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Erectile problems: 10 natural and effective remedies

Many men are affected by erectile dysfunction, particularly after the age of 40. What causes such problems and can they be overcome using natural remedies?
Man on bed experiencing erectile difficulties
Natural techniques and compounds exist that can help you again achieve and maintain a strong erection.
Rédaction Supersmart.
2022-01-04Commentaires (0)

Male sexual dysfunction: update on erectile problems

Let’s first remind ourselves that the penis is essentially composed of the corpora cavernosa and the corpus spongiosum. When both of these fill with blood, the penis becomes erect (1).

But for this mechanism to work as it should, a number of factors need to be present:

If even just one of these factors is absent, it can result in no erection, or at the very least, one that is unsatisfactory, both for the man and his partner.

It’s important to add, however, that the occasional ‘blip’ does not constitute erectile dysfunction. Doctors and sexual health specialists consider erectile dysfunction to be the inability, persisting for more than three months, to have or maintain a good quality erection at the time of sexual intercourse (2).

Medically-speaking, anything below this threshold is not seen as a problem.

However, for those affected, men and partners alike, it very much feel like a problem, long this threshold is reached. Difficulty in achieving and maintaining an erection can lead to psychological problems including depression.

That’s why we’re recommending these 10 natural remedies to help you overcome any difficulties you might be experiencing in this respect.

Strengthen the perineum to tackle impotence

Though the perineum is one of the most important muscles for long-term health, it is also one of the most neglected, especially by men. To their detriment, of course.

The perineum, or pelvic floor, is a diamond-shaped muscle which basically extends from the anus to the pubis. It has a number of functions: in addition to providing support for pelvic viscera, it plays a key role in ensuring continence; this is the muscle we contract to stop us urinating or defecating (3).

But it’s also a muscle that’s directly involved in erectile function: a toned pelvic floor muscle ensures a firm and lasting erection (4).

The first thing to do to combat erectile problems, therefore, is to tone your perineum. You can do this by contracting it two or three times a day, 10 times in a row, holding each contraction for 2-5 seconds.

Maca (Peruvian ginseng) and sexuality

A cruciferous vegetable that grows wild in Peru at very high altitudes (3,500-4000 meters above sea level), maca is traditionally grown as a food: its nutrient-rich tuber is eaten boiled, fried or made into flour to make pancakes.

But the reason it’s also known as Peruvian ginseng, is because of its somewhat ‘steamy’ reputation. In fact, while scientists have yet to determine its mechanisms of action, it appears that maca (which you’ll find our supplement Super Maca 450 mg) helps to support sexuality and fertility (5).

Restrict your alcohol intake if you want a better erection

While mild inebriation, and the accompanying loss of inhibition, can be good for sexuality, it’s long been known that being in an advanced alcoholic state is bad for the quality of an erection. Alcohol causes blood vessels to dilate and dehydrates the body, reducing blood flow to the penis, and impairing the erection (6).

Alcohol is also damaging to erectile function over the long term. Drinking alcohol every day, especially more than 2 glasses a day, damages the liver, an organ involved in regulating hormones, including testosterone (7).

And over time, alcohol damages the peripheral neurological systeme, which can also adversely affect erection quality.

So in order to overcome erectile dysfunction, it’s important to cut down significantly on your alcohol intake. Moderation is key!

Ginseng and sexual vigour

A classic of Ayurvedic medicine, ginseng is a perennial plant, the root of which has been used in Asia for thousands of years.

Considered to be an adaptogen in Ayurveda, ginseng is also used as a general tonic for helping to maintain health and fitness.

But studies investigating ginseng’s potential effects on sexuality have concluded that it does indeed help to support sexual vigour in men (8).

Though ginseng’s mechanisms of action have yet to be established, its content of ginsenosides is thought to stimulate blood flow to the corpora cavernosa. That’s why our supplement Ginseng 30% contains 30% ginsenosides.

Stop smoking, it’s bad for your sexual health

There’s a reason cigarette packets sometimes carry the message: ‘Smoking causes impotence‘. Smoking actually leads to plaque formation in arteries, thickens the blood and causes vasoconstriction. This combination of factors reduces blood flow to the penis,, thus impairing the quality of an erection (9).

Indeed, while the incidence of erectile problems among the general population stands at 28%, it rises to 40% among regular, long-term smokers.

By giving up the tobacco which actively clogs your arteries, you’ll restore normal blood flow and will no longer suffer nicotine-induced vasoconstriction. If, in particular, you also combine this with other natural measures (losing weight, taking exercise, strengthening the perineum muscle, etc.), you should be able to restore normal erectile function.

Tribulus terrestris and erections

Also known as Maltese Cross, Tribulus terrestris is a small, vigorous plant used since Antiquity for many purposes, especially in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine.

Research has identified an important active principle in Tribulus terrestris: protodioscin, a steroidal saponin which is structurally similar to DHEA (DeHydroEpiAndrosterone), a steroidal hormone, like the sex hormones.

A number of studies conducted on sportspeople and other population groups suggest that Tribulus terrestris supports sexual health and helps maintain good sexual relations. (10)

To benefit from a comprehensive formulation, choose Prosexual Formula Man which contains not only Tribulus terrestris but also bois bandé, vitamin B3, catuaba bark and several other plant extracts.

Lose weight for a better erection

Men carrying excess weight are thought to be 2.5 times more likely to suffer with erectile problems: the prevalence of overweight men reporting symptoms of erectile dysfunction may be as high as 75%! And you don’t have to be obese to suffer from impotence: the risks start to increase once your BMI exceeds 25 (11).

Being overweight has a much greater impact on erectile dysfunction than age which only carries a 36% increased risk!

Fatty tissue secretes hormones which affect the dilation of blood vessels. Excess weight often causes a fall in testosterone levels, as well as comorbidities which themselves give rise to erectile problems (diabetes, hypertension, atherosclerosis, etc.). Last but not least, being overweight can bring recurring fatigue. All these factors lead to problems with sexual performance (12).

Losing weight can therefore help you get back on track in terms of achieving firm and long-lasting erections.

Damiana, the ‘aphrodisiac’ from central America and Mexico

Used for centuries as part of the traditional medicine of the Mayan people, before Europeans arrived in South America, damiana also has a long history of use in Mexico where it is made into an aphrodisiac drink.

The mechanisms through which damiana acts have yet to be identified, but we do know that it supports sexual health (13) (you can find it in the supplement Damiana Extract).

Reduce your stress levels to combat erectile problems

It’s widely recognized that sex helps to relieve stress but we often forget that the reverse is true :stress can have an adverse effect on your sex life.

Indeed, a recent survey by international polling and market research firm IFOP, showed that 33% of men suffering from frequent erectile problems had high stress levels (14).

The problem is that it doesn’t take long for a vicious circle to take hold: if a man experiences an erection problem due to stress, the next time he’s about to have sexual relations, the fear of that problem repeating itself generates additional stress, which can in turn cause another sexual ‘block’, and so on.

Yet as we saw in the introduction, the right psychological context is essential in order to achieve a good quality erection. Being stressed or anxious is a major obstacle, particularly after the age of 40.

So if you’re a healthy weight, have a strong perineum, drink moderately and are a non-smoker, you may find your erectile problems are due to high stress levels. In this case, we’d recommending reading our article packed with stress-busting tips.

Mucuna pruriens to help ignite your passion

Another plant from the Ayurvedic pharmacopoeia, Mucuna pruriens, or velvet bean, is widely used as a synergistic ingredient offering numerous benefits, such as in our supplementProsexual Formula where its content of L-Dopa, a dopamine precursor, is combined with fenugreek which is good for the circulation. The combination of these two plants thus supports male reproductive health(15).

References

  1. HSU, Geng‐ Hypothesis of human penile anatomy, erection hemodynamics and their clinical applications. Asian journal of andrology, 2006, vol. 8, no 2, p. 225-234.
  2. https://www.ameli.fr/assure/sante/themes/troubles-erectiles-erection/definition-frequence-causes
  3. SHAFIK, Ahmed, AHMED, Ismail, SHAFIK, Ali A., et al.Surgical anatomy of the perineal muscles and their role in perineal disorders. Anatomical science international, 2005, vol. 80, no 3, p. 167-171.
  4. VAN KAMPEN, Marijke, DE WEERDT, Willy, CLAES, Hubert, et al.Treatment of erectile dysfunction by perineal exercise, electromyographic biofeedback, and electrical stimulation. Physical therapy, 2003, vol. 83, no 6, p. 536-543.
  5. GRUNDRICH, Virginie. La maca (lepidium meyenii walp.), un nouveau traitement de phytothérapie des troubles de l'érection. 2005. Thèse de doctorat.
  6. BRIDDELL, Dan W. et WILSON, G. Terence. Effects of alcohol and expectancy set on male sexual arousal. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 1976, vol. 85, no 2, p. 225.
  7. LEMERE, Frederick et SMITH, James W. Alcohol-induced sexual impotence. American Journal of Psychiatry, 1973, vol. 130, no 2, p. 212-213.
  8. CHO, Kang Su, PARK, Chan Woong, KIM, Chun-Ki, et al.Effects of Korean ginseng berry extract (GB0710) on penile erection: evidence from in vitro and in vivo studies. Asian journal of andrology, 2013, vol. 15, no 4, p. 503.
  9. YOU, Xuanhe et YUAN, Jiuhong. AB090. Tobacco smoking and erection dysfunction: a systematic review. Translational Andrology and Urology, 2017, vol. 6, no Suppl 3.
  10. DO, Jungmo, CHOI, Seemin, CHOI, Jaehwi, et al.Effects and mechanism of action of a Tribulus terrestris extract on penile erection. Korean journal of urology, 2013, vol. 54, no 3, p. 183-188.
  11. LUCCA, Ilaria, PADUCH, Darius A., PRALONG, François, et al.Troubles sexuels masculins et obésité: UROLOGIE. Revue médicale suisse, 2012, vol. 8, no 365.
  12. CHUNG, Woo Sik, SOHN, Jung Hwan, et PARK, Young Yo. Is obesity an underlying factor in erectile dysfunction?. European urology, 1999, vol. 36, no 1, p. 68-70.
  13. FEISTEL, Bjoern, WALBROEL, Bernd, et BENEDEK, Birgit. Damiana (Turnera diffusa Willd.)–a traditionally used aphrodisiac as modern PDE-5 inhibitor. Planta Medica, 2010, vol. 76, no 12, p. P002.
  14. https://www.ifop.com/publication/les-hommes-et-les-problemes-derection-le-grand-tabou/
  15. SEPPAN, Prakash, MUHAMMED, Ibrahim, MOHANRAJ, Karthik Ganesh, et al.Therapeutic potential of Mucuna pruriens (Linn.) on ageing induced damage in dorsal nerve of the penis and its implication on erectile function: an experimental study using albino rats. The Aging Male, 2018.
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