Erectile Dysfunction (Holistic)
About This Condition
Learn more about the cause of erectile dysfunction to overcome this sensitive condition. According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful.
About This Condition
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability of a male to attain or sustain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse.
It can be a persistent condition; however, almost half of all men experience ED only occasionally. ED can have physical, psychological, or drug-induced causes.1 Although some doctors used to believe differently, most researchers and doctors now believe that physical factors are responsible for the majority of ED cases.
ED is defined by the symptoms listed above. Symptoms may also include loss of sexual desire (libido), premature ejaculation, or inability to achieve orgasm.
Healthy Lifestyle Tips
Men who smoke have been shown to have an increased incidence of ED.2
In a study of obese men with erectile dysfunction, a two-year lifestyle program consisting of a low-calorie diet plus regular exercise resulted in a significant improvement in erectile function, which became normal in 31% of the participants.3
ED that cannot be linked to physical causes has been successfully treated by hypnosis .4 In one trial, three hypnosis sessions per week, later decreased to one per month, over a six-month period led to improvement in 75% of men in the trial.
Acupuncture might be of some benefit for men with ED. Electroacupuncture, which is acupuncture accompanied by electrical stimulation, was performed on various acupuncture points in men with ED in a preliminary trial of men with this condition.5 Two treatments were administered every week for one month. An improvement in quality of erection was observed in 15% of the participants and an increase in sexual activity was reported by 31% of the men. Another preliminary trial6 found good results in over half of the men treated, but the only controlled trial of electroacupuncture for ED7 found that placebo also produced a large improvement in sexual function—an effect similar to that of acupuncture. Controlled trials with larger groups of men are necessary to better test the efficacy of acupuncture therapy for men suffering from ED.
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Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.
For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.
3 Stars Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
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1 Star For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.
1. Hernández-López C. Drugs do not only relieve male menopause. BMJ 2000;321:451 [letter].
2. Condra M, Morales A, Owen JA, et al. Prevalence and significance of tobacco smoking in impotence. Urology 1986;27:495–8.
3. Esposito K, Giugliano F, Di Palo C, et al. Effect of lifestyle changes on erectile dysfunction in obese men: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA 2004;291:2978–84.
4. Aydin S, Ercan M, Çaskurlu T, et al. Acupuncture and hypnotic suggestions in the treatment of non-organic male sexual dysfunction. Scand J Urol Nephrol 1997;31:271–4.
5. Kho HG, Sweep CG, Chen X, et al. The use of acupuncture in the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Int J Impot Res 1999;11:41–6.
6. Yaman LS, Kilic S, Sarica K, et al. The place of acupuncture in the management of psychogenic impotence. Eur Urol 1994;26:52–5.
7. Aydin S, Ercan M, Caskurlu T, et al. Acupuncture and hypnotic suggestions in the treatment of non-organic male sexual dysfunction. Scand J Urol Nephrol 1997;31:271–4.
8. Choi HK, Seong DH, Rha KH. Clinical efficacy of Korean red ginseng for erectile dysfunction. Int J Impotence Res 1995;7:181–6.
9. Hong B, Ji YH, Hong JH, et al. A double-blind crossover study evaluating the efficacy of Korean red ginseng in patients with erectile dysfunction: a preliminary report. J Urol 2002;168:2070–3.
10. Ernst E, Pittler MH. Yohimbine for erectile dysfunction: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. J Urol 1998;159:433–6.
11. Carey MP, Johnson BT. Effectiveness of yohimbine in the treatment of erectile disorder: Four meta-analytic integrations. Arch Sex Behav 1996;25:341.
12. Kunelius P, Häkkinen J, Lukkarinen O. Is high-dose yohimbine hydrochloride effective in the treatment of mixed-type impotence? A prospective, randomized, controlled double-blind crossover study. Urol 1997;49:441–4.
13. Mann K, Klingler T, Noe S, et al. Effect of yohimbine on sexual experiences and nocturnal tumescence and rigidity in erectile dysfunction. Arch Sex Behav 1996;25:1–16.
14. Zorgniotti AW, Lizza EF. Effect of large doses of the nitric oxide precursor, L-arginine, on erectile dysfunction. Int J Impot Res 1994;6:33–6.
15. Chen J, Wollman Y, Chernichovsky T, et al. Effect of oral administration of high-dose nitric oxide donor L-arginine in men with organic erectile dysfunction: results of a double-blind, randomized study. BJU Int 1999;83:269–73.
16. Cherdshewasart W, Nimsakul N. Clinical trial of Butea superba, an alternative herbal treatment for erectile dysfunction. Asian J Androl 2003;5:243–6.
17. Reiter WJ, Pycha A, Schatzl G, et al. Dehydroepiandrosterone in the treatment of erectile dysfunction: a prospective, double-blind randomized, placebo-controlled study. Urology 1999;53:590–5.
18. Sohn M, Sikora R. Ginkgo biloba extract in the therapy of erectile dysfunction. J Sec Educ Ther 1991;17:53–61.
19. Cohen AJ, Bartlik B. Ginkgo biloba for antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction. J Sex Marital Ther 1998;24:139–43.
20. Liao HJ, Chen XM, Li WG. Effect of Epimedium sagittatum on quality of life and cellular immunity in patients of hemodialysis maintenance. Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi 1995;15:202–4 [in Chinese].
21. Cavallini G, Caracciolo S, Vitali G, et al. Carnitine versus androgen administration in the treatment of sexual dysfunction, depressed mood, and fatigue associated with male aging. Urology2004;63:641–6.
22. Durackova Z, Trebaticky B, Novotny V, et al. Lipid metabolism and erectile function improvement by Pycnogenol®, extract from the bark of Pinus pinaster in patients suffering from erectile dysfunction—a pilot study. Nutr Res 2003;23:1189–98.
Last Review: 11-07-2012
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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2013.
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