Natural Remedies for Erectile Dysfunction
DHEA: The hormone that your body converts into testosterone might sound like the most natural salve for a lagging love life. Sometimes it can help ED, but that’s not always the case.
“If your testosterone is low, then that might be playing a role” in your erectile dysfunction, Laborde says. “But if it’s normal, making more testosterone is not going to help you.”
Ginkgo Biloba: One of the best-selling herbal remedies in the U.S. and Europe, extracts from this species of tree can boost blood flow. It’s widely used to treat blood disorders and memory issues, but some people use it to treat ED.
“The downside is: It just doesn’t work,” Laborde says. Meanwhile the possible side effects can include increased bleeding, convulsions, diarrhea, and upset stomach.
Espinosa says he recommends ginkgo more for the brain than for erectile dysfunction.
Ginseng: Korean red ginseng is a widely used herbal ED remedy. That’s partly because it’s been shown in studies to do some good -- even though researchers still can’t quite explain how it works.
“If someone really wants an herbal supplement, I’ll recommend ginseng,” Laborde says. “At least it’s not going to hurt you.”
Horny Goat Weed: Extracts from the leaves of this herb have long been used as an ED remedy in traditional Chinese medicine. At least one study on rats showed promise, but it has yet to be tested on people.
Espinosa says the herb generally boosts energy, and he recommends it more to balance out your whole body as opposed to targeting ED. It's been linked to low blood pressure.
Pomegranate: Juice and extract from this fruit is known for being packed with nutrients. But Espinosa says it can also help arteries expand and remain supple. While no real proof ties it to erectile dysfunction, Espinosa suggests it to his patients for its overall health benefits.
Rhodiola Rosea: Also known as “golden root,” this plant is a relatively new herbal remedy in the U.S. It’s been used to boost endurance and sexual function in Russian folk medicine for decades.