 For these reasons, rose is commonly considered one of the best essential oils for libido.

 

4. Sandalwood

 

sandalwood in wooden spoon and bowl on wood background

 

Sandalwood essential oil has long been believed to have a positive effect on libido. The essential oil has calming and relaxing properties that are considered beneficial in helping to promote a relaxed environment, but it may also help with arousal as well. A study conducted in 2006 found that participants reported significantly elevated pulse rates and blood pressure when exposed to sandalwood essential oil compared to other groups.6

 

Sandalwood has an appealing aroma that is well-liked by both men and women, and it has the added bonus of blending well with many essential oils.

 

5. Patchouli

 

Patchouli essential oil contains a number of therapeutic properties that can help support libido. For starters, patchouli is considered a grounding oil, which means it can help you feel more centered and balanced if things are feeling hectic. It also contains relaxing properties that can help promote a calm environment as well as assist with mood imbalances in general.7 Because of this, it’s widely considered to be one of the best essential oils for libido.

 

Interestingly, the earthy aroma of patchouli tends to evoke strong reactions in people—they either love it or hate it. However, I have learned that if used in smaller amounts with other essential oils, the aroma can be quite pleasing to individuals who thought they didn’t care for its distinct fragrance.

 

6. Vetiver

 

Vetiver essential oil is loved by many. The rich, earthy aroma is considered very grounding and calming and is appealing to both men and women. An animal study found that vetiver essential oil exhibited refreshing properties that had a positive effect on mental activity and alertness.8 So if you’ve been mentally exhausted and it’s having an effect on your libido, then vetiver may be a good choice for you.

 

Additionally, vetiver is believed to be beneficial when dealing with stress and anxiety. It is frequently used in formulations to help promote a calm and relaxed environment.

 

7. Jasmine

 

jasmine flowers

 

Jasmine has an alluring, uplifting aroma and has long been considered an aphrodisiac. A study conducted in 2010 found evidence that suggests aromatherapy massage with jasmine increased arousal in participants compared to the placebo group.9 The study also suggested that jasmine may contribute to elevating mood and helping with depression. Jasmine contains therapeutic properties that are beneficial for stress, anxiety, and nervous conditions as well.

 

Jasmine is currently sold as an absolute—meaning that instead of using steam distillation or cold pressing for extraction, it requires a solvent to extract the therapeutic and aromatic properties.

 

8. Neroli

 

Neroli essential oil is extracted from the blossoms of orange trees and has a lovely floral aroma. It contains many therapeutic properties that help with a number of nervous and stress-related conditions. If you’re just needing some help relaxing in the bedroom, then consider giving neroli a try.

 

Another potential benefit of neroli is that it may help increase sex drive as well. A study conducted in 2014 found that postmenopausal women who inhaled neroli oil experienced an increase in sexual desire, as well as a decrease in blood pressure.10 When blended with other essential oils that help support libido, neroli may be beneficial for a number of situations that affect sexual desire.

 

9. Clary Sage

 

Clary sage is another frequently used essential oil when dealing with low libido. Like many of the other essential oils on this list, it contains therapeutic properties that are beneficial when dealing with stress and anxiety. In fact, a study conducted in 2014 found that patients who inhaled clary sage essential oil had significantly reduced cortisol levels.11

 

Clary sage is also widely believed to have a positive effect on female reproductive issues, as well as having a balancing effect on female hormones.12 While clary sage is frequently used for women, it has a soft, pleasing aroma that can be enjoyed by anyone.

 

10. Cinnamon

 

pile of cinnamon bark on black felt

 

It may surprise you to see cinnamon on this list, but you’ll soon understand why it was included. If your sex drive is low due to low energy or fatigue, then cinnamon is the essential oil for you. It happens to be a very stimulating oil that can help you feel more energized and stimulated. The sweet, spicy aroma is an awesome deodorizer and can even help you set the mood in the bedroom.

 

An animal study conducted in 2013 found that cinnamon oil increased sexual motivation and erectile function in aged rats.13 However, because it has the potential to be a skin sensitizer, I would recommend diffusing cinnamon as opposed to topical application if you’re needing something to help perk you up.

 

How to use essential oils for libido

 

There are a couple of ways that essential oils can be used that are especially beneficial for supporting libido: inhalation and topical application.

 

Inhalation

 

When an essential oil is inhaled, the aromatic molecules can travel through the nasal passages towards the lungs, and eventually to the brain where they then interact with the limbic system. The limbic system is the area of the brain that is linked to our emotions, memory, stress, and more, making inhalation a great way to help boost sex drive.14

 

Topical application

 

Another fantastic option for using essential oils for libido is to use them in a massage blend. Massage is a great way to experience essential oils topically, as it can promote relaxation and increase circulation to the areas being massaged. During a massage, both the individual giving the massage and the recipient can experience the therapeutic properties of essential oils. Not to mention the fact that massage is a great way to help set the mood in the bedroom!

 

Essential oil blends to support sex drive

 

wood-grain essential oil diffuser

 

Below, I’ve included 3 essential oil blends to support sex drive. However, feel free to swap out oils or adjust ratios to suit your needs and preferences. You may also decide to choose oils based on the responses you get from a ZYTO galvanic skin response scan.

 

Blend #1 (Diffuser)

 

  • 1 drop ylang ylang essential oil
  • 2 drops lavender essential oil
  • 4 drops cinnamon essential oil

Diffuse the above essential oils according to your diffuser’s instructions.

 

Blend #2 (Diffuser & massage oil)

 

  • 1-2 drops rose essential oil
  • 3 drops neroli or jasmine essential oil
  • 3 drops sandalwood essential oil

Diffuse the above essential oils according to your diffuser’s instructions.

 

Tip: For a massage oil to support sex drive, double the amount of essential oil drops listed above and combine with 1 oz. of skin-nourishing carrier oil like jojoba, almond, or grapeseed.

 

Blend # 3 (Diffuser & massage oil)

 

  • 1 drop ylang ylang essential oil
  • 2-3 drops vetiver or patchouli essential oil
  • 4 drops clary sage essential oil

Diffuse the above essential oils according to your diffuser’s instructions.

 

Tip: For a massage oil to support sex drive, double the amount of essential oil drops listed above and combine with 1 oz. of skin-nourishing carrier oil like jojoba, almond, or grapeseed.

 

Use essential oils to improve intimacy

 

There are a number of essential oils that can help support sex drive—whether the cause be from stress, fatigue, depression, or something else. The key is to find essential oils that are pleasing to your senses that also support the issues and then incorporate them into your intimate times.

 

Diffusing a few essential oils that are especially appealing to you and your partner or creating a massage oil to help set the mood are both effective ways to support libido. But, regardless of which method you choose, you’ll no doubt find that using essential oils to help with libido can be an especially enjoyable way to experience their therapeutic properties.

 

 

 

About Nicole Stine

Nicole Stine is a certified herbalist who has numerous aromatherapy and natural health certifications. She is passionate about using herbs and essential oils safely and thoroughly enjoys researching and writing about natural health, as well as creating her own formulations.

 

 

 

 

Sources:

1. Hirsch, Irvin H., “Decreased Libido in Men” Merck & Co, Inc. Merckmanuals.com.

2. Koulivand, P.H., M.K. Ghadiri, & A. Gorji. “Lavender and the Nervous System.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2013 (2013): 1–10.

3. Levy, Jillian. “Ylang Ylang Boosts Heart Health, Moods and Energy.” Dr. Axe. Draxe.com.

4. Zhang, N., L. Zhang, L. Feng, & L. Yao. “Cananga odorata essential oil reverses the anxiety induced by 1-(3-chlorophenyl) piperazine through regulating the MAPK pathway and serotonin system in mice.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology 219 (2018): 23-30.

5. Farnia, V., M. Shirzadifar, et al. “Rosa damascena oil improves SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction in male patients suffering from major depressive disorders: results from a double-blind, randomized, and placebo-controlled clinical trial.” Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment 11 (2015): 625-635.

6. Heuberger, E., T. Hongratanaworakit, & G. Buchbauer. “East Indian Sandalwood and α-santalol odor increase physiological and self-rated arousal in humans.” Panta Medica 72, no. 9 (2006): 792–800.

7. Seladi-Schulman, Jill. “Patchouli Oil Benefits and Uses.” Healthline Media. Healthline.com.

8. Cheaha, D., A. Issuriya, et al. “Modification of sleep-waking and electroencephalogram induced by vetiver essential oil inhalation.” Journal of Intercultural Ethnopharmacology 5, no. 1 (2016): 72.

9. Hongratanaworakit, T. “Stimulating effect of aromatherapy massage with jasmine oil.”Natural Product Communications 5, no. 1 (2010).

10. Choi, S.Y., P. Kang, H.S. Lee, and G.H. Seol. “Effects of Inhalation of Essential Oil Of Citrus Aurantium L. var.amara on Menopausal Symptoms, Stress, and Estrogen in Postmenopausal Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2014 (2014): 1–7.

11. Lee, K.B., E. Cho, & Y.S. Kang. “Changes in 5-hydroxytryptamine and cortisol plasma levels in menopausal women after inhalation of clary sage oil.”  Phytotherapy Research 28, no. 12 (2014): 1599-1605.

12. Worwood, Valerie Ann. The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy  (Novato, CA: New World Library, 2016).

13. Goswami, S.K., M.N. Inamdar, R. Jamwal, & S. Dethe. “Efficacy of Cinnamomum cassia Blume. in age induced sexual dysfunction of rats.” Journal of Young Pharmacists 5, no. 4 (2013): 148–153.

14. Brazier, Yvette. “Aromatherapy: What you need to know.” Healthline Media UK Ltd. Medicalnewstoday.com.