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Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

Natural Remedies For Erectile Dysfunction

by Andy Boysan (BPharm)

Andy is a co-founder, the superintendent pharmacist and director at The Independent Pharmacy.

There are many different erectile dysfunction treatments that are normally a combination of medicine, lifestyle changes and resolving any psychological causes. Some people prefer to try or use natural remedies rather than medical treatments. But what do natural remedies for erectile dysfunction entail?

In this post, we’ll be talking about natural remedies for erectile dysfunction, including herbal remedies and supplements, exercise, food for erectile dysfunction and alternative therapies. 

We’ll be providing some helpful information and guidance about these ED natural remedies and assessing how effective they really are, particularly compared to medical treatments available.

For a more general guide on erectile dysfunction, head to our ‘What is erectile dysfunction?’ page or visit our ED guides for a variety of information.

 

How to cure erectile dysfunction naturally

Many people want to try out natural remedies for erectile dysfunction. This might be because they want to avoid any possible side effects from prescription medication, or are worried that medical treatments will be expensive. They may also be embarrassed and will want to try and find natural ‘cures’ for erectile dysfunction at home. 

Whatever the reason, there are a few different types of natural remedies for erectile dysfunction available to try. This includes herbal remedies for erectile dysfunction, as well as other alternative treatments like acupuncture. We’ll go further into these in the sections below. 

 

Supplements and herbal remedies for erectile dysfunction

Here are some popular supplements and herbal remedies for erectile dysfunction:

  • Yohimbe: this supplement is extracted from the bark of the African Yohimbe tree and is often used as a natural remedy for erectile dysfunction due to its apparent ability to widen blood vessels, increase blood flow and prolong erections. However, it has been linked to a number of side effects including increased blood pressure, fast or irregular heartbeat and anxiety.
  • Ginseng: sometimes called the herbal Viagra, Panax ginseng (red ginseng) is thought to increase nitric oxide production, leading to improved blood flow. Ginseng has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years.
  • Ginkgo: Ginkgo is thought to increase blood flow to the penis and improve ED. However, this supplement may increase the risk of bleeding, which could make it dangerous for people on blood thinners or with bleeding disorders.
  • Maca:this root vegetable from Peru is thought to have some health benefits, including ED improvement. However, there is insufficient evidence regarding this positive impact on ED.
  • Horny goat weed: the leaves of this herb have been used to improve sexual performance and ED, but like maca, not enough research has been done regarding this natural remedy for erectile dysfunction. It has also been suggested to affect heart function and breathing.
  • DHEA: Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a natural hormone produced by your adrenal glands. Using this as a supplement can help erectile dysfunction (although it may cause acne). 
  • L-arginine: L-arginine is an amino acid that helps expand blood vessels, thus improving ED. It is generally regarded as safe and effective but can cause unwanted side effects such as nausea and stomach cramps.

Erectile dysfunction herbs, supplements and other natural remedies have been used for a long time in many different cultures around the world.

However, unlike prescription medication for erectile dysfunction, herbal remedies for erectile dysfunction haven’t been rigorously tested or well-studied. This means that they may cause some unwanted side effects or interact with current medicines you are taking (prescription, over-the-counter or otherwise). 

If you are thinking about using any of the natural remedies above, you should consult your GP first. They will be able to advise you further and let you know about any possible interactions. A doctor may also recommend trying a clinically proven medication instead. 

 

Natural cures for erectile dysfunction

Trying herbal remedies and supplements for erectile dysfunction may help some people. However, if you’re looking for natural cures for erectile dysfunction, then trying some positive lifestyle changes is a good place to start. 

Some common lifestyle and natural remedies for erectile dysfunction include:

  • Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet (see our section below for more information)
  • Adding regular exercise to your routine
  • Reducing your alcohol intake
  • Quitting smoking
  • Maintaining good sleep hygiene 

All of the above can naturally help to improve your general health (both physical and mental) and improve erectile dysfunction. 

Of course, it also depends on your underlying causes of erectile dysfunction — some health conditions will need medical treatment or a certain course of action. If you are experiencing ED, then it is best to speak to your doctor so that the cause and treatment can be established.

 

Alternative erectile dysfunction home remedy options

If you’re looking for a natural way to treat erectile dysfunction (ED), then there are some alternative therapies and treatments to consider:

  • Acupuncture: this ancient form of alternative medicine involves stimulating certain points on the body by inserting tiny needles. Some men report improvements in erectile dysfunction symptoms after having acupuncture.
  • Essential oils: using essential oils can help you relax and de-stress — as some ED is caused by psychological factors such as stress and anxiety, using oils could help you to tackle erectile dysfunction. 

These alternative natural remedies for erectile dysfunction may be successful for some people and are considered safe.

 

Food for erectile dysfunction

There are lots of myths around the ability of foods to cure erectile dysfunction, and what these foods might be. 

Here are some of the foods that are thought to help with erectile dysfunction:

  • Spinach: contains high levels of folic acid which is thought to improve erectile dysfunction and magnesium, which boosts testosterone levels and stimulates blood flow
  • Caffeine: improves blood flow by relaxing penile arteries and muscles
  • Oats: the amino acids found in oats relax blood vessels which can help with ED
  • Chocolate: rich in flavanols, which are plant nutrients that increase blood flow and help with erections
  • Fish: full of omega-3 fatty acids, which lower blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health. These are also thought to help with sexual response, by raising dopamine levels in the brain and triggering arousal
  • Watermelon: contains a compound called citrulline which helps to relax blood vessels and improve blood flow
  • Olive oil: full of antioxidants and ‘good’ fat, olive oil may also help to make testosterone and improve erections

The benefits of food for erectile dysfunction are yet to be clinically established; more evidence is needed to confirm the potential of the above foods.

The truth is, eating a healthy, balanced diet can help to improve your general health and tackle some of the underlying physical causes of ED, such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. As a result, erectile dysfunction can also be improved. 

 

Vitamins for erectile dysfunction

Some people believe that vitamins can help to improve ED. 

These vitamins for erectile dysfunction are commonly suggested to improve the condition:

  • Vitamin B9 (folic acid)
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin B3 (niacin)
  • Vitamin C
  • L-arginine

It is worth noting that taking vitamins hasn’t been clinically proven to effectively treat erectile dysfunction, and they don’t treat the condition in the same way that prescription medications and other treatments can. 

However, there are, of course, connections between vitamins and general health; getting sufficient amounts of all vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in your diet is very important.

 

Olive oil massage for erectile dysfunction

Olive oil has a range of health benefits and is thought to help with all sorts of things, from reducing the risk of diabetes, keeping blood vessels and your circulatory system healthy, and preventing strokes.

New research from scientists at the University of Athens suggests that olive oil could also help with erectile dysfunction. A study of 660 men with an average age of 67 found that adopting a ‘Mediterranean diet’ and consuming olive oil was linked to a lower risk of erectile dysfunction. 

This may be due to improved cardiovascular health that is associated with olive oil consumption; vasculogenic conditions including cardiovascular diseases, hypertension and diabetes are all common causes of erectile dysfunction, so improving and treating this underlying cause may also help with ED.

Olive oil may also help to increase testosterone levels, which are also thought to affect erectile dysfunction.

Further studies need to be done into how olive oil could affect erectile dysfunction.

There is no evidence currently to suggest that an olive oil massage for erectile dysfunction will work. 

 

Hypnosis for erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction can have a range of causes and can be a combination of physical, neurological, and psychological factors. Psychological causes of ED include stress, anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, past negative sexual experiences, or relationship problems.

Similar to physical causes, if the underlying cause of your erectile dysfunction is psychological, then it can help to tackle the psychological cause. 

Sometimes, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), counselling or sex therapy are recommended. 

However, many people with ED have reported positive results by using hypnosis for erectile dysfunction.

 

Hypnotherapy for erectile dysfunction

The brain plays a key role in triggering the physiological reactions that cause an erection, beginning with sexual excitement. 

This means that there is a psychological element to erectile dysfunction, even if cases where the cause is physical, so hypnotherapy for erectile dysfunction should not be discarded as a treatment option. 

There are a few different ways that hypnotherapy for erectile dysfunction could work. It may be seeing a hypnotherapist in person or via video conferencing. They may teach you self-hypnosis exercises to practice on your own.

These hypnotherapy sessions might not necessarily focus on the erectile dysfunction itself, either — they may focus on tackling the psychological issues and mental health problems that are causing it.

 

Exercises for erectile dysfunction

There are some exercises for erectile dysfunction that can be used to treat the condition. 

Exercises that strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor — also known as Kegel exercises — can benefit people with ED. This is because the pelvic floor muscles play an important role in sustaining blood flow to the penis and maintaining erections.

Pelvic floor exercises work to strengthen and train these muscles, which can help to improve erectile dysfunction issues. 

Aside from specific exercises for this area, any form of aerobic exercise — such as running, cycling or swimming — could help to reduce ED symptoms and improve erections by improving your general health. 

Lots of different health issues (such as high cholesterol or high sugar levels) can cause ED, and healthy lifestyle choices such as maintaining a regular fitness regime can help to improve these underlying causes — ultimately improving erectile dysfunction. 

 

Summary

Some people like to use natural remedies for erectile dysfunction. 

There are positive and negatives to trying these options out. The main benefit of trying out natural remedies for erectile dysfunction is that some of them are easy and cheap for you to try at home. Simple, healthier lifestyle changes such as exercise or maintaining a healthy diet cost very little to implement and will improve your general health — as well as possibly helping to improve erectile dysfunction.

Depending on the natural ways or remedies that you try, you may or may not encounter negative side effects. Herbal remedies for erectile dysfunction haven’t been well-studied or tested, meaning they might cause unwanted side effects or interact with other medication.

Prescription or over-the-counter treatments that have been specifically created for erectile dysfunction are much more effective than natural remedies for erectile dysfunction. 

In most cases, we would recommend speaking to a doctor or pharmacist. It is important to establish the underlying cause of your ED, and then choose a suitable treatment. 

At The Independent Pharmacy, we offer a wide range of erectile dysfunction treatments including Viagra, Sildenafil, Cialis and Tadalafil.

Starting a free online consultation is easy to do. Once you’ve completed your questionnaire, one of our qualified prescribers can issue your medication for delivery which you will receive quickly and discreetly.

 

Sources

Authored By:

A photo of  Andy Boysan

Andy Boysan

BPharm

Published on: 10-07-2020

Last modified on: 10-07-2020


Andy is a co-founder, the superintendent pharmacist and director at The Independent Pharmacy.

Reviewed By:

A photo of  Leanne Sinclair

Leanne Sinclair

BPharm

Reviewed on: 10-07-2020

Next review date: 10-07-2022


Leanne is a clinical pharmacist with years of experience working in pharmacy.


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