It's just about impossible to listen to the radio or watch TV without bearing witness to an advertisement for Viagra or some other treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED). No wonder: About 30 million men in the U.S. suffer from ED. It's a big market. And although most men who suffer from ED are older, it is not a natural part of aging.
Viagra is not for everyone, especially with its huge catalog of side effects (these include bladder pain, pain upon urination, burning feeling in the chest, and indigestion, among many more). It's also known for being quite expensive. Fortunately, there are a few all natural, side effect-free alternatives to prime time TV's favorite pharmaceutical.
The amino acid L-arginine, already present in our bodies, assists us in the manufacture of nitric acid. It is converted to nitric oxide, a compound that provides a relaxing effect on the blood vessels which helps with an erection. In a study which focused on the effects on L-Arginine, when men took about 5 grams of L-Arginine each day, their sexual function improved considerably. Manufactured by your body, this amino acid is also available in tablet form.
Acupuncture is probably the world's oldest known ED treatment, dating as it does back to 100 B.C. Best known as a treatment for chronic pain, studies have shown that the ancient Chinese medical procedure can also be effective versus ED. The procedure utilizes the skin pricks of tiny needles to boost your body’s natural painkillers, increase blood flow, and stimulate nerves, muscles, and connective tissue.
Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a hormone produced by your adrenal glands, gonads, and brain. It is also the most abundant circulating steroid hormone in humans. We're interested in it because it can be changed to testosterone in your body, and studies have shown that DHEA can help men better achieve and maintain an erection.
Various studies have shown that Panax ginseng, a botanical that has enjoyed a folk medicine reputation as an aphrodisiac, is a genuinely effective treatment for ED. When Panax ginseng was dosed in a range of 600 to 1,000 mg 3 times daily, this herbal supplement helped with treating ED. A 2009 clinical study showed that 1000 mg of Panax ginseng twice daily improved erectile function and overall sexual satisfaction among men with erectile dysfunction. The study also found that ginseng potentially increased testosterone levels.
What about all those other so-called “herbal viagras?” The Mayo Clinic warns against them. These supplements can increase blood flow, and can also cause dangerous drops in blood pressure. Risk may be particularly high for men who are using nitrates. Herbal Viagra can also interact with other prescription drugs. These products may also contain potentially toxic compounds that are not listed on the label.