Home Remedies For Erectile Dysfunction
Diet, lifestyle, home remedies & sexy supplementary may help prevent or treat erectile dysfunction (ED). If you want to avoid medications, devices, or surgery, there are other, more natural ways to help erectile dysfunction. Raising your activity level and changing what you eat may make a difference. Some men also try alternative or at-home therapies for their ED. Here we discuss home remedies for erectile dysfunction.
It’s important to discuss your plans with your doctor before you try a natural or alternative approach. You may want to think twice before picking up a “male enhancement” product. Here’s what experts have to say about ginkgo Biloba, saw palmetto, and other alternative treatments.
Diet and Foods Related to Reduced Risks for ED
Researchers who took part in the Massachusetts Male Aging Study found that what you eat could reduce your chances of ED.
The following foods were linked to lower risk:
- Whole grains
Other research has suggested that specific foods like dark chocolate, pistachios, watermelon, pink grapefruit, and tomatoes may help symptoms.
Also, men who have a chronic vitamin B12 deficiency and eat more processed meats and refined grains are more likely to develop ED.
Lifestyle and Home Remedies for Erectile Dysfunction
Some common lifestyle and home remedies for ED include:
- Quitting smoking Using tobacco is a risk factor for ED. Quitting can improve your overall health and may reduce your ED symptoms. Ask your doctor about ways to quit.
- Losing weight Being overweight or obese can lead to erectile dysfunction. In fact, a man with a 42-inch waist is 50 percent more likely to develop ED than a man with a 32-inch waist. Eating a healthy diet and getting enough physical activity can help you keep your weight under control.
- Performing pelvic-floor exercises Moves to strengthen the muscles of your pelvic floor may help reduce symptoms of urinary incontinence. Some men also report improvements in ED.
- Adopting a healthy sleep schedule Some research has shown that sleep patterns may affect testosterone levels in men. Adequate rest and a regular sleep schedule may help your overall sexual health.
- Getting help for drug or alcohol dependence Using illicit drugs or drinking too much alcohol can lead to ED and other health problems. Quitting can be difficult, but your symptoms are likely to improve.
- Changing or lowering the dose of your meds If certain medications are causing your ED symptoms, talk to your doctor about lowering your dose or trying a different drug to help your condition.
- Practicing good oral hygiene Some research has shown gum infections (known as gingivitis) may be linked to problems getting an erection. Be sure to brush and floss your teeth every day. Also, see your dentist for a professional cleaning at least once a year, or whenever you have concerns about the health of your gums.
- Reducing stress levels Stress is a known risk factor for erectile dysfunction. Activities to reduce stress, such as yoga, meditation, or breathing exercises, may also help your ED.
6 Viagra Alternatives: The Bottom Line
Ginkgo biloba. Ginkgo is an herb that is used in Chinese medicine that’s thought to improve blood flow. “Any ED treatment that improves blood flow may help,” explains Dr. Harris. “An erection is just blood in and blood out.” However, the evidence that ginkgo can improve blood flow in ED is limited, and most experts say the jury is still out. In addition, ginkgo can increase the risk for bleeding problems if combined with certain medications, such as warfarin (Coumadin).
Bottom line: It may help, but talk to your doctor before trying it.
L-arginine. L-arginine is an important amino acid that the body needs to build proteins. Because L-arginine has been shown to improve blood flow, some alternative practitioners have recommended that the supplements be used to treat ED. The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, which is a reliable authority on alternative medicines, says L-arginine is possibly effective for treating erectile dysfunction. But Harris warns that “although this supplement could improve blood flow, side effects can be dangerous.” L-arginine can cause an allergic reaction or worsen asthma in some people; it can also lower blood pressure.
Bottom line: Just like ginkgo Biloba, you should speak with your doctor before trying this alternative treatment.
Acupuncture. Acupuncture has been used for centuries to treat ED and impotence in China. A recent review of studies on acupuncture for erectile dysfunction was published in the British Journal of Urology International. After reviewing four studies, the authors concluded that there was not sufficient evidence to say that acupuncture worked. However, some experts believe it’s worth trying. “Acupuncture can work,” says Gilbert. “It probably works best to treat the psychological component of ED. There is very little downside to trying it.”
Bottom line: Give it a shot.
Saw palmetto. Saw palmetto comes from the fruit of a small palm tree. It has been used to treat symptoms in men with an enlarged prostate gland, such as difficulty urinating, and it has been recommended to treat ED caused by an enlarged prostate. However, several recent clinical trials did not show that saw palmetto works any better on an enlarged prostate than a placebo does. “There is no evidence that saw palmetto should be used to treat erectile dysfunction,” says Dr. Gilbert. Like ginkgo Biloba, saw palmetto can interact with some prescription medications.
Bottom line: You may not see the results you were hoping for.
DHEA, or dehydroepiandrosterone, is a natural hormone that the body uses to make the male hormone testosterone. DHEA and testosterone decrease with age, just as ED increases with age, so it seems that taking it might protect against ED. But Harris says that “it is unlikely that taking it would raise your testosterone enough to make much difference.” DHEA should not be used by people with liver problems; it also has many side effects.
Bottom line: Don’t try this one unless your doctor is willing to supervise.
Yohimbine. This chemical is found in the bark of an African tree called Yohimbe. It has been used as a male aphrodisiac in Africa, and under medical supervision, it has been used as a prescription drug to treat ED. Supplements made from Yohimbe bark are also available without a prescription, but they can be life-threatening if used at high doses, according to the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. The supplement can interact in a harmful way with certain drugs, such as blood pressure medications, and should be avoided by anyone with liver, kidney, heart, or diabetes problems or problems with anxiety or depression. Like DHEA, yohimbine should not be taken without a doctor’s supervision.
Bottom line: “The latest studies on yohimbine show that it is probably no better than a placebo,” says Gilbert.
“Most of these alternative treatments have been around for a long time,” says Harris. “If any of them really worked well for ED, doctors would be using them.” Therapy and counseling may also help men whose erectile dysfunction may be linked to psychological issues such as stress, anxiety, or relationship problems.
Extra 7 home remedies for erectile dysfunction
- Exercise Is an Active Erectile Dysfunction Treatment
- One Erectile Dysfunction Remedy Is a Healthy Diet
- Sleep Is a Natural Erectile Dysfunction Treatment
- Quit Smoking to Stop Erectile Dysfunction
- Limit Alcohol to Improve ED
- Monitor Your Meds to End Erectile Dysfunction
- Acupuncture May Help With Erectile Dysfunction
Medical Support When You Have Erectile Dysfunction
Finding a good support system is key for overcoming ED. Talking to your partner may be a good place to start. A trained professional will be able to help you work through many of the psychological effects of ED. Sometimes, communicating your struggles in writing can be an effective way to cope. Several online support groups are available for men with ED.
Commonly prescribed erectile dysfunction treatments include:
Some medications can help people get and keep an erection by increasing blood flow to the penis. These medications include:
There are five PDE5 inhibitors approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of ED:
- Viagra (sildenafil) tablets, approved 1998
- Cialis (tadalafil) tablets, approved 2003
- Levitra (vardenafil) tablets, approved 2003
- Staxyn (vardenafil) dissolvable tablets, approved 2010
- Stendra (avanafil) tablets, approved 2012