Medicinal plants/herbs continue to play an intrinsic role in revolutionizing the management and treatment of sexual disorders in men. Male sexual dysfunction (SD), male impotence or erectile dysfunction (ED) is a man’s inability to have or sustain a firm erection for sexual intercourse.
Another form of sexual disorder is premature ejaculation (PE), which is when a man ejaculates semen shortly after penetration. Premature ejaculation is also referred to as rapid ejaculation, premature climax or early ejaculation, ejaculatio praecox or rapid climax. Loss of sex drive or loss of libido is another common sexual disorder marked by man’s inability to derive sexual desire from sexual activity. Any man can suffer from sexual disorders thus the need to be at alert in other to tackle the disorder judiciously whenever the symptoms set in.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) affects between 30 to 50% of men aged between 40 to 70 years. Male sex disorders are categorized into three groups namely; sexual function disorders, sexual behaviour and sexual orientation (Jang et al., 2008). To a great extent, sexual health is a great contributor to the quality of life thus its activities shouldn’t be jeopardized.
Factors such as vascular events, androgens factors, neural activity, intracavernosal nitric oxide system, emotions, nervous system muscles and hormones ought to work consistently in order to sustain a normal sexual activity. However, it is noteworthy that sexual dysfunction in men is sometimes caused as a result of either psychological or physical influences.
According to NHS (2016), some causes of erectile problems are; alcohol, heart disease, smoking, diabetes, illegal drugs, raised blood pressure, depression, obesity, relationship problems, hormonal problems, stress, high cholesterol, anxiety, some prescription drugs, injury and narrowing of the blood vessels leading to the penis.
Since time immemorial, the use of herbs or plant-based products for tackling sexual disorders has been widely recognised. Interestingly, several studies have revealed that certain herbs and crude plant extracts are powerful for treating sexual dysfunction and for improving sexual performance and behaviour. Most of these plants contain aphrodisiac properties thus their ability to stimulate sexual desire.
Here are the 12 powerful herbs for treating Sexual dysfunction (Impotence)
Ginseng is a perennial plant with fleshy roots found mostly in the cooler regions such as Bhutan, Korea, eastern Siberia, North America and China. It belongs to the genus Panax and the Araliaceae family. Its wide popularity is as a result of its high medicinal value and owing to the fact that it is an excellent source of glycosidal saponins known as ginsenosides, which is pharmacologically essential. Studies reveal that over forty ginsenosides have been isolated from ginseng.
Ginseng is capable of stimulating blood flow to the penis immediately before sex thereby helping to maintain and sustain an erection. It also boosts the testosterone levels if taken consistently for a couple of times. Ginseng is considered effective for treating erectile dysfunction as reported by Choi et al., (2013).
These researchers evaluated the potency and safety of ginseng berry extract with ginsenoside profile on men with sexual dysfunction. 119 men with mild-to-moderate erectile dysfunction (ED) were selected for this randomized, parallel, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study. The men were administered 4 tablets of either standardized Korean ginseng berry (SKGB, 350 mg ginseng berry extract per tablet), or placebo, daily, for 8 weeks.
At the end of the 4th and 8th week study, the efficacy of the ginseng tablets using the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF)-15 and premature ejaculation diagnostic tool (PEDT) was assessed. The researchers observed that the total and each of the individual domain scores of IIEF-15 significantly increased from 40.95±7.05 to 46.19±12.69 in the SKGB by the 8th week (P<0.05). However, the erectile function domain of IIEF slightly changed from 17.17±2.57 to 18.59±5.99 in the SKGB group by the 8th week (P<0.05).
Furthermore, the PEDT scores improved significantly from 9.14±4.57 to 7.97±4.4 and 7.53±4.26 in the SKGB group after 4 and 8 weeks of treatment (P<0.05). The safety markers including hormone and lipid in the blood were also assessed at the end of the 4th and 8th week however, they never changed. The results showed that an oral administration of standardized Korean ginseng berry extract improved all areas of sexual function. As a result, ginseng is suitable for improving sexual life in men with sexual dysfunction. Here are other benefits of ginseng.
Saffron is one of the most expensive and highly valued spices. Popularly known as saffron crocus, this plant grows between 20 to 30 centimetres and bears between 5 to 11 leaves. The stigma of the saffron flower is distinguished by its golden yellowish, orange colour, which is attributed to its high constituent of α-crocin.
The flowers emit sweet, aroma fragrance, which suggests why they are used mostly for spicing and seasoning foods. The flowers are lilac or purplish in appearance and are usually four in number. The white, slender flower stalk grows from a bulb and bears radical leaves that are pale green below and dark green above. The long styles hang out from the corolla while the large orange-coloured three stigmas are curled at the edges. Saffron is originally from Greece and Asia before spreading to other parts of the world.
Shamsa et al., (2009) studied the effect of Crocus sativus (saffron) on male erectile dysfunction (ED). For 10 days, these researchers followed up 20 male patients with erectile dysfunction (ED) whereby they were administered a tablet containing 200mg of saffron every morning. The selected patients were subjected to the nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT) test and the international index of erectile function questionnaire (IIEF-15) at the beginning and the end of the 10-days treatment.
The results showed a statistically significant improvement after 10 days of taking saffron. Furthermore, the ILEF-15 total scores increased significantly in the patients after the saffron treatment (pre treatment score was 22.15+/-1.44 while the post-treatment score was 39.20+/-1.90, p<0.001). Saffron’s ability to exhibit positive effect on sexual function just 10 days after treatment supports its effectiveness for tackling this menace. Here are other benefits of saffron.
Garcinia kola (Bitter Kola)
Garcinia kola is a flowering plant that belongs to the Guttiferae or Clusiaceae family. Bitter kola seeds, fruit, bark and nuts are effective for treating several diseases and ailments such as male sexual disorder. Ralebona et al., (2012) prepared a 70% ethanolic extract of Garcinia kola seeds, which they used for treating male Wistar rats.
Two doses of bitter kola (200 and 400 mg/kg body weight) were administered orally to the treatment group while distilled water was orally administered to the control group on a daily basis for 28 days. During sexual behaviour tests on day 28, the mounting frequency (MF), intromission frequency (IF) and ejaculation frequency (EF) were assessed.
Also, the gastric ulceration, body and organ weights and the cauda epididymal sperm counts were determined. The researchers also collected serum for determining the testosterone levels. The results revealed that both doses of 200 and 400 mg/kg exhibited remarkable aphrodisiac activity with increased sexual behaviours compared to the control group. But the lower dose of Garcinia kola proved more effective than the higher dose.
The testosterone levels were higher in both treatment groups compared to the control group. Sperm counts were similar to the controls while the testes weights were higher in Garcinia kola treated rats compared to the control group. Garcinia kola is deemed effective for boosting the sexual function and this attributed to its aphrodisiac effects. This suggests why it is mostly used traditionally for treating erectile dysfunction. Here are other remarkable benefits of Garcinia kola.
Myristica fragrans Houtt
Nutmeg is the seed of an evergreen tree that belongs to the genus Myristica. It is botanically known as Myristica fragrans Houtt and has remained a popular spice used mainly for seasoning food and for medicinal purposes. Distinguished by its rough egg-shape appearance, this seed is believed to have originated from Indonesia. The thick brownish black coloured nutmeg seed is mostly enveloped by a dark red mace (arillus).
Nutmeg seed measures between 18 to 30 millimetres long and 15 to 19 millimetres wide. The trees are dioecious in nature thus can only be sexually or asexually propagated.
A study by Tajuddin et al., (2005) presents Myristica fragrans Houtt. (nutmeg) as effective for treating male sexual disorders. These researchers carried out a study to evaluate the aphrodisiac effect of 50% ethanolic extract of nutmeg as well as its likely adverse effects and acute toxicity using various animal models. They administered the suspension of the extract at doses of 100, 250 and 500 mg/kg, p.o. to various groups of male rats on a daily basis for 7 days.
The female rats were given hormonal treatment in order to be receptive during the mating process. The overall mating behaviour, potency and libido were studied and compared with the standard reference drug sildenafil citrate. Moreover, the likely adverse effects and the acute toxicity of the extract were also examined. The results showed that an oral administration of the extract at the dose of 500 mg/kg exhibited a significant improvement of sexual activity in male rats.
There was a significant increase in the Mounting Frequency, Intromission Frequency, Intromission Latency, Erections, Mounting Frequency with penile anaesthetisation, Long Flips, Quick Flips and the aggregate of penile reflexes with penile stimulation. Likewise, a significant reduction in the Mounting Latency and Post Ejaculatory Interval were observed. Interestingly, the extract did not show any adverse effects and acute toxicity. The results proved the aphrodisiac ability of nutmeg, which is attributed to its nervous stimulating properties. Therefore nutmeg is considered suitable for managing and treating male sexual disorders. Here are other benefits of nutmeg you need to know.
The Moringa tree is regarded as one of the world’s most vital trees as almost every part of the tree can be used either for medicinal or culinary purposes. Moringa is a flowering plant that belongs to the family of Moringaceae. It is originally from Africa and Asia and the name is gotten from the term murungai or muringa. Moringa is known to contain at least 13 different species that range in size from small herbs to giant trees.
The most popular species is Moringa oleifera, which is originally from the foothills of the Himalayas in India before spreading to other parts of African countries. Zade et al., (2013) evaluated the effect of the aqueous extract of Moringa oleifera on the reproductive abilities of male albino rats.
They administered an aqueous extract of M. oleifera seed at doses of 100, 200 and 500mg/kg for 21 days. The overall mating behaviour and libido activities of the study animals were observed. They also determined the effect of the Moringa oleifera extract on the body weight, sperm count, histoarchitecture of testes, reproductive and vital organ weight of the study animals. Furthermore, the acute toxicity and the adverse effects of the extract were evaluated.
The results showed that an oral administration of aqueous Moringa oleifera extract at doses of 100, 200 and 500 mg/kg significantly increased the Mounting Frequency, Intromission Frequency and Ejaculation latency with a reduction in Mounting Latency, Intromission Latency and Post Ejaculatory Interval. The libido and sperm count of the experimental animals were also significantly increased.
It was also observed that the Moringa extract has no adverse effects and acute toxicity. The aqueous extract of M. oleifera seed enhanced sexual behaviour in male rats, therefore, it is considered effective for managing and treating male sexual disorders. Here are other benefits of Moringa oleifera.
Turnera aphrodisiaca is an aromatic shrub that belongs to the family of Turneraceae. The two species used mainly in folk medicine are Turnera diffusa Willd and Turnera aphrodisiaca. Also known as damiana, this plant grows mainly in the dry and rocky tropical and subtropical parts of America, Mexico, Brazil, Bolivia, the Caribbean and the West Indies.
This perennial herb has the tendency to grow up to approximately 6 ft tall and it is characterized by shiny small yellowish flowers and pale greenish leaves. Damiana leaf is traditionally used as an aphrodisiac for boosting sexual potency.
Kumar et al., (2009) examined the various extracts (petroleum ether, chloroform, methanol and water), alkaloidal fraction, and volatile oil of T. aphrodisiaca to ascertain its aphrodisiac effects in mice. Mounting behaviour was used as a parameter for screening the aphrodisiac activity. The study showed that T. aphrodisiaca improves reproductive organs over a long period of use. Here are other benefits of damiana.
Pomegranate is a fruit-bearing deciduous tree that belongs to the Lythraceae family and botanically known as Punica granatum. Some researchers have promoted the use of pomegranate juice in managing and treating male sexual disorders. In a randomized-controlled trial, Forest et al., (2007) examined the efficacy of pomegranate juice versus placebo in improving erections in 53 men with mild to moderate erectile dysfunction. The experiment involved a two 4-week treatment periods separated by a 2-week washout.
The efficacy of the treatment was assessed using International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) and Global Assessment Questionnaires (GAQ). The results showed that the subjects exhibited significant improvement after drinking pomegranate juice. Therefore, pomegranate juice is effective for managing and treating erectile dysfunction. Here is a simple pomegranate juice recipe to try.
Maca (Lepidium meyenii)
Maca, which is botanically known as Lepidium meyenii is a herbaceous biennial plant that belongs to the crucifer family. Maca is also known as ayak willku, maca-maca, chichira, ayak or maino. The herb is originally from the high Andes of Peru and is cultivated mainly for its fleshy hypocotyl that serves as a medicinal herb or root vegetable. Lepidium meyenii is the only member of its genus that produces a fleshy hypocotyl which fuses with the taproot to form a rough inverted pear-shaped body.
The growth habit and size of maca have close similarities to turnips and radishes. Maca is cultivated mostly for the nutritional and medicinal values of its root. The root is considered safe for consumption and is widely marketed for its aphrodisiac properties. According to Gonzales (2012), experimental scientific trials supported maca’s effectiveness for tackling sexual dysfunctions. Maca is also suitable for increasing sperm count and for sperm motility.
Yohimbine is an indole alkaloid obtained from the Pausinystalia yohimbe tree bark. This tree is originally from Central Africa before spreading to other parts of the world. Pausinystalia yohimbe tree grows approximately 30 meters high with a straight bole that measures between 50 to 60 centimetres in diameter. The outer part of the bark is greyish to reddish-brown in colour while the inner bark is pinkish and fibrous in nature. The bark is used mostly for producing dietary supplements and for preparing herbal medicines for tackling diseases.
Studies reveal that yohimbine is suitable for treating erectile dysfunction. Guay et al., (2002) conducted a study to gain a better understanding of men’s population that are responsive to yohimbine. They measured the nocturnal penile tumescence with the Rigi Scan monitor, hormone profiles, answers to the Florida Sexual Health Questionnaire, and clinical responses at baseline. The results showed that yohimbine is an effective therapy for treating organic erectile dysfunction in some men with erectile dysfunction.
Asteracantha Longifolia Nees, which is also known as Hygrophila spinosa or Hygrophila auriculata is a spiny, wild herb that thrives mainly in damp places. In Ayurvedic system of medicine, Asteracantha Longifolia is used as an aphrodisiac for stimulating sexual desire. The seeds extract of Asteracantha longifolia are androgenic in nature thus are capable of stimulating and improving male sexual behaviours.
Chauhan et al., (2009) studied the effect of the seeds of Asteracantha longifolia on the sexual behaviour of male albino rats. An ethanolic extract of Asteracantha Longifolia seeds was administered to groups of rats in 100, 150 and 200 mg kg⁻¹ doses for a period of 28 days. The actions of these studied animals were compared with the rats in the control group. The researchers observed the changes in the sexual behaviour, body and organ weight, histo-architecture and fructose levels of seminal vesicles of the animals.
They assessed the sexual behaviour by determining the parameters such as mount frequency (MF), intromission latency, mount latency (ML) and post-ejaculatory latency. The results showed an increase in the sperm count, increase in the body and reproductive organ weights as well as an increased spermatogenesis of the animals. Furthermore, the sexual behaviour of the animals significantly improved as evidenced by the reduction of mount latency (ML), increase in mount frequency (MF) and increased closeness towards females.
Curculigo orchioides is a flowering plant species that belong to the genus Curculigo. This plant is also known as weevil-wort, black musli, golden eye-grass, Kali Musali, xian mao, or Kali musli. Curculigo orchioides rhizomes are remarkable for their aphrodisiac and rejuvenating properties. Chauhan and Dixit (2008) evaluated the ethanolic extract of Curculigo orchioides rhizomes and its effect on the orientation behaviour and spermatogenesis in albino rats.
They assessed the change in orientation behavior by the males’ orientation towards the female, the environment, self and type of mobility. The males treated with the extract showed more frequent and strong anogenital sniffing and mounting as compared to the untreated rats. The increased spermatogenesis in the treated rats was confirmed by change in their histoarchitecture as shown by an increase in the number of spermatocyte and spermatids. The results support the use of Curculigo orchioides as an aphrodisiac.
Passiflora incarnata Linn
Passiflora incarnata is a fast-growing perennial vine or shrub that belongs to the family of Passifloraceae and the genus Passiflora. It is also known as wild passion vine, maypop, true passion flower, ocoee, purple passion flower or wild apricot. The flowers are distinguished by their prominent styles and stamens. This plant bears elongated or round edible fruit known as the passion fruit. Some chemical compounds found in passionflower include; coumarins, cyanogenic glycosides, maltol, beta-carboline harmala alkaloids, kaempferol, quercetin, lucenin, vitexin and phytosterols.
Dhawan et al., (2003) evaluated the aphrodisiac properties of the methanol extract of Passiflora incarnata Linn leaves in mice by observing the mounting behaviour. The methanol extract of the passion flower showed significant aphrodisiac behaviour in male mice at all doses (75, 100 and 150 mg/kg). However, the highest activity was observed with the 100 mg/kg dose.
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This post is for enlightenment purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for professional diagnostic and treatments. Remember to always consult your healthcare provider before making any health-related decisions or for counselling, guidance and treatment about a specific medical condition.
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