Herbs to Support Male Sexual Function
We’ve already seen how some psychological causes of erectile dysfunction (ED) can be overcome by using certain herbal supplements. In this article we will look at which herbs you can use to attack the root cause of erectile dysfunction.
Red Ginseng (Korean Ginseng)
The Chinese have been using ginseng for thousands of years as a traditional medicine. They viewed it as a substance that improved mental capacity and the ability to think. Ginseng was a “whole-body” tonic for whoever took it.
Science has classified ginseng as an adaptogen, a substance that helps the body restore and repair itself. It does so without causing any unpleasant side effects, even if you exceed the recommended dose.
As far as helping to prevent erectile dysfunction is concerned, the two most important characteristics of ginseng are its ability to reduce physical fatigue and stress and – most importantly – the fact that it’s one of the most effective natural substances for slowing down the aging process.
We’ve already seen that the likelihood of erectile dysfunction increases as a man grows older. It follows that anything that can delay the aging process is likely to reduce the severity of ED or at least delay its initial onset. This and the provision of greater stamina are the primary benefits that an ED sufferer can experience from taking ginseng. (Because of its many other health benefits, ginseng really does act as a whole-body tonic.)
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Horny Goat Weed (Epimedium)
Horny goat weed is one of the best-known herbs to support sexual function. While it has also been used by patients with other ailments such as liver and kidney disorders, it’s best known as an aphrodisiac. Research shows that it may enhance sexual desire and performance.
Brazilians have been using catuaba for many generations as a central nervous system stimulant and natural aphrodisiac. Although it’s not certain whether or not these claims have been clinically validated, many men have reported that taking catuaba extract seems to support their sex drive by a considerable margin.
Yohimbe comes from the bark of a tree that is native to western and central Africa. Its primary alkaloid is yohimbine, which is used to make the herbal preparation known as yohimbe.
This may be very effective for erectile dysfunction but it is critically important that your dosage is absolutely correct. Too little might have very little effect, while taking too much can become toxic.
Although you can buy yohimbe as a stand-alone supplement for ED, it is generally better to buy compound supplements where yohimbe is only one ingredient of several. Because such compound formulas tend to keep the yohimbe content on the safer side of the line, you can ensure that your intake of this herb is never likely to reach toxic levels.
Advisory: if you suffer from any kind of liver or kidney disease, stomach ulcers or unusual or irregular blood pressure (i.e., if your blood pressure is too low or too high), you should avoid taking yohimbe.
Hailing from the high Andes of Peru and Bolivia, the maca plant is well known as a superfood. Whether you eat it cooked or raw, maca may impart great strength, stamina and virility.
The root of the plant also contains a substance that is believed to exert many beneficial effects on the central nervous system. It is for this reason that maca has been used as an aphrodisiac and to support sexual function. It is also an adaptogen in the same way that ginseng is, so it is an excellent full-body tonic.
Muira puama is another South American herb that has been used for sexual problems such as impotence for many centuries. It does seem to have strong stimulant qualities, therefore you may often see it included in compound herbal ED products.
Schizandra (or Schisandra) Berry
The Chinese have been using schizandra berries for a long time as a tonic and sedative, as it may energize the body and relax it at the same time. Known by science as an adaptogen, it can help the body return to its normal, balanced state, irrespective of its previous condition.
In the same way that ginseng was traditionally considered to be a full-body tonic, schizandra may serve a similar purpose. For an ED sufferer, therefore, the attraction of taking schizandra berry is that it relieves anxiety and stress and increases stamina, all at the same time.
For someone suffering from psychologically-induced erectile dysfunction, adaptogens such as maca, ginseng and schizandra berry could all provide a truly significant boost.
Tribulus is another traditional herbal medicine that has been used in India and China for many centuries. It has traditionally been viewed as a herb that may help counter infertility, impotence and low libido. Interestingly, in the mid-1990s, East European Olympic athletes claimed that all they were taking was tribulus. They must have had good reason to do so.
Preliminary studies on animals have indicated that tribulus may heighten sexual activity. Scientists presume the reason may be the result of increased testosterone levels. However, a large-scale human study is yet to be carried out.
Mucuna Pruriens (Velvet Beans)
“Velvet beans” is an annual climbing shrub found in India, Africa and the Caribbean. Mucuna pruriens extracts are rich in L-dopa, an amino acid that is converted to dopamine in the body.
Dopamine is a brain chemical – a neurotransmitter – that has a strong influence on sexuality and mood. For this reason, people from the countries where mucuna pruriens is indigenous have been using it for a long time as an aphrodisiac. There can be little doubt that increased levels of dopamine can boost sexual ability and libido, which is why mucuna pruriens is often recommended as a supplement for men with impotence problems.
Mucuna pruriens is an ingredient in Prime Male men’s vitality supplement.
Tongkat ali is a tree that is native to Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and other countries in South-East Asia. It is generally the root that is used medicinally. Sometimes referred to as “Asian Viagra”, tongkat ali root extract has been used for centuries to improve sexual fuinction.
L-Arginine, an amino acid, is another totally natural substance that can be a powerful ally in your fight against erectile dysfunction. Occurring naturally in the body, it serves various functions. The most important of these to an impotence sufferer would be its ability to make nitric oxide (NO).
Not only does it make nitric oxide, it also improves its action. One result of this is that it can enhance the flow of blood to the penis by relaxing the appropriate blood vessels, causing a successful erection to take place. Further advantages of L-Arginine are that it helps to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and controls arterial plaque.
Taking beet juice powder can be a great way to increase nitric oxide in your body.
As with most other natural ED treatments, L-Arginine needs to be taken over a period of several days or weeks, as the effects are cumulative, rather than immediate. The body needs time to acclimatize to it, but the health results will be worth the trouble.
Note: If you have a serious heart condition, you should refrain from taking L-Arginine. Consult your health-care professional if you’re unsure.
Herbal Compounds for Erectile Dysfunction
All the natural substances and individual herbs mentioned above can help ED sufferers to improve sexual function. Yet, each of the individual substances has different qualities. For example, while some may help with sex drive, others (the adaptogens) may assist by re-energizing and relaxing the body.
“Which Herb Should I Choose?”
Presented with so many options, a man can find it difficult to decide which of these herbal solutions will be the most suitable for his individual needs. It might make more sense, therefore, to consider using a supplement that comprises a mixture of several different herbal and other natural ingredients.
Another advantage of going the compound route is that you will be ensuring that you’re getting the correct dosage of each individual ingredient for maximal effect. You would also be minimizing the possibility of side effects (for example, yohimbe can be toxic if you take too much on its own).
Compound Herbal Supplement Recommendations
Three natural, herbal compounds worth taking a look at are:
While there are many other products available for treating impotence, there’s one thing you should be careful about. Many of the products make enthusiastic claims about how effective they are in fighting ED. However, if the product packaging does not display what ingredients they are using, you should be wary. If you don’t know what’s in the product, how can you know if it’s safe or right for you?
As you have seen, there’s no shortage of natural substances and herbal remedies that can help you overcome your ED problems. With the options available today, more and more people are preferring to choose something that is natural, rather than chemical-based solutions that may well have adverse side effects.
People have been testing substances such as maca and ginseng for hundreds of years and are still using them today. The reason should be clear – natural medicine is the best medicine.