Erectile dysfunction is the inability to maintain an erection for sexual activity. The popularity of drugs like Viagra and Cialis is an indicator of how common the problem is. Not surprisingly, we are inundated with ads for these drugs as well as natural remedies which claim to offer hope to many ED sufferers.
Natural remedies have been used with varying degrees of success. Largely it depends on the extent of the problem, as well as the underlying cause. In many cases, lifestyle changes such as diet and weight loss can lead to major improvement in the ability to keep an erection. It should be noted that stress and fatigue can also lead to erectile problems. Medication such as those used for high blood pressure and diabetes can lead to erectile issues as well as loss of libido.
Herbal Solutions For Erectile Dysfunction
Here are some herbal options that have been shown to help men with erectile dysfunction:
Ginko - This herb is known to increase blood flow in the body, but the implications for ED problems are not yet fully understood. If you are on an aspirin regimen, or using medication for thinning the blood this is not your best option. Ginko has a similar thinning effect on the blood so there is the potential of serious bleeding in the event of an injury.
L-arginine - This amino acid is popular with bodybuilders. We all need amino acids, but this particular supplement helps to improve blood flow. One area of concern is that it can lower blood pressure. Nausea and stomach upsets and even diarrhea are side effects of L-arginine.
Epimedium - This herb also goes by the more colorful names, rowdy lamb herb or horny goat weed. It has been a mainstay of Chinese herbal medicine for centuries. It would be wise to take it in small doses, and avoid using it if you are on any type of medication. There has not been enough research done to determine if it poses any risks.
DHEA – This is a natural hormone produced by the adrenal glands. DHEA is similar to both testosterone and estrogen and can be transformed into either by the body. Therefore men who suffer from low testosterone may see benefits from taking it as a supplement. Be warned however that there is an increased risk of prostate enlargement.
As far as diet is concerned, foods rich in zinc, folic acid, vitamin C, magnesium and potassium can be helpful in dealing with ED problems. As such diet should not be overlooked even with the wealth of drugs and supplements available.Oysters, wheat germ and bran cereal are all good sources of zinc. We can get plenty of vitamin C from potatoes, oranges and kiwi fruit, just to name a few. If you eat a diet that takes in a lot of vegetables and fruit, you are sure to get plenty of folate (folic acid) magnesium and potassium. All of these nutrients can also be had in supplement form.
A healthy lifestyle which incorporates lots of rest, minimal alcohol use and the avoidance of junk and fried food can play a part in maintaining erectile health. Eliminating stress is also recommended and known to be beneficial when treating erectile dysfunction.
March 29th, 2009
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