Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Alternative Natural Remedies For Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile Dysfunction, formerly called impotence is the consistent inability to attain and maintain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse. The American Foundation for Urologic Disease estimates that 30 million American men are afflicted with ED, and of that number 50-70% are over 40 years old. 
  • There are many reasons for ED. Experts believe that 80 to 90% of ED cases are related to physical conditions, such as neurological disease, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and prostate cancer treatment, and 10 to 20% to psychological causes including stress, anxiety, depression, fear of sexual failure or a feeling of inadequacy.
  • When an erection becomes limp, blame it on phosphodiesterase type 5 or PDE5.  It is an enzyme which convert cyclic guanosine monophosphate or cGMP - a key biochemical component of the erection process - from its active state to its inactive state. When the function of PDE5 is inhibited, the concentration of cGMP in response to sexual stimulation helps the smooth muscles in the penis to relax and widen, allowing more blood to enter it to maintain an erection.
  • PDE5 inhibitors such as Viagra, Levitra and Cialis have been on the market for some time now. They increase the concentration of cGMP in the penis by inhibiting PDE5, and have become the remedy of choice for many men seeking oral remedies for erectile dysfunction. All three pharmaceutical drugs take about 30-40 minutes to become active, and tests have shown that they work.
  • Since Viagra, Levitra and Cialis do not require surgical procedures, or lengthy hospital stay they are sometimes referred to as natural remedies for ED, leading some to assume they are alternative natural remedies for ED. As we shall soon see, there are specific herbs and root extracts which qualify as alternative natural remedies for ED.
  • L-Arginine is found naturally in foods such as meat, dairy, poultry and fish. It is also available as oral L-arginine supplements. It is an amino acid that the body uses to make nitric oxide to signal the smooth muscle surrounding blood vessels to relax, allowing the blood vessels to dilate and increases blood flow. Relaxation of smooth muscle in the penis increases blood flow, to maintain an erection. Common side effects of high doses of L-arginine are increased stomach acid and alteration in potassium levels in the body.
  • Ginseng Panax is a distinct species of slow-growing perennial plants with fleshy roots. It grows mostly in northern China, Korea and eastern Siberia. The root is often available in dried form. Extracts from the root are taken orally as treatment for type II diabetes, as well as erectile dysfunction in men.
  • Gingko Biloba is effective in managing ‘cerebral insufficiency’ characterized by impaired concentration, confusion, decreased physical performance, fatigue, headache, depression and anxiety. It is also used for erectile dysfunction, particularly in people who experience sexual dysfunction as a side effect of antidepressant drugs. It appears to relax smooth muscle and enhances blood flow to the penis. The active medicinal compounds are found in both the seed and leaves of the gingko tree.
  • The Ashwagandha herb (Withania Somnifera) is sometimes called Indian Ginseng because it is thought to have similar effects, as ginseng on the body. It is believed to increase energy, stamina, and sexual function. However, no known studies have examined its effectiveness for erectile dysfunction in men. Side effects of ashwagandha may include drowsiness. It should not be combined with sedative drugs.
  • The bark of the West African yohimbe tree is a source of yohimbine, a compound believed to stimulate blood flow to the penis, increase libido, and decrease the period between ejaculations. Side effects may include dizziness, anxiety, nausea, severe drop in blood pressure, abdominal pain, fatigue, hallucinations, and paralysis.
  • Additionally, lifestyle Changes enhances the effectiveness of natural herb and root extracts in the body. Reduced alcohol consumption, eating fruits and vegetable, quitting smoking, regular physical exercise to control overweight, and stress reduction are important lifestyle changes in solving erectile dysfunction.
The effectiveness of alternative natural remedies on erectile dysfunction is still under investigation by the medical establishment. It will be some time before a definitive conclusion is reached. Therefore, consult with your doctor or a licensed specialist in holistic medicine before using any alternative natural remedies, as all have some side effects.

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