Can Eating Garlic Improve My Erectile Dysfunction?

Embarrassed to talk to their physician about erectile dysfunction issues, men usually search for home remedies to treat ED. A common natural remedy touted to treat ED is garlic. This article aims to find out if there is any scientific evidence that proves the positive effect of garlic on erectile dysfunction treatment.

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How Does A Normal Erection Work?

A normal erection is a neurovascular phenomenon that involves the flow of blood into your penis. During sex arousal, neuro signals from your brain will be sent to your penis to release nitric oxide (NO) from the inner lining of the vascular cells. 

The release of nitric oxide will stimulate penile smooth muscle relaxation followed by the instant flow of blood to your penis. Once the blood fills the penis, it will get controlled to achieve and keep a firm erection.

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Why Does Erectile Dysfunction (ED) Occur?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) can occur due to physiological causes, emotional causes, or both. The common physiological causes include high cholesterol, diabetes, cardiovascular problems, high stress, and high blood pressure, which may affect the release of nitric oxide.

Although medical issues prove to be the major cause of ED, lifestyle factors like smoking and tobacco consumption, certain medications, and surgeries on the pelvis or bladder can also induce this condition.

Can Garlic Consumption Really Improve Erectile Dysfunction (ED)?


A 2005 medical study reported that the consumption of garlic, either in cooked form or chewed form, can treat erectile dysfunction in Western Uganda.

Garlic has a bioactive component named S-allyl cysteine. A 2013 research article published in Andrology journal revealed that S-allyl cysteine present in garlic can restore erectile function.

Another 2014 study reported that a Japanese medication containing aged garlic extract, cuscuta seed, ginseng, velvet antler, oriental bezoar, and epimedium herb improved erectile dysfunction.

How Does Garlic Indirectly Improve Erectile Dysfunction (ED) Function?

1. Improves Sexual Performance

Your body breaks down nutrients to produce energy and free radicals (unstable molecules). If these free radicals overwhelm your body defense, they can cause oxidative stress. This oxidative stress can impair the production of nitric oxide (NO) which plays a crucial role in erections by helping blood vessels dilate to accelerate blood flow. This is where garlic plays a vital role by producing more glutathione peroxidase, an enzyme that protects against oxidative stress. Thus, garlic can improve your sexual performance.

2. Reduce Risk Of Developing Cardiovascular Disease

A 2014 study revealed that garlic enhances the regulation of nitric oxide (NO) which indirectly manages hypertension and ED. Moreover, another 2002 study reported that garlic can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease progression.

3. Improve Blood Circulation

A 2007 study conducted at the University of Alabama showed that garlic consists of polysulfides which can improve H2S (hydrogen sulfide) production in the body. This H2S in turn helps to relax the blood vessels and improve blood circulation.

Is It Safe To Take Viagra (Or Other ED Medications) While Consuming Garlic?

Doctors usually prescribe Viagra (Sildenafil) and other oral PDE5 inhibitors for erectile dysfunction treatment since they can improve blood flow towards the penis region by blocking PDE5 enzymes in penile blood vessels.

Still, it is important to inform the doctor about your garlic consumption before starting any erectile dysfunction (ED) medications. After checking your medical history, medications that you consume, and other factors, the doctor will let you know whether it is safe to consume garlic.

A Word from Noah

Although garlic has many health benefits, limited studies are available on the direct effect of garlic on erectile dysfunction (ED) treatment. 

Hence, it is always better to talk to your doctor before opting for such home remedies for ED treatment. Make sure to verify that garlic consumption will not cross-interact with any medication that you regularly consume. Furthermore, enquire your doctor about the quantity of garlic that you can consume per day.

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. They will be able to advise you on the best treatment suited for you, and can also prescribe you the right medication should you need it. 


Yang J, Wang T, Yang J, Rao K, Zhan Y, Chen RB, Liu Z, Li MC, Zhuan L, Zang GH, Guo SM, Xu H, Wang SG, Liu JH, Ye ZQ. S‐allyl cysteine restores erectile function through inhibition of reactive oxygen species generation in diabetic rats. Andrology. 2013:487–494. [Link]

Kamatenesi-Mugisha M, Oryem-Origa H. Traditional herbal remedies used in the management of sexual impotence and erectile dysfunction in western Uganda. Afr Health Sci. 2005;5(1):40-49. [Link]

University of Alabama at Birmingham. (2007, October 17). Garlic Boosts Hydrogen Sulfide to Relax Arteries. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2021 (Link)

Banerjee SK, Maulik SK. Effect of garlic on cardiovascular disorders: a review. Nutr J. 2002; 1:4. Published 2002 Nov 19. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-1-4 (Link)


Ried K, Fakler P. Potential of garlic (Allium sativum) in lowering high blood pressure: mechanisms of action and clinical relevance. Integr Blood Press Control. 2014;7:71-82. Published 2014 Dec 9. doi:10.2147/IBPC.S51434 (Link)


Nishimatsu H, Kitamura T, Yamada D, et al. Improvement of symptoms of aging in males by a preparation LEOPIN ROYAL containing aged garlic extract and other five of natural medicines - comparison with traditional herbal medicines (Kampo). Aging Male. 2014;17(2):112-116. doi:10.3109/13685538.2013.771328 (Link)

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Published On
January 25, 2022

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