Yes, some people do try various home remedies for erectile dysfunction (ED). The effectiveness of home remedies will depend on factors like the cause of the ED and the particular chosen home remedy. For example, if a man can’t achieve or maintain an erection because of restricted blood flow to the penis, a home remedy that might merely increase libido won’t solve the issue.
The Effectiveness and Safety Issues of Some Home Remedies for ED
For hundreds of years, people have tried herbs and supplements to treat erectile dysfunction, according to Mayo Clinic. There’s little regulation or quality control of these items, so you might not get the substance or dosage you expected. Also, the active ingredient or added items might pose safety concerns. Always keep in mind that just because something claims to be “natural,” it is not necessarily safe. Arsenic and cyanide occur in nature, but that does not mean that these products should be ingested. The former is dangerous when someone is exposed to excess amounts of it and the latter is deadly when ingested in any amount.
Here are some of the herbs and supplements people use as home remedies for ED, according to Mayo Clinic:
- Ginseng might provide some benefits for erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation. Ginseng might be safe when used briefly. Common side effects include headaches, vertigo, and insomnia.
- L-arginine might improve blood flow and thereby help with ED. People report experiencing diarrhea, nausea, and cramps with L-arginine. It’s not safe to take L-arginine and Viagra® (sildenafil) together.
- DHEA might help with ED in men and improve libido in women. Although possibly safe at low doses, some people develop acne when taking DHEA.
- Propionyl-L-carnitine. If someone takes Viagra, they should only use propionyl-L-carnitine under the direct supervision of a doctor. There’s some evidence that this substance might improve the effects of Viagra.
- Yohimbe. When depression is the root of the erectile dysfunction, a component of this substance might improve sexual function, but there are significant side effects associated with yohimbe. Because people who use this supplement can experience a rapid heartbeat, arrhythmia, high blood pressure, or anxiety, when taking yohimbe, one should only take it under medical supervision.
- Horny goat weed (epimedium). There are no studies that evaluate the effectiveness of this herb on erectile dysfunction in men. Medical experts raise concerns that epimedium might adversely affect breathing or cardiac function.
- Ginkgo. Although this substance might help with blood flow issues, no studies find that ginkgo improves erectile dysfunction. People who take ginkgo might have an increased risk of bleeding, which is a safety concern.
- “Herbal Viagra.” A quick search online can reveal a multitude of nonprescription formulas that claim to provide the benefits of Viagra. The only way to obtain the substance in Viagra legally is by a doctor’s prescription. If you buy these nonprescription products and the items contain sildenafil (Viagra), they are illegal. Some other formulations contain banned substances. “Herbal Viagra” products can be ineffective, at best, and could pose a risk to a man’s health, at worst.
Be sure to speak with your doctor before trying any home remedy for ED.
Safe Ways to Improve Your Health and Possibly Improve Sexual Performance
Harvard Health Publishing recommends several measures a man can take to improve his overall health and possibly improve his sex life. Diabetes, neurological conditions, and vascular disease can cause erectile dysfunction. Getting healthier can help one avoid these issues and perhaps sidestep the ED that can come with them.
Carrying extra weight around the middle can increase your risk of erectile dysfunction. Being overweight can make a man more likely to develop diabetes or cardiovascular disease or have a hormonal imbalance, which can lead to ED.
Exercises to Improve Sexual Function
Practicing movements like Kegel exercises can strengthen the pelvic floor. A strong pelvic floor can help blood in the penis during an erection and increase rigidity. When combined with biofeedback, limited consumption of alcohol, reaching a healthy weight, and cutting out tobacco, doing Kegel exercises twice a day can improve sexual function.
What You Eat Can Affect Your Performance in the Bedroom
Experts say that men can lower their risk of ED by reducing their intake of some foods and increasing their consumption of others. Eating lots of whole grains, fish, vegetables, and fruit while limiting refined grains, processed meats like lunchmeat, and red meat can help men hedge their bets of avoiding sexual dysfunction.
Moderate Exercise is Your Friend
Men can reduce their likelihood of ED significantly by merely taking a daily walk for half an hour. Older men, in particular, can benefit from moderate exercise to restore sexual function.
If a man’s heart and blood vessels are unhealthy, he faces a heightened risk of heart attack and stroke, as well as erectile dysfunction. Treating high blood pressure or elevated cholesterol, triglycerides, or blood sugar could save his life and improve his sexual function.
GAINSWave® therapy is a non-invasive treatment that can treat erectile function or improve sexual function in men who do not have ED. The therapy increases blood flow, helps grow new blood vessels, and breaks down plaque buildup in the penis.
Those interested can call a GAINSWave® therapy provider in their area today for more information.