What is Erectile Dysfunction?
erectile dysfunction (ED) is commonly called impotence. It’s a condition in which a man can’t achieve or maintain an erection during sexual performance. Symptoms may also include reduced sexual desire or libido. Your doctor is likely to diagnose you with ED if the condition lasts for more than a few weeks or months. ED affects as many as 30 million men in the United States.
Standard ED treatments include prescription medications, vacuum pumps, implants, and surgery, but many men prefer natural options. Research has found that some natural options can improve ED symptoms. Read on to learn about natural options that have research to back them up.
Some treatments for erectile dysfunction can include natural herbs and remedies. However, when seeking a natural remedy, a man should be cautious and understand the possible risks associated with certain natural cures.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability of a man to achieve an erection suitable for sexual intercourse. The condition can be difficult for a man to deal with because it can cause embarrassment and insecurity due to an inability to perform sexually.
Fortunately for men with ED, there are a number of medications, treatments, and therapies that may prevent ED from becoming a long-term condition.
The most common natural remedies for ED include those derived from plants and herbs, which some cultures have used for many years. Although there have been very few studies conducted on the safety of these natural remedies, some of them have been found to have side effects that vary from mild to severe.
Some natural remedies include:
L-arginine: Some evidence suggests high doses of L-arginine improve erectile dysfunction by helping blood vessels to open wider, which improves blood flow to the penis. L-arginine should not be taken with Viagra, a prescription drug that treats ED.
L-arginine is an amino acid naturally present in your body. It helps make nitric oxide.Researchers studiedTrusted Source the effects of L-arginine on ED.
A second studyTrusted Source showed that L-arginine combined with pycnogenol, a plant product from tree bark, restored sexual ability to 80 percent of participants after two months.Another placebo-controlled studyTrusted Source found that L-arginine in combination with other medications was well-tolerated, safe, and effective for mild-to-moderate ED.
Propionyl-L-carnitine: Some studies show that propionyl-L-carnitine, when combined with Viagra, could improve erectile function better than when taking Viagra alone. Propionyl-L-carnitine is generally considered safe when used under supervision of a doctor.
Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA): There is some evidence that suggests that DHEA increases libido in women and has a positive effect on men with ED. DHEA appears to be safe at low doses, however, it may cause acne in some cases.
Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a natural hormone produced by your adrenal glands. Scientists make the dietary supplement from wild yam and soy.
The influential Massachusetts male aging studyTrusted Source showed that men with ED were more likely to have low levels of DHEA. Those receiving the DHEA were more likely to achieve and maintain an erection.
More recently, DHEA has been identified as an option for treatment of ED for men with concurrent diabetes. ED commonly affects these men because of hormonal issues as well as diabetes complications that interfere with blood flow to organs.
Ginkgo: Ginkgo may increase blood flow to the penis, which could improve sexual desire and ED. People who are taking blood thinners or who have a bleeding disorder should speak to their doctor before taking gingko.
Ginseng: There are several types of ginseng available. Many of them have been shown to have a positive effect on ED. Some forms of ginseng may have negative side effects including insomnia.
Called the herbal Viagra, Panax ginseng (red ginseng) has solid research behind it. Researchers reviewed seven studiesTrusted Source of red ginseng and ED in 2008.More current research is examining how red ginseng influences ED.
The action of Panax ginseng appears to be most effectiveTrusted Source for those with high lipids in their blood and metabolic syndrome. This herb is knownTrusted Source to have anti-inflammatory action, improve lung function, and improve blood flow in other diseases — all characteristics that may reduce ED.
Yohimbine: The main component of an African tree bark, yohimbine is probably one of the most problematic of all natural remedies for ED.
Horny goat weed (epimedium): Supposedly, there are substances in the leaves of this herb that improve sexual performance. Epimedium has not been studied in people, and there are some suggestions that it might affect heart function.
This supplement is extracted from the bark of the African yohimbe tree. Some studiesTrusted Source have shown positive effects on sexual performance with use of this drug.
However, the American Urological Association doesn’t recommend yohimbe as an ED treatment. This is because there’s not a lot of evidence proving it works. Its side effects might be damaging to health. These include increased blood pressure and heart rate, irritability, and tremor.
If you decide you want to try yohimbe, be sure to talk to your doctor beforehand.
Rhodiola rosea :One small study indicated that Rhodiola rosea may be helpful.They experienced substantially improved sexual function.More studies are needed to understand action and ensure safety.
Acupuncture : Though studies are mixed, many show positive results when acupuncture is used to treat ED. A 1999 studyTrusted Source, for example, found that acupuncture improved the quality of erections and restored sexual activity in 39 percent of participants.
A later study published in 2003Trusted Source reported that 21 percent of ED patients who received acupuncture had improved erections. The risks of acupunctureTrusted Source are low if provided by a licensed acupuncturist.
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