In this article, we’ll explain whether turmeric can help with erectile dysfunction (ED), how you can take it, things to avoid while taking it, and share its health benefits.
Turmeric is a delicate spice with orange-yellow flesh from the root of the Curcuma longa plant.
The yellow rhizome is native to the South and Southeast Asian region and has been widely cultivated for food, dye and medicine since 600 BC.
Turmeric, as part of the Curcuma genus, is esteemed for being a source of curcumin, which is a naturally-occurring bright yellow chemical compound that belongs to a group called curcuminoids.
These bioactive compounds have been scientifically proven to carry several health benefits, fighting against chronic low-level inflammation in heart disease, cancer and more.
Although turmeric is typically sold as a herbal supplement, food flavouring or cosmetic ingredient, researchers are now exploring the possibility of using it as a natural option to improve erectile dysfunction.
Turmeric has the potential to improve ED due to its anti-inflammatory properties, but its direct impact on ED is still unclear.
Studies on turmeric and ED are limited due to the bioactivity of curcumin, which includes chemical instability and limited tissue distribution. This means that curcumin is difficult to study, and results are often not significant enough to deem it feasible for medical use.
It will take a while before scientists are better able to find out how turmeric could be used to improve your sex life.
Having said that, some studies have linked turmeric use to improved blood flow, which could suggest improved erectile function.
In one study of 120 rats, scientists administered pure curcumin to rats for 12 weeks after inducing ED. Results showed that genes that increased nitric oxide were activated.
Nitric oxide, a molecule produced by the body, plays an important role in vasodilation. By increasing the circulation of blood flow to arteries especially in the penis, the increase in nitric oxide could suggest improvement in maintaining erections.
Turmeric has also been suggested to increase male testosterone levels in some studies.
Testosterone, a male sex hormone made in the testicles, plays a crucial role in normal male sexual development and functions.
In one such study, scientists segregated two groups of rats - one group with high blood pressure and the other with normal blood pressure levels. The rats were then administered a combination of ginger and turmeric.
Results showed that turmeric reduced levels of blood pressure, increased sperm motility and most prominently, increased testosterone levels in the rats.
While rhizomes such as turmeric are now being explored by scientists to be harnessed as functional foods for erectile dysfunction, research on the aforementioned studies were done on animals and not humans. Further research is necessary before turmeric can find its way into the medical world
For a condition like ED, it is not recommended that you treat it with turmeric, but instead seek medical treatment through the proper channels.
Although ED itself isn’t a dangerous condition, albeit leading to a drop in the quality of one’s sex life, it can be an early warning sign of serious underlying health conditions such as diabetes or heart problems.
It is therefore important to see a doctor if you are experiencing erectile dysfunction to get proper medications.
At Noah, we want to keep you safe. Doctors on our platform are best equipped with the knowledge to assist you in your medical journey.
If you would like to talk to them, you can book a consultation with them here.
While not an ED treatment, if you’re looking to boost your sexual function, there’s a new root in town.
It’s called Ashwagandha and it’s all-natural. Also known as Indian ginseng, it has been around for hundreds of years to treat an array of conditions and is now taking the spotlight in a growing wellness trend.
Used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine, Ashwagandha is considered an aphrodisiac. People pride it on its ability to arouse sexual instinct, improve sexual pleasure, or even function.
Studies have shown that the Indian root has increased testosterone levels and boosted sperm motility especially in men with low sperm count.
At Noah, we offer Vigour - made with premium-grade KSM-66® Ashwagandha and other essential vitamins and minerals.
Vigour is a supplement that has been clinically proven to increase testosterone levels and increase performance in men with ED.
As mentioned earlier, turmeric is not a proper medical treatment for erectile dysfunction.
However, if you’re still considering turmeric as a supplement for other health benefits, you should be aware that turmeric’s active ingredient, curcumin, can react negatively with some types of medications and conditions.
For instance, since turmeric is a blood thinner, you shouldn’t take any turmeric or turmeric supplements if you are on blood-thinning medications.
Doing so could increase your risk of bleeding and bruising more than usual. It could also potentially make your medications less effective.
Some common examples of blood-thinning medications include:
• Apixaban (Eliquis)
• Clopidogrel (Plavix)
• Dabigatran (Pradaxa)
• Eptifibatide (Integrilin)
• Heparin (Innohep)
• Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others)
• Parsugrel (Effient)
• Naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others)
Do not take turmeric or turmeric supplements if you experience these health conditions.
People with bleeding problems should avoid turmeric as it can slow down blood clotting.
If you are planning to undergo surgery, stop using turmeric at least 2 weeks in advance. Since turmeric is a blood thinner, it can cause extra bleeding during and after surgery.
While scientists believe that curcumin can improve liver health by dispelling toxins from the body, some studies suggest that taking turmeric with liver problems such as autoimmune hepatitis can be detrimental instead.
Those with iron deficiency should avoid taking turmeric as high amounts of it can prevent the absorption of iron in the body.
Studies have shown that high amounts of turmeric was associated with iron deficiency anemia, where your body doesn’t have enough red blood cells. Once consumption ceased, iron levels reverted back to normal.
Taking high amounts of turmeric can therefore exacerbate problems, leading to tiredness and shortness of breath.
Turmeric does not improve ED, but when taken in small amounts, can possess other types of health benefits.
For a starter, natural-occurring amounts of curcumin in turmeric spices are only about 3%.
If you want to take turmeric, the best way is through a supplement or extract, which has about 95% curcumin. There are also topical creams available.
However, there is currently no official consensus on how much turmeric you should take per day for optimal effectiveness, but studies typically use doses of about 500-2,000mg of turmeric per day, equating to about 15-60mg of curcumin per day.
In some studies, turmeric has proven effective especially for those with certain conditions.
• Osteoarthritis: recommended 500mg of turmeric extract or 15mg of curcumin extract twice daily for 2-3 months
• High cholesterol: recommended 700mg of turmeric extract or 21mg of curcumin extract twice daily for 3 months
• Itchy skin: recommended 500mg of turmeric or 15mg of curcumin extract three times daily for 2 months
However, as studies are still limited, high doses of turmeric and curcumin are not recommended for use in the long term.
As a benchmark, the World Health Organization (WHO) has set about 0-3mg per kilogram of body weight as an acceptable daily intake of turmeric.
While turmeric and curcumin purport many health benefits, taking too much of them can pose potential health risks.
1. Mild side effects include stomach discomfort, diarrhoea, lightheadedness and headaches
2. Turmeric contains about 2% oxalate (a waste compound that is also produced by the body). Large doses of turmeric can significantly increase the levels of urinary oxalate, increasing risks of kidney stone formation
3. Turmeric can increase bile secretion, possibly worsening gallbladder or stomach problems. Consequently, it can also cause acid reflux and gallstones.
4. Not all commercial turmeric powder is pure. Some might contain fillers such as cassava starch, barley, or wheat flour, which may interfere and cause adverse symptoms in those with problems like gluten intolerance or celiac disease.
Turmeric is not a proper medical treatment for erectile dysfunction.
Like all other herbal supplements, keep in mind that turmeric and curcumin should be taken with caution.
While mostly safe without any serious side effects, remember to always notify your health care provider of any supplements you are taking or plan to take as they might interfere with underlying health conditions.
At Noah, you can arrange for a consultation by visiting our website and answering an online evaluation. You will be able to arrange for a teleconsultation session with a licensed doctor at your convenience.
If prescribed, your medication will be delivered straight to your door in discreet packaging within 4 hours, at no additional cost.
If you are experiencing problems with ED, remember to always look to consult a licensed medical professional. Sexual health shouldn’t be a path that you should walk alone. At Noah, we’re here for you.
Articles featured on Noah are for informational purposes only and should not be constituted as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have any medical questions or concerns, please talk to your healthcare provider. If you're looking for a healthcare provider, click here.