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Articles by Natural Health Author Barbara Minton
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Five Eastern Herbs to Treat Erectile Dysfunction
by Barbara Minton
(The Best Years in Life) If the bedroom is becoming a challenging place these days but the thought of sex is still appealing, you are not alone. There are about 30 million human males in the U.S. who frequently have problems developing or maintaining an erection, a condition commonly known as erectile dysfunction. Any man can develop erectile dysfunction, and it becomes common as men begin to move through their 40's and beyond, with as many as 50 percent acknowledging they have the problem. The good news is erectile dysfunction can be effectively treated without resorting to drugs such as Viagra or Cialis, which have debilitating side effects at typical dosages.
Five Eastern herbs that effectively treat erectile dysfunction
Tongkat Ali has been used by men for many years and has been referred to as Asian Viagra because it's made from the roots of a tree that grows in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. Tongkat Ali is used to treat erectile dysfunction, and to increase sexual desire, libido and sexual performance. It is thought to work by increasing levels of testosterone, the dominant male hormone.
Testosterone powers male primary and secondary sex characteristics, and maintains cardiovascular health in men. In addition to treating erectile dysfunction, testosterone replaces fat with lean muscle mass, increases energy level and sexual desire, and creates positive mood. Tongkat Ali is a favorite of body builders looking for increased lean body mass and strength.
Tongkat Ali is a powerful and potent herb. If you develop side effects such as insomnia, anxiety and restless, it means you are taking too much. This is easily corrected by lowering the dosage to a level where these effects do not occur. Hear the dosing suggestions of natural health advocate Dr. Ray Sahelian with the first link below.
Schisandra comes from a berry. It is revered in the East and was consumed by Chinese royalty and Taoist masters. It has been in use since the beginning of Chinese civilization and is as central to Chinese medicine as ginseng. Schisandra is said to be a highly effective sexual tonic when consumed on a regular basis.
Those who have experienced schisandra say it increases erectile strength, sexual endurance, and can alleviate sexual fatigue. Many men experience erectile dysfunction when they are under heavy stress. Schisandra relaxes the body and strengthens sexual organs, allowing for increased sexual performance.
Schisandra is an adaptogen, a class of herbs that is central in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Adaptogens are multifunctional and can restore balance and harmony to the body even when it is under severe mental or physical stress, including the stress caused by aging. Adaptogens return the body to a state of homeostasis, a word that indicates optimal balance.
Tribulus terrestris is a spiny plant used in the medicine systems of China and India for centuries. The active compounds are found in its fruit and leaves. Tribulus is used to strengthen erections and boost fertility and libido. Scientific research into the workings of Tribulus is just beginning, with early studies showing it increases testosterone and luteinizing hormone as well as DHEA. Tribulus also releases nitric oxide, and this feature may contribute to physiological response independently of testosterone level.
Tribulus is a favor of athletes and body builders, some of whom have reported increased breast tissue at high dosages, due to increased estrogen levels. Although Tribulus has been used for centuries in the East, researchers in the West have yet to document its safety.
Ginseng is another adaptogen that increases the body's ability to cope with physical, emotional and environmental stress. The greater the body's need for an adaptogen, the increasingly more active the substance becomes. All the adaptogens have been well studied and their safety repeatedly documented. Panax ginseng has been shown to improve overall sexual function in men with erectile dysfunction. Creams containing the compound are available to treat premature ejaculation.
A study published in the American Journal of Urology studied the effects of panax ginseng on men with erectile dysfunction. Those who received 900 milligrams three times a day for eight weeks reported significant improvement in their symptoms compared to those receiving a placebo.
Some people taking ginseng experience difficulty sleeping. Other uncommon side effects are increased blood pressure and heart rate. These effects should subside at a reduced dosage.
Horny Goat Weed is another herb used for centuries in Chinese medicine to treat erectile dysfunction and low libido. Recent research has shown that the herb blocks the effects of an enzyme that restricts blood flow to the penis. Researchers believe horny goat weed, also known as epidemium, acts as a natural phosphodiesterase inhibitor, the same action as seen in erectile dysfunction drugs such as Viagra or Cialis. However the research indicated that horny goat weed could work more effectively and cause fewer side effects than the drugs.
Natural medicine hunter Cris Kilham reported horny goat weed to be a genuine sex-enhancer and a time-tested aphrodisiac that improves erectile dysfunction and increases libido in both men and women. Dr. James Duke, distinguished botanist, says horny goat weed works. Science backs him up with a human clinical study of male volunteers using Viagra. Results showed that daily use of the herb for a minimum of 45 days resulted in enhancement of sexual satisfaction.
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