Are there any herbal remedies for erectile dysfunction?

Answers from Todd B. Nippoldt, M.D.

In a few small trials, some herbal supplements — such as DHEA, ginseng and propionyl-L-carnitine — seemed to offer modest benefit for erectile dysfunction treatment in some men. This limited research is considered preliminary, however. The results are intriguing, but the effectiveness or safety of herbal supplements in the treatment of erectile dysfunction hasn't yet been established.

In addition, the popular herbal supplement yohimbe — which is marketed as a sexual stimulant — can be dangerous if used in excessive amounts. Adverse side effects may include high blood pressure and heart failure.

Occasional erectile dysfunction is normal. But if erectile dysfunction persists or becomes a recurring problem, consult your doctor for an evaluation. He or she can help you understand erectile dysfunction treatment options — such as lifestyle changes, medications or devices to help sustain an erection — as well as weigh the risks and benefits of specific herbal treatments for erectile dysfunction.

Nov. 13, 2008 See more Expert Answers