Naturopathic (Natural) Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction

It is important to consult a physician about erectile dysfunction to determine the cause, correct any underlying organic factor, and receive appropriate treatment. Nutritional and lifestyle choices that can contribute to difficulties achieving and maintaining an erection include long-term alcohol and/or tobacco use, chronic recreational drug use, and poor nutritional choices (i.e., diet of processed foods, fast foods, and refined foods). Poor dietary choices may lead to vascular disease (the most common cause of ED), which interferes with the erection process by restricting blood flow to the penis.

Natural treatment can support erectile function by improving overall health. Erectile dysfunction due to vascular disease may readily respond to nutritional changes and herbal support.

Nutrition & ED

Good nutrition may help improve erectile dysfunction.

  • Eat whole, fresh, unrefined, and unprocessed foods. Include fruits (lots of richly pigmented berries to support vascular integrity), vegetables, whole grains, soy, beans, seeds, nuts, olive oil, and cold-water fish (salmon, tuna, sardines, halibut, and mackerel).
  • Avoid sugar, dairy products, refined foods, fried foods, junk foods, and caffeine.
  • Eliminate food sensitivities. Use an elimination and challenge diet elimination and challenge diet to determine food sensitivities.
  • Drink 50 percent of your body weight in ounces of water daily (e.g., if you weigh 150 lbs, drink 75 oz of water daily).

Dietary Supplements & ED

Supplements are intended to provide nutritional support. Because a supplement or a recommended dose may not be appropriate for all persons, a physician (i.e., a licensed naturopathic physician or holistic MD or DO) should be consulted before using any product.

Recommended doses follow:

  • Bioflavonoids – Take 1000 mg daily.
  • Flaxseed meal – Grind 2-4 tablespoons daily. Flaxseed meal is a better choice due to its fiber, lignan, and vitamin content, but flaxseed oil (1 tbsp daily) can be substituted.
  • Inositol hexaniacinate – Take 1000-3000 mg daily to improve circulation and lower cholesterol. Diabetics should not take this supplement.
  • Selenium – Take 200 mcg daily.
  • Vitamin C – Take 1000 mg 3 times daily with meals.
  • Vitamin E – Take 400 IUs daily.
  • Zinc – Take 30 mg daily.

Herbal Medicine & ED

Herbal medicines usually do not have significant side effects when used appropriately and at suggested doses. Occasionally, an herb at the prescribed dose causes stomach upset or a headache. This may reflect the purity of the preparation or added ingredients, such as synthetic binders or fillers. For this reason, it is recommended that only high-quality products be used. As with all medications, more is not better and overdosing can lead to serious illness and death.

These herbs may be used to treat erectile dysfunction:

  • Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) – Traditionally used for male impotence, though no current studies support this usage.
  • Damiana (Turnera diffusa) – Traditionally used as an aphrodisiac and for various sexual disorders; however, there are no current studies to confirm its effectiveness.
  • Ginkgo biloba – Increases arterial blood flow, which may have a positive effect on male sexual function.
  • Muira puama (Ptychopetalum olacoides) – Used for erectile dysfunction and lack of libido.

Physical Medicine & ED

  • Kegel exercises–Increase pelvic blood flow and muscle tone.
  • Exercise–Aerobic exercise and weight training support the cardiovascular system, increase overall energy, and promote relaxation while at rest.

Homeopathy & ED

The appropriate homeopathic remedy can help move the body and mind toward healing. A trained homeopathic practitioner is needed to identify and prescribe a deep-acting, constitutional remedy.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 09 Jun 1998

Last Modified: 14 Sep 2015