Erectile dysfunction affects roughly 30 million American males. The condition is characterized as the inability to achieve or maintain an erection adequate for sexual intercourse. Often referred to as impotence, erectile dysfunction, or ED, can be triggered by many factors—such as chronic medical conditions, self esteem issues, or even anxiety or depression. While doctors typically treat ED with prescribed medications like Cialis, Viagra or, Stendra, certain lifestyle changes and natural treatments may also help:
1. Rhodiola rosea
A smaller study published by the American Botanical Council in 2002, an herb derived from a perennial plant known as rhodiola rosea (or rose root), which as long been used to treat erectile dysfunction in Scandanavian countries, helpful in the treatment of ED. During the study 35 men participants with ED were given 200-milligram supplements of rhodiola rosea for a duration of 90 days. Findings showed that the herb improved sexual function and overall energy for 26 participants.
Dehydroepiandrosterone, or more commonly DHEA is often administered to male patients suffering from ED to improve the quality and length of erection. DHEA is a hormone made by the adrenal glands, however, many ED patients are found to be low in this specific hormone. Thus, administering supplemental doses of 50-milligrams per day are meant to top up natural hormonal levels in the patient’s body.
3. Panax ginseng
Often referred to as “natural viagra”, panax ginseng, or red ginseng, is derived from the herb and taken in supplemental form to improve ED symptoms. Natural health professionals often prescribe 600- to 1,000-milligrams taken per day to boost blood flow (to help with ED), lung capacity, and reduce inflammation.
4. L-arginine and Pycnogenol
A 2003 study conducted by researchers at Bulgaria’s Seminological Laboratory SBALAG, found that the amino acid, L-arginine, help improve symptoms of ED. L-arginine is considered natural because this amino acid is already naturally present within the body to produce nitric oxide, which in turn relaxes blood vessels to produce an erection. The study found that 5-gram dose of L-arginine taken daily improved or totally restored healthy sexual function in a large number of ED patients.
Often used as a natural treatment for chronic pain disorders (i.e., fibromyalgia, osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis) acupuncture has also been shown to help ED patients. In fact, a 2003 study conducted by a group of researchers at Austria’s Ludwig-Boltzmann-Institute of Andrology and Urology, Department of Urology, found that several acupuncture sessions boosted erection quality in almost 70% of patients with ED.