Natural medicine reliably provides effective help with all of these essentials, no matter how far male impotence may have progressed.
o Sexual desire Lepidium meyenii (maca) significantly augments sexual desire, and increases both semen output and serum testosterone levels (CNS Neurosci Ther, 2008; 14: 182-91; Asian J Androl, 2001; 3: 301-3; Andrologia, 2002; 34: 367-72; J Endocrinol, 2003; 176: 163-8).
o Counteracting obstructive BPH Serenoa serrulata (S. repens; saw palmetto) can counteract obstructive BPH (Prostate, 1998; 37: 77-83; Drugs Aging, 1996; 9: 379-95). However, if you're taking alpha-adrenoceptor blockers such as prazosin or alfuzosin, clinical trials have shown that S. serrulata has a mild inhibitory effect on these drugs' actions.
o Regulating energy metabolism The seeds of Paullinia cupana (guaran'a) are a well-known stimulant of the body's energy metabolism (J Ethnopharmacol, 1997; 55: 223-9). The effects of pentobarbital, clonazepam, diazepam, triaz-olam and zopiclone may be reduced by guaran'a, whereas the action of aspirin may be increased. Also, taken together with propranolol or metoprolol, it may increase blood pressure slightly. On the other hand, certain antibiotics, such as quinolone, enoxacin and pipemidic acid, will inhibit the action of P. cupana.
o Endurance and stamina The Asian shrub Eleutherococcus senticosus (called 'Siberian ginseng', though it's not ginseng) supplies endurance and stamina by quickly raising the energy available to the muscles. The herb allows athletes to train intensively and to do several hard workouts within a short period of time. Its stress-lowering effect is impor-tant for men because it moderates the production of the stress hormone cortisol. It's been shown that overtrained athletes often show high levels of cortisol-which is catabolic, or protein-destroying. However, E. senticosus deactivates cortisol before
it manifests this deleterious effect (Phytother Res, 2005; 19: 819-38).
However, if you're taking digoxin, this herb can interfere with blood tests designed to measure digoxin levels. E. senticosus may also increase blood pressure in those who already have high blood pressure.
o Stimulating erectile function The herb Panax ginseng, or Korean red ginseng, has been well demonstrated to stimulate erectile function (J Urol, 2002, 168: 20-1; de Andrade E et al. Study of the Efficacy of Korean Red Ginseng in the Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction. S~ao Paulo, Brazil: Sector of Sexual Medicine, Division of the Urological Clinic of S~ao Paulo University). Note, however, that in men prone to nosebleeds, this herb-if used in large amounts over prolonged periods-may, on rare occasions, induce nosebleeds due to inhibition of platelet aggregation (blood clots).
o Phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5) inhibition Epimedium saggitatum-or E. brevicornum, horny goat weed-has been favourably compared with vardenafil and other PDE-5 inhibitors, such as Viagra, Levitra and Cialis, in terms of its effects (Int J Impot Res, 2006; 18: 335-42; Urology, 2006; 67: 631-5; Urology, 2006; 68: 1350-4; Asian J Androl, 2003; 5: 15-8; J Huazhong Univ Sci Technol Med Sci, 2006; 26: 460-2; J Nat Prod, 2008; 71: 2009, E-publication ahead of print)-at least in animals and test-tube studies.
o Top-up of essential nutrients lost during exertion Pinus sibirica (Siberian pine kernel oil) delivers a superabundance of valuable nutrients to the body. Siberians call the tree 'Queen of the Taiga', as its nuts provide them-despite the extreme cold for much of the year-with tremendous health and vitality. The nut oil contains copper, mag-nesium, manganese, silica, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, molybdenum, iodine, tin, zinc, iron, silver, cobalt, sodium, glucose, dextrin, pentosans, albumin, globulin, glutelins and prolamins. It also delivers thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin E and vitamin F (the essential fatty linoleic and alpha-linoleic acids), as well as the amino acids tryptophan, leucine, isoleucine, valine, lysine, methionine, histidine, proline, cerine, glycine, alanine, glutamic acids, asparafine, cystine, cysteine, arginine and tyrosine (Food Chem, 2009; 112: 936-43).
Except for the Siberian pine kernel oil-available from Gelsemium House Dispensary in Poole, Dorset (tel: 012-0274-4717)-the other herbs are not intended for self-medication, but should only be taken with the guidance of a registered naturopath or medical herbalist, who can also advise on the appropriate dosages.
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