Home Remedies For Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common problem in men of all ages, although more common in men over 40, or with other health complications.¹ It is often something men feel ashamed to talk about but some simple treatments can help. For some men, this includes home remedies such as Ayurvedic medicine, though the scientific support for these natural treatments is not conclusive.

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Understanding erectile dysfunction

ED is the inability to produce or maintain an erection suitable to achieve sexual satisfaction. Erections involve a pathway that starts with mental and sensory excitement, causing your nervous system to send signals to stimulate the penis.

These signals lead to the relaxation of the penis muscles, allowing more blood to flow into the penis’ arteries. The walls of these arteries also dilate in response to some chemical processes in the body, resulting in more blood flowing through them, increasing pressure inside the penis and leading to an erection.

ED is when something goes wrong during this process, causing men to be unable to achieve or maintain their erection. Erectile dysfunction can be caused by several reasons. These can be physical, such as:

  • Cardiovascular disease

  • Diabetes

  • Neurological problems

  • Endocrine (hormonal) disorders

It can also be caused by psychological/mental health issues, such as:

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

ED is more prevalent among men over 40 years old, often due to physiological reasons. However, it also happens at a much younger age, more commonly due to psychological issues (although physical reasons can also be the cause in young men).

What is Ayurvedic medicine?

Ayurvedic medicine² is a traditional Indian healing system that has been used for more than 3,000 years. It is a holistic approach to overall health, incorporating the body, senses, mind, and spirit, using herbal remedies, metals, and minerals combined with dietary and lifestyle factors.

A fundamental theory in the Ayurvedic system is the Tridosha,³ which comprises three Dosha. The individual balance of these determines how the body functions on a physical and emotional level. The three Dosha are as follows:

  • Vata Dosha: Air and ether (space)

  • Pitta Dosha: Fire and water

  • Kapha Dosha: Water and earth

The basis of Ayurveda is maintaining or restoring the balance among these three Dosha. To many, Ayurveda is a way of life that achieves longevity through being in equilibrium with nature.

Many people use certain herbs, and preparations to help with specific medical conditions such as erectile dysfunction — referred to as Klaibya⁴ in Ayurveda.

Some practices, herbs, and preparations commonly used for erectile dysfunction include:

  • Ashwagandha⁵

  • Vajikarana²

  • Yoga⁶

  • Tribulus terrestris

Is Ayurvedic medicine safe for erectile dysfunction?

Taking Ayurvedic medicines for erectile dysfunction comes with some health risks. Because Ayurvedic medicine is a traditional Indian practice, the treatments are not recognized in Western medicine.

Because of this, most Ayurvedic herbal remedies are not approved by the FDA to treat ED and are classified as dietary supplements with no regulation² in the US.

There is a high risk that some Ayurvedic products can contain trace amounts of metals such as lead and mercury above the acceptable levels, which can be harmful to your body.

One study⁸ found that 40% of people who used Ayurvedic medicine had elevated levels of lead in their blood. There have also been rare cases where the use of Ayurvedic medicine has caused arsenic poisoning.⁹

How effective are Ayurvedic medicines for erectile dysfunction?

Ashwagandha

Also called Withania somnifera root or Indian ginseng, Ashwagandha is a herbal medicine that supposedly acts as an aphrodisiac and as a treatment for erectile dysfunction caused by psychological factors.

There is no scientific research¹⁰ that indicates that it has any positive impact on erectile dysfunction.

Vajikarana or vrishya chikitsa

Ayurveda is broken down into eight domains.³ One of these is Vajikarana, or Vrishya chikitsa, which is concerned with sexual health. The main aim of Vajikaran practices is successful and healthy reproduction.

It requires Shodhan therapy, which involves body cleansing through purging and sweating. It also uses various herbal preparations, including:

  • Medadi yog: A preparation of mixed plants and minerals for "sexual prowess" in older men

  • Vajikarana ghritam: Another preparation used to enhance the “strength of the male organ”

It is important to note that Vajikarana practices are not supported³ by Western medicine and science, so they have not been proven to help with erectile dysfunction.

Yoga

There is some evidence¹¹ that yoga can help with erectile dysfunction through stress relief and increased serotonin production. This could potentially be helpful for physiological causes of erectile dysfunction, including stress, anxiety, and depression.

Tribulus Terrestris 

This is a plant remedy commonly used in male sexual health. There is a small amount of evidence⁷ that Tribulus Terrestris could be beneficial in treating erectile dysfunction, but much more research is required to confirm the results.

What are the benefits of using Ayurvedic medicine for erectile dysfunction?

Ayurvedic medicine, as well as many other traditional healing methods from around the world, have risen in popularity in recent years. They can provide an alternative to the side effects of some Western medicines and bring in a more holistic view of health.

At this stage, there are no measured benefits to using Ayurvedic medicine over Western medicine to treat erectile dysfunction. There may be some potential benefits to certain treatments, but stronger research is required.

It is not recommended that you use Ayurvedic practices to replace your medications or doctor’s advice to treat your erectile dysfunction. If you are considering taking Ayurvedic remedies or have any questions, it is important to talk with your doctor.

These remedies could have negative effects on health conditions that you may have or interfere with the medications you are taking.

Risks of Ayurvedic medicine for erectile dysfunction

As mentioned above, there are no regulations around Ayurvedic products and Ayurvedic practitioners are not regulated in the US. Because of this, there is no way to know for sure what is in the product you buy.

Metal and chemical toxicity

Many Ayurvedic products have been found to contain traces of potentially toxic metals, including lead and mercury. These metals, when in high concentrations in your blood, can be toxic.

There have also been cases of arsenic poisoning in people who were taking unregulated Ayurvedic products.

Wasting your money

There is very little evidence that these treatments are effective for erectile dysfunction, so there is a high chance they will not work. Spending money on herbal supplements could be a waste of money if you find they don't work.

Delaying treatment for possible underlying conditions

Some men are uncomfortable discussing their ED issues, so they avoid seeking medical help and instead try Ayurvedic remedies and wait for results. This could put them in danger of causing any underlying physical condition to progress further.

Other home remedies for erectile dysfunction

There are many complementary and alternative medicines used to treat erectile dysfunction. Derived from traditional medical practices, they use several herbal remedies, though most are not well researched.

Panax ginseng

Korean ginseng, the steamed and aged root also called red ginseng, is traditionally used to improve sexual performance, including erectile dysfunction.

This root has been well researched,⁷ and though there were some mixed results, there appears to be an overall potentially beneficial effect on erectile dysfunction.

Panax ginseng is generally considered safe and has no serious drug interactions, so it may be safe to use. As with all herbal remedies, there is the risk that your product could contain unknown, harmful ingredients because the market is unregulated. However, if you have any health condition, or are pregnant or breastfeeding, consult your doctor before taking Panax ginseng.

L-arginine

Found in many foods, including meat and nuts, L-arginine is an amino acid that is of interest because of its role in blood flow. From the research so far, it appears that L-arginine could help improve erectile dysfunction.

L-arginine in food sources is safe and has good absorption and availability to the body.

Lifestyle changes

Considering that obesity and a sedentary lifestyle are contributing factors to developing erectile dysfunction, there is evidence¹² that shows lifestyle changes and nutritional improvements could have a positive effect on your erectile dysfunction.

When it comes to diet, the Mediterranean diet — which is an anti-inflammatory diet — and weight loss were shown to improve ED symptoms.

The Mediterranean diet includes:

  • Seeds and nuts

  • Olive oil

  • Seafood

  • Whole grains

  • Fruit

  • Vegetables

Physical activity can also improve sexual function and may help with erectile dysfunction. So, doing what you can to improve your diet and level of exercise can have a positive effect on your erectile dysfunction.

The lowdown

There is no need to be embarrassed about erectile dysfunction, and many options exist to help manage the condition. It's important to seek medical help to address any possible underlying conditions, Additionally, you could also try some home remedies.

Ayurvedic medicine has been used for a long time by traditional Indian cultures for treating erectile dysfunction naturally, although there isn’t a lot of evidence to back this up.

Some risks come with Ayurvedic treatments, as there are with most natural supplements, because the market is not well controlled in the US. Keep in mind that these products might contain harmful heavy metals like lead and mercury.

Other natural options might help erectile dysfunction, including Panax ginseng, L-arginine, and lifestyle changes. Improvements in your diet and physical activity levels could have a real, positive impact on your physical and mental health and, consequently, on your erectile dysfunction.

Most importantly, consult your doctor before taking any treatments for erectile dysfunction.

Have you considered clinical trials for Erectile dysfunction?

We make it easy for you to participate in a clinical trial for Erectile dysfunction, and get access to the latest treatments not yet widely available - and be a part of finding a cure.

Joining community groups and exercise programs for my condition made me feel empowered – but I want to be part of finding a cure.
Peter, 64

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