Natural Solutions to Erectile Dysfunction
Many men experience erectile dysfunction (ED). Lack of a sex drive is equally prevalent and this concerns both men and women. We have also become aware that erectile dysfunction is also common in women, as women have an erectile organ called the clitoris. Lack of proper lubrication in women is also common, especially close to, during and past menopause.
Lack of a sex drive may actually be a blessing for those without a sexual partner. But when we do have sexual relations, a lack of a proper erection can be embarrassing and disappointing. There are three ways you can go about this.
- Choose the natural way and try to eliminate the underlying problem.
- Go for prescription medications which are associated with some potential embarrassment at the doctor’s office, high prices and potential side effects like a drop in blood pressure, fainting and headaches.
- Or simply ignore the problem if it doesn’t bother you.
This last option is the least practical as erectile dysfunction and lack of libido is usually a sign of some underlying health problem.
So what are the most common causes of erectile dysfunction and lack of libido? They are stress (both emotional and physical), improper diet, and weight gain (leading to problems with circulation and drop in sexual hormones). In men, another very common condition that can lead to erectile dysfunction is prostate enlargement.
Erectile Dysfunction Psychological Causes: Stress, Depression
So how can stress be managed? I think that the most effective approach is also the most practical. Try to prevent the situations that cause stress. I know it soundS almost too simple to have any practical meaning. But staying organized and having our responsibilities done on time can reduce stress substantially.
Of course, things sometimes happen that are out of our control, and it’s a challenge handing these situations. But for the most part, the vast majority of problems that cause stress can be prevented.
So what are some ways that we can reduce this “unpreventable” stress? The most effective are physical exercise, relaxation, and natural anti-stress supplements. Physical exercise is obviously a great way to release stress. Both cardio exercise and weight training is good for this. Personally, I find weight training to be more effective. But it’s a personal thing. Relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation and especially transcendental meditation are fantastic ways to relax and to keep a relaxed state for a prolonged period of time.
Finally, anti-stress supplements can be very effective. Look for "adaptogenics". The name describes their function. They bring our minds and mood into balance, thus reducing emotional stress. Some great examples are Rhodiola, Ashwagandha and Ginseng: both red and white.
Poor Circulation Contribute to Erectile Dysfunction
The MOST common causes of ED are problems with circulation. Erection happens by dilation of blood vessels within the penis. The way this works is by the release of a substance called Nitric Oxide (NO). A natural way to increase NO in the body is to supplement with arginine and/or eat almonds. This is actually how drugs like Viagra work. They increase the level of NO in the penis. But in order for the NO to work, the blood vessels have to be elastic. Improper diets, lack of exercise, obesity and especially diabetes wreak havoc on the blood vessels, causing them to be plugged up with cholesterol plaques. So for healthy erections of both the penis and the clitoris, a healthy diet rich in antioxidants is paramount. What I mean by a healthy diet is the Mediterranean diet, but the version low in pastas and white breads. It is a diet mainly based on fish and poultry, lots of vegetables and healthy plant oils (olive, borage, flax, hemp). It is a diet free of junk food, processed foods and simple refined sugars. It is also a diet free of deep fried foods. Supplementation for circulation centres around antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents which help prevent clogging up of arteries. Great examples are resveratrol, fish oils (especially EPA), green tea extract, grape seed extract and red wine in moderation. Moderation means not more than one glass of red wine for women and two glasses for men daily. Another great herb for circulation and erection is Epimedium which works in a similar way to Viagra but without the risk of dropping blood pressure too much.
A Relationship of Sex Hormone Levels and Erectile Dysfunction
The main sex hormones in women are estrogen and DHEA and the main sex hormone in men is testosterone. Unfortunately, these hormones drop as we age, thus decreasing libido in both sexes. Lower testosterone also causes weaker erections in men. The problem with testosterone supplementation is the side effects. This has gained a lot of attention lately in the media and lawyers of course are all over it. The potential side effects are toxicity to the liver, dilation of the heart, heart attacks, strokes, inhibition of natural testosterone production, prostate enlargement (and potentially cancer) and infertility. A long list by any means. But there are natural and safe ways to maintain testosterone production in its more healthy optimal range. The most researched ones are Fenugreek (commonly known as Testofen), Eurycoma longifolia and Tribulus terrestris. For women’s sex hormone production, adrenal health is very important. These are little organs that produce DHEA. There are many ways to go about this. Magnesium and vitamin C supplementation are effective. Also the herb Ashwagandha is effective in supporting the adrenals. You may also opt for DHEA supplementation which has been approved by Health Canada for sex hormone maintenance.
This is a very common condition in men. It not only causes problems with urination, but very commonly erectile dysfunction. There are three things to keep in mind. First is a healthy diet rich in antioxidants. Another is supplementation with Saw Palmetto on a regular basis, especially past the age of 40. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, are prophylactic annual prostate tests starting at the age of 40.
THE PRESCRIPTION DILEMMA
Yes, the prescription drugs like Viagra and Cialis are almost miraculous in their effects. But they are like a silver bullet. They work only temporarily and they do not solve the underlying problem. They are also expensive and they may cause some unwanted effects, some potentially very serious. It is much better to improve one’s health the natural way and at the same time improve your sexual experience.
Thank you and see you next time.