Can ginseng improve Erectile Dysfunction?

For the millions of men around the world who suffer with erectile dysfunction (ED), medications such as Viagra, Cialis and Levitra provide effective treatment and enable them to live happy and fulfilled sex lives.

However, a herbal option could also benefit those who are battling male impotence according to the findings of a South Korean study.

The plant ginseng, which mainly grows in Eastern Asia (Panax ginseng), has been utilised for thousands of years in China as a booster for overall general health – increasing wellbeing and stamina, has been shown to help control blood pressure, in addition to lowering stress levels in both men and women. An American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) also exists, however some argue it is less stimulating than the Asian ginseng. It is the plant’s root that provides the medicinal benefits, comprising of numerous active substances – either ginsenosides or panaxosides.

Ginseng has long been used as an aphrodisiac in China even though very little scientific evidence exists that supports its claims to boost sexual performance as previous tests were conducted on mice only.

However, the results of the Korean study would suggest that tablets manufactured from the plant’s root are actually able to assist in helping men with erectile dysfunction; a condition that effects about one in every ten men at some stage during their life.

As a man gets older, the chances of suffering with ED become greater and it is believed that around 50% of men over the age of 40 suffer from it, increasing to an incredible 70% in those over the age of 70.

For the study, Scientists from the Yonsei University College of Medicine in Seoul, South Korea, enlisted 119 men who had all suffered with ED for at least three months, ranging from mild to moderate in severity.

Half of the group were given four tablets every day for eight weeks that contained 350mg of Korean ginseng berry extracts. The other men were administered identical ‘dummy’ placebo pills for the same time period.

Using the widely accepted measuring scale known as the International Index of Erectile Dysfunction (IIEF)-15), scientists noted that in the men who were taking the ginseng tablets, there was a ‘small but significant’ improvement in their sexual function in comparison to the men in the control group taking the dummy pills. The IIEF-15 comes in the form of 15 questions regarding erectile function and sexual satisfaction.

When publishing the results in the International Journal of Impotence Research, researchers commented: “Korean ginseng berry extract improved all domains of sexual function. It can be used as an alternative to medicine to improve sexual life in men.”

It could be too early to tell if Korean ginseng is definitely an answer for the millions of men around the world who are suffering with erectile dysfunction. The herb is unlikely to affect the massive demand for medically proven and recognised impotence treatments – Viagra, Cialis and Levitra. In addition, NHS Choices have published a thoroughly detailed article, questioning the claims of the study and suggesting that the authors were being overly generous when stating that ginseng can be used to improve sexual function, putting a positive spin on the results.

If you are a male and do have problems achieving and maintain an erection, relying on ginseng may not be the best option available. Instead, the aforementioned male impotence treatments (Viagra, Cialis and Levitra) have a much higher chance of helping with this problem.

All three are available from Medical Specialists Pharmacy with or without a prescription. If you do not have a prescription, you can undergo a private and confidential online consultation with one of our Doctors and if suitable, they will write you a prescription. This is passed to our in-house Pharmacists, and dispensed and dispatched to you at your home, your place of work, or where ever you choose, discreetly within 24 hours.

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