Skip to content

    Erectile Dysfunction Health Center

    Select An Article

    Erectile Dysfunction: Alternative Treatments

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    A health treatment that is not classified as standard Western medical practice is referred to as "alternative" or "complementary." Alternative treatments include nutritional supplements, herbal remedies, and acupuncture, for example.

    Some men may choose to use alternative treatments in addition to traditional treatments for ED. If you are considering an alternative form of treatment for ED, seek the advice of a health care provider before getting started.

    Alternative Treatments for ED

    Nutritional supplements: Nutritional supplements including the amino acid arginine, bioflavonoids, zinc, vitamin C, vitamin E, and flaxseed meal have been used to improve erectile function. In addition, certain ED patients with low levels of the hormone dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) showed improvement in erectile function after receiving supplemental doses of DHEA. However, because the long-term safety of DHEA is not known, most experts do not recommend its use.

    Herbal remedies: Asian ginseng and Ginkgo biloba are believed to improve erectile function in some men. However, consult a doctor before taking any herbal supplements to ensure they are safe.

    Acupuncture : An ancient Chinese method of healing that involves sticking very fine, solid needles into specific points on the body, acupuncture stimulates the body's ability to resist or overcome illnesses and conditions by correcting "imbalances." Acupuncture has helped some men with ED.

    If you are having erection problems, consult a doctor to determine the cause and learn about treatment options.

    Common Sense Measures

    Keep in mind that because most alternative and complementary treatments are not regulated, it is difficult to know what you are getting. Here are some tips to follow when considering using herbal remedies for erectile dysfunction.

    • Talk to your doctor about any herbal products you are considering before trying them.
    • If you experience side effects such as nausea, vomiting, rapid heartbeat, anxiety, insomnia, diarrhea, or skin rashes, stop taking the herbal product and notify your doctor.
    • Avoid preparations made with more than one herb.
    • Beware of commercial claims of what herbal products can do. Look for scientific-based sources of information.
    • Select brands carefully. Only purchase brands that list the herb's common and scientific name, the name and address of the manufacturer, a batch and lot number, expiration date, dosage guidelines, and potential side effects.
    • Above all, if taking over-the-counter supplements, be sure your doctor is informed so that you can avoid adverse interactions with prescription drugs you may be taking.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Stuart Bergman, MD on September 08, 2015
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    handsome midadult man
    11 tips to protect your erection.
    man and woman on beach
    How much do you know about ED?
     
    stress in bed
    Things that can deflate erections.
    senior couple hugging
    How medications work.
     
    concerned man
    Article
    stress in bed
    Slideshow
     
    Life Cycle of a Penis
    Article
    Mens Body Problem
    Slideshow
     
    bored man
    Article
    Lamm Erections Over Life
    Video
     
    Food Men 10 Foods Boost Male Health
    Article
    senior couple hugging
    Article
     

    WebMD Special Sections