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9 Natural Remedies For Erectile Dysfunction

Natural Remedies To Treat Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (ED) or impotence is very common in men with one in 5 men affected by it. Though medical and psychological interventions are sought as treatment, natural remedies have been used traditionally to cure the condition. While foods like onion, garlic, ginger, carrots, and pomegranate juice are known to cure ED, certain vitamins like vitamin C, E, and B3 are effective, too. You may want to try Korean Red Ginseng or supplement your diet with L-arginine. You could also give acupuncture a shot.

It hits where it hurts the most – your member. Erectile dysfunction or ED is a spoiler in bed and can shatter your ego irreparably. ED, also called impotence, is the inability of a man to achieve and maintain an erection sufficient to permit satisfactory sexual intercourse.1 Men who cannot get or maintain an erection that lasts long enough or is rigid enough to complete sexual intercourse are considered to have erectile dysfunction.

It is way common than you would think. One in five men reports consistent and repeated problems in sustaining an erection. And this number increases with age. It has been estimated that about 30 million men in the United States are affected by ED.

While there are many forms of sexual dysfunctions, ED refers specifically to problems in achieving or maintaining an erection. Men with ED often have no issues with their libido, yet their bodies fail to respond. In most cases, there is a physical basis for ED. However, close to 70 percent do not seek medical aid.2

What Could Cause It?

To understand the physiology of erectile dysfunction, we need to know erection first. An erection occurs when impulses from the brain and genital nerves cause blood to fill the two chambers known as the corpora cavernosa in the male penis. This causes the penis to expand and stiffen. Anything that blocks these impulses or restricts blood flow to the penis can result in ED. This block may be caused by psychological, neurologic, hormonal, arterial, or cavernosal impairment or even from a combination of all these factors.3

Diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, kidney disease, obesity, multiple sclerosis, and depression, and activities like bicycling, smoking, alcohol or drug abuse can impair blood flow or nerve impulses throughout the body. Surgery, as well as certain medications, can also result in ED. However, this may be a temporary problem.4

How Would You Know If You Have ED?

Symptoms Of ED Include:

  • Erections that are too soft for sexual intercourse
  • Erections that are too brief for sexual intercourse
  • Inability to achieve erections

Can It Be Treated?

ED is often treated with psychotherapy, behavior modification techniques, oral medications, locally injected drugs, vacuum devices, and sometimes even surgically implanted devices. In rare cases, surgery of the blood vessels may be necessary. In most cases, even when a physical cause is identified, emotional or psychological factors play a role as well.

The field of ED treatment has undergone considerable changes in recent times. New diagnostic tests, as well as treatments such as intracavernosal injection of vasoactive agents, vascular reconstructive surgery, and vacuum erection devices, have been added along with options of hormonal therapy, psychological counseling, and penile implants.5

Natural Remedies To Treat Erectile Dysfunction

Even as medical science is taking leaps and bounds in the field of ED, there are many who do not seek medical assistance to cure it. This may be due to factors like fear, stigma, the expense involved, etc. Here are some top natural remedies that can help with your ED problem.

1. Garlic

One of the natural ED cures is garlic. Studies show that allicin, a component derived from garlic, helps improve blood flow. Consequently, this can help deal with erectile dysfunction.6 It also offers some protection against testicular oxidative damage and spermiotoxicity.7

To Use

  • Chew three to four cloves of garlic daily. Do this for three to four months.
  • Heat a few garlic cloves with a little bit of clarified butter on low flame. Wait for the garlic to turn golden brown. Eat these garlic cloves daily.
  • Mix together one teaspoon each of garlic powder and cayenne pepper powder. Have it with water a few hours before going to bed. Repeat daily.

2. Onions

Like garlic, onions too help treat ED. In a study conducted on male rats, fresh onion juice was found to have improved copulatory behavior and cured medicine-induced sexual dysfunction.8 They are also believed to help treat involuntary loss of semen during sleep or other times. Studies also show that like garlic, onions too offer some protection against testicular oxidative damage and spermiotoxicity.9

To Use

  • Slice one or two large white onions. Fry the slices in clarified butter on low flame until they turn brown. Eat them with one tablespoon of honey before having dinner. Repeat daily for about a month.
  • Alternatively, finely chop two large onions and steep them for 10 minutes in two cups of warm water. Drink half a cup of this liquid three times daily. Do this for one month.

3. Carrots

While carrots have always been touted for their benefits for the eyes, studies reveal that carotenoids, vitamins, and minerals present in carrots act as antioxidants, anticarcinogens, and immune enhancers. Carrots also boast of antihypertensive, hepatoprotective, renoprotective, and wound healing benefits as well as cardio- and hepatoprotective, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic effects. Studies on male rats have shown that carrots can exert an effect on fertility by elevating testosterone levels in them.10

To Use

  • Make a juice by blending three medium-sized carrots, three celery stalks, half of a medium-sized beetroot and one to two garlic cloves in a juicer. Drink a glass of this juice once or twice daily.
  • Drink a glass of warm milk along with two tablespoons of grated carrot.
  • Include raw carrots in your daily diet.

4. Pomegranate Juice

The polyphenol- and antioxidant-rich pomegranate is said to aid blood circulation, help reduce stress, reduce oxidative stress in diabetics, is anticarcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, and much more. It is also believed to effectively protect men against erectile dysfunction and even male infertility. A study using a rabbit model of ED measured the effect of pomegranate juice concentrate on intracavernous blood flow and penile erection. The study found that consuming 3.87 mL pomegranate juice concentrate daily for eight weeks significantly increased intracavernous blood flow and smooth muscle relaxation, probably because of its antioxidant effect. No wonder then that pomegranate juice is yet another popular natural remedy for ED.11

To Use

  • Drink a glass of pomegranate juice daily.
  • You can also take pomegranate supplements. Do consult your doctor before taking supplements.

5. Korean Red Ginseng

Korean red ginseng, also known as Asian ginseng or Chinese ginseng, is believed to be a highly effective natural remedy for treating ED. It is a traditional Asian remedy for sexual dysfunction and is widely used in the United States. Studies have shown that red ginseng can have significant therapeutic effects on penile rigidity and girth, libido, and patient satisfaction. It also has a reassuring safety profile, making it one of the most popular and proven natural remedy for ED.12

To Use

  • Recommended dosage for Korean red ginseng is between 600 and 1000 mg three times daily.

Note: It is best to discuss with your doctor before taking Korean Red Ginseng as it can interact with other drugs and may cause allergic reactions.

6. L-arginine

Nitric oxide (NO) is believed to be a principal mediator in penile erection, acting both as a neurotransmitter released in the nerve terminals of the penis and as a vasodilator of the smooth muscle of penile arteries. NO is derived from the terminal guanidine group of l-arginine by nitric oxide synthase.13

To Use

  • Take 5 grams of L-arginine daily for noticeable improvement. Consult your doctor before starting this regimen.
  • Eat protein-rich foods like meat, chicken, fish, peas, and nuts and seeds that contain L-arginine in high amounts.
  • You can also take L-arginine supplements after consulting your doctor.

7. Ginger

Yet another good natural home remedy for ED is ginger. While it is widely believed to possess aphrodisiac properties that help relieve impotency and premature ejaculation, studies have revealed that ginger is effective in stimulating blood circulation.14

To Use

  • Mix half teaspoon of ginger juice and one tablespoon of honey with one soft-boiled egg. Eat this mixture once a day before going to bed. Do this for a month.
  • Prepare a mixture of two teaspoons each of ginger paste and honey. Have it three times a day. Do this for one or two months.
  • Drink two or three cups of ginger tea every day.

8. Vitamins

There are certain vitamins that are effective remedies for erectile dysfunction because they increase the blood flow in the body. Niacin (vitamin B3)15, vitamin E 16, vitamin K, and ascorbic acid (vitamin C)17 are some such.

9. Acupuncture

Another age-old therapy for ED is acupuncture. This is an ancient Chinese treatment where thin needles are inserted into specific points of the body to relieve all kinds of illnesses. Acupuncture has been used to treat ED for years. Studies show that acupuncture improves erection as well as in the treatment of erectile dysfunction with psychological cause.18

Note: Those opting for this treatment should ensure to have it done by a trained practitioner.

Your Doubts Answered

Expert Opinion

Are There Any Natural Remedies To Treat Erectile Dysfunction?

The natural remedy to ED is a healthy lifestyle that can “reverse” ED naturally, as opposed to “managing” it. Since ED can be considered a “chronic disease,” healthy lifestyle choices can reverse it, prevent its progression and even prevent its onset. Since sexual functioning is based upon many body components working harmoniously (central and peripheral nervous system, hormone system, blood vessel system, smooth and skeletal muscles), the first-line approach is to nurture every cell, tissue and organ in the body. This translates to achieving “fighting” weight, adopting a smart heart-healthy and penis-healthy diet (whole foods, nutrient-dense, calorie-light, avoiding processed and refined junk foods), exercising moderately, losing the tobacco habit, consuming alcohol in moderation, stress reduction (yoga, meditation, massage, hot baths, whatever it takes, etc.), and getting adequate quantity and quality of sleep. Aside from general exercises (cardio, core, strength and flexibility training), specific pelvic floor muscle exercises (“man-Kegels”) are beneficial to improve the strength, power and endurance of the penile “rigidity” muscles. If a healthy lifestyle can be adopted, sexual function will often improve dramatically, in parallel to overall health improvements. Since many medications have side effects that negatively impact sexual function, a bonus of lifestyle improvement is potentially needing lower dosages or perhaps eliminating medications (blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetic meds, etc.), which can further improve sexual function. Eat real food and avoid refined, over-processed, nutritionally-empty foods and be moderate with the consumption of animal fats and dairy. Processed meats and charred meats should be avoided. A healthy diet should include whole grains and plenty of vegetables and fruits, particularly those that contain powerful antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber.
Expert Opinion

What Vitamins Can Help To Treat Erectile Dysfunction?

Get your vitamins from whole foods and not through artificial supplements! Vibrantly colorful fruits such as berries (strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries) contain abundant anthocyanins. Tomatoes and tomato products are rich in lycopenes. Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, kale and cabbage) and dark green leafy vegetables are fiber-rich and contain lutein and numerous healthy phytochemicals. A healthy diet should include protein sources incorporating fish, lean poultry and plant-based proteins such as legumes, nuts, and seeds. Include fish that have anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, sardines, and trout. Healthy fats (preferably of vegetable origins like olives, avocados, seeds and nuts) are preferred. An ideal diet that is both heart-healthy and prostate-healthy is the Mediterranean diet. Follow, "Let food be your medicine” by Socrates.
Expert Opinion

What Are Kegel Exercises For Men? And How Often Should I Do It?

The penile roots are enveloped by two pelvic floor muscles, the bulbocavernosus (BC) and the ischiocavernosus (IC). The IC muscle is the “erector muscle” and the BC muscle the “ejaculator muscle.” The BC and IC muscles are responsible for the ability to lift one’s erect penis up and down (wag the penis) as they are contracted and relaxed. Although not muscles of glamour, they are certainly muscles of “amour.” Although unseen and behind-the-scenes, hidden from view, these often unrecognized and misunderstood muscles have vital functions in addition to erection and ejaculation. When the pelvic floor muscles are not functioning optimally, one loses the potential for full erectile rigidity. Like other skeletal muscles, they can undergo “disuse atrophy,” becoming thinner, flabbier and less functional with aging, weight gain, sedentary lifestyles, poor posture, chronic straining and other forms of trauma, including pelvic surgery (e.g., prostatectomy). Exercising them can enhance sexual health; maintain sexual health; help prevent the occurrence of ED in the future; and help manage ED. Specifically, pelvic floor exercises can be beneficial with respect to the following spectrum of issues: ED; ejaculation issues including premature ejaculation; urinary incontinence; overactive bladder; post-void dribbling; and bowel urgency and incontinence. One of the challenges of pelvic floor training is that most men do not know where their pelvic muscles are located, what they do, how to exercise them, and what benefits exercising them may confer. In fact, many men don’t even know that they have pelvic floor muscles. Because they are out of sight, they are often out of mind and not considered when it comes to exercise and fitness. However, although concealed from view, they deserve serious respect as they are responsible for vital functions that can be enhanced when intensified by training. Pelvic floor muscle training before and after prostate cancer surgery can facilitate the resumption of urinary control and sexual function after surgery. Pelvic floor training is also useful for men who suffer with stress urinary incontinence following prostatectomy. This is a spurt-like urinary leakage that occurs at times of increased abdominal pressure, such as with sports and other high impact activities. Pelvic floor contractions on demand are a technique in which the pelvic muscles are braced and briskly engaged at the time or just before any activity that triggers the stress incontinence. When practiced diligently, this can ultimately become an automatic behavior and the incontinence improved, if not resolved.
Expert Opinion

How Do I Know That I Am Properly Squeezing My Pelvic Floor Muscles (PFM)?

10 ways of knowing that you are properly squeezing your pelvic floor muscles (PFM): 1) The base of your penis retracts inwards towards the pubic bone as you contract your PFM. 2) The testes rise towards the groin as you contract your PFM. 3) When you place your index and middle fingers in the midline between the scrotum and anus you feel these muscles tighten as you contract your PFM. 4) You can pucker your anus (not the gluteal muscles) as you contract your PFM. You feel the anus tighten and pull up and in, known as “anal wink.” 5) You get the same feeling as you do when you are ejaculating when you contract your PFM. 6) When you touch your erect penis, you feel the erectile cylinders surge with blood as you contract your PFM. 7) You can make your erect penis elevate (lift and point) as you contract your PFM. 8) You can stop your urinary stream completely when you contract your PFM. 9) You can push out the last few drops of urine that remain after completing urination when you contract your PFM. 10) After pursuing PFM training, you notice improvements in erectile rigidity and durability as well as better quality ejaculations, ejaculatory control and improvement in urinary control.

References   [ + ]

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Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.