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10 Natural Foods And Supplements With Similar Benefits To Viagra

We all know that Viagra is one of the go-tos when it comes to treating erectile dysfunction. However, could there be other natural alternatives with similar benefits? This article lists down 10 natural foods and supplements that might be able to boost your libido and improve erectile dysfunction symptoms. You might be surprised, some of them could just be lying on your kitchen counter!

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1. Saffron (Crocus Sativus)

Amiri, Mohammad. Saffron. Unsplash, 9 Jun. 2019 (Link

Bright red in colour, this delicious spice is hard to miss!  


Apart from being used for flavour and colour in traditional recipes, it has also been used to reduce stress and as an aphrodisiac, especially for those on antidepressants


A side effect of antidepressants is sexual dysfunction due to changing tetosterone and dopamine levels, which affects sexual arousal and ability to orgasm. To counter this side effect, studies show that saffron is effective in significantly improving erectile function. 


While results are less conclusive for those not on anti-depressants, a systematic review and meta-analysis study showed that saffron could improve erectile dysfunction, sexual desire and satisfaction in men.


Overall, if you’re currently taking antidepressants and facing performance problems in bed, saffron could be a healthy alternative to consider!

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2. Maca (Lepidium Meyenii)

Holmes, Holly. “Roots, Tubers and Bananas.” Flickr, 7 Dec. 2015 (Link) No changes made.

Maca is a root vegetable traditionally used to treat male infertility and increase sexual desire. 


It comes in different forms, ranging from powders to capsules and liquid extracts. 


According to a 2002 study, 42% of men who took 1,500-3,000mg of maca daily experienced a heightened sex drive. 


Like saffron, some research suggest that maca could increase sexual arousal in those taking antidepressants. Maca is also said to help treat ED, although more studies must be conducted. 


Maca is easily found and is sometimes mixed with other ingredients like Magnesium or Zinc to form a more holistic dietary supplement. At Noah, we offer a similar supplement called Vigour, which includes a blend of 5 active ingredients (such as maca root and KSM-66® Ashwagandha) to improve male virility.

3. Fenugreek

Gabrielyan, David. “Fenugreek powder.” Unsplash, 22 Jul. 2020 (Link

Fenugreek is a herb native to the Mediterranean region, southern Europe and western Asia. 


While it is largely known to treat diabetes, menstrual cramps and high cholesterol, few people know that it also treats ED by enhancing libido and improving sexual function. 


According to a 12-week study, taking 600mg of fenugreek extract daily improved the sexual function of 120 middle-aged and older men. The fenugreek increased their testosterone levels, allowing them to have more morning erections and be more sexually active. However, further research in this area is needed. 


If you’re looking to consume fenugreek, keep in mind that fenugreek interacts with blood-thinning medications like warfarin, causing bleeding. Cross-reactions with chickpeas, peanuts and other legumes are also possible. 


As such, we advise that you speak to a medical professional before consuming fenugreek.

4. Watermelon (L-citrulline)

Lane, Any. “Pieces of fresh juicy watermelon.” Pexels, 21 Nov. 2020 (Link

Let’s be real – when it comes to aphrodisiacs, the last thing you would picture is a watermelon. 


However, watermelons can actually reduce the symptoms of ED as it is high in L-citrulline. 

So how does it work? Well, L-citrulline is an amino acid your body naturally produces. It is then converted into L-arginine, which generates nitric oxide that dilates the blood vessels in your penis. This improves blood flow to the penis, causing erections. 


According to a small study in 2011, 50% of participants reported having improved erection hardness just after 1 month of consuming 1.5g of L-citrulline daily. The study also reported it as a safe and psychologically well accepted supplement. 


Apart from being naturally found in foods like watermelon, L-citrulline can also be purchased as a dietary supplement in capsule or powder form. 

5. Oatmeal (L-arginine)

Evans, Keegan. “Strawberry on Table Top Near White Ceramic Bowl.” Pexels, 29 Apr. 2016 (Link)

Believe it or not, your favourite breakfast food might just hold the answer to your ED problems! 


Like watermelon, oats are also considered an aphrodisiac as they include L-arginine (a non-essential amino acid). As mentioned, L-arginine reduces ED symptoms by helping the blood vessels in the penis relax, thereby increasing blood flow to the penis. 


According to a systematic review and meta analysis, L-arginine is proven to be effective in significantly improving ED symptoms and increasing satisfaction in bed. However, other studies show that L-arginine may not be as good at relaxing blood vessels as it is believed to.


Nonetheless, if you have mild or moderate ED, L-arginine could be an effective alternative to ED medications like Viagra. Other than being found in foods like oatmeal, you can also consume L-arginine as a dietary supplement. 


6. Coffee (Caffeine)

Fakhrudin, Fahmi. Coffee. Unsplash, 2 Nov. 2018 (Link)

 


Who knew that so many of our favourite breakfast foods could help with ED? As it turns out, having a cup of java not only keeps you awake, but might also reduce your chances of getting an ED! 

According to a study of over 3,000 men, those who consumed the highest amount of caffeine daily were less likely to report having an ED. However, keep in mind that this finding is based on self-reporting from the participants, so take it with a grain of salt. 


Then again, another reason to consume more coffee is always welcome right? 

7. Ginseng 

Noonbrew. Ginseng. Unsplash, 3 Sept. 2021 (Link


Popular in asian culture, ginseng (particularly red ginseng) has been used  to improve sexual function and help men experiencing a low libido. 


Red ginseng boosts the production of nitric oxide, a compound that improves blood circulation and relaxes the muscles in the penis. 


According to a 2012 study, ginseng is particularly effective and well-tolerated if you have mild-to-moderate ED. However, more research is needed to certify this claim. 


Ginseng can be consumed in various forms, either as a supplement or on its own. A popular ingredient in asian cuisines, maybe consider ordering samgyetang (Korean ginseng chicken soup) the next time you dine out! 


While ginseng is generally safe for consumption, there are some side effects, including insomnia, increased heart rate, and headaches.

8. Ginkgo Biloba
 

Vaitkevich, Nataliya. Ginkgo Biloba. Pexels, 22 Apr. 2021 (Link

Known as one of the oldest living trees, ginkgo biloba dates back to over 200 years. It is a popular herbal supplement in asian countries, being used to improve blood circulation and memory.


According to past research and animal studies, ginkgo has the potential to treat sexual disorders like ED and enhance low libido. Like ginseng, it works by raising blood levels of nitric oxide, expanding the blood vessels in the penis for increased blood flow. 


Ginkgo is also shown to be more effective when consumed alongside other compounds like L-arginine, zinc and Tribulus terrestis. 


However, further research is needed in this area as there is currently no solid evidence that ginkgo is particularly beneficial for any health condition. 


Nonetheless, if you’re still interested in consuming ginkgo, you can purchase it as an oral tablet, extract, capsule or tea. Just remember to stay away from raw or roasted ginkgo seeds, as those can be dangerous. 


Some side effects of consuming ginkgo include headaches, dizziness and constipation. If you’re also currently consuming blood thinners like warfarin (Coumadin), we advise that you speak to a medical professional before consuming ginkgo as it can increase your risk of bleeding. 

9. Tribulus Terrestris 

Lalithamba. “Tribulus terrestris L.” Flickr, 31 Aug. 2011 (Link) No changes made.

Popular in asian cultures, Tribulus terrestris is used in Indian and Chinese medicine to treat different diseases. It is also known to have an aphrodisiac quality, being used to improve sex drive. 


A 2017 study showed that consuming Tribulus terrestis significantly improved sexual function. However, a 2014 double-blind study where 800mg of Tribulus terrestris was consumed daily for 30 days showed that it was ineffective in treating ED. 


Due to the presence of mixed results, more studies need to be conducted on Tribulus terrestris' effectiveness in treating ED. 


Tribulus terrestris can be found as a supplement, either in capsule and tablet form or as a powder. 

10. Horny Goat Weed 

Gaither, James. “Epimedium acuminatum #1.” Flickr, 16 Jun. 2010 (Link) No changes made.

Fun fact – did you know that horny goat weed is also known as the brain tonic of the immortals? 


While we can’t guarantee that consuming horny goat weed grants you immortality, studies have shown that it is a popular supplement used by traditional Chinese medicine to remedy ED. 


How so? Horny goat weed includes the active ingredient icariin, which can block phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5). PDE5 causes ED as it limits the increase in blood flow to the penis, thus preventing an erection. 


In a way, icariin works similarly to Viagra, as they both block PDE5. That said, its effects are much weaker, with Viagra being 80 times more effective than icariin. Furthermore, current studies looking at the benefits of horny goat weed are either in vitro or animal studies, so more research on human participants are required.

While appropriate doses of horny goat weed is safe, high doses can cause serious side effects like severe breathing problems. Be careful of drug interactions too, especially if you’re on any blood thinning or blood pressure medications. 


Horny goat weed comes in various forms, and not all are safe for everyone. The appropriate dosage and form for you depends on several factors such as age, sex and medical condition. To err on the safe side, we suggest speaking to a doctor first


Other Tips and Tricks to Reduce Erectile Dysfunction

Apart from consuming certain foods and supplements, there are many other ways to reduce ED symptoms. These include making lifestyle changes, improving your mental health and consuming prescription medications. 

Lifestyle Changes: 

  • Have a better sleep schedule.
  • Be more physically active.
  • Eat more whole foods. 
  • Minimise smoking and alcohol intake (it’s hard, but we believe in you!) 


Regular exercise and having a healthy diet can lower ED symptoms by boosting your overall health and mood. It also reduces risk factors for ED, such as heart disease, obesity and diabetes, 


Both smoking and drinking amplify ED as they reduce blood flow to the penis, preventing erections. Kicking old habits is hard. Thankfully, there is medication at Noah that can help with withdrawal symptoms and cravings. 

Improve Your Mental Health: 


Stress and anxiety can significantly impact your sexual desire and libido, leading to ED. Common causes include health, work, relationship or even bedroom performance issues. If you find yourself in a constant state of anxiety or stress, it’s always good to talk it out with someone


Prescription Medications: 

  • Sildenafil (Generic Viagra). 
  • Tadalafil (Generic Cialis). 
  • Spedra. 
  • Levitra. 


Prescription medications are effective in treating ED as they serve as PDE5 inhibitors. They enhance the effects of nitric oxide (a naturally produced chemical) to relax the muscles in the penis. This expands the blood vessels in the penis and increases blood flow, resulting in and maintaining an erection. It is also important that you are sexually stimulated in order for ED medications to work. 


If you are experiencing erectile dysfunction, it is advisable that you consult a doctor. Here at Noah, doctors on our platform are best equipped with the knowledge to help you ascertain the root cause of your erectile dysfunction and determine whether natural foods or supplements can be an effective form of treatment


References

“Asian Ginseng.” NCCIH, Aug. 2020. (Link)


Chhatre, Saurabh, et al. “Phytopharmacological Overview of Tribulus Terrestris.” Pharmacognosy Reviews vol. 8,15 (2014): 45-51. (Link


Choi, Y. D., et al. “Effects of Korean Ginseng Berry Extract on Sexual Function in Men with Erectile Dysfunction: A Multicenter, Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind Clinical Study.” International Journal of Impotence Research vol. 25,2 (2012): 45–50. (Link


Cormio, Luigi, et al. “Oral L-Citrulline Supplementation Improves Erection Hardness in Men With Mild Erectile Dysfunction.” Urology vol. 77,1 (2011): 119–22. (Link


“Ginkgo.” NCCIH, Aug. 2020. (Link


Gonzales, G. F., et al. “Effect of Lepidium Meyenii (MACA) on Sexual Desire and Its Absent Relationship with Serum Testosterone Levels in Adult Healthy Men.” Andrologia vol. 34,6 (2002): 367–72. (Link


“HORNY GOAT WEED: Overview, Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, Interactions, Dosing and Reviews.” WebMD. (Link


Jing, Elizabeth, and Kristyn Straw-Wilson. “Sexual Dysfunction in Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) and Potential Solutions: A Narrative Literature Review.” Mental Health Clinician vol. 6,4 (2016): 191–96. (Link


Kamenov, Zdravko, et al. “Evaluation of the Efficacy and Safety of Tribulus Terrestris in Male Sexual Dysfunction—A Prospective, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial.” Maturitas vol. 99 (2017): 20–26. (Link


Kim, Il-Young, et al. “Acute Ingestion of Citrulline Stimulates Nitric Oxide Synthesis but Does Not Increase Blood Flow in Healthy Young and Older Adults with Heart Failure.” American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism, vol. 309,11 (2015): E915–24. (Link


Koltermann, A., et al. “Ginkgo Biloba Extract EGb® 761 Increases Endothelial Nitric Oxide Production in Vitro and in Vivo.” Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences vol. 64,13 (2007): 1715–22. (Link


Lee, Chang Ho, and Jong-Hoon Kim. “A Review on the Medicinal Potentials of Ginseng and Ginsenosides on Cardiovascular Diseases.” Journal of Ginseng Research vol. 38,3 (2014): 161–66. (Link


Lopez, David S., et al. “Role of Caffeine Intake on Erectile Dysfunction in US Men: Results from NHANES 2001–2004.” PLOS ONE, edited by Martin Walter vol. 10,4 (2015): e0123547. (Link


Maleki-Saghooni, Nahid et al. “A systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical trials on saffron (Crocus sativus) effectiveness and safety on erectile dysfunction and semen parameters.” Avicenna journal of phytomedicine vol. 8,3 (2018): 198-209. (Link)


Mayo Clinic Staff. “Ginkgo.” Mayo Clinic, 18 Nov. 2020. (Link


Rao, Amanda, et al. “Testofen, a SpecialisedTrigonella Foenum-Graecumseed Extract Reduces Age-Related Symptoms of Androgen Decrease, Increases Testosterone Levels and Improves Sexual Function in Healthy Aging Males in a Double-Blind Randomised Clinical Study.” The Aging Male vol. 19,2 (2016): 134–42. (Link


Rew, Karl T, and Joel J Heidelbaugh. “Erectile Dysfunction.” American family physician vol. 94,10 (2016): 820-827. (Link


Rhim, Hye Chang, et al. “The Potential Role of Arginine Supplements on Erectile Dysfunction: A Systemic Review and Meta-Analysis.” The Journal of Sexual Medicine vol. 16,2 (2019): 223–34. (Link


Rodrigues-Krause, Josianne, et al. “Association of L-Arginine Supplementation with Markers of Endothelial Function in Patients with Cardiovascular or Metabolic Disorders: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” Nutrients vol. 11,1 (2018): 15. (Link

Santos, C. A., et al. “Tribulus Terrestris versus Placebo En El Tratamiento de La Disfunción Eréctil: Un Estudio Aleatorizado, Prospectivo y Doble Ciego.” Actas Urológicas Españolas vol. 38,4 (2014): 244–48. (Link


Shindel, Alan W., et al. “Erectogenic and Neurotrophic Effects of Icariin, a Purified Extract of Horny Goat Weed (Epimedium Spp.) In Vitro and In Vivo.” The Journal of Sexual Medicine, vol. 7,4 (2010): 1518–28. (Link


Wu, Yi-No, et al. “Effect of Ginkgo Biloba Extract (EGb-761) on Recovery of Erectile Dysfunction in Bilateral Cavernous Nerve Injury Rat Model.” Urology vol. 85,5 (2015): 1214.e7-1214.e15. (Link

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Published On
December 7, 2021

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