Let's Talk Sex
September 28, 2010
Natural Remedies for Erectile Dysfunction – part 1

Over the last few weeks, we have been discussing erectile dysfunction and treatment based on conventional western medicine. Most patients who are introduced to Viagra usually have an apprehensive reaction based on the preconceived notion of side effects. They would either decline or ask for something “natural”.{{more}} They assume that natural remedies do not have side effects. They all say that natural products are better and that conventional medicine “poisons” the body. This is a fallacy! In other words, natural remedies have side effects. As we discuss the individual medications, we will look at their side effects.

There are other issues with “natural remedies”. These include:

1. They are usually marketed as being cheaper, but most natural remedies are more expensive than conventional remedies. E.g. Enhance is EC$15.00 per tab and is used at 1-3 tabs per day, continuously until the patient gets an erection. The patient then has to continue daily usually at a lower dose. Viagra’s price is an average of EC$20.00 for a 100mg tablet. You use one tablet only when necessary. The cost of Viagra is $5-$20 dollars as necessary; the cost of Enhance is $15-$45 dollars daily. The same applies to Super Prostate Formula (SPF) compared to Finesteride for treating swollen prostates. SPF is about EC$1.10 per tablet and Finesteride is EC$0.60 (or 60 cents) per tablet. The same applies to natural medications like Uriflow and Cystone for kidney stones.

2. These natural remedies usually need to be taken for a long period of time before they start working. Besides that, the doses are not individualized based on patient factors like size and age and the presence of factors like diabetes, hypertension and renal disease. Because they are usually bought over the counter (OTC), patients assume they have no side effects and do not bother to read the insert if there is one. You cannot blame the patient for this as these herbs are usually marketed as having no side effects and sometimes when there is an insert, it does not mention side effects, only the good effects.

3. They do not emphasize the importance of natural remedies as exercise, diet, weight loss and fluid intake. People automatically assume that patients who use natural remedies are health conscious and this is not so. For example Cystone for kidney stones should be taken with fluids, but people assume it is the Cystone and Uriflow that caused them to pass their stones, however medical evidence proves that just the increased intake of fluids alone will help you to pass most small stones and prevent their further formation. Indeed, the use of lemonade can help dissolve uric acid stones!

4. There is little scientific evidence that natural remedies actually work. We see anecdotal evidence of people who used the herb and it worked for them, but we see no evidence of those for whom it did not work, or those who develop side effects as we see with conventional medicines. Science and honesty demands that these natural remedies be tested using the same stringent tests as conventional medicines to determine if they actually do work, how well they work, what is the effective dose and what are the side effects, if any, at that dose. It is all well and good to see 2 or 3 persons for whom the medicine works, but what about the other 7 or 8 for whom it did not work, whose faces are not on television. Therefore, the active components of the medicines should be placed on the container and the actions and effective dose of each component with its side effects should be clearly stated.

In light of the above limitations, I will, over the next few weeks attempt to discuss the herbal remedies that are commonly used to treat impotence. I will not use the brand names as there are many, instead I will use the names of the active components. This is because few herbal medicines for impotence contain one active component; they usually contain several different components.

For comments or question contact:

Dr. Rohan Deshong

Tel: (784) 456-2785