Ideas, information, issues, and alerts from the IUCN-WCPA Mountains Biome

Erectile dysfunction is a common sexual disorder that affects more than 50% of men of all ages according to statistics. It may range from mild or moderate to severe dysfunction. The condition, also refers to as impotence, is characterized by the incapability to achieve and maintain an erection firm enough to accomplish sexual activity.

Since it is rather normal to have trouble with an erection occasionally, there is no need for alarm until satisfactory sexual performance has been impossible for a consistent period or occasions of ED start to happen often. This is embarrassing for most men and hence the reluctance to seek assistance. However, medical science has established several possible causes of ED that can either be psychological or medical thus making it possible to find a solution.

Many men are eager to cure ED and will try just about anything to get their sex lives back. Nonetheless, there is the risk of harmful side effects that might make an already bad situation become even worse. To avoid these, some people may want to opt for natural cures instead of the classic ED drugs, PDE-5 (phosphodiesterase-5) inhibitors. The PDE-5 inhibitors are looked upon as one of the most effective approved treatments for ED nowadays. They include such well known drugs as Viagra (sildenafil citrate), Levitra (vardenafil), Cialis (tadalafil), Kamagra (sildenafil) and others. Unfortunately, PDE-5 inhibitors have their own contraindications, and that’s why some men are seeking natural remedies for their ED. Nevertheless, unlike the above prescription medications, natural cure alternatives have not been adequately studied or tested.

Natural cures for ED have long been in use among different cultures throughout the world. Some of the common cures included:


This substance has shown positive results in improving endothelial nitric oxide, an absolutely essential chemical when it comes to erections. A number of studies show that using L-Arginine as a supplement will boot blood flow to the penile area, an important process in erection, in even healthy individuals. Nitric oxide is responsible for relaxing the smooth muscles in the penis to allow more blood to flow to the organ, which naturally results in a firm erection. Some amounts of L-Arginine can also be obtained through your diet by including products such as fish, shrimp, chicken, lentils, and nuts such as peanuts, walnuts and almonds. Besides helping you regain your sexual health, this substance could also help with skin repair, cardiovascular issues and high blood pressure.


This is a slow-growing perennial plant with fleshy roots that possess several healthy properties. It was first used 5000 years ago as treatment for ED in ancient China and has since then become a popular aphrodisiac. The active ingredient in ginseng is ginsenosides that claim to have immune-stimulatory, antioxidant, cardio-protective and hepatic-protective effects. The ingredient is extracted from the roots and mixed with various drinks for easy consumption. The ingredient also stimulates the synthesis of nitric oxide and potentially boots testosterone levels. These abilities have led to the conclusion that ginseng is not only effective in treating ED but is also successful in improving penile rigidity and libido.

Ginkgo biloba

Not so long ago, the leaves of the Ginkgo biloba tree were discovered to improve sexual desire and even the intensity of orgasm. Before then, extracts from the tree’s leaves were only used to treat vertigo, circulatory problem, fatigue and asthma. A test done on rats showed improved sexual behaviour while a clinical study proved it can improve penile blood supply and erectile functions in general. The herb helps with blood flow by increasing nitric oxide bioavailability to the vascular muscles of the penis.

Horny goat weed (epimedium)

The active ingredient in horny goat weed is Icariin that is believed to have qualities similar to those of PDE-5 inhibitors. Icariin blocks the effects of the enzyme (phosphodiesterase-5) that limits blood flow to the penis. It is available as a capsule, powder or tea and can be used to treat other conditions such as high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, memory loss, bronchitis and fatigue. Its effectiveness in treating ED is however rated as average, and achieving an effective dosage is difficult since it is 80 times less potent than Viagra, for example.

Other commonly used natural remedies for ED include maca and yohimbe. It is important to note that some of these substances have not been studied on people and thus possible side effects in the long run are not understood. Additionally, the results of these cures may not be realised immediately and thus call for patience and consistency.