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Written and reviewed by
Dr. Saddam Malik 90% (436 ratings)
CMS & ED, MBBS in Altetnative Medicine
Alternative Medicine Specialist, Delhi  •  7 years experience
Erectile dysfunction herbs: A natural treatment for ED?

Some herbs claim to help erectile dysfunction. Find out the facts before trying one.

Erectile dysfunction — difficulty maintaining an erection sufficient for sex — is a common problem. You've likely seen advertisements for erectile dysfunction herbs or supplements to "increase your sexual performance." Could they work for you?

Erectile dysfunction herbs and other natural remedies have long been used in Chinese, African and other cultures. But unlike prescription medications for erectile dysfunction, such as sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra) and tadalafil (Cialis), erectile dysfunction herbs and supplements haven't been well studied or tested. Some can cause side effects or interact with other medications. And the amount of the active ingredient can vary greatly from product to product.

Here's a quick guide to erectile dysfunction herbs:

Herbal remedy Does it work? Safety
Studied in people, positive results, generally safe
DHEA
Some evidence shows that dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) increases libido in women and helps erectile dysfunction in men. DHEA appears to be safe at low doses. It can cause acne
.
L-arginine
Some evidence shows that taking high doses improves erectile dysfunction by stimulating blood vessels to open wider for improved blood flow. Side effects may include nausea, cramps and diarrhea. Don't take L-arginine with Viagra.

Ginseng
One study of Panax ginseng showed it improved sexual function in men with erectile dysfunction. A cream preparation is used for premature ejaculation. Panax ginseng contains many active ingredients. It appears to be safe used on a short-term basis. Insomnia is a common side effect.
Studied in people, positive results, risky

Yohimbe
A number of clinical trials have shown that the primary component of this bark from an African tree can improve sexual dysfunction associated with a drug used to treat depression. This herb has been linked to a number of side effects, including increased blood pressure, fast or irregular heartbeat, and anxiety. Yohimbe shouldn't be used without a doctor's supervision.
Not studied in people or negative results

Ginkgo
Ginkgo has potential to increase blood flow to the penis. But there's no evidence of benefit for erectile dysfunction. Ginkgo may increase the risk of bleeding.

Horny goat weed (epimedium)
Substances in the leaves of this herb have been used to improve sexual performance, but the herb has not been studied in people. This herb might lower blood pressure.
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