Natural Vitamins & Supplements that HELP erectile dysfunction!

Erectile difficulties (ED) affect millions of men all over the world. The reasons can be psychological, physical, and medication-related. If you, or a person you know, have had difficulties associated with ED, then you have probably come across numerous supplements that promise to alleviate erectile problems and boost sexual performance. However, how good are these supplements, and do they work? This article will go over some common natural vitamins and supplements that can help erectile difficulties and other steps to overcome this problem.

What is ED?

Erectile difficulties, commonly abbreviated as ED, is a condition [1] that results in an inability to have or maintain an erection for sexual intercourse. Previously, the condition was also referred to as impotence, although this term is rarely used today. ED can be the result of wide-ranging factors ranging from psychological to physiological.

Ideally, an erection is brought about and sustained by blood flow into chambers located in the penis. The flow of blood into these chambers causes the rigidity that makes intercourse possible. With ED, the person has a problem getting the erection or maintaining it long enough for sexual intercourse.

Supplements That Could Help With ED

There are numerous supplements said to alleviate the effects of ED. These supplements work in different ways. It is worth noting that there are scientific studies that support some of these supplements, while others have insufficient evidence regarding their overall efficacy. Here is a look at some of the most common ED supplements.

Panax Ginseng

Panax Ginseng [2] is a plant native to Eastern Siberia, Northeastern China, and Korea. Traditionally, the plant has been used for various medical reasons. Panax Ginseng should not be confused with other similar-looking plants such as Canaigre, Blue Cohosh, and American Ginseng. Taking this plant is said to have beneficial results for people with erectile difficulties.

Rhodiola Rosea

Rhodiola Rosea is a plant native to the world’s arctic region. For years, the plant [3] has been said to boost sexual desire in women and men, with some reports also indicating that it may alleviate problems associated with premature ejaculation. Rhodiola Rosea is said to work by affecting the brain’s dopamine system, a critical component of sexual function and libido.

In a study [4] involving the plant, 26 out of 35 men were given between 150 and 200 milligrams of Rhodiola Rosea daily for three months reported significantly improved sexual function. The plant has also been shown to reduce fatigue and improve one’s energy. However, there are not many studies related to the safety of the plant.

DHEA

DHEA is a short form for dehydroepiandrosterone, a hormone naturally produced by the body and that can also be consumed as a dietary supplement. In one of the studies involving DHEA, there was a group of 40 men in the study, who were divided into two groups of 20. The first group was assigned a daily dehydroepiandrosterone supplement and while the other group was given a placebo pill, each for six months. At the end of the research, [5] the men who received a daily dose of DHEA reported a significant improvement in their ability to get and maintain an erection.

In a 2017 review involving more than 35 clinical studies, researchers found that DHEA improved the frequency of sex, orgasms, arousal, lubrication, and sexual interest among people with erectile difficulties. It is worth noting that the benefits were especially pronounced in women just about to enter menopause.

L-Arginine

L-arginine is a natural amino acid that helps in the development of proteins. This amino acid [6] also becomes nitric oxide gas in the body, an important component of erectile function. Nitric oxide contributes to the relaxation of blood vessels, allowing more blood to flow through. This enhanced blood flow contributes to erection occurrence and maintenance. Taking about five grams of L-arginine orally each day is said to improve sexual function in men experiencing ED. Additionally, taking this supplement alongside others, such as maritime pine bark extract, has been said to improve its overall effectiveness.

Yohimbe

Yohimbe, sometimes called Johimbe, is a dietary supplement [7] derived from the bark of the African tree, Pausinystalia Yohimbe. The supplement has been a part of West African medicine for ages. The active ingredient in this supplement is Yohimbine and is also found in commercial supplements marketed as male enhancers. Yohimbe is said to alleviate ED symptoms, although the existing studies seem somewhat inconclusive.

It is worth noting that a drug known as yohimbine hydrochloride has been prescribed for ED since the 1930s. It is actually one of the oldest prescription drugs for men with sexual dysfunction. However, the composition of the bark extract varies significantly from that of the prescription drug. Yohimbe is said to improve sexual function by increasing blood flow to the penis.

Ginkgo

Ginkgo biloba [8] is a herb that has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. The herb is widely used in medications designed for poor blood flow, anxiety, and dementia. Due to its blood-flow enhancing properties, ginkgo is said to be beneficial for men with ED. The herb reportedly dilates the blood vessels, enhancing blood flow and sexual function. In a study evaluating the effects of the herb on ED, researchers found that there was improved sexual function in 76% of the men in the study who were on antidepressants.

Red Ginseng

Red Ginseng is also referred to as Asin Ginseng at times and is native to Asia. In 2018, a meta-analysis found red Ginseng to be particularly effective in the treatment of ED. The plant [9] is linked to improved alertness, which possibly explains its action against erectile difficulties. Additionally, red Ginseng is also said to lessen the severity of heart-related problems.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a centuries-old medical practice [10] that works by stimulating specific points in the body using several fine needles. The basic premise of acupuncture is to alter bodily functions and modify one’s sensation to pain in a body to treat ailments. The practice has been and still is quite prevalent in China. The acupuncturist first examines their patient and then uses their wrist pulse to determine numerous characteristics.

After the examination, the practitioner then inserts fine needles into some of over 360 acupuncture sites on the body. The sites are distributed along 14 body sections known as meridians. The insertion of needles is said to redirect the body’s Qi. Redirecting this vital force is said to restore a person’s yin/yang balance, a crucial element of maintaining health.

When it comes to combating ED using acupuncture, [11] the existing research is limited. Most of the existing studies have focused on psychological-related ED as opposed to physical or medical ED. In one of the studies, participants were divided into two groups. The first group had acupuncture on the ED acupressure spots such as the hands, legs, and abdomen. The rest were given acupuncture in different body parts. About two-thirds of the people who got acupuncture on the ED acupressure points showed signs of improvement.

Some of the non-ED group participants were allowed to cross over to the ED acupuncture group and showed improvements as well. With acupuncture, more studies need to be done to gauge how effective the practice is against ED.

Talk to your doctor

Regardless of the underlying cause, it is important to talk to your doctor in case you are dealing with erectile difficulties. Here are some of the reasons you should consider an appointment with your doctor.

ED Could Point to Other Problems

ED could be the result of mental, emotional, or physical reasons. However, it could also be a pointer to underlying medical issues. Here are some of the underlying conditions that might manifest in erectile difficulties.

  • Alcohol, drug, or tobacco use
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Low testosterone
  • Medication side effects
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Stress, anxiety, and depression

Alleviating ED Can Improve Mental Health

Erectile difficulties can be linked to depression and anxiety, conditions that could adversely affect your sex life. At times, ED is the underlying cause of low esteem, depression, frustration, and sadness. Talking to your doctor can help clear misinformation, negative thoughts and boost your self-esteem and confidence.

The Relationship Between ED and Heart Disease

Erectile difficulties is said to predict cardiovascular problems just as well as cholesterol, family history, and smoking does. By addressing ED with your doctor, you might very well be avoiding future heart-related problems.

Break the Stigma

Normally, ED is more likely to occur in older adults as compared to younger ones. However, the condition also occurs in young people who are, at times, too embarrassed to talk about it with their doctor. By talking to your doctor, you can help break the stigma associated with having ED at a young age. You can be in a position to offer helpful advice to your colleagues or friends.

Improving Your Sex life

Our relationship with sex and sexual health changes as we age. It is not uncommon to come across ED challenges as the years go by. By talking to your doctor, you can keep enjoying a satisfying sex life even as time passes. Healthy sex life has been shown to have immense physical and mental benefits, making it all the more important to frequently talk to your doctor.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

Once you have decided to talk to your doctor about ED, there are several questions you should definitely consider asking your doctor.

What is the relationship between ED and Testosterone?

Hypogonadism, or having low testosterone, is one of the possible causes of erectile difficulties. However, since it is not the only cause, it is important to bring up this question so that your doctor can determine whether your testosterone is low. There are lab tests to determine whether your ED is the result of an insufficient testosterone level.

Do I Need to See a Cardiologist?

High blood pressure and heart disease can lead to erectile difficulties. However, since the condition can also be caused by numerous other factors, it is important to let your doctor determine the causes. Following a physical exam or lab tests, your doctor might refer you to a cardiologist if your ED is being caused by heart-related issues.

Is My ED psychological?

Traditionally, ED was thought to be predominantly psychological. However, modern research has also shown diabetes and heart conditions to be significant contributing factors. If you are unsure of what could be causing your ED, it is important to have your doctor carry out a nocturnal test that measures the number of erections one has while sleeping.

Does ED medications have side effects?

If you have ED, your doctor will almost certainly prescribe something to alleviate the conditions. While the possible solutions vary greatly, it is important to ask whether the medications you will be taking have any side effects. Some of the ED meds can cause rashes, dizziness, UTIs, nasal congestion, and headaches, among other effects.

Are ED medications effective?

A considerable percentage of men taking ED medications report having sufficient erections for intercourse. However, it is worth noting that the results and effectiveness of these meds often vary among individuals. There are those who report having no improvements even after taking the meds. Ask your doctor how long it takes for the meds to work and how long the effects last.

Could Some of the meds that I am taking be contributing to ED?

Meds such as antidepressants and blood pressure drugs can interfere with a person’s libido and ability to get and maintain a strong erection. When talking to your doctor, let them know about every medication you are taking to make sure that they are not contributing to your ED in one way or another.

What are my treatment options?

If your ED is being caused by underlying health conditions, chances are that treating those conditions will sort the ED problem. However, depending on your doctor’s assessment, you might need to take some oral medications, supplements, have some injections, undergo surgery, or get a penile implant. Whatever the case, it is important to discuss the available treatment options with your doctor. Also, ensure you get all the necessary information you might need to make a decision.

Lifestyle changes

Like many other medical conditions, you can take several steps to prevent some of the underlying conditions that cause ED. Here is a look at some of the lifestyle changes one needs to make.

Regular Exercise

Typically, men who lead an active life reportedly have fewer sex problems than those who rarely exercise. Regular exercise increases libido, confidence, and self-esteem. However, if you have underlying medical conditions, it is good to check with your doctor before getting started on strength training or cardio routines.

Cut the Smoking

Numerous medical practitioners agree that smoking can result in sexual dysfunction among men. Besides resulting in ED, smoking can also affect sperm quality and sperm count adversely. Smoking damages the tiny blood vessels that transport blood to the penis, making it difficult to get or maintain an erection.

Stress Management

Stress can leave you feeling nervous, uptight, worried, and exhausted. If left unchecked, stress can get out of control and possibly lead to psychological ED. You can learn how to meditate and control your breathing to reduce stress. By doing this, you will soon be reaping the effects of a relaxed mind in the bedroom.

Visit Your Doctor Frequently

Most of us do not exactly like visiting the doctor every once in a while. However, it is important to visit your doctor for a medical assessment on risk factors that could contribute to ED. Your doctor will check your heart health, weight, breathing, and any other medical attributes. Additionally, your doctor might also note some conditions that could lead to ED in the future.

Cut Down on the Alcohol

Alcohol might make one feel sexier by lowering their inhibition. However, excessive consumption is also said to reduce libido, make it difficult to reach orgasms, and cause erectile problems. In the long run, such problems can result in ED.

Eat Healthy

Simply put, you are what you eat. Whatever is on your plate or cup can have a considerable effect on your performance between the sheets. Ensure that you are consuming nutrient-rich foods that are low in fats. Additionally, ensure your meals have sufficient whole grains, lean cuts of meat, fruits, and vegetables.

Have a Positive Attitude

A positive attitude towards life is usually linked to better sex life. Try to find ways to get engaged in activities that uplift your spirits and put a smile on your face.

Kegel Exercises

When most of us hear about Kegel exercises, we think of them as exercises designed for women. However, these exercises can also help men strengthen the muscles that connect the tailbone with the penis base. These muscles control the urethral fluid flow. By engaging in these exercises, a man can learn how to heighten his orgasms and delay ejaculation.

Summary

If left unchecked, erectile difficulties can easily lead to a myriad of other problems. However, there are several steps one can take to alleviate the problems. The supplements mentioned in this article coupled with the lifestyle changes can help one enjoy a better sex life.

Citations

  1. https://www.healthline.com/health/erectile-dysfunction#_noHeaderPrefixedContent
  2. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-1000/panax-ginseng
  3. https://www.webmd.com/erectile-dysfunction/news/20040505/natural-sex-boosters-gaining-ground
  4. https://www.healthline.com/health/erectile-dysfunction/ed-natural-treatments#rhodiola-rosea
  5. https://www.goldjournal.net/article/S0090-4295(98)00571-8/fulltext
  6. https://www.rxlist.com/l-arginine/supplements.htm
  7. https://www.jsm.jsexmed.org/article/S1743-6095(15)34439-8/fulltext
  8. https://www.healthline.com/health/erectile-dysfunction/herbs#ginkgo
  9. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40265-018-0897-3
  10. https://www.health.harvard.edu/mens-health/acupuncture-for-ed
  11. https://www.healthline.com/health/acupuncture-for-ed#acupunctureand-ed
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