Erection problems are one of those silent health hazards that are rapidly increasing all around the globe, especially in countries where obesity, poor nutrition quality and lack of exercise are key attributes of the population.
Chances are that if you have problems with erection strength all the time or occasionally, and you go to a doctor for help, you’ll likely leave with a prescription erectile dysfunction supplement from Cialis or Viagra. While both of them do work extremely well, they are also:
- Ridiculously expensive
- Synthetic prescription pharmaceuticals with a host of side-effects
- Not going to address the original root of the problem, (low T, poor vascular function, etc)
Like so many of the modern-day pharmaceutical erectile dysfunction supplements, they’re just a mean to mask the real problem with a “robotic erection.” There’s nothing natural in needing a drug for getting your battle sword up. What if you forgot the prescribed magic pill somewhere for example? And what happens when you’ve become accustomed to blue-pill for years, then develop side effects and have to discontinue the use? Let me give you a hint: nothing good (at least, that is, if you haven’t focused on fixing the root issues of your problem).
While I would recommend that you start from fixing certain health and lifestyle factors (sleep, exercise, weight-loss, etc), before jumping head first into using erectile dysfunction supplements. There are seven (yes, seven!) natural supplements for erectile dysfunction that are alternatives to synthetic pharmaceuticals, and all of these are proven to work with multiple scientific studies. Use them strategically while also doing these things to optimize your overall hormonal and vascular health, and I can guarantee you that you’re not going to need any pharmaceutical aids after that.
Ginseng has been titled as the “natural Viagra” due to its impressive results in multiple scientific trials. While I can guarantee you that ginseng is nowhere near as potent as synthetic Viagra is, the benefit is that it’s all natural, costs just a fraction of the price, and actually works unlike many other natural erectile dysfunction supplements out there.
The roots of ginseng are best known as “adaptogens,” a blanket term coined by the scientist in Soviet Russia for identifying compounds that can promote the body to adapt into stressful situations and maintain the bodily homeostasis naturally by balancing stress and steroid hormones. The theorized reasoning for these effects is often claimed to be the high amount of phytonutrients (mainly ginesonides) and antioxidants found in the roots.
While the evidence on ginseng’s ability to increase testosterone levels is mixed (raising the hormone on infertile men, but not on men with no infertility), the research behind its erection promoting effects is stronger than a steel pipe.
In a Korean double-blind placebo study, 900mg’s of ginseng taken three times per day for eight weeks was able to significantly improve erectile quality of subjects with clinically-diagnosed erectile dysfunction. These effects were noted by a questionnaire, as well as RigiScan measurement (yes, that’s an actual device that measures erection quality).
Another study conducted five years later found similar results with 1,000mg of ginseng taken three times per day. Across the board, patients receiving the ginseng had noticeably improved their quality of erection rigidity, maintenance and penetration efficacy.
In a research-study of ginseng saponin’s it was also noted that ginseng has the ability to significantly improve erection quality when compared to a placebo solution. This time the researchers used another erection strength monitoring device called “AVS-penogram.”
The underlying mechanism of ginseng’s actions is not fully understood, but it’s likely a combination of multiple compounds (saponins, antioxidants, ginsenosides). What has been seen in animal studies is that many of the ginesonides have the ability to raise nitric oxide levels in the blood, and thus widen the blood vessels and improve circulation.
Pycnogenol is a patented water-extract of the bark of the French maritime pine tree. It’s standardized to contain 65-75 percent procyanidin, which is a compound known to stimulate nitric oxide synthesis and therefore greatly increase vascular health and blood flow.
This is the mechanism of how pycnogenol works as an erectile dysfunction supplement. It is used to improve erection strength and the promotion of arterial relaxation with a boost in nitric oxide.
Just 40mg of pycnogenol was used alongside with 1,700mg of arginine and aspartic acid in a Bulgarian trial. The study had 40 subjects suffering from clinically-evaluated erectile dysfunction, and they took the combination of these supplements for erectile dysfunction three times per day (so 120mg of pycnogenol). Three months into the study, 92.5 percent of the test subjects reported that their ability to regain erections had returned. In 2003, another group of researchers replicated the study with similar results using 120mg pycnogenol with 21 subjects.
In 2007, 180mg of pycnogenol was found to increase arterial expansion of young male subjects by a staggering 42 percent. Another trial noted that in patients with coronary artery disease, pycnogenol is a potent compound for greatly improving vascular health and blood flow.
3. Garlic Extract and Vitamin C
Both garlic and vitamin C have been studied for their effects in promoting blood flow, reducing inflammation and dropping blood-pressure. In fact, garlic is often more potent at relieving high blood-pressure than pharmaceutical solutions.
The thing that many people don’t know is that when you combine vitamin C with garlic extract, you can expect massive improvements in your circulation due to elevated nitric oxide production.
This effect was seen in a study concluded by Mousa et al. when they administered 2 grams of vitamin C in combination with four capsules of garlic extract daily for 10 days to their patients with mild hypertension (high blood-pressure).
They saw the following improvements;
- Endolethial nitric oxide output increased by a staggering 200 percent (that’s a 3-fold increase!).
- On average, systolic blood pressure dropped from 142 to 115.
- On average, diastolic blood pressure dropped from 92 to 77.
- For this very reason, we decided to add 300mg of garlic extract, along with 1 gram of vitamin C in every capsule of Redwood, which is taken twice per day, resulting in 2 grams of vitamin C and 600mg of garlic extract.
4. Citrulline or Arginine
Arginine is an amino acid that acts as a precursor to nitric oxide. Citrulline, on the other hand, is also an amino acid (found in watermelons for example), which naturally converts to arginine in the kidneys.
For these reasons, both are generously used in pre-workout supplements to increase “pump” of the muscles and improve blood flow.
The science behind these compounds is pretty solid: They both seem to very reliably increase nitric oxide output. However, for some reason citrulline seems to be more potent at this. Maybe your body converts it into a more potent form of arginine than that of which can be found in arginine supplements, who knows.
Whatever the case, arginine works, but citrulline is just better.
5. Horse Chestnut Extract
Horse Chestnut Extract (HSE) is often standardized to 10-20 percent of the active ingredient escin, which has been found to be extremely beneficial for vascular health.
The mechanism at which horse chestnut extract improves erection quality is two-fold. It’s able to increase nitric oxide levels, and it improves the function of the “vascular valves,” and thus prevents and relieves the formation of varicoceles (half-blocked veins with poor valve function leading to testicles and thus impairing testosterone production).
The latter mechanism of HSE is particularly interesting due to the fact that roughly 20 percent of men have varicose veins in their testicles, sometimes noticeable, but often so mild that they go unnoticed. These veins can be surgically operated, but so far escin (the active compound in horse chest nuts) has been identified as the only compound that has proven research backing up its use as a natural varicocele treatment.
There are three studies which all found that standardized escin is able to significantly “resolve” varicose veins all around the body. Most importantly, one which showed that escin derived from HSE was able to reduce the rate of varicoceles and thus improve the sperm counts and testosterone levels of infertile patients. One study has also experimentally varicocele’d rodents just to find out that standardized escin can reverse the negative effects.
We included horse chestnut extract in Redwood.
Simply because we feel that improving the valve function and reducing the rate of varicoceles can bring massive improvements to the erection quality of many men who are not aware of the fact that they might have varicose veins, plus it also increases NO production so it was a no-brainer anyway.