Erectile Dysfunction

Herbal alternatives to Viagra

Men with erectile dysfunction have a hard time achieving an erection hard enough to engage in a satisfactory sexual intercourse. Erectile dysfunction is caused due to a number of reasons like the person’s overall health and medical conditions, psychological factors, current medications and lifestyle.

Regardless of the cause that may cause erectile dysfunction, certain drugs can help you achieve erections. You might be aware of their names due to their popularity owing to their ads on the television. The three most famous drugs are Viagra, Cialis and Levitra.

Apart from these synthetic drugs, nature has its own remedies too. There are a number of herbal contenders for Viagra, Cialis and Levitra claiming to do just the exact job. However, these are not nearly as popular. In fact, there are not even substantial amount of studies to determine the claims or their efficiency.

Below are the general guidelines about a few herbal alternatives.

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  1. DHEA supplements

 

DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is a precursor to testosterone in males and estrogen in females. It is produced in the adrenal glands in the body.

The level of testosterone and estrogen generally declines with age. DHEA supplements can increase the level of these hormones.

A French study on 280 healthy men and women aged 60 to 79 showed that DHEA did in fact increase libido, sexual activity and satisfaction. Half of the subjects were give 50mg each while the other half were given placebos. It was reported to have a better result on women than men.

Side effects:

A lower dosage of DHEA is safe; however, it is not free from side effects. Its possible side effects are:

  1. Acne
  2. Hair loss
  3. High blood pressure
  4. Headache

 

  1. L-arginine

 

L-arginine is an amino acid that is naturally produced in the body. L-arginine supplements can treat erectile dysfunction due to its ability to dilate the blood vessels. This results in an increased blood flow required for an erection.

Generally, L-arginine is used in combination with Pycnogenol or Yohimbine Hydrochloride for the treatment of erectile dysfunction.

There is no standard dose of L-arginine supplements. 2 to 3 grams thrice a day is common dosage.

Side effects:

Some common side effects of L-arginine are:

  1. Nausea
  2. Cramps
  3. Diarrhea
  4. Low blood pressure
  5. Changes in the blood glucose levels

 

L-arginine should not be taken with Viagra.

 

  1. Ginseng

 

There are two varieties of ginseng, Korean ginseng (Panax ginseng) and American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius). A study has shown Panax ginseng to treat sexual dysfunctions like erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation.

There is no standard dose of ginseng for erectile dysfunction or other conditions.

Side effects:

The side effects of ginseng are:

  1. Headache
  2. Insomnia
  3. Digestive problems

 

However, the side effects are generally mild when used for a short-term. Women who use ginseng for a long term may experience menstrual changes.

 

  1. Propionyl-L-carnitine

 

Propionyl-L-carnitine is an amino acid that is naturally produced in the body. Men who suffer from erectile dysfunction due to diabetes use Propionyl-l-carnitine supplements along with Viagra.

Studies have shown Propionyl-L-carnitine to increase nitrate/nitrite levels in blood.

Side effects:

Propionyl-L-carnitine is safe when taken under medical supervision. The common side effects associated with Propionyl-L-carnitine are:

  1. Nausea
  2. Vomiting
  3. Angina
  4. Stomach ache

 

Consult your doctor before taking these medications. Your doctor can give you a better advice considering your medical condition and allergies.

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