Impotence, medically termed erectile dysfunction, is the inability to maintain an erection for sexual intercourse and can range from the inability to achieve an erection to the loss of an erection during sex before ejaculation. Herbal remedies for male impotence involve extracts usually taken from plant roots and leaves. These herbs will often be blended with vitamins, amino acids and other nutrients also known to increase arousal.
Herbal and Holistic Remedies
Erections trigger the release of nitric acid in the blood stream which causes the blood vessels in the penis to dilate and fill with blood. The holistic approach to this is to treat the entire body, hence the term holistic, in order to achieve a maximum state of health for achieving an erection. Herbal supplements to treat impotence do not require a prescription like Viagra or Levitra and are usually all natural and gentler on the body. However, unlike these pharmaceuticals, alternative impotence treatments often require extended periods of time, up to six months, to take full effect and the supplements usually need to be taken on a daily basis.
Yohimbe extract is the only alternative U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved treatment for erectile dysfunction. Yohimbe is extracted from the bark of Yohimbe trees found in South Africa, where it is used as an aphrodisiac. The active compound in Yohimbe is called yohimbine. The compound helps to dilate small blood vessels like those found in the penis. There are reports of men achieving immediate erections from Yohimbe injections.
Ginseng is a commonly used extract in many Chinese medical treatments and is often prescribed to treat fatigue and mood. According to the British Pharmacology Journal, ginsenosides, the active compound in ginseng extract, enhance the effect of nitric acid in the body. This increases the dilation of blood vessels in the penis and promotes an erection. Ginseng has also been used as a treatment for increasing the male libido.
Maca is a traditional Peruvian treatment for impotence and is also used as an aphrodisiac. It is extracted from a tuber that resembles a radish found in the Andean mountains. According to local tradition, Maca seems to work much like ginseng. It increases stamina, acts as a libido enhancer, and can be used to treat erectile dysfunction. However, there are no conclusive studies to prove its efficacy.
Horny Goat Weed
This aptly named extract is thought to help increase circulation and reduce fatigue while also increasing sex drive and sperm count. The herb inhibits an enzyme called acetylcholinesterase (AChE). This is the enzyme that is responsible for blocking the neurotransmitters active during sexual arousal. This effect, in combination with the increased blood flow could be a remedy for impotence.