Erectile dysfunction (ED), also referred to as impotence, is a man's inability to get or maintain an erection. It is estimated by the National Institutes of Health that up to 30 million men in the United States are affected by ED. If you are experiencing ED, it is important to be properly diagnosed by a physician to rule out certain health conditions as the cause. Fortunately, there are many natural remedies available to manage ED.
Oral medications are frequently prescribed to treat ED. These medications include the name brand drugs Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra. These drugs work through a chemical process that relaxes the muscles of the penis and increases blood flow. Other conventional treatment methods include a penile suppository, alprostadil injection, penis pump, implants, or blood vessel surgery.
Muria Puama is an herb traditionally used to as a treatment for impotence by the indigenous people of Brazil. Research conducted by Jacques Waynberg presented in the First International Congress on Ethnopharmacology entitled "Aphrodisiacs: Contributions to the Clinical Validation of the Traditional Use of Ptychopetalum guyanna," demonstrated that muria puama significantly improves libido and sexual function, including ED.
The amino acid L-arginine promotes blood vessel dialation, improved blood flow, and the production of nitric oxide, which are all important in order to get an erection. During a clinical trial completed by R. Stanislavov and V. Nikolova "Treatment of erectile dysfunction with pycnogenol and L-arginine" published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, over 90 per cent of participants were able to experience a normal erection when given L-arginine with pycnogenol.
Ginkgo biloba is more commonly known for its use as a memory enhancer. But if your ED is caused by lack of blood flow, this extensively studied botanical may be of benefit. A study conducted by R. Sikora, et al., "Ginkgo biloba extract in the therapy of erectile dysfunction" published in the Journal of Urology established the efficacy of Ginkgo biloba in its ability to increase blood flow to the penis and as an effective treatment for ED.
A clinical trial "A double-blind crossover study evaluating the efficacy of Korean red ginseng in patients with erectile dysfunction: a preliminary report" conducted by B. Hong, et al., and published in the "Journal of Urology" showed promising results when using Korean red ginseng for the treatment of ED. During this study, 60 per cent of participants reported improved erections as well as improved penile tip rigidity. Ginseng might promote this effect through improved nitric oxide synthesis.
Yohimbe is an herb derived from the bark of the yohimbe tree, native to West Africa. It is purported to be an aphrodisiac for men and women. Yohimbine is an alkaloid thought to be the active constituent in yohimbe. A standardised form of the yohimbine extract, yohimbine HCl, was prescribed in the United States for the treatment of ED before Viagra, Cialis and Levitra were available. However, according to Catherine Ulbricht and Erica Seamon in their book "Natural Standard Herbal Pharmacotherapy," clinical evidence is lacking to support the use of yohimbe or yohimbine because of insufficient levels of yohimbine in commercial preparations. Because its use is associated with serious side effects and interactions, its use is discouraged.
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- "Journal of American Medical Association"; Impotence - NIH Consensus Development Panel on Impotence; Edward Laumann et al.; 1993
- National Kidney and Urological Diseases Information Clearinghouse: Erectile Dysfunction
- "Journal of Urology"; Ginkgo biloba extract in the therapy of erectile dysfunction.; Sikora R, Sohn M, et al; 1989
- "First International Congress on Ethnopharmacology"; Aphrodisiacs: Contributions to the Clinical Validation of the Traditional Use of Ptychopetalum guyanna; Waynberg, J; 1990
- "Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy"; Treatment of erectile dysfunction with pycnogenol and L-arginine.; Stanislavov R, Nikolova V; 2003
- "Journal of Urology"; A double-blind crossover study evaluating the efficacy of Korean red ginseng in patients with erectile dysfunction: a preliminary report.; Hong B, Ji YH, Hong JH, Nam KY, Ahn TY; 2002