Ayurvedic medicine is an ancient medical system that is still widely used in India. Ayurvedic treatments typically use plant-based materials such as herbs, along with lifestyle changes, to treat physical and mental health issues.
Some people utilize ayurvedic treatments in an attempt to “cure” or manage erectile dysfunction (ED). ED is the inability to get or keep a firm erection. Significant research is lacking on the efficacy of Ayurvedic treatments to treat this condition. Even so, anecdotal evidence and studies done primarily on rats point to positive effects.
We’ll go into detail about the practice of Ayurveda and erectile dysfunction in this article.
People with erectile dysfunction can’t get or maintain an erection firm enough to use during penetrative sex. ED is usually caused by problems with the blood supply to the penis. This condition becomes more common as people with penises age.
ED can happen occasionally, because of stress or other issues. Long-term or consistent ED may signal an underlying health problem, such as:
It may also indicate emotional or psychological issues. ED can be highly distressing for people who have it. It can also negatively impact you’re your relationships. Often, addressing the underlying cause will be effective at eliminating ED.
Ayurveda is a natural system of medicine. It originated in India over 3,000 years ago, where it is still practiced and administered by trained professionals.
Ayurvedic medicine is based on the concept of addressing imbalances in the body caused by stress and other factors. It has been
Ayurvedic medicine utilizes many strategies that are known to be effective for reducing stress, such as:
- massage therapy
It also utilizes herbs and dietary supplements which are not regulated in the U.S for medicinal use.
Some of the herbs utilized in Ayurvedic medicine have been shown in animal studies to mitigate the effects of type 2 diabetes. If this condition is a cause of your ED, you may see some benefits from Ayurveda.
Herbs have also been shown in animal studies to increase “sexual vigor” and libido. They may have a similar effect on humans, although the research is lacking.
Lifestyle modifications that include stress busters such as yoga plus increased physical activity, can have highly beneficial results. Exercise, meditation, and yoga can benefit some underlying causes of ED. They can also support enhanced blood flow throughout the body, including to the penis. Stress reduction and mood elevation is a large, added plus.
Ayurvedic treatments vary. You can work with a seasoned practitioner or try to utilize some common treatments at home. Ayurvedic preparations to try include:
Withania somnifera (Indian ginseng)
Withania somnifera is an herb commonly used in ayurvedic medicine. It’s also called Indian ginseng and ashwagandha. It
Indian ginseng works by
The herb is also used to improve mental clarity and help reduce stress. Both factors can have an impact on ED symptoms.
You can purchase this herb from most drug stores and health food stores. It’s available as a powdered root extract and in capsule form. In order for it to be most effective, it’s recommended that the daily dosage be tailored to each individual.
Asparagus racemosus is a particular species of herb that grows in regions of India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. In Ayurveda, it’s known as shatavari, or “curer of one hundred diseases.” The Asparagus racemosus root is used in many preparations of ayurvedic vajikarana mixtures: It’s meant to improve sexual function and health.
An on hyperglycemic male rats showed benefits for reducing sexual dysfunction. Some
Asparagus racemosus extract is available as a tincture and as a powder, but there has been little to no research on what the optimal daily dosage for a person would be.
Safed musli, or Chlorophytum borivilianum, is also a vajikarana herb. It was shown to boost libido in an
To really embrace the ayurvedic method of treatment for any health condition, physical activity should be part of your treatment. The practice of yoga is being researched more and more for its health benefits. Yoga combines stretching, concentration, and meditation, improving circulation and reducing stress levels.
The stress-level benefit alone might be enough to improve symptoms of ED, but yoga has also been
There are multiple risks to using ayurvedic herbal preparations. These risks can be mitigated by working with a seasoned Ayurvedic practitioner, coupled with a licensed medical healthcare professional.
It’s important to know what you’re taking, what it contains, and how it will interact with other medications you’re on. Only use herbs and supplements purchased from a reputable, transparent manufacturer who readily supplies comprehensive information about their ingredients and testing facilities.
Also, make sure to let your doctor know of any at-home preparations you’re planning to use before you start.
Potential risks include:
- ingestion of toxic substances, such as arsenic, lead, or mercury
- overdosage of an herb or supplement
- negative interaction between a supplement and a prescribed medication
Not much is known about the proper dosages of Ayurvedic herbs and their possible interactions with other herbal and synthetic drugs. Self-treating your ED with a combination of these herbs might be appealing, but without consulting your doctor first, the results are unpredictable.
How common is erectile dysfunction?
Very common. ED is the most discussed sexual problem that men bring to their doctors. This condition affects around 30 million American men. It becomes more common in older men, but aging does not always cause ED.
What are the risk factors for ED?
If you have an underlying health condition such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, or diabetes, you may be at increased risk. Other risk factors include obesity, alcohol abuse, and smoking cigarettes. A sedentary lifestyle also puts you at greater risk.
Does Viagra cure ED?
Viagra (sildenafil) and other medications for ED don’t cure erectile dysfunction, but they do address the symptoms. These drugs work by relaxing the muscles of blood vessels in the penis, which increases blood flow. Other ED medications include Levitra (vardenafil), Cialis (tadalafil), and Stendra (avanafil).
Using a whole-body, holistic approach to ED has clear benefits. Ayurvedic herbs may be part of this equation, but should always be cleared by a healthcare professional before use.
Using yoga as a way to improve your mental strength and get rid of stress can supplement medical treatment to treat ED in a comprehensive way.
Ayurvedic methods for ED treatment aren’t as well-researched as many others in Western medicine. They also have some risks. It’s important to communicate with your doctor about your chosen method of ED treatment so your sexual, mental, and physical health can continue to improve.