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8 Natural Herbs for ED & Resources for Prostate Support You Need to Know About
Previously, we looked at some of the interesting ways that common prostate issues like BPH and prostatitis can affect a man’s sexual wellness. Today, we’re going to cover 8 natural herbs and supplements that men commonly use when they’re experiencing a problem like erectile dysfunction (ED), or simply to support natural prostate health for better overall sexual wellness.
With ED affecting up to a third of all men, and an enlarged prostate affecting 50% of men over the age of 60, it’s no wonder why many of them seek out natural herbs for ED and natural resources for prostate support.1, 2 Just remember, you should always talk to your doctor when it comes to any potential treatment options. With that being said, here’s all of the information you need to better understand 8 of the most common natural herbs for ED and natural prostate health.
1. Maca Root
First on our list is Maca Root, a plant from Peru that is commonly found in many natural prostate health supplements. It comes in three types, red, black, and yellow, and is rich in a wealth of essential vitamins and minerals.
One study found that men who took Maca experienced an improvement in sexual desire.3 It’s also thought that Maca may help to reduce stress, which can be another underlying cause of ED.
2. Rye Flower Pollen Extract
Rye flower pollen extract (also called rye grass extract, or simply rye extract) is an extract taken from the pollen of the rye grass plant. It is commonly used as an ingredient in natural prostate health supplements.
Men who take rye flower pollen extract are typically doing so to ease the discomfort of an enlarged prostate. A study found that 9 out of 10 men taking rye flower pollen extract saw improvements in erections and ejaculation.4
Not technically a natural herb for ED, L-Arginine is actually a natural amino acid. In the bloodstream, it is converted into nitric oxide, a gas that can help to relax blood vessels and improve circulation to the male sex organs.
Used by many men in the same fashion as natural herbs for ED, L-Arginine is often combined with other supplements like yohimbine and pycnogenol, which are thought to help increase its potential efficacy.
4. Ginkgo Biloba
Ginkgo Biloba, sometimes referred to simply as “ginkgo”, is a tree native to China. As a natural prostate support herb, it’s typically used in the form of an extract.
Ginkgo is believed to have an effect similar to that of L-Arginine, and was shown to facilitate a 12% increase in the levels of nitric oxide in the blood.5 Considering that the underlying cause of ED is often problems with blood flow, ginkgo is used by some men as a natural herb for ED.
5. Pygeum Africanum
Another commonly found natural resource for prostate support, Pygeum Africanum is a botanical extract from the bark of the African cherry tree. While usually used by men with prostate-related discomfort, some think it may also help to boost sex drive.
Pygeum Africanum has been studied, and research suggests that Pygeum Africanum may be useful for men seeking natural resources for prostate support.6
6. Saw Palmetto
Saw palmetto is a type of palm tree found here in the United States, whose berries are used as an ingredient in natural resources for prostate support. It’s also among the most commonly used natural herbs in this area of wellness.
A study in the medical journal Urologia Internationalis reported an improvement in quality of erections for men taking saw palmetto, demonstrated by an increase in their IIEF (International Index of Erectile Function) score.7
Epimedium is a natural herb for ED that goes by several different names, including barrenwort, bishop’s hat, and horny goat weed. The active compound in epimedium thought to help with ED is called icariin.
In addition to its intended use as a natural herb for ED, epimedium is used by some in an effort to boost sexual drive. One study found that icariin, the active compound in epimedium, may be effective at inhibiting a substance responsible for decreased erection quality, called PDE5.8
The final item on our list is another popular natural prostate health ingredient called beta-sitosterol. Beta-sitosterol is a natural phytosterol, which are chemicals with a structure similar to cholesterol, and is found in plants.
Men who take beta-sitosterol most commonly do so in an attempt to ease discomfort associated with an enlarged prostate, but it is also thought to help reduce LDL cholesterol to support better heart health. According to the University of Michigan, a review of studies done on beta-sitosterol showed that men who took it experienced higher comfort, in regard to natural prostate health.
This overview of natural herbs for ED and common resources used to support natural prostate health is meant to give you a better understanding of what’s out there and what may be the best choice for you; but, remember, a discussion with your doctor should always be the first step in anything to do with your health. The contents of this article are simply meant to educate about the types of natural herbs for ED and supplements for natural prostate health that are commonly found, none of which are intended to treat, diagnose, prevent or cure any disease.
Make sure to check out our article on sex and prostate health (LINK) to get a deeper understanding of the relationship between the two, and follow us on social media for the latest health and wellness information.
- Gerbild, Helle et al. “Physical Activity to Improve Erectile Function: A Systematic Review of Intervention Studies.” Sexual medicine vol. 6,2 (2018): 75-89. doi:10.1016/j.esxm.2018.02.001
- Harvard Article
- 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. doi:10.1046/j.1439-0272.2002.00519.x
- Yokoyama, H. et al. 2005. Findings on Prostatitis through the “Pollen Extract G63” of Graminex Company. Kanda New Medical Clinic.
- Wu YZ, Li SQ, Zu XG, Du J, Wang FF. Ginkgo biloba extract improves coronary artery circulation in patients with coronary artery disease: contribution of plasma nitric oxide and endothelin-1. Phytother Res. 2008 Jun;22(6):734-9. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2335. PMID: 18446847.
- Wilt, T et al. “Pygeum africanum for benign prostatic hyperplasia.” The Cochrane database of systematic reviews vol. 1998,1 (2002): CD001044. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD001044
- Sinescu, Ioanel et al. “Long-term efficacy of Serenoa repens treatment in patients with mild and moderate symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia.” Urologia internationalis vol. 86,3 (2011): 284-9. doi:10.1159/000322645
- Dell'Agli, Mario et al. “Potent inhibition of human phosphodiesterase-5 by icariin derivatives.” Journal of natural products vol. 71,9 (2008): 1513-7. doi:10.1021/np800049y
The statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. They are not intended to treat, diagnose, prevent or cure any disease.