Treating and Preventing Impotence Naturally

July 22, 2008

Impotence may be used to describe several problems that interfere with sexual performance such as lack of libido, as well as erectile dysfunction, which is the repeated inability to achieve an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse.

Erectile Dysfunction affects 50% of men ages 40-70 in the US and is considered an important public health problem by the National Institute of Health.

There are a myriad of natural products that promise miraculous and safe results, but many have no clinical trials to back any claims of restoring sexual vitality. The natural remedies listed below have some degree of evidence to support effectiveness in treating impotence.

Natural Remedies for Impotence

  • Yohimbe Extract
    Yohimbe is extracted from the bark of a tree that grows in West Africa. Once ingested yohimbe is converted into yohimbine, the ingredient that has been synthesized to make the prescription drug Yohimbine hydrochloride. Various studies have shown yohimbine to be effective in the treatment of impotence, and herbalists claim yohimbe herbal extract to be more effective than the drug due to other components found only in the extract. One clinical trial demonstrated the effectiveness of a yohimbine and L-arginine combination in improving erectile function in patients with mild to moderate erectile dysfunction.
  • Tongkat Ali
    Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma longifolia ) is a plant in grown in Indonesia and Malaysia, and is believed to stimulate the production of testosterone. There have been several studies that have shown tongkat ali to enhance aphrodisiac activity and sexual performance in animals. The leaves and stems of Eurycoma longifolia also contain potent antibacterial agent, and has been shown to kill breast cancer cells.
  • L-Arginine
    L-Arginine is a naturally occurring amino acid and a precursor for nitric oxide, a potent vasodilator that is beneficial to the circulatory system, and is used for treating erectile dysfunction.

    In a 6-week double-blind placebo-controlled study, it was concluded that orally administered L-arginine improved sexual function in men with confirmed erectile dysfunction who had low urinary nitric oxide levels.

    Observations in a preliminary study at the Department of Urology at the Tulane Health Sciences Center in New Orleans show that L-arginine induces slow and prolonged relaxation of human corpus cavernosum. (erectile tissue in the penis containing most of the blood during erection).

  • Ginkgo Biloba
    Ginkgo biloba has been shown to have an 84% positive effect in treating antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction.

    An elderly patient being treated with ginkgo biloba for memory enhancement experienced improved erections.

  • Korean Red Ginseng
    Korean red ginseng was tested with a total of 90 patients split into 3 groups of 30, who were treated with either the ginseng, placebo or the antidepressant drug trazodone. The erectile dysfunction symptoms of the group that received Korean red ginseng showed significant improvement compared to the placebo and trazodone groups.

    Other double blind placebo studies of patients with clinically diagnosed erectile dysfunction have demonstrated the effectiveness of Korean red ginseng as a treatment for erectile dysfunction.

  • ArginMax
    ArginMax is a nutritional supplement with a combination of ginkgo biloba, Korean ginseng, American ginseng, L-arginine, vitamins B6, B12, folate, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, biotin, pantothenic acid, antioxidant vitamins A, C, E, selenium, and Zinc.

    In a double blind placebo study participants were given either ArginMax or placebo. Results showed that 87.5% of the participants in the ArginMax group experienced an improvement in ability to maintain an erection during intercourse, and 75.0% reported improvement in satisfaction with their overall sex life, as opposed to 22.2% and 20.8% for the placebo group. No headaches, nausea, vomiting, stomach upset, visual disturbance, blood pressure alterations, dizziness, or other significant side effects were noted in either group.

  • Acupuncture
    Acupuncture has been shown to be an effective treatment for individuals with erectile dysfunction due to mental or emotional conflict.
  • Change in Lifestyle
    Lack of exercise, diet, obesity, alcohol and drug abuse, and cigarette smoking can be contributing factors to erectile dysfunction. A study of 2,115 men at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester concluded that men who smoked at some time had a greater likelihood of erectile dysfunction. There is evidence that cigarette smoking related erectile dysfunction is associated with reduced nitric oxide bioavailability and reduced blood flow to the penis.

1. Side effects reported using yohimbine include: nervousness, irritability, insomnia, headache, skin flushing, anorexia, nausea, gastric distress, diarrhea, vomiting, palpitations, tachycardia, dysuria, pain, increased blood pressure, dizziness, sweating, weight gain, constipation, and anxiety. Always consult your doctor when using yohimbine-containing products.
2. The purity of some yohimbe extract products is questionable.
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19. Thomas Ito, Kaye Kawahara, Anurag Das. A Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Study on the Effects of ArginMax, a Natural Nutritional Supplement for Enhancement of Male Sexual Function. (Unpublished)
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