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medingenuityWhen Viagra is Not an Option

Until recently, the treatment options for treating impotence were limited. In March, 1998, Viagra (sildenafil) was introduced creating a revolution of sorts. In many ways, Viagra brought erectile dysfunction out of the closet, as men suddenly began admitting to their physicians that they were suffering from this disorder. Since its introduction, approximately 16 million prescriptions have been written, a staggering number that attests to the widespread nature of this problem. However, Viagra is not without its problems. Contrary to popular notions that lead to the label "the love drug," it has no effect on a man's sexual drive or libido. Secondly, there are significant side effects from Viagra. It can lower blood pressure, especially in men taking nitroglycerin and its datives. At $7-$10 a pill and with possible side effects, Viagra is not an option for some men and many of them are interested in natural or herbal solutions to their "tragedy in the bedroom." This article will review treatment options for men who have impotence and cannot or desire not to take Viagra.

Peruvian maca (Lepidium meyenii) is a folk medicine with centuries of use. It has been called Peruvian ginseng for its properties of enhancing stamina and strength and has been reported to help combat the effects of stress. It has also been called an aphrodisiac and an effective treatment for impotence. The active ingredient has also been found in broccoli and cabbage. The recommended dosage is 3000mg per day.

Muira puama (Ptychopetalum olacoides) is a rain-forest remedy from Brazil with a long history of use in South American folk medicine as an aphrodisiac. The mechanism of action of muira putama is unknown, but it may affect the treatment of low testosterone level as well as erectile dysfunction or impotence. The dosage of muira puama is 1 to 1.5 grams\day.

Yin yang huo (Epimedium sagittacum), also known as horny goat weed, is a Chinese medicine, which has been used for centuries to treat male sexual disorders. Legend has that it Chinese farmers noticed that their goals became more sexually active after munching on the plant, hence the name. The herbal medicine has been known to increase overall circulation, lower blood pressure, improve the production of testosterone, increase sperm production and enhance erections, possibly by the same mechanism as Viagra. The dosage of the powder is 10-15 grams per day or 4 of the 250mg capsules per day. The side effects are minimal, but nausea and dry mouth have been reported. Because of the similarities to Viagra, horny goat weed should not be taken with nitroglycerin.

Yohimbine Is an herbal medicine obtained from the bark of an African tree. The active ingredient increases the blood flow to the penis and may have an effect on the brain to increase the sex drive or libido. The suggested dosage is one 5.4 mg tablet taken three times a day. The side effects, while infrequent, are anxiety, nausea, flushing and dizziness.

Most of these herbs are available in health food stores. If these herbal medications do not work, there are other alternatives for men suffering from impotence.


Content Copyright 2013 Neil Baum MD, Used with Permission








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