Do Herbal Remedies for Erectile Dysfunction Work?
There are many herbal remedies on the market, and some work while others do not. If you have erectile dysfunction, you may have heard about some of these options. The real question most men have is “do these herbal products work?” According to impotence experts, there is evidence that they do. Dr. Steven Lamm, author of The Hardness Factor, reports that people with ED should first consult a doctor before trying these herbal remedies. Before you treat any condition, you first need to have it professionally diagnosed, Lamm warns.
Also called L-arginine, the amino acid arginine occurs naturally in food products. It is known to boost the body’s production of nitric acid, which is a compound that dilates the penis blood vessels to improve blood flow. Many clinical studies have been done on arginine, and the results are mixed. One clinical trial found that high doses of arginine improved sexual function, but only for men who could not adequately metabolize the nitric acid. Other studies showed that there were major improvements in ED for men who took arginine, with minimal side effects.
Testosterone is the sex hormone necessary for a healthy libido in both men and women. It is also a component needed for erectile function. Men with low testosterone (low T) are known to have problems with erectile dysfunction. DHEA is a supplemental hormone that converts to testosterone in the body. Many experts warn about the long-term use of this substance, as it is known to suppress pituitary function in some people.
Ginseng has been used for centuries to stimulate male sexual function, particularly Korean red ginseng. In a 2002 study of 45 men with ED, this herb was proven to alleviate the symptoms associated with impotence. Experts believe it works by promotion of nitric oxide synthesis. Due to certain side effects, allergic reactions, and medication interactions, you should consult with a doctor prior to taking ginseng.
Yohimbine hydrochloride, also called yohimbe, is an herbal product that many people use for ED. Experts warn that this substance should be used with caution, as it is often associated with elevation of blood pressure, headaches, and anxiety. Several clinical studies support the effectiveness of this herbal product.
Horny Goat Weed
Horny goat weed has been around for decades as an herbal treatment for sexual dysfunction. Italian scientists recently found that icariin, the main compound in horny goat weed, acts similar to Viagra. For this reason, many men with ED take this herbal product.
Pomegranate juice is antioxidant-rich and has numerous health benefits, such as lowering blood pressure and reducing heart disease risks. In a 2007 study, researchers found that pomegranate juice had some effectiveness for ED, with very few side effects or adverse reactions.
Ginkgo biloba has been used by holistic practitioners for years as a treatment for cognitive decline. Many men are now using this as an herbal remedy for ED, however. In a study published in a credible medical journal, ginkgo was found to actually help with the symptoms of sexual dysfunction. Men should use caution when taking this herbal product as it can interfere with other medications.
Pinus pinaster is an herbal product that is derived form a pine tree. The active ingredient is pycnogenol, which comes from the bark of this tree. Limited research studies exist that support the use of this substance for sexual dysfunction, but many experts claim that it works. Side effects to Pycnogenol include headache, dizziness, and ulcers of the mouth.
Mayo Clinic (2013). Erectile dysfunction herbs: A natural treatment for ED? Retrieved from: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/erectile-dysfunction/in-depth/erectile-dysfunction-herbs/art-20044394