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How to treat erectile dysfunction

by Naturopathy expert Mim Beim
04 Jan 2013 at 17:28hrs | Views
It strikes terror, guilt and shame into the hearts of men, but impotence is relatively common and there are some excellent fixes

Few words are as guaranteed to strike terror, guilt and shame into the hearts of men as "impotence". Perhaps that explains the recent name change to erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction affects more than one million men in Australia and is more prevalent with age. An Australian study found 13 per cent of men in their 40s reported erectile dysfunction, but this jumped to 33 per cent for men in their 50s. So it is a relatively common condition, but very few men feel comfortable talking about it.

Erectile dysfunction means the inability to develop or sustain an erection. It is not the same as infertility, and is not to be confused with lack of sexual desire or libido. It is generally viewed as a male complaint, however women may also experience impotence, where there is no feeling of stimulation to the clitoris or vagina. Many of the recommendations below will help both men and women.

Common causes of erectile dysfunction include smoking, being overweight and having diabetes or high blood pressure. Drugs, including some heart medications and antidepressants, can contribute, as can stress and depression.

Diet and supplements: Avoid processed food with lots of preservatives. Eat as much raw food as possible: fruit, sprouts, vegetables, seeds and nuts. Avoid alcohol, coffee, sugar and white flour products.

Herbal aphrodisiacs work to restore testosterone (which is just as important for women's libido as men's), assist the adrenal glands and improve circulation to the areas concerned. These herbs include panax ginseng, horny goat weed, tribulus, withania, damiana, muira puama, maca and saw palmetto.

Erectile dysfunction in men and lack of stimulation in women is a side effect of some antidepressants. The herb ginkgo biloba works very well to combat this problem and is safe to be taken with antidepressant medication.

Pump iron: Exercise increases energy and improves circulation and any exercise that builds muscle tissue and improves muscle tone, such as lifting weights, can increase testosterone levels.