Like a lot of people who are plugged into the information superhighway, I get a sizeable quota of unsolicited emails enticing me to part with my hard-earned cash. In amongst the mortgage and loan offers, I have been receiving a growing number of emails plying a trade in Viagra and penis enlargement programmes. So great has the deluge been of late, that I was becoming concerned that the senders of this particular type of spam had been tipped off about my sexual failings by a disgruntled ex-girlfriend (or two). However, recently my sister happened to mention to me how amused she was by the fact that she gets regular emails offering to improve the size and potency of her manhood. I told my girlfriend about this who said she gets them too. I have to say, my fragile male ego took some comfort from the knowledge that even women are targeted by the sellers of penal reform.
Whatever one’s opinion is of those who prey on our neuroses, they fact that they exist at all suggests many of us men are keen to boost our position in sexual stakes. The success of Viagra, along with its seeming transformation from anti-impotence pill to recreational drug, bear testament to this too. Yet, despite the rising popularity of Viagra, it is not the last word in sexual stimulants. Evidence suggests that more natural remedies can provide a helping hand to men who find their libido or erectile ability is somewhat deflated.
One herb that may help restore lost potency is Ginkgo biloba. This remedy is often recommended in natural medicine to stimulate the circulation. It is believed that Ginkgo biloba may increase blood flow to the penis, which generally has a positive bearing on a man’s ability to attain and maintain an erection. One study showed that after six months of treatment with Ginkgo biloba, 50 per cent of men with impotence were restored to working order. The recommended dose is 40 – 80 mg of Ginkgo biloba extract, three times a day. It should be borne in mind, however, that Ginkgo biloba is no quick fix, and it can take several months before its full effects are seen.
Another herb that appears to have the ability to boost potency in men is Korean ginseng. This herb is renowned for its general tonic actions in the body, though some practitioners recommend it specifically for enlivening sexual energy too. In one study, Korean ginseng taken for 8 weeks was found to improve erectile ability in 60 per cent of men who took it. In particular, Korean ginseng seemed to increase the likelihood of successful penetration and the maintenance of an erection compared to placebo (inactive medication). Those wanting to give Korean ginseng a go should take 900 mg of the herb, two or three times a day, for three months.
Another natural agent that I quite like to recommend for low libido is Tribulus terrestris. This herb contains a substance called protodioscin, which is believed to boost the production of libido-enhancing hormones called androgens in the body. Experiments have shown this herb may improve libido and the strength of erections in animals, and my experience in practice is that this often applies to males of the human species too. I generally recommend 750 ” 1500 mg of Tribulus per day, for two or three months. Despite the popularity of Viagra, medicinal herbs remain my firm favourites for men seeking a sexual pick-me-up.